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Posted on Oct 26, 2018

What is Typesetting? Your Guide to Interior Book Design

Think that you’re ready to publish your book? Think again. Before yousend your book off to the printers, you not only need to make sure that the content of your book is good — it also has tolookgood on the page. Imagine your gut reaction to a room that’s sloppy and cluttered, for instance. Not great, right? If thelayout of your book同样是单档,您的读者也会发现突然慢慢退缩的冲动。


In this post, we define what is typesetting, investigate what separates the pros from the amateurs, and reveal exactly what you need为了使一个美丽的书. And of course, we'll answer the biggest question of all: how can you make sure that you’reproperlytypesetting your own work? Let’s find out.

What is typesetting?


  • Determine the size of the margins,
  • Style the chapter starts, and
  • 为内容选择正确的字体字体和大小。

在其核心,排版is all about visual communication.Underestimating the importance of typesetting is a mistake because that would affect the readability of your book — which, in turn, impacts its sales. In the words of world-class typographer Erik Spiekermann:

What is Typesetting? image 1



还有一件事:不要将排版误认为排版。排版是“art”of text creation- 字体的选择,空间的使用,添加其他装饰元素,例如掉落阴影和压花。(例如,图片在歌词视频中的艺术风格化。)另一方面,排版只是将文本设置在页面上的“过程”。

You might say that typesetting is more a craft than an art. But what does it involve?

How exactly does typesetting work?

If you’ve just realized you don’t actually know that much about typesetting, there’s a very good reason why: typesetting succeeds when the reader is completely oblivious to it. So let’s throw back the drapes and unmask it now.

Good typesetting isn't obvious — done well it's invisible. Readers should be able to look up from reading to discover they've missed their stop or missed their bedtime, and, most importantly, don't mind. –Annabel Brandon

The interior of a book is decided by a number of factors, including:

  • 修剪大小(请注意standard book sizesfor this)
  • margins (the bigger the margins in a book, the more pages there may be)
  • illustrations (if applicable)
  • 字体字体and sizes (for the body text, chapter starts, captions, etc.)

These are the first specifications that a typesetter will spend much time deciding. Why? Well, take the font, for instance. Should you go with serif or sans-serif? (This will probably depend on your genre.) In turn, will the use of font change your placement of the drop caps and illustrations? Everything on the page is part of a complex and delicate dynamic that communicates to the reader on a subliminal level — and getting one element wrong could be a capital offense in the making.

Once these elements are decided, then the typesetter will begin the actual process of setting the text and illustrations on the page. As you know, the devil’s in the details — and it’s time to confront him, since there are a lot of things that can go wrong in this particular phase.Euan Monaghan是艺术总监和专业排版的人,阐明了排序地址的一些常见问题(带有解释和正确的布局):

What is Typesetting? image 2

1. A 'ladder' of hyphenated words. Throws the paragraph off balance.


3. Hyphens used instead of en- or em-dashes.

4. Two spaces used between sentences.



Typesetting, not word processing

You might be thinking, “I can do all of this in Microsoft Word with the click of a finger!”

Mistake. Microsoft Word might genuinely be one of theworsttypesetting software to use. To see why, just take a quick look at some more examples of typesetting’s responsibilities:

  • Kerning:Adjusting the spacing between characters.
  • Orphans and widows:排除段落的最后一行在页面顶部结束时发生的“寡妇”,而“孤儿”,反之亦然。
  • Word stacks:当连续的文本行以相同的单词启动或结尾时,就会发生这种情况。躲开它。
  • Drop caps:在章节中对第一段的第一个字符进行样式化。
  • 书籍块:The block of text on each facing page of a book should end on the same row.

That’s a lot of variables to juggle! If you’re publishing a book that includes things other than text (think photography books or cookbooks), the interior of your book will moreover need tograpple with illustrations,标题,脚注和桌子。

This isn’t to say that Wordcan’t解决以上所有内容。它可以 - 在某种程度上。但是,出于一个很好的理由,您可以用Word完成的工作有一个上限:Word(和Microsoft Office)从来都不是是一个排版软件。它是由商人和简单的报告构建的。

因此,简短的答案是:不,对于真正想专业排版的人来说,Microsoft Word并不是一个很好的排版软件。如果您想在很长一年的时间内被言语驱动,我们将不会阻止您。但是,如果您想以聪明或美观的方式排版书籍,可以使用更好的解决方案。

Let’s turn to that obvious question now: howshouldyou typeset your book?

How to typeset a book

To typeset a book, you can either:

  1. 雇用专业的排行者,或
  2. Typeset yourself through DIY typesetting software (not Microsoft Word).

