John Osterhout’s talk, The Art of the Book, was about making your book interior look as professional as possible. John told the club about formatting conventions, the layout of the text blocks on the page, matching interior and display fonts, line and character spacing, running heads and front matter. John indicated that the best way to achieve these goals is to forgo your trusty word processor and use a design program such as Adobe InDesign (professional and expensive) or Scribus (open source and free). However, if you simply must use a word processor, avoid the font Times New Roman (it’s a cliché) and be sure to adhere to the other formatting conventions discussed. After his presentation, the audience was given the opportunity to critique samples of book interiors.

John Osterhout is a professor of chemistry at Angelo State University. He has published two books, The Schnoz of the Rings, a parody of Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and Just Lorem Ipsum, a demonstration of book preparation using Linux and open-source software. John blogs about Books, Science, and Education at johnosterhout.com.