Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Reviewer's Tip - Watch Your Font Size

Recently I posted a tip for authors of children's/pre-teen books to watch their font size.  I'd recently seen several children's/pre-teen books with tiny, tiny fonts.  It's enough to send kids running for a video game and we certainly don't want that!  Well, today I have the same advice in reverse for authors of adult books.  A book came in for review this week, a sci-fi thriller, that is over 500 pages.  My first thought was, "oh, goody, another loooong book."  (Okay, I was a bit tired after a long week.)  But then I took a closer look.  The font the author had used was so large that there was barely any text on each page.  I'd guess that the book, properly laid out, would be about 250 pages.  Why does this matter?  For two reasons.  First, if you're self-publishing, you should be well aware of the cost to print your books.  More pages, more cost.  Simple.  If you can cut your page length down substantially (without sacrificing a professional look), then you should absolutely do it.  Second, think of your potential readers.  A 500 page book, from an unknown author, may be enough to scare many of those readers away.  They may be willing to take a chance on a 250 or 300 page book, but I hear from many, many readers who shy away from overly long books.  Then, of course, there's the case of the 500 page book that is truly 500 pages and in dire need of an editor to do some slashing, but that's another story, for another day.