1. bookpro01
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    bookpro01 Banned

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    What does color of font mean and which to use on self-help ebook?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by bookpro01, Feb 16, 2010.

    Can someone tell me (from experience) which font color they used (besides black) in a ebook they wrote to make it look more exciting, get readers to read the whole ebook (mine is about 80 pages), and among other reasons for it?

    In addtion, can anyone tell me which font color (besides black) I should use for a self-improvement ebook to make it more varied and readable, and will make people want to finish my ebook all the way to the end (my main reason for asking this question)?
     
  2. DvnMrtn
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    DvnMrtn Contributing Member

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    What is so different about your Ebook that separates it from a normal book? I think you should imagine it as if it were a normal paperback book. An Ebook is merely an electronic copy of this. Thats all. Anything other than black font is going to become troublesome to read and will discourage readers. Stick to black. If you need to emphasis something, italicize or bold it.

    The font or colour isn't what's going to keep people reading your book. It's the content.

    Edit: Finally beat Cog to the punch ;)
     
  3. B-Gas
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    B-Gas Contributing Member

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    The only book where coloured text mattered was in House of Leaves, where the word house was always in blue, and the sections written by the minotaur are in red, struck out with black. The house is an evil thing that warps reality around it, and thus the word house is warped and changed in the text. The minotaur sections were written by some unknown author, struck out by the first one, and recovered by the second- they're written in red because they are, fundamentally, wrong.

    However, both of these choices made the book harder to read- you start seeing the house and begging it to change back to normal text, in black; and the minotaur (who, I would like to add, does not exist- think about it, a bull mating with a woman cannot produce viable offspring) sections are purposefully difficult to make out, and are written in an archaic style that doesn't fit into the book itself.
     
  4. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    I really don't see any point in using colour. Black words on white or yellow background are generally the easiest to read, so why use anything else?
     
  5. writewizard
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    writewizard Contributing Member

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    When I published my first book, I used a lot of pictures to break it up. But that was because the book allowed it. If someone is downloading this book on a kindle, they are most likely not going to want a color disruptance.

    It's not the color that's interesting, it's the story. If your story is interesting, I garentee you I will stick with it, regardless of color.

    I would say Twelve New Roman Double Spaced for the font.
     
  6. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    Also, Michael Ende's The Neverending Story, in which different colours are used to represent different realities. In other words, this is a device that has been used by writers, but they have always needed a jolly good reason because it pushed the cost of the books up considerably. In the case of eBooks, it's worth remembering that eInk is strictly monochrome at the moment, so eReader users won't see your colours (the iPad is the only exception I know of). Only use colour if you really really must.
     
  7. Humour Whiffet
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    Humour Whiffet Banned

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    Professor Langford-Doot spent his life studying everything written by James Joyce. He once remarked, “Joyce’s work was O.K. But if he’d had it printed in fuchsia, it would have been great.”

    There is your answer.
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Eschew gimmickry
     
  9. cboatsman
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    cboatsman Senior Member

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    In logo design there is one rule of thumb that is always highest on the priority list: If the logo isn't effective in black and white, its design has failed.

    The same holds true for any book in my opinion. If you can't make your e-book effective without the use of color then your book has failed.

    Caleb
     
  10. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hmm. I'm looking at my copy of Jute's Colour for Professional Communicators and trying to imagine how it could have been done without colour.
     
  11. cboatsman
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    cboatsman Senior Member

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    This isn't the time or place for it, but effective design can almost always be rendered in grayscale. Designers are taught from the beginning on how to effectively convey their ideas and concepts without the use of color because it teaches you the fundamentals that are otherwise "replaced" with color.

    The design of a book is no real different. A book can be effective without color unless it's obviously demonstrating the use of color as in your suggestion. In this case I'd agree with you. How can you possibly demonstrate the various ways of using color unless you use color in the book? That's just nit picking and doesn't really relate to the core discussion of the topic, however.

    Caleb
     
  12. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    I just have a thing about people stating absolute rules, because it can lead to people thinking that they are absolute rules. It almost always depends on what you're trying to do.
     
  13. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    All rules are absolute until you understand them well enough to know when and why to break them.

    It's like teaching children (bear with me here). You don't start with trying to explain grey areas and exceptions, you start with black and white concepts. Without a framework for them to reference, they become lost and confused. Once the basics are well ingrained, they will come up with their own questions that challenge the boundaries.

