Choosing Font Sizes for Your Book

May 22nd, 2017

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If you’ve done any writing on a computer, you’re familiar with fonts and font sizes. Most writing apps have a control to choose a font and font size. Many Mac apps have an inspector bar to choose the font size, which you can see in the following screenshot:

InspectorBarFontSize

In the screenshot the font size is 13. What does the 13 represent?

13 is the size of the font in points. 72 points equal 1 inch. If you made the font size 72, each line of text would be 1 inch high. 13 point text is slightly larger than one sixth of an inch.

What’s the right font size for the body text of your book? It depends on the font you’re using and whether you’re publishing a print or electronic book. One font may be as big at 10 points as another font is at 11 points.

Print books can use smaller font sizes because you hold print books closer when reading. 10-12 point text works well for print books. Electronic books need larger text: 12-18 point text. You may need to experiment to find the best font size for your book.

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Quick Failed Experiment: Cross-Platform Tome Builder

May 5th, 2017

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I heard recently that Microsoft released a preview version of their Visual Studio development tool for Mac and released .NET Core, a cross-platform version of the .NET framework software developers use to develop Windows applications. I decided to download the Visual Studio preview to see if it was possible to make an application that would run on both Mac and Windows. If I could, I would look into making Tome Builder for both Mac and Windows.

After installing the Visual Studio preview, I became disappointed. Visual Studio for Mac is built for creating mobile and Mac applications, not cross-platform desktop applications. The .NET Core framework is built for making code libraries that applications use, not for developing applications.

So there isn’t going to be a cross-platform version of Tome Builder in the foreseeable future. At least I was able to fail in an hour.

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Tome Builder Progress Report: April 2017

April 12th, 2017

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Right now I’m working on improving Tome Builder’s code architecture. I was working on adding support for print PDF books by creating a table of contents and improving the look of published books. But I was having trouble because the code was a mess. So I’m taking a step back, improving my architecture and cleaning up my code. I hope taking this step back will pay off in the future.

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Commonly Misused Words: Brake and Break

March 20th, 2017

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Brake means to stop or to slow down.

Press the brake pedal to stop the car.

Break has multiple meanings. In most cases if you mean something besides stopping or slowing down, you want the word BREAK.

Break a leg.

Break the vase.

Take a break when you feel tired.
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Commonly Misused Words: Than and Then

March 14th, 2017

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Use the word THAN when making comparisons.

She wrote more than 20 books.

It's better to be safe than sorry.

Use the word THEN to refer to the next step in a sequence.

I ate breakfast then brushed my teeth.

He flew to Chicago then drove to Milwaukee.
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