Alright, for Part II of our look at picking a fabulously fun font for your book, we want to consider Monospace fonts as well as talk a bit about Cover Fonts and then put this all together. I hope the truth bomb that you have been hit with (that fonts actually matter) has been a wonderful experience for you. 🙂 In Part I, we looked at the difference between Serif and Sans Serif. To Check out Part I of How to Pick a Fabulously Fun Font Type, click here.
Once you start piecing together your font choices, it starts to get a little easier.
Confusing the Matter with Monospace:
There are also certain types of fonts (such as Courier) that are called “monospace”. They are called this because each letter takes the same amount of space (as opposed to variable width fonts where an “i” takes up less space than an “m”–all the fonts talked about so far have been variable width fonts). Don’t use monospace fonts for your book. Just don’t. They look like they are produced on an old typewritter and will be annoying to read. The only time you might include a font like this is if, say, you were to include a “report” in the body of your text or an old letter or something for effect. You might insert it in this font to give a feel as though the inserted text is old and separate from the story-telling part of your book.
I feel I have just given you an idea for an epic novel. Feel free to use that idea to make millions.
Recommended Font Types for the Body of your Book:
- Garamond (There are a lot of different Garamond fonts. Experiment a little. Pay attention to whether or not the different Garamond fonts are thinner or thicker and as a result, squish or stretch out your book. Garamond is a fine choice.)
- Goudy Old Style
- Palatino–this one is very common and well used. It’s a great choice. It is also so well used that some feel it is over used.
Recommended Font Types for the Titles and Headings in Your Book:
- Helvetica–a very popular and common, simple choice.
- Franklin Gothic
Putting it all together:
One of the best ways to nail down the font you like is to format your book with that Font (I know… brilliant idea!!). When you have it set up, print up a page or look at it on your screen (or both if you plan on having a print and digital version) and see what you think. When you see your whole page together printed (or on the screen) in the Font you’ve chosen, you will start to be able to compare and pick the one which gives you the feel you want for your book.
Now that you’ve thought through the style of font, you need to consider the size of font for the body of your book. This isn’t as big an issue for e-books, because your reader can adjust the size for their reading comfort. For printed books, however, this is a big issue.
Imagine picking up two books, both missing their covers. You open each and one has a very large letters and the other has tiny, tiny letters. What goes through your mind? Likely that the large font is for younger readers and the tiny font is going to be a tough read.
Typically, printed books end up using either a 10 or 11 point size. You can go larger, of course, but as mentioned, it gives a feel of being written for a younger audience. Since my books coming out next year are aimed at a younger audience, I will likely aim for a little larger font, but not too large as I don’t want my books to be 500 pages long.
The Cover Font
I’m going to skim over this one quickly. Here’s why…
The Font you use on the cover of your book for the title and author name needs to really fit with the look and feel of your cover design. If you pick a popular and nice looking Font, but it doesn’t fit with the pictures or layout of your cover, you’ve got a problem. If you have some design sense of your own and are going to do the work yourself, take the time to make sure the font you choose fits. If you’re hiring an artist or book designer to do this for you, take their advice.
I’m going to recommend a good blog post by Joel Friedlander to give you some options and ideas for Fonts, but your Title Font on your cover really has to fit the design of your cover. Choose well. Choose wisely.
There you have it. The Font Truth Bomb has devastated your World View to the point where you don’t know which way is up. I understand. Isn’t it wonderful?