axis label placement


I've spent a while searching for the answer to this, and I'm at the point of giving up... but it seems like it should be easy.

If I have axis labels with line returns in them, they end up overlapping with the plot area and other elements in the figure. Is there a way to change their placement to move them away from the plot? Is there a way to define the area occupied by a subplot to include the axis labels and titles such that multiple subplots do not have overlapping text? (This is related to another question I just posted, but I tried to separate these issues for easier referencing by others later on).