12 responses to “Top Ten Lulu Book Boo Boos”

  1. Authors Give Us Your Previews

    [...] their cup of tea, why not allow them the same facility online. Remember, as stated in our Top Ten Lulu Book Boo Boos article, “No preview at all is a [...]

  2. Ashley Lane

    Something else that makes me avoid certain books have “by” next to the author’s name. It reminds me of a school report or somebody that just hasn’t read that many books to realize that “by” is never ever on the cover.

  3. DED

    I didn’t take #8 (right margin justification) into account. Too worried about hyphenated words wrapping wrong and weird justified paragraphs. Should I not bother submitting? All the other points are covered. I even hired a professional editor to proofread the manuscript.

  4. Welcome to Book Synthesis!

    [...] November 2008, we posted a list of “book boo boos” that we commonly see in self-published books.  To this day, we still see a number of mistakes and [...]

  5. Tweets that mention Top Ten Lulu Book Boo Boos -- Topsy.com

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Lulu Book Review. Lulu Book Review said: The stakes have been raised! 2 of our reviewers will no longer review books w/ poor formatting. Guidelines here http://tinyurl.com/25996xy [...]

  6. John Howard Reid

    I was intrigued by the comment that “by” is never ever on a book’s cover. I usually put “by” on the cover, although I occasionally omit it. What are other authors and publishers doing? I went into my local Border’s today and picked up 20 books at random. 16 had no “by” on the cover, but 4 did. 20% is hardly never ever! I also noted that on 6 of the 16 covers with no “by”, the author’s name was printed in extremely small type. This indicated to me that the publisher regarded the author as of very little importance, an impression reinforced by the fact that 5 of the 16 covers rendered the author’s name in much larger type than the title! On the other 5 books, the author’s name was fairly prominent, but still printed in smaller type than the title and, more importantly, in 3 of the 5 cases, the name was placed at the bottom of the cover, either underneath or partly obscured by the artwork.

  7. Richard Sutton

    Mr. Yarbrough;
    An excellent list for Indie Authors, but there is one bone I must pick. The decision, made by “whom, when”, to justify the right margin of text in books does a terrible disservice to readers. It is a proven fact, through many years of the study of eye movements and fatigue when reading, that justified text creates white space “rivers” and blotches in a block of copy. These tend to confuse the eye and slow down reading as well as accelerate eye strain.

    This occurs because, from a typographical standpoint, justified margins create uneven word spacing throughout a line of text. I come from a design background, having worked in that field for almost thirty years, and have always found that rag-right text reads much easier, especially if the designer chooses the proper length of line based upon the character count. Studies have revealed that the eye has the ability to comprehend lines consisting of around 39 characters the best, so the chosen type point size is equally critical for readability, not just to pare down on the printed page numbers, which is more of an issue with publishing over the past few years as paper costs have gone up. The decision to justify book margins is one made with many production reasons other than legibility and readability in mind.

    Hope this adds a bit of light on this design area. You, of course, may disagree, but readers should try the test themselves: read several pages of justified text, then try the same read with ragged right margins and see which reads easier.

  8. Randy Dutton

    The Chicago Manual of Style says manuscripts should not be justified (2.10). I know on e-readers that people adjusting type point to very large will create a difficult reading experience.

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