Size does matter.

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I would have thought that twelve is too small. What do you reckon? I have been steeped once more in pondering about the publishing of the book. Not just the font size but also the book size. On our bookshelves there are a huge variety of different sized books. For this first attempt, my H is advising to remain modest. A small sized book.  Perhaps a Penguin size? I prefer at least a bit bigger because it will have photos. In books shops the  customers seem to be mainly of advanced years, or at least advancing years. The younger ones are outside pressing the IPhone to their ears or simply grazing or licking something out of a paper bag or box. Often both. In any case, many readers seem to wear glasses indicating visual impairments. So, font size is important. On the size of the book, 24.50 cm x 16cm seems a good size.

And then the issue of a ‘blurb’. This is designed to attract the reader and buy the book.

Please,feel free to write a blurb! You will be acknowledged in the book.

So much to consider. What do you think of a font 14 for text and 18 for headers? The copy right issue and ISBN number? With known writers there are all sorts of glorious descriptions like ‘undownputable, mesmerizing, haunting, life changing, Booker-prize nominated pending, Nobel Prize potential, explosively written, after-life guaranteeing, transgender promising, avertible impossible, Baha’ism enriching, Horatian hinting qualities, and so many more.

The other issue is of even greater importance.The Australian Government has decided that the 30 refugee babies with parents and families that were taken from that poo island of Nauru to Australia to give birth or suffering from health issues are to be sent back to Nauru (poo) after they have recovered. Even though New Zealand has offered to take all the Nauru refugees at present in Australia, NZ is deemed not enough of a deterrent or punishment. The refugees might actually enjoy living normally!

Australia is instead looking to the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia to export the refugees to. Those countries are deemed to be much better as a deterrent,  stopping refugees claiming refugee status in Australia. I would have thought North Korea to have been even better. Remember the payment of 40 million dollars by Australia to Cambodia for accepting 3 refugees? One of those has since left Cambodia.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-22/baby-asha-transferred-to-community-detention-peter-dutton/7188252

Australia is not the country it used to be.

 

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56 Responses to “Size does matter.”

  1. nonsmokingladybug Says:

    I don’t think that size matters, neither does the cover or the font. What matters -at least to me- is the content. That’s the only thing that will get my attention, my money and my interest.

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, sure. It is behind the skin that makes the apple. But, the initial glance at books on the shelf might, perhaps subconsciously, attract at first. I don’t start at book 1 and than proceed to go through all the books on the shelf in order to make a choice.
      It is going to be a hard slog but I enjoy it too.
      It is better than picking up a cig- butt in front of Aldi’s!

      Liked by 2 people

      • nonsmokingladybug Says:

        I guess I am different. I go to the bookstore, buy me a cup of tea..grab a few books and test read for about an hour. I don’t read online books, so I guess I am just very oldfashioned.

        Like

  2. Carrie Rubin Says:

    That’s why I went with a small press publisher. I couldn’t handle all that formatting stuff by myself. My hat is off to you. That’s a lot of work. Good luck with it!

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Carrie,

      Tahnk you for praise which I always take to heart…but… I am getting it all done. I still have to choose and decide on sizes. I have been looking at books, not so much the work but on what else it needs in getting it to go to publish. I know that the Kindle method through Amazon gives a very clear and even read, with font size not a problem. The editing is almost done and not a single line escaped editor’s eagle-like scruteny. The slackness in my punctuation giving an amazing insight. So much for being autodidact.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Yvonne Says:

    I guess we’re all different. Unless I’m looking for a specific book, I find that I am first attracted to a book by its cover, despite the old warning not to judge it that way! Then, a look at the back (or another place such as the inside of the front cover) to get an idea of what the book is about. Finally, a browse through a few pages to see if the writing style holds my attention.

    Do you happen to follow this blog: http://howardgoldenberg.com/2016/02/22/the-last-refugee/ Today he wrote of much the same issue as you talk of in the latter part of your post.

    And, did you watch today’s National Press Club address, where Stan Grant spoke of the fate of Australia’s first people, in the past and still today?

