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5 Steps to Being a Successful Author

Guidelines for Editing Non-Fiction Books

Book Formatting

Selecting Font Size and Type

Getting Published

Realistic Odds of Getting Published

7 Steps to Writing A Book Publishing Query

Tips on Writing Book Proposals The Way Editors Want

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Best Fonts For Book Publishing


Golden Rules for Book Fonts

  • Text - 11-point Palatino
  • Chapter Titles - 14-point Helvetica for chapter titles
  • Section Headings - 12-point Helvetica


Fonts Not To Use

  1. Never use monospaced fonts such as Courier, except when mocking up documents
  2. Avoid using unusual fonts - except for short items such as cover items [title and author's name] or for chapter titles.
  3. Don't use too many fonts. Three should be enough for almost any book.


Types of Fonts

There are three characteristics of fonts worth covering here:

  1. Serif or Non Serif
  2. Points and Picas
  3. Monospaced or Proportionately Spaced


Serif or Non Serif

Fonts are generally either serif and sans-serif. Serif fonts have little curlicues on the ends of the letters. Sans-serif fonts

  • Times Roman is a serif font
  • Arial is a sans-serif font

Generally, in print format, words written in serif fonts are easier to read. However, online, words in sans serif fonts are clearer.

Serif fonts are smaller in height - you can see that the Times Roman above looks as if it is in smaller font size - yet the size for both fonts is the same. This means that publisers can get more content on the page using a serif font.

Serif fonts also use less horizontal space - this is more noticeable in a standard sentence:

I am really looking forward to my book being published.
I am really looking forward to my book being published.


Points And Picas

A given font size is not the size of a specific letter. Instead, it is the distance in "points" between lines, rather than "single spaced" or "double spaced"

Print is measured in points and picas.

  • One inch of print has 72.27 points. [A point is 0.3515 millimeters].
  • Microsoft Word uses exactly 72 points to the inch - Postscript Point

A pica is twelve points ~ one-sixth of an inch [about four millimeters]. Therefore, a 12-point font will have six lines per inch unless leading is added.


Monospaced Fonts

A third type of font rarely used are monospaced fonts. Many online marketers use these types of fonts in text emails - to ensure that the 60 character width rule is observed. Personally - i think it is an uncomfortable font to read and would not use it under any circumstance. There are other ways to control width.

  • Courier is the most common example of a monospaced font.
  • In contrast Times Roman, Arial are proportionately-spaced fonts.

Monospaced fonts were designed for type-writers - and since we no longer use type writers they should be made obsolete!!

Next: Selecting Fonts For Your Book

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