A Question for You, Dear Reader

A Question for You, Dear Reader

Worry not it’s not a brain teaser. I’m editing Curse Breaker: Enchanted and each time I finish editing a chapter, I am laying it out for Kindle in one word doc and in another word doc, I am laying it out for print.

Before I ask my question, I need to give you a little background.  Picture an open book. You’re staring down at two pages. One on the right hand side and its facing page is on the left. We good so far? Awesome. Keep that image handy as we dive into my question.

In printed books, chapters ALWAYS start on a right hand page. Like so:

screen grab of Curse Breaker: Enchanted, pre-release version by Melinda Kucsera

However, sometimes the actual text of a chapter isn’t long enough to end on a left hand page. Instead it peters out in the middle of the right hand page pushing the next chapter’s start onto the left hand page that follows. Most inconsiderate of those words, I know, but it happens because not all chapters are the same length. Nor should they be.

Most POD (print on demand) publishers will not allow you leave the left hand page blank so that the next chapter will fall on a right hand page. Got all that? Good. Bear in mind that the paperback book’s guts will be printed in black and white because color is super expensive. (The cover will be in full color.)

So which do you prefer? An image on the right hand page which faces the start of the chapter or a quote/poem/short bit of related text attractively laid out like so:

screen grab of Curse Breaker: Enchanted, pre-release version by Melinda Kucsera

Yes, these are screen grabs of the actual print edition or what will be the print edition when it’s printed. I’m still fiddling with the spacing. 🙂

So what do you think? When you read a book, do you prefer an image to face a chapter  start or a little bit of relevant text? I like the text approach but I’m wondering what you like. Also, should I include these separators in the kindle edition? What say you?





38 thoughts on “A Question for You, Dear Reader

  1. I love the quotes, it can add depth, drama, and be an outside touchstone to readers which draw them further in — whether the quotes are from characters in your story or real literary, or pop, quotes…I always appreciate the layered approach 😉 Great Question!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Stephen King is stuck in my head right now, uses song lyrics, movie quotes {for more contemporary} but more appropriate may be Shakespeare, Poe, something a little darker, more brooding…perhaps juxtaposed with the divine…random thoughts…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I like the quotes/text idea very much, Mel. I’ve seen it done effectively before. Especially in fantasy novels, it can really help give the world depth and add snippets of backstory/character development. Go for it!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Assuming Chapter always starts on ‘Recto’ side….I would prefer ‘facing page’ to be an appropriate quote/piece of text relevant to what is to come in the chapter which is about to start…..Would act like a sort of ‘antiphon’…. 😉 Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

        1. I am having the same feeling. The ‘images’ would need to be more of a sketch to work well in print since they will have to be rendered in black and white only. Those I have seen and thought they came out well. Unfortunately, that’s beyond my skill level. I had wanted to steer clear of images if possible for that reason. Everything should be doing meaningful work and an image that’s unclear just takes up space.

          Liked by 1 person

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