Author Topic: Large Print Edition Questions  (Read 778 times)

notthatamanda

Large Print Edition Questions
« on: September 04, 2019, 10:19:13 PM »
I'm working (well technically my book formatter is working) on a large print edition to go with my latest release.  My question is for inputting the data on Ingram.  Should I list the Title as "Fabulous Novel - Large Print Edition" or should I use "Fabulous Novel" as the title and "Large Print" as the edition.   Is there anything else I should consider when inputting the meta data at Ingram to make this go smoothly?

KDP requires, although somewhat inconsistently, that the subtitle be on the cover.  Is that true for print books, it doesn't seem to be, but the rules may not apply to the likes of Jodi Picoult and co, :) ?  Again, any insight on large print is appreciated.

Thanks for the help,
Amanda
 

RPatton

Re: Large Print Edition Questions
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2019, 12:22:21 AM »
I'm working (well technically my book formatter is working) on a large print edition to go with my latest release.  My question is for inputting the data on Ingram.  Should I list the Title as "Fabulous Novel - Large Print Edition" or should I use "Fabulous Novel" as the title and "Large Print" as the edition.   Is there anything else I should consider when inputting the meta data at Ingram to make this go smoothly?

KDP requires, although somewhat inconsistently, that the subtitle be on the cover.  Is that true for print books, it doesn't seem to be, but the rules may not apply to the likes of Jodi Picoult and co, :) ?  Again, any insight on large print is appreciated.

Thanks for the help,
Amanda

Okay, so I put together some best practices based on trade large prints that aren't min-maxed for publishing costs.

Adding Large print to the title or subtitle is not best practices. Do some indies do it? Yeah, but my opinion is that it makes the book look self-published. However, sticking a nice badge on the cover that says large print, is not only acceptable, but well within conventions.

When you are setting up the ISBN, you have an option of checking a large print box. Check it. That adds Large Print to the meta that book stores look for. I believe you have that same option in KDP Print and through Ingram Sparks. Adding it anywhere else, except for keywords, is unnecessary.

And just because...

Trim Size should be 6x9. Margins should be set at minimum to: Top - 1", Inside -.9", Outside - .85", and Bottom - .9"
 
Most Large Print trads use Adobe Garamond Pro sett at 16/18 with unmodified spacing adjustments. Meaning the most important part is that the space between the letters of words is mostly equal.

Do not use italics. Instead, use bold.

Running heads should have the page number away from the spine, the title can be in Uppercase, but not bold or italics, pen should be in upper and lowercase.

You should also include that the book is a large print edition on the copyright page and half title and/or full title pages.

White space is even more important for large print books than others, so do not attempt to lower the cost of printing by changing margins and what not.

While there are no established industry standards, I think that Random House puts out one of the nicer Large Print versions available and they have the approval of a few of the visually impaired organizations. The above settings are based on pulling a bunch of large print books from shelves and copying what they do.
 
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Re: Large Print Edition Questions
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2019, 12:26:29 AM »
I'm working (well technically my book formatter is working) on a large print edition to go with my latest release.  My question is for inputting the data on Ingram.  Should I list the Title as "Fabulous Novel - Large Print Edition" or should I use "Fabulous Novel" as the title and "Large Print" as the edition.   Is there anything else I should consider when inputting the meta data at Ingram to make this go smoothly?

KDP requires, although somewhat inconsistently, that the subtitle be on the cover.  Is that true for print books, it doesn't seem to be, but the rules may not apply to the likes of Jodi Picoult and co, :) ?  Again, any insight on large print is appreciated.

Thanks for the help,
Amanda

Okay, so I put together some best practices based on trade large prints that aren't min-maxed for publishing costs.

Adding Large print to the title or subtitle is not best practices. Do some indies do it? Yeah, but my opinion is that it makes the book look self-published. However, sticking a nice badge on the cover that says large print, is not only acceptable, but well within conventions.

When you are setting up the ISBN, you have an option of checking a large print box. Check it. That adds Large Print to the meta that book stores look for. I believe you have that same option in KDP Print and through Ingram Sparks. Adding it anywhere else, except for keywords, is unnecessary.

And just because...

Trim Size should be 6x9. Margins should be set at minimum to: Top - 1", Inside -.9", Outside - .85", and Bottom - .9"
 
Most Large Print trads use Adobe Garamond Pro sett at 16/18 with unmodified spacing adjustments. Meaning the most important part is that the space between the letters of words is mostly equal.

Do not use italics. Instead, use bold.

Running heads should have the page number away from the spine, the title can be in Uppercase, but not bold or italics, pen should be in upper and lowercase.

You should also include that the book is a large print edition on the copyright page and half title and/or full title pages.

White space is even more important for large print books than others, so do not attempt to lower the cost of printing by changing margins and what not.

While there are no established industry standards, I think that Random House puts out one of the nicer Large Print versions available and they have the approval of a few of the visually impaired organizations. The above settings are based on pulling a bunch of large print books from shelves and copying what they do.
I'm not currently thinking about large print, but if I ever decide to go that way, this post will be most helpful. I always appreciate your detailed knowledge of formatting.


Tickling the imagination one book at a time
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notthatamanda

Re: Large Print Edition Questions
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2019, 12:37:18 AM »
When you are setting up the ISBN, you have an option of checking a large print box. Check it. That adds Large Print to the meta that book stores look for. I believe you have that same option in KDP Print and through Ingram Sparks. Adding it anywhere else, except for keywords, is unnecessary.

Thank you RPatton.  I was setting up the ISBN this morning and thanks to you I checked it off.  Will be sure to look for in on Ingram as well, but that is a little ways off.

