I imagine many writers don’t consider what font they’re using when they create their works. I, personally, have always typed everything in whatever the default font was in the program I was using. Right now, that’s Times New Roman. So, why would a guy like me start worrying about fonts?
Well, if you’ve been visiting this blog a while, you may remember my excitement over stumbling my way toward a successful gravatar image. As I said then, I’m not equipped to create a drawing or any other kind of visual art. Thus, I relied on words, fonts, and easy font effects.
Additionally, I’ve been trying to collect information that will aid me in my effort to become a published author. While my great preference is to be a traditionally published author, there is no guarantee I’ll be able to obtain that coveted status. Thus, I’m looking at what self publishing entails. And, yes, it seems fonts are definitely in the picture.
Take the book cover! Compare the covers of popular books within any genre. You’ll see most of them use similar fonts to convey a sense of what’s within. Aside from any images on the cover, the fonts and text colors are the first impression a potential reader receives. The right one says “Read me!” The wrong one will do the opposite. And these days, it has to be legible in thumbnail format as well for online book sales.
Look at these four examples I threw together. Would you expect the stories in each case to be the same? I don’t think I would.
But font considerations don’t stop at the front door. Oh, no! A self publishing author has to concern him- or herself with book formatting. For instance, you have to decide what the table of contents and chapter titles will look like. Those decisions create a mood, an ambiance that adds to the reader’s experience.
As I was searching for a font to represent me and this site, I looked around at what’s available beyond the fonts which came pre-loaded on my computer. What I found surprised me. There are a multiplicity of options out there! Lots and lots of places to get fonts and oodles of fonts to be had.
I mean OODLES! One site I visited has over 600,000 fonts available. No, I didn’t leave my finger on the zero key accidentally. A site called Creative Fabrica has over 600k fonts for sale. They have so many, they’re even giving some of them away. That’s just one store! In addition, individual font designers sell their hard work directly via their websites. But remember, you’ll need a commercial license for any fonts you plan to use in a work for sale.
Clearly, a self publishing author can hire out the jobs of cover design and book formatting. You know I’m not going to be creating any original art for the cover of my manuscript when I get to that point. And, of course, I’ll want to hire somebody skilled and knowledgeable who’ll be able to help make the necessary decisions. That’s if I can afford someone experienced at their craft – cover or formatting.
In the meantime, I’ll keep my eyes and ears open to pick up what I can in case, in the end, I am left to my own devices. If I’m ever going to finish my book, though, I won’t have time to pick my way through all the thousands of fonts available. I’m not sure if I was oblivious, ignorant or both regarding this subject before. Even so, I’ve certainly gained a new appreciation for fonts and what they do to communicate a writer’s work to the reading public.