Choosing the right font—for both the interior pages and your front and back covers—is imperative to designing an easily readable book. With so many choices, narrowing down the right fonts can feel daunting. Our incredibly talented team of designers shared their insights into choosing the perfect font for your book.

Serif vs. Sans Serif

Let’s start with some basic terminology by breaking fonts down into two categories: serif and sans serif. Serif fonts have little tails on the edges of the letters, where a sans serif font has straight edges.

Choose a Book Font That Goes Well with Your Genre

This seems like an obvious suggestion, but you’d be surprised how many authors want wild, distracting, or mismatched fonts for their book’s body copy that don’t match the norms of the genre.

Here are some basic guidelines:

  • Fiction, memoirs, and (auto)biographies: You’ll want a classic serif font that’s easy to read. Garamond, Baskerville, and Minion are some of our favorite choices. We’d recommend a font size between 10 and 12.
  • Nonfiction reference books and textbooks: You’ll want a sans serif font set in block paragraphs. We’d also recommend a font size between 10 and 12 for these types of titles.
  • Children’s books: This is where using fonts that are more decorative and attention-grabbing as body text can be quite effective. You’ll just want to make sure that the font style and size match the tone and illustration style of your book.

Avoid Bad Fonts

A good rule of thumb for avoiding notoriously bad fonts is asking yourself the question, “Would I want to read a book written in this font?” When it comes to body copy, these are a few fonts you should definitely avoid:

  • Comic Sans
  • Papyrus
  • Curlz
  • Brush Script

The reason so many designers and design-savvy folks dislike these fonts is that they’re overused, hard on the eyes, and outdated.

How Mill City Press Helps

Mill City Press has a team of expert designers who can help you choose the right fonts for your book.