The rest of the info looks really helpful, I'll go through it thoroughly later.  I really appreciate the time you took to type this all in.
Amanda

 

RPatton

Re: Large Print Edition Questions
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2019, 01:35:55 AM »
I'm not currently thinking about large print, but if I ever decide to go that way, this post will be most helpful. I always appreciate your detailed knowledge of formatting.

It's long since passed from a passion to an obsession. :)
 

notthatamanda

Re: Large Print Edition Questions
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2019, 01:43:07 AM »
Oh and it's going to have to be bigger than 6X9.  The 6X9 standard print version is 522 pages.  I probably picked the wrong book to start large print with, it's going to be a monster.  Will stop at the library today to browse the large print section again and see just how dumb I was about this.
 

RPatton

Re: Large Print Edition Questions
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2019, 02:10:30 AM »
Normally, when people want to lower a page count, I recommend dropping the font size by a half a point, however, in this case that's a non-starter. So...  here are some other space savers.

Thorndike is the Large Print publisher I ignored... but they dropped the running head to get more page space and I think the page number went to the bottom away from spine.

When it comes to fiction, 6 X 9 is going to be the largest you will usually see. 7 x 10 is slightly awkward, but...  the 6.14 x 9.21 might give you a little more wiggle room. Also, you can modify your chapter displays a bit. Get rid of any images and lift the starting line up so there's maybe 1 inch between the Chapter number and/or info and the first line of the chapter.

Also... don't start every chapter on the recto. Chapters can start on the verso and your book isn't breaking an rules.

Strip out the front and back matter to bare minimum. Front matter can have a Full Title, copyright, then start right into the book. Back matter could have a condensed about the author and acknowledgements page but that's it. You aren't selling any other large print books at the time, so stripping out the backmatter isn't the end of the world.

 
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notthatamanda

Re: Large Print Edition Questions
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2019, 03:44:47 AM »
This is all very helpful.  I was so confused, measuring books at the library, that were slightly bigger than 6 X 9 and I come home and the answer is right here.
Thank you.
 

Alice Sabo

Re: Large Print Edition Questions
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2019, 03:19:30 AM »
I'm in the same boat. But when I was doing research, it suggested to use 1.5 spacing and add a line between paragraphs with no indentation at all. That made my book a monster, almost 900 pages. I'm not sure if that's going to work.

Here are the guidelines from the American Council on the Blind. https://www.acb.org/large-print-guidelines

Has anybody gotten feedback on their large print sales about formatting issues?



Fantasy, Post-Apocalyptic, Mystery and Space Opera Genre Hopper
 

okey dokey

Re: Large Print Edition Questions
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2019, 03:52:20 AM »
 
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notthatamanda

Re: Large Print Edition Questions
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2019, 04:29:41 AM »
Has anybody gotten feedback on their large print sales about formatting issues?
This is my first one but I am working with a formatter I have a lot of confidence in.  I'll add more info as we go if you want.
 
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Alice Sabo

Re: Large Print Edition Questions
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2019, 04:30:49 AM »
Has anybody gotten feedback on their large print sales about formatting issues?
This is my first one but I am working with a formatter I have a lot of confidence in.  I'll add more info as we go if you want.
Thanks, that would be great.
Fantasy, Post-Apocalyptic, Mystery and Space Opera Genre Hopper
 

RPatton

Re: Large Print Edition Questions
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2019, 04:48:37 AM »
I'm in the same boat. But when I was doing research, it suggested to use 1.5 spacing and add a line between paragraphs with no indentation at all. That made my book a monster, almost 900 pages. I'm not sure if that's going to work.

Here are the guidelines from the American Council on the Blind. https://www.acb.org/large-print-guidelines

Has anybody gotten feedback on their large print sales about formatting issues?

That's because those standards are for documents. Schools and businesses should follow those standards, most publishers have adopted some of the standards and adapted them for print.

16/18 in Garamond Pro is perfectly fine. If you are using word, set the line spacing to exact and then use 18 pts. I would also use an indent of 18 pts.

Joanna Penn has a video on large print books.

https://www.thecreativepenn.com/2018/05/25/publishing-large-print-edition/


Except no where does she go into the specifics. Like not to use italics, but instead bold.

The problem I found when I started formatting for print was I couldn't find any of the information in one place and most of it was conflicting. And worse, everyone believes their source is the authoritative voice. It's not. With very few exceptions, there are no rules, just conventions that can be tossed when they aren't working.

I will always recommend going to the library of bookstore and looking at the books there. Dollars to donuts, the conventions you find those books will be incredibly different from the "rules" you find on different sites. Unless you are hanging out in the typography communities. Those communities and filled with some of the best information about print conventions.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2019, 04:53:09 AM by RPatton »
 

Alice Sabo

Re: Large Print Edition Questions
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2019, 05:20:15 AM »
I'm in the same boat. But when I was doing research, it suggested to use 1.5 spacing and add a line between paragraphs with no indentation at all. That made my book a monster, almost 900 pages. I'm not sure if that's going to work.

Here are the guidelines from the American Council on the Blind. https://www.acb.org/large-print-guidelines

Has anybody gotten feedback on their large print sales about formatting issues?

That's because those standards are for documents. Schools and businesses should follow those standards, most publishers have adopted some of the standards and adapted them for print.

16/18 in Garamond Pro is perfectly fine. If you are using word, set the line spacing to exact and then use 18 pts. I would also use an indent of 18 pts.

Joanna Penn has a video on large print books.

https://www.thecreativepenn.com/2018/05/25/publishing-large-print-edition/


Except no where does she go into the specifics. Like not to use italics, but instead bold.

The problem I found when I started formatting for print was I couldn't find any of the information in one place and most of it was conflicting. And worse, everyone believes their source is the authoritative voice. It's not. With very few exceptions, there are no rules, just conventions that can be tossed when they aren't working.

