Sunday, August 22, 2010

Reviewer's Tip - Format for pre-teen books

We see a lot of wonderful preteen books from self-publishers.  Besides a great story, there's something else they need to attract the eyes of young readers.  Preteen books need to be formatted in a kid friendly way.  What does this mean?

Many of these self-published books are formatted by the authors, probably using Word or WordPerfect.  Unfortunately, the text is small, the chapter headings boring, and page headers are either dull or non-existent.  Now, this is fine for books meant for an adult audience.  But youngsters need some encouragement to pick up that book.  Consider using a larger size font (looks less intimidating to reluctant readers).  Dress up your chapter headings.  For example, my preteen horse books have a small horse jumping through/around the chapter number.  Page headers are great too as they help kids find the chapter they're currently reading when it's time to resume reading.  Take a look at other chapter books to see what your competitors do.  Your young readers will be glad you did!