Which fonts are suitable for the book block?
Which font you choose depends on two things in particular: It must be easy to read and should ideally fit your text. Therefore, don't choose the next best standard font for your book, but try it out. Which font achieves which effect? And are the line spacing, word spacing, and tracking sufficient?
No more than two fonts
According to research done by Walt Shiel on ezinearticles.com the same fonts are used over and over again for about 90 percent of all books. These are Palatino Linotype, According to his recommendation, you should definitely not use Times New Roman. This font is often used by newspapers and therefore the reader associates it with something other than a captivating novel. Garamond is considered the most popular font for books. Although there are distinct differences in size, tracking, and width among the fonts, they have one thing in common: they are serif fonts.
Some you in the book block on two fonts, otherwise it looks chaotic and unprofessional. That means: The body text remains uniformly in one font and can be different from the headings. For non-fiction, there are also captions and graphics, for which you can choose your own font, or better use the same font as in the body text with a different size or style.
Create mood with the font
Each font has its own character and can even convey a mood to the reader. The same font does not suit romantic texts as it does suspenseful thrillers. In the Nonfiction you should use clear fonts, in Children's books like to be a bit more playful, also because there is less text in it. Basically, the more continuous text, the less creative the chosen font should be in order to remain legible. The easier it is for the eye, the more fun it is to read. Don't choose a font just because it looks good on the monitor, but be sure to look at the printed result.
The main task of the font remains that the text is pleasant to read. If it additionally fits the mood of your book, all the better. If it doesn't, don't worry: you can use the Book title and chapter headings, use fonts that evoke emotion. The font should not distract from the content, like Papyrus or Jokerman would do. Use such playful and fancy fonts in the headings rather than in the body text.
What are serif fonts?
Serif fonts are particularly suitable for long texts. They have little "feet" at the beginning and end of each letter that create an imaginary line, making them easier to read. In the text block, you should use serif fonts for good readability because they guide the eye better. On the cover, blurb, or spine, on the other hand, you can try creative fonts.
What are sans serif fonts?
Sans serif fonts, or grotesque fonts, are often used on websites. They look modern and minimalistic and are easy to read on screens. Well-known sans serif fonts include Arial, Calibri, and Verdana. They are not suitable for the book block of a print edition, but they are suitable as book titles on the cover or for chapter headings. This is where you can get creative: Whether squiggles or fancy fonts, anything that fits your book is allowed here. Make sure that the font reflects the mood of your book and conveys it directly to the reader.
Which font size is suitable for a book?
It is difficult to give a general answer as to which font size suits your book. Usually, a size of 10 to 11 points is suitable, but this depends on your target group, among other things. First-time readers or older readers prefer larger fonts, while children's books can go up to 28 point. What to choose for a eBook works with a simple setting, must be carefully considered for the printed book.
But the size you should choose also depends on the font. Some fonts take up more space than others. Even if they are all set at the same size and with the same line spacing, they still differ. Your novel has several hundred pages? Then it doesn't hurt to choose a tighter running font. Or you want to get a few more pages out with a little less content? Then pick a font that runs wider. The rule here is trial and error. Try different sizes and line spacing on different fonts and print them out to see and compare at actual size. Get feedback from a few test readers who fit your target audience and ask them which of the fonts they chose is easiest to read.
What is the walking distance?
The character spacing of a font, i.e. the distance between the individual letters. It has a direct influence on readability and also depends on the font you choose. Make sure that "vv" does not become a "w" in the reading flow or that a "cl" does not look like a "d". You can also change the spacing manually under the advanced settings of the menu item Font.
What are initials?
In many books, initials adorn the beginning of a new chapter. Whether ornate and artistically designed or quite minimalist. The initials can be free-standing next to the text or embedded in the running text.
Emphasis in the text
Italics, bold, underlined, strikeout - You should be careful with such emphasis in your novel, because it disturbs the reading flow. You can emphasize individual words or elements in this way, but use them very sparingly in the body text.
How can fonts be embedded?
Whether you embed your fonts in the text depends on whether it's an e-book or a print edition. Because e-book readers use their preset fonts and these should be able to change in size and type according to reader preferences, the rule here is: Fonts should not be embedded.
In print editions, it may be necessary. To ensure that your book is displayed correctly, you should embed the fonts. In Word, you can make the necessary settings under the menu item "File" in the options. In the "Save" tab, check "Embed fonts in file", but make sure that the two checkboxes below it, "Embed only characters used in document" and "Do not embed general system fonts", are not activated.
You can easily try it out to see if it worked. Create a PDF from your Word file with the embedded fonts and open it. Check under the menu item "File" in the settings in the tab "Fonts" whether all fonts are displayed as embedded.
Which fonts are suitable for covers?
Exotic and fancy fonts don't belong in your book. Even though they might fit the mood, they're hard to read. Go wild with them on the cover of your book.
Especially on the Cover it is called: Create mood. This succeeds not only with images and the color scheme, but especially with the fonts. Different fonts evoke different emotions. An expressive font suits a crime novel, but not a romantic loosey-goosey romance novel. Here, perhaps flourishes convey the right feeling. A Cookbook is designed differently than a science fiction novel. Take inspiration here from other books in your genre. Nevertheless, the same applies to the cover: don't overdo it. Stick to two different fonts so that it doesn't look too restless and chaotic.
Do I need licenses for fonts?
Not every font can be used commercially. This is especially true if you download one from the Internet. Copyright law also applies to fonts. Therefore, find out exactly which rights of use you have acquired with the licence and whether you are allowed to use the font for your book. If you want to use Word fonts that are already preinstalled, that's not a good idea. according to Microsoft no problem, as long as you use a normal Word version, so not Home, Student or non-commercial versions.
The font you use for your book depends on two factors. The most important is that the font is easy to read. Also, the character of the font should match the content. Limit yourself to two different fonts in the text block as well as on the cover, whereby you can go more playful and exotic with headlines and should rather rely on serif fonts in the body text. If you send your book to a publisher, someone there will take care of which fonts are used. However, you will still have to deal with the issue, because there are certain guidelines on how you should write your book. Format manuscript before you send it in.