I will always recommend going to the library of bookstore and looking at the books there. Dollars to donuts, the conventions you find those books will be incredibly different from the "rules" you find on different sites. Unless you are hanging out in the typography communities. Those communities and filled with some of the best information about print conventions.

I read somewhere, and I'm not sure where now (someone's blog?), that the trad pubs do what they want but not necessarily what's best for that audience. That's why I was wondering if anyone had feedback from actual large print readers. Feedback from typographers might not be the best either. They would know what works for formatting, but not necessarily for a disabled reader. That same source suggested that as Indies, we could go a step further in servicing that market in a way they prefer.

You are totally right, the information is incomplete and conflicting. I'm just trying to think of what that market needs and if I can do anything more to make it more accessible.
Fantasy, Post-Apocalyptic, Mystery and Space Opera Genre Hopper
 

RPatton

Re: Large Print Edition Questions
« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2019, 06:53:26 AM »
I read somewhere, and I'm not sure where now (someone's blog?), that the trad pubs do what they want but not necessarily what's best for that audience. That's why I was wondering if anyone had feedback from actual large print readers. Feedback from typographers might not be the best either. They would know what works for formatting, but not necessarily for a disabled reader. That same source suggested that as Indies, we could go a step further in servicing that market in a way they prefer.

You are totally right, the information is incomplete and conflicting. I'm just trying to think of what that market needs and if I can do anything more to make it more accessible.


Ignoring mass market, which is its own beast, publishers will absolutely do what is best for the audience (same goes for typographers). Anyone who does what they want, will have readers who will either put a book down and not finish it, or no buy another book. And typesetters and typographers absolutely do understand their audience. One of the best typefaces for print books came from a typesetter (Electra).

One thing I learned from my research into formatting is that typesetting and formatting a book for print is very much about meeting the needs and expectations of readers and almost all of those needs and expectations follow industry conventions.

Basically 150% leading is going to be huge on a printed page. Using a 16 pt. font with 150% line spacing (leading) is going to be 24. While that will work on a 8.5" x 11" piece of paper, it will be a mess on a book page. Adding another line between paragraphs instead of an indent? The page is turning into a hotter mess. While line spacing is important, what's more important is the letter and word spacing. The more evenly spaced the words and letters are, the easier it is to read. Choosing a readable and legible font will also make a difference. Using Georgia will result in nuclear mess, but using a Garamond (preferably Adobe Garamond Pro) will make for a cleaner page.
 
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Alice Sabo

Re: Large Print Edition Questions
« Reply #15 on: September 09, 2019, 06:59:13 AM »

Ignoring mass market, which is its own beast, publishers will absolutely do what is best for the audience (same goes for typographers). Anyone who does what they want, will have readers who will either put a book down and not finish it, or no buy another book. And typesetters and typographers absolutely do understand their audience. One of the best typefaces for print books came from a typesetter (Electra).

One thing I learned from my research into formatting is that typesetting and formatting a book for print is very much about meeting the needs and expectations of readers and almost all of those needs and expectations follow industry conventions.

Basically 150% leading is going to be huge on a printed page. Using a 16 pt. font with 150% line spacing (leading) is going to be 24. While that will work on a 8.5" x 11" piece of paper, it will be a mess on a book page. Adding another line between paragraphs instead of an indent? The page is turning into a hotter mess. While line spacing is important, what's more important is the letter and word spacing. The more evenly spaced the words and letters are, the easier it is to read. Choosing a readable and legible font will also make a difference. Using Georgia will result in nuclear mess, but using a Garamond (preferably Adobe Garamond Pro) will make for a cleaner page.

Then I'm off to the library to see proper examples.  I'm learning a lot!
Fantasy, Post-Apocalyptic, Mystery and Space Opera Genre Hopper
 

Lynn

Re: Large Print Edition Questions
« Reply #16 on: September 09, 2019, 07:28:48 AM »
I picked up my copy of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix at the library book sale. It's large print. :)

1225 pages

Approx. 5.75 x 8.5 page size inside a slighter larger hardcover binding.

Inside it says "This Large Print Book carries the Seal of Approval of N.A.V.H."

Set in 16 pt. Plantin (listed on the copyright page)

The paragraphs are marked by indents. Approximately 2-3 letter width.

Does contain italics. Not bold.

33 lines per page.

Page numbers centered at the bottom.

No running headers at all. (So no author / title info at the top to muddy up the pages.)

Chapter pages start at the top of whatever page comes next.

Overall the pages look very readable and the font is really nice, IMO.

It seems like a well crafted large print, and I'm going to use it to model my own LP editions when I get around to them. Someday.

Hope this helps!
 
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notthatamanda

Re: Large Print Edition Questions
« Reply #17 on: September 09, 2019, 07:42:01 AM »
I saw some Steven King large print that were up in the 1000-1200 page range.  Unfortunately, for many reasons,  I am not Steven King, so I get 900 pages max.  Almost all the large print book at my library were in the 6X9 or next size up, just the slightly larger range.

My formatter suggested Helvica and Avenir.   The only difference I can see is that the Avenir appears to have a teeny more bit of space between the letters.  I voted Helvica, hope we can save some pages that way.

It's important to have a sans serif font, I think Lily mentioned that already.

Do you know what NAVH stands for?  I couldn't find anything on that.  National Association of ?  Of course it depends on which country the national is in, I guess.  I'm in the US.
 
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Chrissy

Re: Large Print Edition Questions
« Reply #18 on: September 09, 2019, 09:59:50 AM »
I saw some Steven King large print that were up in the 1000-1200 page range.  Unfortunately, for many reasons,  I am not Steven King, so I get 900 pages max.  Almost all the large print book at my library were in the 6X9 or next size up, just the slightly larger range.