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      In Berrima near us is a large book-barn, Berkelouw’s. It now has combined books with breakfasts, lunchesand dinners. A few weeks ago they opened a winery next door. All this amids a fabulous country setting with poplars lining a long drive-way. No plastic flowers. The tables are made from large timbers slabs hewn out of enormous connifers blown over during a storm. All the building are made from natural sandstone.
      There are many weddings performed there now as well. There is nothing like curling up next to a warm and compliant book on a honeymoon.
      I am going to ask if they will let me show my book there. I am jumping ahead, but you never know!
      I did follow Howard Goldenberg for a while. He is on the right side of things. I mean on the left side of things.
      How are things in Venice? Great pissoirs pictures.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. leggypeggy Says:

    I think 14 will be too big. Better to use 12 and have decent white space around each line. So 12 on 14 or 15 would be good, depending on the font. The expression 12 on 14 means that the type is 12 points and then there’s 1 point of white space over and under the letters. So 12 on 15 means 1.5 points top and bottom. If you play around with the visuals in Word, go to the paragraph parameters and use the ‘spacing’ option.

    This would be way easier to explain if I was sitting at your computer but this will have to do.🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. leggypeggy Says:

    Oh and use a serif typeface for printed publications. Sans serif is fine for online.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. leggypeggy Says:

    You rest while I’ll harp on because this sort of stuff used to earn my living. You mentioned 24.5 x 16 as a book size. That’s close to what is called a standard B5, which is 25 x 17.6. Most paperbacks are smaller at 19 x 13, on average these days.
    If you use that size, ask your desktop publisher if they think 10 on 12 or 13 would be good. Seriously, you can use a smaller typeface if you’re generous with white space. Besides, you don’t want the end result to look like a large-print format.
    And now I’ll step off my soapbox.🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yvonne Says:

      What a lovely friend you are, leggy one!

      Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Oh, Sock it to me, Leggy. Harp me as much as you like.

      I am very keen on getting advice and can take it on the chin. I have contacted the editor and pointed out your recommendations.

      The last thing I want is too large print for readers to wade through with the help of crutches or GPS.

      I need help and am mature and broadminded enough to take any advice on size fonts or any serifs.

      It is such an amazing eye opener
      .
      Are you still doing work in that area, helping out first time book writers, Leggy Peggy?

      Or are you in Aleppo or doing an overland in Siberia?

      Liked by 2 people

      • leggypeggy Says:

        I’ve worked in publishing since 1967, starting in letterpress (hot metal) and moving through offset and now digital. I’m mostly retired now, but my big bugbears are words that don’t make sense and presentations that aren’t easy on the eye.

        Over the years, I’ve had the good fortune to work with several of Australia’s most gifted graphic designers. While I’m the writer, they’ve taught me tons about the visuals.

        By the way, tonight I’m in Canberra but in about a week I’ll be in Alaska and then Cuba and then South America.

        P.S. I love Berkelouw’s and will come to your showing if I’m in the country.

        Like

      • leggypeggy Says:

        A few questions. How long is the book? What’s the main topic? How many chapters? Are heading within chapters necessary (usually not unless the book is educational)? Are there illustrations?

        I’ll ask my friend, Louie, what she recommends as a typeface (old-fashioned word for font) and other specs. She’s a champ.

        Liked by 1 person

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        The book of my somewhat fictional memoirs is 70800 (of nice) words long.

        “.A book of many vignettes of life, from the writer’s birth in 1940 during WW2 in Holland to the present in Australia. A difficult start after arrival in Sydney. The suburban ennui, the catalyst for the writer to escape to King’s Cross.

        He becomes self employed as a house painter but also getting twinges about art and sex. A few years earlier, he had already experienced his first glance of the female pubes in the shower block at the Scheyville migrant camp, but would that suffice?

        He also remembers vividly the maggot riddled mutton chops at this camp and the hardship endured by his parents and siblings after leaving Holland in 1956.

