How Formatting Can Make or Break YOUR Book

howformattingcan-make-or-break-yourbookI’ve noticed this once or twice whenever I read a book, and while I’m not sure if everyone has the same thing, I figured I’d make a post on things I’ve noticed in books that have either made me enjoy the book more, or less!

I am aware that authors have literally little to no control over how their book is formatted, but there are a few things that they can do that is up to them.

1. Making the type a different color than BLACK.

I’ve seen this in quite a few different books. I know that a few people find it charming, but in my experience, a lot of people complain about the type color bothering them or making their eyes hurt while reading. Especially with colors such as green or blue, it ends up drawing people away from books if they open it and see something that will inevitably give them headaches.

2. Small type on BIG pages.

I mainly find this in fantasy novels. You have this pocket size books that are in the 700-900 page gap, and the pages are so thin that you can see through them. Of course the type size will be small to fit the entire book in this small size . . . but then the type doesn’t take up the entire page. It’s like looking through a tunnel to see the story, and it diminishes the story so much.

3. Multiple first person POVs.

While I enjoy seeing into both of the characters minds, having two or more characters that have first person POV chapters is so difficult to keep track of. I find myself wondering which character’s chapter I’m reading, and then I either have to search the text to see who’s being referred to by their names, or flip all the way back to the beginning of the chapter.

4. Fancy or flauntatious chapter beginnings.

This one might just be me, but when a book has a chapter illustration opening that takes up half or two-thirds of the page . . . it just bothers me. Why not use that space for the actual story.

5. Moving the margins or the sentence spacing.

The one that irks me the most is this one. When a book purposefully changes standard formatting to lengthen out the story and make the book seem thicker than it actually is. I’ve seen books that have been so spaced out that the 400 page word count could have been condensed into 200 pages.


Is it too much to ask for these simple things? I realize a lot of these things are controlled by the publisher, but they still majorly bother me. Seeing the colors or the bragging, fancy chapter illustrations just really draw me away from books. I may not be speaking for the majority, but I have a feeling that there are quite a few others who agree with at least a few of these.

What about you? Are there anythings in certain book formats that bother you? Do you agree, disagree?

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