My formatter suggested Helvica and Avenir.   The only difference I can see is that the Avenir appears to have a teeny more bit of space between the letters.  I voted Helvica, hope we can save some pages that way.

It's important to have a sans serif font, I think Lily mentioned that already.

Do you know what NAVH stands for?  I couldn't find anything on that.  National Association of ?  Of course it depends on which country the national is in, I guess.  I'm in the US.

National Association for Visually Handicapped
Contact:   Janet Handy
Address:   22 West 21st Street
Sixth Floor
New York
New York
10010
USA
Phone:   1-888-205-5951
1-212-889-3141
Fax:   1-212-727-2931
Email:   navh@navh.org
URL:   www.navh.org

Site doesn't work. :icon_sad:
« Last Edit: September 09, 2019, 10:03:12 AM by Chrissy »
 
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RPatton

Re: Large Print Edition Questions
« Reply #19 on: September 09, 2019, 10:50:26 AM »
I saw some Steven King large print that were up in the 1000-1200 page range.  Unfortunately, for many reasons,  I am not Steven King, so I get 900 pages max.  Almost all the large print book at my library were in the 6X9 or next size up, just the slightly larger range.

My formatter suggested Helvica and Avenir.   The only difference I can see is that the Avenir appears to have a teeny more bit of space between the letters.  I voted Helvica, hope we can save some pages that way.

It's important to have a sans serif font, I think Lily mentioned that already.

Do you know what NAVH stands for?  I couldn't find anything on that.  National Association of ?  Of course it depends on which country the national is in, I guess.  I'm in the US.

NAVH got absorbed by https://www.lighthouseguild.org/

I actually recommend using a serif instead of a sans. It's a convention in Large Print fiction books and will save you some pages. In my library explorations of large prints, I only saw sans in non-fiction books.

I picked up my copy of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix at the library book sale. It's large print. :)

Who's the publisher? It sounds like a Thorndike. You sort of have to grab a bunch of books from different publishers to get a good sampling. Thorndikes definitely keep costs down and look different from large print editions from other publishers. Not a bad thing, but something to keep in mind.
 

Lynn

Re: Large Print Edition Questions
« Reply #20 on: September 09, 2019, 10:53:18 AM »
Yep, it's a Thorndike. I'll be sure to check out a few from different publishers before I start on mine. Thanks. :D
 

notthatamanda

Re: Large Print Edition Questions
« Reply #21 on: September 09, 2019, 11:01:54 AM »
I saw some Steven King large print that were up in the 1000-1200 page range.  Unfortunately, for many reasons,  I am not Steven King, so I get 900 pages max.  Almost all the large print book at my library were in the 6X9 or next size up, just the slightly larger range.

My formatter suggested Helvica and Avenir.   The only difference I can see is that the Avenir appears to have a teeny more bit of space between the letters.  I voted Helvica, hope we can save some pages that way.

It's important to have a sans serif font, I think Lily mentioned that already.

Do you know what NAVH stands for?  I couldn't find anything on that.  National Association of ?  Of course it depends on which country the national is in, I guess.  I'm in the US.

NAVH got absorbed by https://www.lighthouseguild.org/

I actually recommend using a serif instead of a sans. It's a convention in Large Print fiction books and will save you some pages. In my library explorations of large prints, I only saw sans in non-fiction books.

I picked up my copy of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix at the library book sale. It's large print. :)

Who's the publisher? It sounds like a Thorndike. You sort of have to grab a bunch of books from different publishers to get a good sampling. Thorndikes definitely keep costs down and look different from large print editions from other publishers. Not a bad thing, but something to keep in mind.
Oh dear.  Sorry for messing that up.  I have four Random House large print books right now and none of them say what the font is.  They have very small serifs, as far as I can tell.
 

RPatton

Re: Large Print Edition Questions
« Reply #22 on: September 09, 2019, 02:02:12 PM »

Oh dear.  Sorry for messing that up.  I have four Random House large print books right now and none of them say what the font is.  They have very small serifs, as far as I can tell.



Repeat after me.

There are no rules in book formatting. Only conventions that can be tossed aside when they aren't working.

Once more...

There are no rules in book formatting.

When it comes to identifying fonts, it's hard. I can identify a handful of fonts by sight, but keep in mind that it's because this has turned into an obsession for me. Even some of the most respected typographers can spend hours identifying a font. Adobe Garamond Pro happens to be used for a lot of books, so it's one of the easier ones to identify. The US printings of Harry Potter use Adobe Garamond Pro. And even if I am sure it's AGP, I'll still grab a a picture of it and run it through identifont just to double check.

I don't think it's necessarily wrong to us a sans in a large print book, it's more that it's outside of the current conventions. And considering you want to save space... using a serif will help. Also, it's okay to set the text as justified and not flush left/ragged right. (This will also save some pages). I then adjust the letter spacing and word spacing so it doesn't have some lines more spread out than others (or more constricted).

I formatted a Large Print book for a friend and set up a template for her to use based on some of the best practices I pulled from several large print books I pulled off the shelves of different libraries.

To start...

Trim size: 6x9 (and we've already discussed nudging that up a little)

Margins: Top 1"; Bottom 0.9"; Inside 0.85"; Outside 0.8" (That inside margin can grow to accommodate page count and at the same time decrease that outside margin. The outside margin is very generous, so there is room to adjust without pushing a too tight outside margin. I would probably say, 0.65" is the smallest you want to aim for, but 0.60" isn't too tight for large print.)

Font: Adobe Garamond Pro (I recommend using an Old Style serif if you don't want to use/like AGP.

Size: 16 pt

Leading: 18 pt

Kerning: Metrics

Hyphenation: At least 6 letters, after first 3 letters and before last 3 letters, limit to 1 hyphen. Basically, I allow for hyphens, but have no problem going through and removing a hyphen if I think there are too many.