Which route is best? That depends on the type of book you're writing and the emphasis you're placing on creating the best product possible. For instance, if you’re publishing a book that’s illustration-intensive, we strongly recommend you to turn to a professional typesetter. Skip to the next section for some tips on finding the right typesetter.


How to DIY typeset

The good news is that you’ve got a couple of options when it comes to typesetting software. So if you’re confused about which relationship is right for you, don’t worry: we’ll figure out your type right now.


This is a neat (and free) typesetting software that gives you advanced control over your typesetting. It's great at formatting nonfiction books and documents that include cross-references, footnotes, tables, or figures. Be forewarned, though: LaTeX is an open-source system, so you’ll need to be somewhat versed in coding to extract the most out of it.

这是一个❤️:技术报告和仅文本书籍。在its webpage.

Reedsy Book Editor


免责声明:我们或e the team that created the Reedsy Book Editor. Basically, our objective was to simplify the process of making a beautifully typeset book. We believe that we succeeded. The Reedsy Book Editor is a one-click formatting tool that makes it incredibly easy to typeset books in a professional manner — and it is (and always will be) free for writers to use.

It's a ❤️ for: Text-only books.Find out more about the RBE in this FAQ.

Adobe Indesign

InDesign is an incredibly powerful design software that professional designers use. You can use it too, though it’ll set you back a cool $239. InDesign is capable of kerning, stroking, paragraph formatting, drop cap stylization — all things that might take you ages to carry out in Word. But the curve to master its functions is really steep. If you’re willing to spend that time (or if you’re publishing an illustration-intensive book), we recommend trying out its free one-month trial.

It's a ❤️ for: More complex books that contain many illustrations and page spreads.

If this is all a bit overwhelming to you, don’t worry! Typesetting is a discipline that takes years to master. If you can’t commit the time that it takes to become a great typesetter, it might be a better use of your resources to work with a pro. Speaking of which...


Professional typesetters是经验丰富的设计师,他们选择的媒介是版式。但是,重要的是make sure that you find the right typesetter for your work, which is why we’ve got some tips for you below — straight from the professional typesetters on our marketplace.

Euan Monaghan:每个类别往往带来自己的约定nd styles. The writer may wish to follow these conventions, or utterly subvert them — but your designer needs to understand the 'normal' baseline for the intended readership.

2. Look at typesetting examples of their work.
Rachel Reiss: Always feel free to ask them to email you some PDFs, so you can examine their work up close. If they’ve designed different types of books, do the designs vary from book to book and do the different designs feel as though they "fit" the content of the books? Is it easy and comfortable to read the text?

PRO-TIP:If you’re on Reedsy’smarketplace, you can click through typesetters’ portfolios to check out typesetting examples of their work.

Annabel Brandon: When you've encountered someone that may be suitable, try not to look at the design, instead, read their work. If it reads well, and you don't stumble or specifically notice anything, it's perfect. If a designer chooses to add ornamentation, there should be an apparent reason as to why. Otherwise, it's a distraction and doesn't honor the text itself.

4. Educate yourself and ask questions.
Kevin Kane: Designers, especially book designers, are some of the nerdiest people you’ll ever meet. Having an interest in their trade can make a big difference in the author-designer relationship. Ask questions about the designer’s process, and about the decisions they make while designing a book. If you find a designer who can’t answer your questions about亚博刷负盈利thoroughly, you’ve probably taken on the wrong designer.

Generally, the cost of a typesetter will depend on the type of book that you’re publishing — the typesetters on Reedsycharge between $500 and $2,000, for instance. However, whichever route you choose in the end, just remember to keep the end goal in sight: a polished, clean, and welcoming book interior that invites readers into the story.

Have you typeset a book before? Which typesetting software did you use and what did you think of the process? Share your experiences in the comments below! We'd love to hear your thoughts ❤️


Andrius andrius says:

2019年8月5日 - 12:28


Ann says:

04/06/2019 – 13:18

Love reading information about Typesetting. I was trained as a Typesetter about 30 years ago on the first coded computers before Mac's, when asked what my profession is people still do not know what a Typesetter is, so I have to tell them that I am a Graphic Designer, then they know, although technically I am not trained as one. On my Mac for work I am still using QuarkXpress 7.0 to typeset and design all the magazine, guides and diary publications that we produce and print for the publishing company that I work for. It may be outdated, but it still does the job.


02/08/2019 – 11:34

You talk about indesign but for 99,99% of the time it's possible to use Scribus that's a wonderfull open source and free resource. I work with many professionals that use them for every kind of books daily

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