Books are about conveying ideas from the author's mind to yours. A
typesetter's job is to present those words in the most efficient, non-intrusive manner
possible so that the ideas are transferred without any hindrances.
Creating such a medium requires a careful consideration of
many factors. These include the overall page layout; fonts to be used; margins; the arrangement of the paragraphs; the methodology of paragraph
breaks; hyphenations rules, headers, footers, tables, contents, utilization of white
space and so on.
Most readers will not notice
these attributes consciously, precisely because the successful typesetter will make these decisions with the
intent of making the reader focus on the ideas of the author, not on how those
ideas are physically presented.
And therein lies the art
of typesetting, for the book must be visually appealing without distracting the
reader from the author's words.
A well-typeset book will lead to
sales without the reader even knowing how he or she is being influenced by the
appealing design of the book. A badly typeset book will definitely turn the
potential buyer off.
Some common mistakes to avoid
1.No hyphenation (professional books always hyphenate).
2. Trying to fit too many words on a page.
3. Using the wrong form (straight) of quotation marks instead
of the correct form (curved).
4. Using double-spaces after periods instead of a single
5. Using automatic double returns after paragraphs.
6. Using too many different type of fonts.
7. Using underlines for emphasis instead of italics of
8. Not using small-caps when appropriate.
9. Using a normal single dash or double dashes instead of
'em' or 'en' dashes.
10. (US, European standards are different) Using a sans serif font for main text.
11. Too much white-space on pages.
12. Equal sized margins all around the page.
13. Using spaces before, after or between ellipsis (the three dots appearing together). Actually, the elipsis, in most professional typesetting packages have their own glyph, but if using a period to create ellipsis, there should not be any spaces between the periods.