Justification (Spacing of words and letters):

Word spacing: min - 90%, desired - 100%, Max 120% (I'd rather have more spacing between words than less)

Letter spacing: Min - 0%, Desired - 0%, Max 3% (again, I'd rather more spacing than less)

Glyph Scaling: 100% across the board. (I will play with these for non large print books and some fonts, but not large print because large print is about creating uniform letter shapes and scaling in any direction goes against that concept.)

If you take these settings, your formatter can make adjustments to get a similar look and feel with any other typeface. (I happen to love Sabon, also a Gramond, and feel as though with some adjustments, it would work for a large print book.) Nothing says you have to use these exact settings, but they are a good jumping off point and can be adjusted to fit your needs, such as keeping your page count down.
 
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notthatamanda

Re: Large Print Edition Questions
« Reply #23 on: September 09, 2019, 08:06:14 PM »
Thank you. I do like rules though, I can drive myself crazy with the options. Just tell me what to do! :) But my book formatter is good with telling me when I am wrong, see my post about two spaces. I am slowly breaking myself of that habit.
 

Alice Sabo

Re: Large Print Edition Questions
« Reply #24 on: September 09, 2019, 11:38:51 PM »

Oh dear.  Sorry for messing that up.  I have four Random House large print books right now and none of them say what the font is.  They have very small serifs, as far as I can tell.



Repeat after me.

There are no rules in book formatting. Only conventions that can be tossed aside when they aren't working.

Once more...

There are no rules in book formatting.

When it comes to identifying fonts, it's hard. I can identify a handful of fonts by sight, but keep in mind that it's because this has turned into an obsession for me. Even some of the most respected typographers can spend hours identifying a font. Adobe Garamond Pro happens to be used for a lot of books, so it's one of the easier ones to identify. The US printings of Harry Potter use Adobe Garamond Pro. And even if I am sure it's AGP, I'll still grab a a picture of it and run it through identifont just to double check.

I don't think it's necessarily wrong to us a sans in a large print book, it's more that it's outside of the current conventions. And considering you want to save space... using a serif will help. Also, it's okay to set the text as justified and not flush left/ragged right. (This will also save some pages). I then adjust the letter spacing and word spacing so it doesn't have some lines more spread out than others (or more constricted).

I formatted a Large Print book for a friend and set up a template for her to use based on some of the best practices I pulled from several large print books I pulled off the shelves of different libraries.

To start...

Trim size: 6x9 (and we've already discussed nudging that up a little)

Margins: Top 1"; Bottom 0.9"; Inside 0.85"; Outside 0.8" (That inside margin can grow to accommodate page count and at the same time decrease that outside margin. The outside margin is very generous, so there is room to adjust without pushing a too tight outside margin. I would probably say, 0.65" is the smallest you want to aim for, but 0.60" isn't too tight for large print.)

Font: Adobe Garamond Pro (I recommend using an Old Style serif if you don't want to use/like AGP.

Size: 16 pt

Leading: 18 pt

Kerning: Metrics

Hyphenation: At least 6 letters, after first 3 letters and before last 3 letters, limit to 1 hyphen. Basically, I allow for hyphens, but have no problem going through and removing a hyphen if I think there are too many.

Justification (Spacing of words and letters):

Word spacing: min - 90%, desired - 100%, Max 120% (I'd rather have more spacing between words than less)

Letter spacing: Min - 0%, Desired - 0%, Max 3% (again, I'd rather more spacing than less)

Glyph Scaling: 100% across the board. (I will play with these for non large print books and some fonts, but not large print because large print is about creating uniform letter shapes and scaling in any direction goes against that concept.)

If you take these settings, your formatter can make adjustments to get a similar look and feel with any other typeface. (I happen to love Sabon, also a Gramond, and feel as though with some adjustments, it would work for a large print book.) Nothing says you have to use these exact settings, but they are a good jumping off point and can be adjusted to fit your needs, such as keeping your page count down.

Thank you for this. I really need this sort of thing and I appreciate you taking the time to walk us through it. Some of this is Greek to me because I format in Word (don't hate me).  But from a previous post I think the lines should be single spaced? And is regular Garamond just as good?
Fantasy, Post-Apocalyptic, Mystery and Space Opera Genre Hopper
 

RPatton

Re: Large Print Edition Questions
« Reply #25 on: September 10, 2019, 02:39:17 AM »
Thank you for this. I really need this sort of thing and I appreciate you taking the time to walk us through it. Some of this is Greek to me because I format in Word (don't hate me).  But from a previous post I think the lines should be single spaced? And is regular Garamond just as good?

I actually think Word does a good job for print books. It doesn't allow for easy granular adjustments, but it's possible. In Word, using these settings takes a few extra steps that are hidden.

Create a new style or edit an existing style and the formatting window will come up. here's a Formatting drop down button thingy.

Under Font, go to advanced. You can set letter spacing, scale, and even turning ligatures on.

Now go to paragraph. Under Indentation and special select first line and set it 18 pts. Under spacing set before to 0 and after can be set to 3 or 5 or so points or 0. For Large print, it's okay to give a little nudge between paragraphs. You should also see Line spacing.  Set it to exactly and then set it to 18 points. When you see something like Garamond 16/18, it means the font is Garamond, the font size is 16, and the line spacing (leading) is 18. Under Line and Page Breaks, select Widow/Orphan control.

I'd name this style something like Large Print Paragraph. From here, you can create more styles, including character styles like italics or bold.
 
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Alice Sabo

Re: Large Print Edition Questions
« Reply #26 on: September 10, 2019, 02:45:58 AM »
Thank you for this. I really need this sort of thing and I appreciate you taking the time to walk us through it. Some of this is Greek to me because I format in Word (don't hate me).  But from a previous post I think the lines should be single spaced? And is regular Garamond just as good?