        He finds his sexual legs while boarding in Sydney’s Paddington with a very kind and voluminous lady from Malta.
        One evening while watching Bonanza on the b/w TV he was seduced. He found the generous Maltese landlady’s right hand fumbling inside his left pocket.
        The only light in the room was from the TV. The husband sitting opposite, a butcher by trade with a loaded shotgun in the conjugal bedroom’s wardrobe.

        However, notwithstanding the delights of his first sexual experiences, he decides to move on.”

        That’s part of a synopsis. It has many illustration in the form of photos that I took with my Agfa Clack camera during those tumultuous times. Yes, each bit has a heading as they were written in small bits over a number of years.

        Liked by 2 people

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Yes, your credentials are impressive. Alaska and Cuba, South America? Say hello to the Thursday mothers in Buenos Aires if you get a chance or enjoy a nice wine at Mendoza. Go and see the second hand book market in Chile’s Valparaiso.
        Let me know when you are again around Berkelouw’s. We will share a pizza and latte.

        Liked by 1 person

      • leggypeggy Says:

        Got it, your book is a memoir full of fun and intrigue.

        Have already enjoyed the offerings of BA and Santiago, but getting to Valparaiso this visit. Really looking forward to it.

        Like

      • leggypeggy Says:

        Spoke to Louie today. She suggests 10 on 13 for size, as well as book dimensions of 19 x 13. Have decent margins. A single line should have no more than 80 characters (including spaces). For typeface, she says Georgia is a good serif face that also works online. Times and Times New Roman are considered old-fashioned these days.
        Over to you now.🙂

        Like

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Thank you so much, Leggypeggy. Please also thank Louie.
        I have been counting characters on a book taken at random since your latest advice. The size of the book is somewhat larger than 19 x 13 but on the average has about 60 to 70 characters per line, including the spaces. The book is ‘The travels of Mark Twain.’
        I shall wait to see what the sample looks like from the nice editor & formatter in the UK.
        I have suggested serifs, white spaces and font sizes a few days ago. I hope he won’t lose the will to live if I suggest more changes.
        Thank you again. I am happy.😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • leggypeggy Says:

        Sounds like you are on track. Before you know it, you’ll be counting characters in your sleep. And someday I’ll teach you how to count a headline.🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        I have yet to count 80 characters on the one line. (including spaces). Even “Letters to Vera,” by Vladimir Nabokov could only get me 74 at the max . I then tried the latest Julian Barnes which came up with a pathetic 52 per line.
        I asked my dearest H. to count a couple of lines in her latest Keller book. She said she is sick of all that counting and white spaces. (I know she will do it in the morning.)
        I might have to give it a bit of a rest, Leggy. Thank you again.

        Liked by 1 person

      • leggypeggy Says:

        I think you are worrying too much. If two or three lines are under 80 characters, you can assume the rest will be fine. Go have a lie-down and believe that all is well.🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  7. sedwith Says:

    My husband is OS visiting refugee family members in KL(brothers family and sisters family) and Sharja (parents) we’ve been supporting them all for years now. This war drags on and they suffer. Sickness is an expense they cant afford and one heart attack, one brain tumour, two cases of dengue, a baby with pneumonia, not to mention impetigo, childbirth, depression PTSD blah bloody blah I dont know what people think refugees do in their spare time….plot terror attacks? But strangely things are looking up and we just all keep going cos thats what families do. Meanwhile talks of ceasefire, send them back to where they came from. Truly Gerard this country is a farce. $1 to a drunk Aboriginal woman with a bandaged head, so she can catch a bus, a fellow traveller of hers asks where I’m from…I say “I dont know”. He says “this is my country”. I say “I know.”

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      The reason I feel that our politicians are so full of venom against refugees is that somewhere along the line they must have been brutalised. Or, if not that, callous use of winning votes by manuring xenophobia.
      I mean, Australian born babies being sent to those isolated off-shore detention camps again with their parents? The Government made the pledge; “They will never come to Australia.” New Zealand has made the offer to take ALL the refugees that are at present in Australia from Nauru because of birthing or self-harm injuries or God knows what else. There is a news clamp in place making it hard to know what else is going on.
      The New Zealand offer is rejected because somehow, this cruel Government of Australia see a possibility of refugees using it as a back- door entry in coming to Australia.

