Publishing 101

  1. Traditional and Self-Publishing
  2. Publishing vs. Printing
  3. Text and Formatting
  4. Fonts and Styling
  5. Editing and Proofreading
  6. Photos and Illustrations
  7. Color vs. B&W/Grayscale
  8. Paper Options
  9. Trim Sizes
  10. Covers and Bindings
  11. ISBN
  12. LCCN
  13. Copyright
  14. Publishing Costs
  15. Pricing Your Book
  16. Sales and Marketing
  17. Legal and Tax Requirements

Fonts and Styling

You will want the text in your book to be styled properly. With the plethora of fonts to choose from, it can be tempting to choose something unique to make your book really stand out. However, you must remember the most important aspect of your book is its readability. Some fonts are more readable than others. In addition, an obscure font may not be supported by your publisher or printer. If you download a font from a website, whether it's free or not, make sure you understand the licensing rights granted by the font's creator and/or vendor. You may find limits as to how the font can be used (e.g., personal vs. commercial, print vs. electronic) or whether you are allowed to embed the font in the electronic file prepared for print.

OpenType fonts generally render better than TrueType fonts. If you have a TrueType font you would like to use in your book, it's a good idea to locate an OpenType version (keep in mind the licensing issues discussed above). If you require the use of bold or italics in your book, the font you choose should also exist in styled versions. These versions will include the original font name followed by "Bold" or "Italic." For best quality, it is important that you use the correct version of your font rather than simply using the normal version and choosing "Bold" or "Italic" from your word processor's font-style menu.

Printed materials, including books, generally use serif fonts. A serif is a short line, curve, or other adornment projecting from the main stroke of a letter. These lines or other additions help guide the reader's eyes along a straight line, enhancing readability. Fonts without serifs are called sans-serif fonts. These are typically used for web and other electronic media, but may be seen in print as well, especially in magazine articles and other short works.