I actually think Word does a good job for print books. It doesn't allow for easy granular adjustments, but it's possible. In Word, using these settings takes a few extra steps that are hidden.

Create a new style or edit an existing style and the formatting window will come up. here's a Formatting drop down button thingy.

Under Font, go to advanced. You can set letter spacing, scale, and even turning ligatures on.

Now go to paragraph. Under Indentation and special select first line and set it 18 pts. Under spacing set before to 0 and after can be set to 3 or 5 or so points or 0. For Large print, it's okay to give a little nudge between paragraphs. You should also see Line spacing.  Set it to exactly and then set it to 18 points. When you see something like Garamond 16/18, it means the font is Garamond, the font size is 16, and the line spacing (leading) is 18. Under Line and Page Breaks, select Widow/Orphan control.

I'd name this style something like Large Print Paragraph. From here, you can create more styles, including character styles like italics or bold.

Thanks! I actually understood that!
Fantasy, Post-Apocalyptic, Mystery and Space Opera Genre Hopper
 

Llano

Re: Large Print Edition Questions
« Reply #27 on: September 10, 2019, 02:51:22 AM »
I'm in the same boat. But when I was doing research, it suggested to use 1.5 spacing and add a line between paragraphs with no indentation at all. That made my book a monster, almost 900 pages. I'm not sure if that's going to work.

Here are the guidelines from the American Council on the Blind. https://www.acb.org/large-print-guidelines

Has anybody gotten feedback on their large print sales about formatting issues?

Those guidelines recommend sans serif typefaces and could not possibly be more wrong. There are no studies that show sans serif to be more legible in book text than serif. It's quite the opposite, actually. Also there's no such thing as 1.5 spacing in typesetting, only word processing and typing. The line spacing should be based not only on the point size of type but the typeface itself--some typefaces have smaller lowercase x-heights and require less leading.
 

Llano

Re: Large Print Edition Questions
« Reply #28 on: September 10, 2019, 03:01:30 AM »
My formatter suggested Helvica and Avenir.   The only difference I can see is that the Avenir appears to have a teeny more bit of space between the letters.  I voted Helvica, hope we can save some pages that way.

It's important to have a sans serif font, I think Lily mentioned that already.

Why is it important to use a sans serif font? It defeats the purpose of a large print edition, which is to make it easier to read for the visually impaired. If sans serif were easier to read it would be used in regular books. It's not. There's a reason for that. The serifs on serif typefaces are there to make the letters easier to read. Sans serif is fine for advertising work, book covers, etc., but an abomination for large amounts of text.
 

RPatton

Re: Large Print Edition Questions
« Reply #29 on: September 10, 2019, 03:29:11 AM »
I'm in the same boat. But when I was doing research, it suggested to use 1.5 spacing and add a line between paragraphs with no indentation at all. That made my book a monster, almost 900 pages. I'm not sure if that's going to work.

Here are the guidelines from the American Council on the Blind. https://www.acb.org/large-print-guidelines

Has anybody gotten feedback on their large print sales about formatting issues?

Those guidelines recommend sans serif typefaces and could not possibly be more wrong. There are no studies that show sans serif to be more legible in book text than serif. It's quite the opposite, actually. Also there's no such thing as 1.5 spacing in typesetting, only word processing and typing. The line spacing should be based not only on the point size of type but the typeface itself--some typefaces have smaller lowercase x-heights and require less leading.


Those guidelines are not for print books. They are for documents in business and school settings and yes, the visually impaired do better without serifs in those settings because it is even more about the character shapes and allowing for the optic nerve to communicate with the occipital lobe.
 

RPatton

Re: Large Print Edition Questions
« Reply #30 on: September 10, 2019, 03:39:42 AM »
And is regular Garamond just as good?

I missed this part. Sorry.

Word's Garamond is the Monotype or Linotype version (can't remember). It's definitely a good choice. There are subtle differences, but I think a book set in Word, using Word's Garamond will do just fine.
 
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notthatamanda

Re: Large Print Edition Questions
« Reply #31 on: September 10, 2019, 04:25:37 AM »
My formatter suggested Helvica and Avenir.   The only difference I can see is that the Avenir appears to have a teeny more bit of space between the letters.  I voted Helvica, hope we can save some pages that way.

It's important to have a sans serif font, I think Lily mentioned that already.

Why is it important to use a sans serif font? It defeats the purpose of a large print edition, which is to make it easier to read for the visually impaired. If sans serif were easier to read it would be used in regular books. It's not. There's a reason for that. The serifs on serif typefaces are there to make the letters easier to read. Sans serif is fine for advertising work, book covers, etc., but an abomination for large amounts of text.

I'm no expert on this, I didn't even know what a serif was until a couple of days ago.  This is what I found from here: https://www.acb.org/large-print-guidelines

In general, at least an 18 point, and preferably a 20 point, bold, sans serif, mono or fixed space font is desirable. Adobe's Verdana, Helvetica, Tahoma, Arial; Linotype's Futura Light Bolded; and Typography's Gotham Rounded fonts currently offer optimal readability for large print documents when the aforementioned parameters are applied.
 

Llano

Re: Large Print Edition Questions
« Reply #32 on: September 10, 2019, 04:26:32 AM »
The Garamond that comes with Word is Monotype Garamond, but it was configured years ago for Microsoft for word processing, not typesetting, and lacks many of the niceties, such as ligatures, old style figures, and true small caps. It actually has the fi and fl ligatures but you have to manually insert them.

