Three Ways To Ruin A Manuscript
I receive a lot of requests from fellow authors that are looking for endorsements and if I have relationship with the author, I typically try to make the time to do this for them.
I have recently noticed a trend, which it may be helpful to point out to aspiring authors. It is not a trend in the content, but a trend in the style. There are three things specifically that I want to bring attention to: Forewords, Fonts and Formatting.
#1 | Foreword
When someone sends me a book that reads, “Forward by…” My soul cringes. I instantly wonder if I will be capable of wading through this unedited piece of self-publishing. Seriously, let’s have a moment of silence for those that don’t seem to know that “forward” is a direction, whereas the only thing at the beginning of a book is a “foreword” as in a “before-word,” a word that comes before the book. Worse still are those that can’t spell, so they write “Foreward” Thus combining foreword and forward, into a word that doesn’t even exist!
#2 | Fonts
If you hate your readers and you don’t want anyone to buy or read your books, then use Arial font. Allow me to explain.
Serif: “In typography, a serif is a small line attached to the end of a stroke in a letter or symbol, such as when handwriting is separated into distinct units for a typewriter or typesetter. A typeface with serifs is called a serif typeface.” - Wikipedia (Examples include Garamond and Times New Roman, universally the most readable typeface.)
Sans Serif: “A category of typefaces that do not use serifs, small lines at the ends of characters. Popular sans serif fonts include Helvetica, Avant Garde, Arial, and Geneva. According to most studies, sans serif fonts are more difficult to read.” - Wikipedia
When I receive a manuscript in a Sans Serif font, I immediately change the font to Times New Roman or Garamond so that I am not exhausted to even look at the page. Please, if you want to gather endorsements from leaders, make it easy to read and don’t make this mistake.
#3 | Formatting
There are wonderful self-published books that are so incredibly difficult to read, and the simple reason boils down to bad formatting. Lines are not properly spaced, margins are too narrow, there are no sub headings, and the style and design are mind-numbingly boring. This is so unnecessary! Find a person known as a “Paginator.” Don’t use a volunteer.
If your book is worth reading, it is worth designing a beautiful interior.
I hope that these three clarifications will help my fellow authors widen their readership.