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Discovering the Best Fonts for Print Books

Featured image that says Best Fonts for Print in different letterings.

As indie authors, we have complete control over everything when it comes to creating our book! But it can also be overwhelming, with so many things to think about – from writing to marketing, to making sure everything is legal… and of course, picking the perfect font!

Don’t let your book’s font be an afterthought – choosing the right one can make all the difference in your reader’s experience! Trust me, it’s a detail you don’t want to overlook.

Ready to level up your font game? I’ve got you covered! In this article, I’ll give you the lowdown on the best fonts to use in your print book.

Before we dive in, let’s clear up the difference between font and typeface – it’s an important distinction that can make a big impact on your book. And trust me, font really does matter – I’ll tell you why!

Is it a Font or a Typeface?

Are you ready to solve the mystery of font vs. typeface? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

First things first: typeface is like a big category umbrella that includes different fonts and font families. Think of it like a family tree, with different fonts as the branches!

When it comes to typeface, there are a bunch of factors that can set different ones apart, like whether they have fancy serifs or not, their weight, balance, spacing, and even how big the uppercase and lowercase letters are!

But wait, what about fonts? Fonts are like the siblings in a typeface family – they all share some basic traits, but each one has its own unique personality. For example, Roboto is a sans-serif typeface, but it comes in different “flavors” like thin, light, normal, medium, bold, and black.

Now that you’re a typeface and font expert, you’ll be able to talk the talk with your designer when it comes to picking the perfect print design for your book!

The Importance of a Good Font

Font matters, and it can totally impact the reader’s experience. I mean, have you ever tried reading a book with a font that just makes your eyes go all wonky? Trust me, it’s not a fun time.

But fear not, my friends! The right font choice can make all the difference. It can help convey the personality of the book and be suitable for the subject matter. For example, a romance novel might benefit from a flowing script font, while a science textbook might require a more straightforward and easy-to-read font.

But here’s the kicker: the ideal font may vary depending on the target audience. Think about it, would you use the same font for a children’s book and a medical journal? Probably not. You want to make sure that the font you choose is appropriate for the people who will be reading it.

Now, I know what you might be thinking, “But Sam, with so many fonts out there, how do I even begin to choose the right one?” Well, my dear, selecting the best font is simpler than you might think. Take some time to browse through different fonts and see how they look on the page. Try to imagine how they would fit with the tone and subject matter of your document.

And here’s a pro-tip: if you’re still feeling stuck, try asking someone else for their opinion. Sometimes a fresh set of eyes can make all the difference.

To Serif or to Sans Serif?

There are two major font categories we need to know about: serif and sans serif.

Serif fonts have these cute little flourishes that guide your eyes from one letter to another, making them super enjoyable to read. They’re often used for body text in books because they’re easy on the eyes and make the reading experience more pleasant.

Now, sans serif fonts have a more blocky and abrupt appearance, but they’re still easy to read for short text blocks. They’re often used for chapters, book titles, and section headings to make them stand out.

But, here’s the important part: the body text in a printed book should be in a serif font. This is because they help your eyes flow smoothly from one line to the next, which reduces eye strain and fatigue.

My Favorite Fonts for Print Books

It’s essential to select a font that complements the book’s theme and tone and is appropriate for the target readers.

Plus, you have to consider a budget. Thankfully, there are plenty of fonts that are appropriate for most books and are available for free use without a license.

Here are some of my favorites:

  • Crimson Pro is totally the perfect serif font for all you historical fiction and sword and sorcery lovers out there. It’s classical and sophisticated, you know? And it works great for certain narrative nonfiction books too, so definitely check it out!
  • Spectral is this newer serif font that’s super trendy and perfect for all you contemporary print book fans. It’s got this modern vibe that just makes everything look so chic and stylish.
  • For all you chapter and section heading queens out there, Open Sans is where it’s at. It’s a totally rad sans serif font that’s simple, clean, and legible. But just remember, it’s not really recommended for body text, so keep that in mind, okay?
  • If you’re all about those classic-style chapter headings, Baskerville is totally the font for you. It’s got this elegant and sophisticated look that’s perfect for all you literature buffs out there.
  • For all my dyslexic bookworms out there, Open Dyslexic is here to make your reading experience way easier. It’s specially designed to make English easier to read, which is totally amazing!
  • Young Serif is the perfect font for all you newer serif lovers out there. It’s got these cool bracketed serifs and tilted es and os that give it a totally unique look.
  • If you’re all about those serious and classic vibes, Garamond is totally the font for you. It’s perfect for contemporary literature, nonfiction, and novels with that classic feel.
  • Okay, so if you’re all about that easy-on-the-eye body text, Caslon is where it’s at. It’s been used for hundreds of years and is still going strong. So definitely consider it for your next print book!
  • Rosario is the perfect font for all you academic nonfiction lovers out there. It’s a semi-serif font with these elegant proportions that make it perfect for instructional books.
  • Alegreya is the perfect serif font for all you long-form readers out there. It’s designed specifically for long bouts of reading, which is amazing! And the best part is, it’s suitable for a wide range of genres, so definitely give it a try!
  • Cinzel is totally the perfect font for all you romantics, urban fantasy, and horror book lovers out there. It’s got this totally unique and highly readable look that mixes classic and contemporary styles.
  • Delius is the perfect font for all you comic book and graphic novel fans out there. It’s designed to give your text a totally hand-drawn look.
  • Georgia is a classic serif font that’s easily readable and great for use in the body text of books. Perfect for fans of a classic serif look.

When using a font, it is crucial to guarantee that you are not infringing on any license agreements, even if the possibility of legal action is low.

Where Do I Get These Fonts?

There are several places I get my fonts, but let’s start by talking about my favorite formatting tool that has everything built in: Atticus.

Not only does Atticus provide a range of free font styles to choose from, but it also has a ton of other awesome features.

Using Atticus, you can see how your book will appear in a specific font without downloading or printing a file. And, with various additional features, such as word count goal tracking and ProWritingAid integration, Atticus is the perfect tool for any aspiring writer.

Atticus has over a dozen ready-to-use book themes, complete with headings, chapter styles, scene breaks, and fonts. But, if you’re feeling extra creative, you can also create customized themes to fit your book’s unique vibe.

With Atticus, selecting the appropriate font size is as simple as pressing a button, and the tool is designed to be user-friendly, so you don’t have to be a tech genius to use it.

See my review of Atticus here.

For other sources of fonts, my favorite option is Adobe Fonts. If you’re a subscriber to Adobe Creative Cloud, you can also use Adobe Fonts to find free fonts to use in your book.

Remember, there’s no universal perfect font for all books, but with a bit of searching, it’s totally feasible to find the ideal one for your particular book. So, why not give Atticus a try and see how it can make your writing and formatting process a total breeze? Happy writing, y’all!

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