The Monotype Garamond available directly from Monotype, Garamond MT Pro, has all those things and more but is otherwise the (almost) exact same typeface. For decades it was one of the most popular typefaces for books, especially in the UK and Europe where Monotype reigned supreme. In the US, where Linotype was king, their Garamond #3 was most frequently used. Garamond #3 is still often used by major trade publishers in the US. Old habits die hard. As the old guard retires, Adobe Garamond has taken over, probably because it shipped with Pagemaker and then InDesign for many years.

 

notthatamanda

Re: Large Print Edition Questions
« Reply #33 on: September 10, 2019, 04:39:59 AM »
I'm wondering if the specifications for people who are visually impaired are different than the ones for people who need reading glasses but just can't seem to use them.

When I have my contacts in for distance, I can't read anything anymore and I can't figure reading glasses out either.  My husband puts reading glasses on when he's wearing his contacts and he's fine. The Thorndike and the Random House large print books both have small serifs.  I don't need to read large print books but sometimes I get that version out of the library and I do read it.  I'm even more confused now.
 

Llano

Re: Large Print Edition Questions
« Reply #34 on: September 10, 2019, 05:32:59 AM »
This has been on my to-do list for some time, so I decided to do it. Here are a few large print books I picked up for research:

61 Hours, Lee Child, Random House, paperback 6x9, "published in accord with the standards of the N.A.V.H."
Adobe Garamond, 16/18, bold instead of italics, slightly larger margins, running heads on top, 6 x 9

The Skin Collector, Jeffery Deaver, Grand Central Publishing, hardcover, 6x9
Fairfield Light, 16/19, italics, slightly larger margins, running heads on top

Beyond Recognition, Ridley Pearson, Thorndike Press, hardcover 5.5x8.5, "carries the Seal of Approval of N.A.V.H."
Plantin, 15.5/17, italics, normal to narrow margins, drop folios

Bloodline, Dick Francis, Thorndike Press, hardcover 5.5x8.5, "carries the Seal of Approval of N.A.V.H."
Plantin, 16.5/18, sans serif italics, normal to narrow margins, drop folios

Slow Burn, Robert B. Parker, Thorndike Press, hardcover 5.5x8.5, "carries the Seal of Approval of N.A.V.H."
Plantin, 16.5/18, sans serif italics, normal to narrow margins, drop folios

The Last Picture Show, Larry McMurtry, G.K. Hall & Co. (Thorndike), hardcover 6.14x9.21
Plantin, 16/18, italics, normal to narrow margins, short drop paragraph openings, drop folios

The Girl Who Played With Fire, Stieg Larsson, Random House, paperback 6.14x9.21, "published in accord with the standards of the N.A.V.H."
Adobe Garamond, 16/18, bold instead of italics, normal margins, running heads on top

First Frost, Sarah Addison Allen, Reader's Digest, paperback 6x9, "carries the Seal of Approval of N.A.V.H."
Plantin 16.5/20, italics, normal margins, running heads on top

Note that Thorndike Press publishes large print editions for other publishers. In my (professional) opinion, large print books from major publishers are far superior in design and typesetting to those from Thorndike.

Note that none of them use "1.5 line spacing" or sans serif typefaces.

For those scratching their heads, Plantin used to be a wildly popular typeface, but has been pushed aside by others. It is quite legible, if a bit old-fashioned.

For those using PoD, I believe the price for 6x9 and 6.14x9.21 is exactly the same, so you might as well get the extra real estate for the same price. It should make a difference of a few pages on a long book.

Reminds me that I need to pick up more large print not by Thorndike, which would probably result in a larger variety of typefaces. In general, however, you can't go too far wrong using the same typeface you used for your regular print book, just in a larger point size.
 

notthatamanda

Re: Large Print Edition Questions
« Reply #35 on: September 10, 2019, 06:30:01 AM »
From: https://www.acb.org/large-print-guidelines

"People with low vision are unique, being neither fully sighted nor totally blind. Visual acuities vary greatly, as do individual needs. This is especially true regarding the wide range of criteria and guidelines that are used by printing houses and publishers to produce "large print" documents for the low vision community. In order to eliminate the confusion surrounding the production of large print documents, the Council of Citizens with Low Vision International (CCLVI) formed an ad hoc committee to identify, review, and evaluate a variety of large print documents currently available. (See Appendix) After having done so, the committee has developed the following "Best Practices and Guidelines for Large Print Documents used by the Low Vision Community." Simply stated, these guidelines were compiled by persons with low vision to assist in the production of the large print documents that they, themselves read."

I don't know what to think.  A lot of the criteria they recommend seems to apply to documents, eg legal documents, and it makes sense to have these guidelines for people printing out legal documents for their clients to be able to read.   Yet it specifically mentions publishers and print houses, which print books, usually.  Maybe they are trying to say don't copy what the large print books do for documents?

Not trying to be combative, I appreciate everyone's thoughts on the subject.
 

RPatton

Re: Large Print Edition Questions
« Reply #36 on: September 10, 2019, 07:03:07 AM »
From: https://www.acb.org/large-print-guidelines

"People with low vision are unique, being neither fully sighted nor totally blind. Visual acuities vary greatly, as do individual needs. This is especially true regarding the wide range of criteria and guidelines that are used by printing houses and publishers to produce "large print" documents for the low vision community. In order to eliminate the confusion surrounding the production of large print documents, the Council of Citizens with Low Vision International (CCLVI) formed an ad hoc committee to identify, review, and evaluate a variety of large print documents currently available. (See Appendix) After having done so, the committee has developed the following "Best Practices and Guidelines for Large Print Documents used by the Low Vision Community." Simply stated, these guidelines were compiled by persons with low vision to assist in the production of the large print documents that they, themselves read."

