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Vik_R
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Correct Font Size for a Novel?

Mar 22, 2013 12:05 PM

I've moved my novel from MS Word to InDesign.  The typography is greatly improved.

 

I'm using a Mac Font called Baskerville. In MS Word 11 point Baskerville seemed about right. When I print out test pages from InDesign, 11 point Baskerville seems smaller - in fact, too small compared to other hardback and paperback books on my bookshelves.

 

Is there a rule of thumb in terms of selecting a correct font size?  My book layout is 5.25" x 8".

 

Thanks very much in advance to all for any info.

 
Replies
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    Mar 22, 2013 4:38 PM   in reply to Vik_R

    I don’t know if there’s a rule of thumb for the correct size. There are so many factors involved and some of them are very subjective. I think what you did is a good practice: checking books similar to yours and see the size they use.  Regarding the discrepancy in size between word and Indesign, I haven’t seen that. I usually export a few pages to PDF and then print it to have a good idea of how it will look.

     
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    Mar 22, 2013 4:53 PM   in reply to Vik_R

    I believe my design texts suggest that a count of 60 - 75 characters per line is considered optimal for readability (which means there is no single correct answer, but that it depends on the size of your text block on the page). Leading is also a consideration, and you may need more or less depending on the openess or x-height, and the ascender/descender lengths of the font you choose. Also keep in mind that two fonts of the same nominal size may have very different visual sizes and occupy far different proportions of the type slug.

     
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    Mar 23, 2013 2:26 AM   in reply to Vik_R

    It's readable, but I suspect I'd have found 11 pt better, but it's very hard to tell on screen.

     

    I'm curious why you set "of my" in small caps on the first line?

     
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    Mar 23, 2013 12:21 PM   in reply to Vik_R

    It looks good to me. I think 26 lines per page is reasonable for this book size.

     
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    Mar 23, 2013 2:01 PM   in reply to Vik_R

    I think it would be a bit more comfortable to read with a longer line length (I'd still shoot for 60-75 characters, on average, and you're closer to 50), so perhaps 11.25 pts or 11 is worth a second look.

     
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    Mar 23, 2013 6:45 PM   in reply to Vik_R

    Here we are getting into the realm of the subjective choices. For my taste it would be something in between. The page number seems to be too close to the last line in the first example.

     
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    Mar 24, 2013 3:07 AM   in reply to Vik_R

    Definitely getting into subjective territory here. While I like the wider margins, I do find the longer lines and smaller leading to be easier to read, though I would redice the line count by 2 to pull the text away from the folio (and to get some "finagling" room if you need it). How does it look at 10 or 10.5 points on 14 with the wider margins?

     
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    Mar 24, 2013 3:09 AM   in reply to Peter Spier

    And where is everyone else with an opinion?????????????????

     
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    Mar 25, 2013 3:00 AM   in reply to Vik_R

    5.25 x 8 is a fairly small page size, presumably this is going to be a paper-back? You may be overthinking this in terms of font size. Is there a reason you don't want to go smaller? I think it's pretty much expected that a book that size is going to have small type.

     
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