      Liked by 1 person

      • sedwith Says:

        It’s fear based and ridiculous. My extended family have not requested to come to Australia despite having family here…reason? they view this country as racist.

        Like

      • leggypeggy Says:

        Our politicians are behaving badly in regard to refugees because Pauline Hanson shot off her mouth all those years ago and John Howard didn’t shoot her down. Then the public reckoned it was maybe okay to not like refugees and Howard jumped on that. And we now have the mess we have today. Australia used to be proud to accept refugees.

        Like

    • Big M Says:

      It’s appalling, Sedwith, we have had David Isaacs (paediatrician) and David Smith ( clinical pharmacologist) speak at public rallies, both who have visited Nauru recently to assist with clinical care. Even the storage of medications is a top secret! Adults and children being treat very poorly, the result will be mental illness, for which this government will be directly responsible.

      I’m disappointed in rank and file Australians who have become frightened, xenophobic and opposed to any compassion towards refugees. People are saying the most outlandish things, that refugees harm themselves, or their kids to get a foot in the door. Yes, I think much of it started with that silly Pauline Hanson, chip fryer and all round complainer.

      Liked by 2 people

      • sedwith Says:

        Been so bad for so long but just seems to get worse rather than better. Do we still have rank and file Big M? Guess they still want to believe refugees throw their children overboard!

        Like

  8. hilarycustancegreen Says:

    re fonts: 14 is on the large side, so will look less professional (unless if is specifically for people with poor vision). There is also the matter of cost. In self-publishing every page counts, bigger fonts, larger spaces between lines = more pages…
    I can’t believe the vengefulness of the Australian authorities turning down the NZ sanctuary offer.

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, soon I will receive a sample of the book with fonts and everything else. How do people know about all those things? Even as late as last week I thought a book was something with letters and words. Now I know it has white spaces, fonts, serifs with sans and many other issues. What else is still coming?

      Like

  9. Mary Cathleen Clark Says:

    Looks like you have received a lot of good advice re your book, so I have nothing to add there.
    You spoke of Australia not being what it once was, Gerard–neither is the United States.😦

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, we had a program on the US and guns. The horror of fathers teaching children to shoot. Pink rifles for girls! It showed Obama reading out all the names of the children shot dead at that terrible school shooting. And then there are the pro death and shooting rifles members that the answer is more guns and giving shields to school children in their school packs together with their sandwiches.

      And they worry about radicalisation by Islam?

      I thought Woody Allan and Chomsky were all the go. We are going to see Spotlight this afternoon.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mary Cathleen Clark Says:

        It looks like we may differ on gun issues, Gerard. I own a 9mm Smith and Wesson MP, and have a conceal and carry permit–which I had to take training to acquire. I have been around guns my entire life and respect the damage they can do. But I’m a firm believer that if you disarm ordinary citizens, we will be at the mercy of criminals, who will always find a way to get their hands on a weapon, legal or not. One can’t legislate away crazy.

        Liked by 1 person

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Yes, that was the answer that many gave in support of having and owning guns. My question is what is so inherently bad about the US that this relyance on carrying guns has come about? Who are you arming yourself against?

        Six children a day get shot accidently in the US. The figures are horrifying. In Australia there was a gun buy back in place some years ago. Crime and shootings have gone way down. Australia is a much safer place since gun restrictions came into place.

        Like

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        A few years back after the terrible Sandy Hook school shooting I put up a petition addressed to the President of the NRA in the United States.
        It was asking for all guns, rifles, pistols to be fitted with a reversible bullet technology. When fired, the bullet would come out backwards instead of the front. This would satisfy both the pro-gun holders ( at least they could still continue holding a gun) and the anti gun lobby. A win-win for all. That technology was used during WW2 disabling cannons or tanks that would fall into enemy hands. They would simply explode when fired.
        I thought the petition would fly, but, sadly, it did not , just a handful.