I don't know what to think.  A lot of the criteria they recommend seems to apply to documents, eg legal documents, and it makes sense to have these guidelines for people printing out legal documents for their clients to be able to read.   Yet it specifically mentions publishers and print houses, which print books, usually.  Maybe they are trying to say don't copy what the large print books do for documents?

Not trying to be combative, I appreciate everyone's thoughts on the subject.

These mostly apply to businesses and schools. And I honestly get what you're saying in that it's super confusing. In short, there's a whole area of psychology and bio psych that addresses why it's okay to use a serif in large print text and it's a thesis worthy of a doctorate. It's impossible to address here that would give you the answers you want. Mostly, it's less about the typeface and how it's used. If you strip out the areas that could cause problems, you're left with a large sans serif with huge line spacing. And that's important because someone is either going to shrink font size to economize pages used or use a typeface that no one can read on a good day.

All I can do is recommend what I have learned from my own research, but I'm not an expert. As an author, I wouldn't do any large print editions in any typeface but Garamond (maybe Sabon if I was daring) and as someone who formats books for others, I'd steer them away from a sans serif.
 
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Llano

Re: Large Print Edition Questions
« Reply #37 on: September 10, 2019, 07:37:41 AM »
Copies are generally only available from rare book dealers, but A Psychological Study of Typography by Sir Cyril Burt, Cambridge University Press, 1959, is the foremost authority on the subject. It also provides the basis for why we use the typefaces we do, as well as point size, leading, words per line, margins, ratios, etc.  Burt didn't just make this stuff up (as so many so-called experts do today)--he based it on extensive testing of readers using accepted methods. Here's what Burt says about serif vs. sans serif:

"Above all, as psychologists have so often pointed out, the serifs are not merely decorative. They correct the effects of irradiation ('visual spread'); and in any passage of consecutive print, they contribute appreciably towards 'the horizontal movement of the eye' (or rather of the attention), and help in combining separate letters into distinctive word-wholes. Indeed, without serifs, it is often impossible to discriminate many of the isolated characters, e.g. I, l (letter) and 1 (figure), and (when the reader is astigmatic) ! and i. In our own early experiments Dr Kerr and I found almost at once that, for word recognition, a sans serif type was the worst of all. Our conclusions are fully borne out by the results of H.R. Crossland and H. Johnson, who also found 'serifed letters more legible than unserifed' (J. Appl. Psychol. xii, 1928, p. 121). "

 

notthatamanda

Re: Large Print Edition Questions
« Reply #38 on: September 10, 2019, 07:39:46 AM »
Okay, I understand.  Well I don't. :)  But I don't think I can unless I start studying biopsychology, which I didn't know was a thing until now.
I've got some sample pages coming from my formatter soon.  I'll have to make a decision in the near future.  Not looking forward to it.
Thank you for your help.
 

notthatamanda

Re: Large Print Edition Questions
« Reply #39 on: September 10, 2019, 08:12:00 AM »
Llano thank you for your list.  I requested some of the ones that had the seal of approval from my library.

Side note - think twice before titling a book "Bloodline" everyone, there's already a lot of them.
 

RPatton

Re: Large Print Edition Questions
« Reply #40 on: September 15, 2019, 07:36:15 AM »
@notthatamanda I found something, recent too, on why serifs are better than sans for those with partial visibility.

Quote
Additional guidelines (Perera, 2001) regarding letter design for people with visual impairments are as follows:

  • Anything in italics is very difficult for partially sighted people to read.
  • Sans serif or bracketed serif was preferred over serif. It appears that a slight degree of serif which accentuates the characters ends without distracting from the simple form actually increased legibility.
  • Normal or enlarged spacing. (This refers to spaces between characters (tracking/letterspacing)).
  • Darkest weight/bold letters.
  • Punctuation marks should be made bigger, but not to the point where they distract from the content (Figure 23).

Emphasis is all mine. But basically, most old-style serifs (Garamond, Caslon, Bembo (I love saying that name), Plantin (not a fan of the brackets on the serifs) and so many others) will fulfill the needs of the readers better than the old school belief that visually impaired individuals need Sans Serif fonts.

I told you all this was an obsession. The entire paper can be read here: https://typography.guru/journal/no-more-similiar-typefaces/

By the way, this site has some great resources about typography in general and some good typesetting information. There's also Typedrawers. and Typophile (sort of defunct, need to use Typophile with the search terms and be prepared to use the wayback machine). Oh, and Typographica has some great review.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2019, 12:17:28 PM by RPatton »
 
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Alice Sabo

Re: Large Print Edition Questions
« Reply #41 on: September 15, 2019, 07:47:24 AM »
RPatton - With your instructions, I just finished reformatting my book and it cut the page count almost in half. It looks a lot nicer, too. And since it is smaller, I can also lower the price. At the previous size, with extended distribution, I was forced to price it over $21. I thought that was kind of high. I was able to bring it down to $14.99 which I think will work better.

Now I need to make a plan to fit in reformatting all my books. Whew.
Fantasy, Post-Apocalyptic, Mystery and Space Opera Genre Hopper
 

notthatamanda

Re: Large Print Edition Questions
« Reply #42 on: September 15, 2019, 10:54:40 AM »
Thanks for the extra info.
I'm going with a serif font.  In "The Girl Who Played With Fire" there are letters that the characters write to each other and they used a sans serif font for that, which I probably will do as well, as opposed to italic or bold.
 

RPatton

Re: Large Print Edition Questions
« Reply #43 on: November 04, 2019, 09:59:48 AM »
Bumping this post because I completely forgot about EB Garamond. This is considered one of the best free typefaces available and is respected as a typeface, not just a free typeface. Plus, it's a very good Garamond option.

https://github.com/octaviopardo/EBGaramond12/tree/master/fonts/otf

The above files are the same ones available through Adobe Fonts and Google Fonts (I think with Google, haven't checked the files).
 
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