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Writing 101 – Which Font Should I Use For My Book?

Writing 101 – Which Font Should I Use For My Book?


Check aso my blog: Writing first drafts: tips to get it done


Back to the font.  You have to make a conscious decision about the font you’ll use for book writing and the printing without becoming overwhelmed or petrified with all the choices out there.

The typography you use for your book is important. But what’s more important is not precisely the font you choose. Rather, you need to select a font that complements your graphic design and page layout while meeting your reader’s expectations. All while going unnoticed by those same readers.

Here’s the thing: if you pick your fonts well, no one will notice. But if you pick your fonts poorly, everyone will notice. No pressure.


Fonts 101

Font (or typeface) is one of those writing and publishing-related terms you’ll hear often used to describe a few disparate things. I don’t want to get into long and technical explanations of everything that goes into fonts, so let’s just do a few quick bullets with most important info for our post today.

  • Font Family – the subset the font is based on; Times is a font family and fonts like Times New Roman or Times Bold 18 point is examples of fonts in the Times family.
  • Font – the combination of the family, weight, and size of a letter.
  • Typeface – synonymous with the font.
  • Serif Typeface – a ‘serif’ is a tiny extension of the letter.
  • Sans Serif Typeface – plain lettering without a serif.
  • Size – the size of your letting based on the points sizing scale.
  • Weight – the line thickness of the letters, and elements like bold, Light or even extra light and italics or a combination for the words you like to stand out.

Sans-Serif vs. Serif Fonts

Fonts And Your Book

I like to write in Cochin. I just think it’s a nice, clean font that looks good on my screen. I type my drafts in Size 12. Yet I would never print a book in Trebuchet. It’s not designed for print, plain and simple. It is up to authors and book creators to separate what looks good on your screen and what looks good in print. The two are hardly ever the same. Most YA fiction authors like to write also in size 12 in a Bembo or Sabon font. Both classic fonts for YA books. Some will even go to a 10. But that is just to small for me.So what is a font for printing?We’ll end today with my top fonts for fiction and nonfiction works. When you’re making your own choices, be sure to keep in mind common fonts for your genre and your own book layout. Finding the right typeface means that it serves the book and reader.

Choosing Wisely


Caslon – You’ll find Caslon listed as “Adobe Caslon Pro” often in your word processor. This is another older style, Serif font with many similarities to Baskerville. The main difference to my eye is a slightly smaller character with thicker lines. I love this font for nonfiction that still has casual or lighter subject matter. Get Caslon

Baskerville – Great for  fiction books. And for good reason. Developed in the 1750s, Baskerville is a serif font that’s been actively used for hundreds of years. Thanks to its clean appearance and fine balancing of thick and thin lines, Baskerville remains one of the easiest to read printed fonts. It is one of the most used fonts on covers in the genre Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy! Get Baskerville

Garamond – I like Garamond for fiction too. For me, I think of Baskerville for fantasy, literary fiction, and romance, while Garamond hits me as more of a sci-fi or thriller type of font. It has many of the thickness and balance elements of Baskerville, with a slightly more industrial or modern look with less space between letters and a condensed feel.

Get Garamond

fonts_101 for writers

New – There also a new Screen font: Spectral: A New Screen-First Typeface. Spectral is a new and versatile serif face available in seven weights of roman and italic, with small caps. Intended primarily for text-rich, screen-first environments and long-form reading, Spectralis brought to you by Production Type, commissioned by Google Fonts, and free to use across Google Docs,

Elements and page headers and numbers

Finally, for elements like the headers/page numbering I would use a very simple font. Times or Arial most likely. This text is purely utilitarian, so no need to be flashy.


Check out he Google Font site: Here you can test fonts and see how it looks with your own piece of text or book title.
Go to Google Fonts to check it out. It is a free site 🙂 

Tip 2

You’ll need to match the page size for your file to the page size of the book you’re making. If you create in A4 in size 12 font but want to print a 6×9, we’d have to reduce the page size, resulting in the shrinkage of the font. Then your book will be in a actual size 10 font. And maybe to small for your readers!


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