    It's true for writing, too. You need the structure to ground you in t,e basics. Most of the rules and guidelines sound arbitrary, and you mistrust them when you see exceptions all around you. But the guidelines exist because they work, even if they may seem restrictive at times.

    By the time you are ready to break the rules, it is because you understand them well, and you don't need to ask if it's ok. You'll know why the rule was presented, and what pitfalls it was intended to protect you from.

    If you're new to the wilderness, stay on the marked trails. The day may come when you know enough to safely blaze your own path, but if you don't know as much as you think you do, you can get yourself in big trouble.
     
  14. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    But (most?) folks here are not children, and I'm sure they can cope with "That hardly ever works and is almost certainly not what you want to do." If you just say "You can't do that" then they're either going to see people doing that and deciding you're wrong, or they see people doing that and getting a false sense of superiority. Surely the former is more effective?

    By the way, I'm aware that the "(most?)" above is non-standard. I don't think it's "wrong", though ;)
     
  15. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I'm not calling the members children. What I am saying is that when someone asks a basic question, then it is appropriate to give the basic answer, without dithering or fuzzing the answer to cover all the exceptions. When evberyone else comes along afterwards and says "not necessarily", they are probably right, but are also probably not helpful. Muddying the water for the sake of absolute accuracy, or out of a need to escape the bonds of conformity, does not increase the understanding of the person asking for advice.
     
  16. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    And again, like I said, black on white or yellow is the easiest to read, anyway. In fact, black on yellow is even easier than white because the contrast is even better. That's why it's becoming common for people with dyslexia to use yellow paper instead of white. At my college, if you have documentation proving a special need, you can even get tests printed on yellow paper.
     
  17. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's funny how your simple, and very correct, answer fades away in the forest of opnions...keep repeating it, Rei. LOL
     
  18. B-Gas
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    B-Gas Contributing Member

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    digitig:

    To quote "How NOT to Write a Novel:" We don't offer rules, we offer observations. "No right on red" is a rule. "Driving very fast into a brick wall often ends badly" is an observation.

    Writing in colour often ends up being a gimmick, except when it has a damn good reason to be there. House of Leaves used it because you can't really ignore a blue word, even if it's on the next page. It lurks and waits for you. However, the vast majority of books are written with black ink on paper, whatever colour of paper it may be. The reason for this is simple: Anything else is wierd and will make the reader think about the book as a book, rather than as a story. Every time the colour changes, there's a significant moment where the reader goes, "oh, now we're in a different colour." House of Leaves is written to be non-fiction, so that works for it.
     
  19. bookpro01
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    bookpro01 Banned

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    If font color does not effect much to readers then how come sites like marketsamurai.com, contentbuzz.com use that on the sale page? There must be the reason for it and in the same way I want to have the same effect on my readers for very smallof the sentences I will use a different font color rather then just black. So, isn't that a better choice since I am just copying expert sites like marketsmurai.com, etc.?

    And, the ebook is only in PDF and on my website and will not be publish yet on kindle or any other similar item.
     
  20. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    write well and have something worthwhile to say, if you want people to read the whole thing... and stick to black on white, if you want the most readers to keep reading...
     
  21. B-Gas
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    B-Gas Contributing Member

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    I just looked over the sites you mentioned. They're both advertisements for very desperate sites. They use every trick in the book to get your attention- bright colours can do that. And if they colour something, it's purely to try and lodge it in your brain. I pointedly refused to read more than an inch of text on those sites, as neither of them held my interest, and both of them jabbed me in the forebrain with irritating coloured text.

    Advertisers use a very condensed, stupefying method of writing where every adjective is a superlative, every word is succulent and carefully-chosen, and every sentence is crafted with the idea of making you get out your wallet, if only to shut the advertisers up. Book-writers write with the intention of making the reader turn the page. That is the only task they have. Since you're writing a book, I think that advertising might be the wrong place to look for inspiration.

    Wondering which colour will turn up next, or wondering if another of those nifty coloured sentences will show up on the next page, will only hold the attention of a very small portion of the audience. The fact that the author broke up their finely-written book with pointlessly coloured sentences will turn off many. Books are first and foremost a method of delivering words to the audience. Anything more is going to take their attention away from the words.
     
  22. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm used to it.
     

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