Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like

Space oddities

I could use some new readers over at Indie-Scribable, so please drop on by, read this, and follow! And spread the word that I’m available for proofreading and copyediting of indie books in any genre. Gracias, amigos!



Many writers, even young ones whose fingers never hovered over the keys of a humming IBM Selectric, insist on putting two spaces after a period in their manuscripts. This is way old school. Typewriters, you see, used to use fixed-width fonts — Courier mostly — and the two spaces after a sentence helped with readability of the typescript. Typesetters were in the same boat.

But now we have computers with variable-width fonts, and a lot of our work is converted to one of the main ebook formats (EPUB or MOBI) for publication. The two spaces after sentence-ending periods can foul you up.

Trust me, I’ve seen it in my own stuff. An errant extra space that happens to come at the end of a line in a given font size (controlled by the reader, don’t forget) can cause a weird-looking layout that distracts easily distracted eyeballs. And in paperback formatting…

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This entry was posted on October 26, 2016 by in Publishing.
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