Fantastic Fonts

Who knew Fonts could be so Fascinating?

The end is near for my revisions of Coming Home, and yes, I’m getting a bit bored with it. This is a project I thought I could whip together in less than a month. The book was written – heck, it was published! How hard could it be to get the rights back, get a new cover, and get it back out there under the Three Birds Press imprint? Sure, I was going to have a quick run-through, make a few minor changes…

Let’s let one of my critique partners look at it.

Letting Nita loose with it has been both a blessing and…well just a blessing. But this is why it’s taking so much longer.

And will be so much better than the original.

I’ve changed the point of view from first person to third. There was quite a bit of telling with the original story – now I’m showing you how it is, coming home to your sisters. The story is the same, as well as the characters (although I’ve done some name changes) but looking back, I think I’ve re-written most of the book.

This is a good thing. But it’s taken a lot longer than expected.

But that’s not why I’m posting today.

Today is all about Fonts

And if you’re not a writer, especially independent authors, this post will have no meaning for you.

I was happily doing a last check of Coming Home before I send a chunk out to specially selected people for one last look through when I decided to add an email to the story. Adding email or text, anything interrupting the body of text is always fun – what spacings to use, what font, size…

That was sarcasm. It’s not fun.

Sidenote: All of my frustrations and hair-pulling could be avoided by hiring someone to professionally format my books. But that’s an extra cost that could be used somewhere else, and I’ve done a good job with my books so far.

Because I’ve been neck-deep in revisions for…a while…decided to check with the gods of google to see what the best font would be for this email.

There are SO many different fonts available!

I had no idea. Not being a designer, or having any inclination to design, I’ve never considered the variety available. I have my list of fonts on Windows; there are some fun ones I like on Canva.

And there are some fonts better for publishing than others.

Within a few moments, I learned that a serif is the little tags on the edge of letters. Sans serif fonts are best for titles and chapter headings; serifs work well for the body of text.The little tags, or legs on the letters help the letters flow together and improves readability.

I had no idea about that!

In case you’re interested, some of the best, most popular fonts for publishing are

  • Garamond (for thrillers)
  • Minion
  • Caslon (non-fiction)
  • Sabon (romantic fiction)
  • Utopia
  • Georgia
  • Helvetica

For titles and chapter headings, these work well

  • New Gothic
  • Steelfish
  • Aargh
  • Baskerville

Well, that changes things! I had already gone through and selected my chapter fonts – a mixture of Wide Latin and Century Gothic. The body of my book was in Constantia, which if you notice, isn’t anywhere on the list.

After some careful research and a lot of playing around with the fonts on my PC, I just finished changing the font of the book, from Constantia to Georgia. Garamond was nice but didn’t do it for me. I would have liked Sabon, but downloading a new font seemed complicated for a day that was supposed to be spent finishing revisions. If you’ve done it and it’s not that bad, please let me know!

I also changed the chapter headings to Baskerville Old Face, and Candara, which is tag-free and looks nice.

WordPress doesn’t have those fonts available for my blog, so you’ll have be patient until I post the first chapter to check it out for yourself. I hope you do that – I’ll have the cover, first chapter and pre-sale info available on Friday!!

Like everything in my life as an independent author, this morning has been a learning experience, something new to add to my arsenal of what I need to know to self-publish. Now, when I read a book I’ll be paying special attention to the font. And I subscribed to the newsletter for InDesign Skills, for info and special tips needed to make my books look just right. What will tomorrow bring?

Can you tell I’m procrastinating? I just wrote a blog post on fonts! Now, off I go to finish the revisions for the day!!