Is it me or does the background color when using the novel document class look a little dark? Anyone know how to make the background white white? MWE below.

% !TeX TS-program = LuaLaTeX
% !TeX encoding = UTF-8
% SOURCE CODE FOR FILE novel.pdf, the cover info for novel document class.
% IF YOU COMPILE THIS DOCUMENT: Be sure that both this file and
%   novel.pdf (if present) have read/write permissions for any user.
%   Otherwise, compile may fail at the point where files are written.
\documentclass{novel} % v. 1.52.
% Almost all settings are defaults.
\SetTitle{Novel Document Class} % only footer, with page number
% The following PDF/X standard is typical for USA print-on-demand.
% However, not every P.O.D. service needs PDF/X these days.
\vspace{\nbs} % \nbs is normal baselineskip
\ChapterSubtitle{A Document Class for the Rest of Us}

\textbf{Where is the documentation??} It is in HTML format, and cannot be retrieved via  \textit{texdoc}. If you have this package installed, look for (texroot)/doc/lualatex/novel/novel-documentation.html. If you are online, go to the CTAN page at https://ctan.org/pkg/novel and click ``Package Documentation (HTML).''

  • 1
    I don't have the font that it's trying to load, so cannot test, but it does load xcolor package, so you could try \pagecolor{white}.
    – Cicada
    Jul 17, 2021 at 13:20
  • 1
    Note that the documentation says, when choosing paper (novel package is for non-colour print-on-demand novels): " D.2.4. Paper and Cover Materials The interior paper may be white or "creme" (off-white). White paper is generally used for nonfiction, ... Creme paper is generally used for fiction. The idea is that white paper creates an air of authority, whereas creme paper is more comfortable for lengthy reading. I agree. I recently read a novel that was (mis-) printed on white paper, and it was hard to read in a bright area. So, for your novel, choose creme paper."
    – Cicada
    Jul 17, 2021 at 13:50

1 Answer 1


I am the author of the novel document class, returned from a hiatus with a different username here.

The document class does not apply a background color. I just re-processed that document (using TeXlive 2022 on Linux) and it builds, with the expected uncolored background.

So, my guess is that your screen may be automatically dimming, when a mostly-white file is displayed?

As for the paper itself: As the novel documentation says, fiction should be printed on creme (cream, off-white) paper. But that has nothing to do with the PDF. The PDF background appears white, which actually means "no ink", so a white PDF will be the paper color.

Recently, I informed CTAN that the novel document class should be retired. Although it continues to work with everything I have tried, it seems to be the case that recent developments in TeXlive (at the binary level) may cause issues with some of the more obscure `novel features.

Hope that your book was printed.

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