On Assignment: Chapters Bookstore, December 5, 2011


On Assignment: Chapters Bookstore, December 5, 2011

As I make changes to my book’s content and structure, I am starting to think about its layout. This element of publishing is another important one. It can either make or break a book’s accessibility. This is especially true for the time-starved reader who needs advice fast.  The more I can facilitate quick access to relevant information, the better. 

Charlie, my accomplice

A couple of my reviewers suggested I go to a bookstore to see how other books in my genre are formatted, so I went on assignment. I flipped through books in the business and self-help sections. I felt like Goldilocks before she tried the third bed: some were too academic, some were too playful, and none were ‘just right.’


Traditional layouts included blocks of text that were hard to scan – they looked like work. Highly illustrated books were fun but difficult to navigate. What struck me was that a book was either easy or hard to navigate – there was no middle ground.

Phil, looking inconspicuous 

Here are guidelines that will help me select an effective layout:


Titles need to stand out – they are the key navigation markers
White space is good – the less on a page the easier it is to navigate
Elements need to balance – lopsided pages look wrong
Icons are effective signposts – too many are confusing and gimmicky
Text boxes prioritize content if used sparingly –  too many are confusing 
Different fonts and text sizes communicate order – too many are confusing
If pages aren’t inviting and easy to digest,  they need to be simplified

Charlie’s reward
…not in my genre



Now, I find myself assessing the layout of every book I pick up: Where is my eye directed to? Is there a logical order to the page? Is it easy to navigate? The biggest question, however, is ‘Do I want to keep on reading?’


Phil 




 
 

2 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Are NOT a robot, right? Please answer this simple math question * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

Take Action

Ask us a question about your change

    Your Name (required)

    Your Email (required)

    Subject

    Your Question


    Get the newsletter
    Change With Confidence
    Please type your name and email address and click on "Send". We will add you to our newsletter distribution list. Thank you.




    Get Change with Confidence
    Change With Confidence

    Get Change on the Run
    Change With Confidence

    Twitter

    When impressing leaders, what is the 1 action you would take to get 80% results in 20% of the time? Here’s mine: bit.ly/3CHq0Ho. The podcast episode with key opinion leader @RobbyNap is on Sounder bit.ly/3iKl2js. #change #changemanagement #leadership #podcasts pic.twitter.com/wUxLfW3w0M

    About 2 weeks ago