        Like

  10. shoreacres Says:

    I haven’t a bit of direct experience with the blurbs, but I did once hear a published author say, “Oh, never mind those. They’re the literary equivalent of the Christmas letter — all full of what the splendid children have been up to, and the details of the exotic vacations.” I suppose today the facebook profile might be an analogue.

    I must say, I really like that artwork up at the top. I looked and looked at it, and enjoyed every minute.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Thank you, Lindy.

      It is one of many etchings I made during a print certificate course in Sydney some years ago. The course included lithography as well. Of course, nothing about fonts, serifs or white spaces.

      Like

  11. sandshoe Says:

    Dear Gez I published a small collection of the work of community writers and having run my eye over all these comments I see we are skating with socks on. I mean I agree and can add nothing to the views of these experienced editors and publishers. Maybe I can add a reference and be helpful to the frontispiece and the blurb.

    I spent weeks designing the look. Months I think it was. If it wasnt months it was a lot of days that involved long hours. The finished product looks like it was crafted by the hand of a perfectionist. No matter how much experience or how little, the driver is creativity, eye, and every project will look different unto its case. Yours will be beautiful. I can just tell.🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      You are most kind, Shoe.
      How are things with you? I sometimes see your writings on the Pig’s Arms. Time is getting shorter and not just because the summer is almost gone.
      The first of the leaves are on the streets already. Soon, the leaf blower brigade will come out blowing leaves onto the next-door neighbour’s nature strip.
      Ladders will appear with mature adults taking out leaves that are trying to hide into guttering.
      Why do people hate leaves? What have they done but having given us joy while still suspended from lovely trees?

      Like

  12. Curt Mekemson Says:

    I went with BookBaby for the layout. Thought they did a good job for not much money. Saved me lots of headaches. Sounds to me like you’ve got plenty of great advice. Leggy Peggy and I might get together in Alaska, BTW. We are both going to the International Ice Carving in Fairbanks. –Curt

    Liked by 2 people

  13. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    I swallow all your words with relish Gerard, but am I the only one who takes notice of your great etchings? This one is a dilly. You are a brave soul and I admire you greatly.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Dorothy brett Says:

    It was more than fifty years ago when Australia welcomed migrants/refugees. Australia had a population of around 12 million in 1965 and desperately needed workers for the various projects that were needed for a new country to progress. The Second World War provided a ready supply of hard workers and people like myself answered the offers made by the Australian government. The cost to Australia was a staggering million POUNDS per day to support this initiative.
    Does Australia have enough money to support refugees and those in need here already. No. Why ? And where should this money come from? How many would approve of a levy placed on every adult here to support this.

    Like

  15. gerard oosterman Says:

    Most refugees in the past ended up Australian citizens by supporting themselves by working and paying tax. It has always been like that. It is wrong to say it costs the Government money. It made money for the Government.

    It is this government’s choice of not allowing that to happen to those held on Nauru and Manus island. This is costing over a billion dollars a year. (1000.000.000,-) for a private contracter.

    Those people have done no wrong. They have not been charged with any crime. Australia gave $40.000.000,- to Cambodia to take 3 refugees, one of whom left Cambodia since.

    The only reason this Government and the previous ALP government behave as they do, is for political reasons. John Howard, as pointed out previously by Leggy Peggy, started it all by nurturing latent xenophobia with the lie of refugees throwing ‘children overboard.’

    Liked by 1 person

  16. gerard oosterman Says:

    This government does not want to be seen as rewarding people smugglers but instead are richly rewarding a corrupt little island called Nauru.
    The handling of the wife of the Justice minister of Nauru burnt to death in her garden and the questions left unanswered by her husband ( The Chief minister), makes people smuggling look rather benign.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-23/questions-linger-after-death-of-wife-of-nauru's-justice-minister/7193090

    Australia is in a deep moral quagmire and Turnbull as complicit as Howard was with the children overboard.

    Like

  17. snowsomewhere Says:

    Good luck with the book, that’s so exciting! I like reading in large-ish font (though there’s nothing wring with my eyes!! It’s just more pleasant to read, in my opinion)

    Like

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