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Paperback Fonts

What is the minimum font size?

To ensure your book's text is legible, we require a minimum font size of 7 points.



How should I choose a font?

Times New Roman and Arial are popular, but there are other options. When choosing a font, look for something simple and easy to read long passages of. More elaborate fonts can be effective for headers and chapter titles but aren't recommended for body text.

A few options for body text are:

  • Centaur
  • Garamond
  • Hightower Text
  • Palatino Linotype
Experiment to find the font that best fits your paperback. Set some sample pages in your selected font. When you see a whole page with thousands of characters on it, you'll have a sense of whether the font matches your book's content and tone.



Can I use fonts I found online?

Not every font you find online will work for your book. Here are some things to watch out for:

  • Fonts that won't embed. When it comes time to upload your book files, you'll need to create a PDF with the fonts embedded in the file. The problem is that some of the fonts you download from free font sites simply won't embed due to technical or legal restrictions. To find out whether the font you downloaded will embed propery, set a chapter or a few pages with the font. Then try to create a PDF file for just those pages. You can find out if the fonts are embedded by opening the file in Adobe Acrobat and checking under the File/Properties on the Fonts tab. Every font in the list needs to show "Embedded" or "Embedded Subset" for your file to work.

  • Obtain a license. Some people post links to font software they don't own. If you're downloading font software from a third-party site, make sure the site owner has the rights to it and you have purchase the appropriate license. It is your responsibility to ensure that your content doesn't violate laws or copyright, trademark, privacy, publicity, or other rights. Just because content is freely available does not mean you are free to use it in your book.

  • Fonts that are low quality. Some fonts look good when you see them as a sample. However, they might cause you trouble when you try to use them. These fonts may be:

    • Incomplete. Fonts that were created for a specific function, like a headline in an advertising campaign, are frequently incomplete. They might not have all the glyphs and symbols standard fonts have. Or they might lack an italic version to go along with the roman.

    • Badly drawn. A sample might look good, but when you put your 100,000-word manuscript file into your layout, your book pages might show irregularities in the font. For example, a flourish on a lower case "g" can make your page look "blotchy" or like it has little "flags" everywhere.

    • Misaligned. In a sample, you might not notice that the font doesn't sit properly on the baseline. This will show up in your book right away. The same goes for "set width" errors, where the amount of space each letter takes up has not been calculated properly. This can cause some letter combinations to have too much or too little space.


How do I embed fonts?

Our printing presses need information about how to properly render the fonts used in your file. Information about fonts is not always included in documents by default. That means you may need to take extra steps to embed fonts when you save your file. We recommend that you always embed fonts within your file so your book prints as intended.

Video: Embed fonts

Below are instructions for embedding fonts in Microsoft Word. If you're using a program other than Word, consult its documentation for instructions on embedding fonts. Word includes an option to save the fonts used in your document with the file. This option increases file size, but it will ensure your fonts, word spacing, and breaks appear properly.

Here's how to embed fonts:

  1. Under the File menu, click Options
  2. Select Save from the left menu
  3. Check the Embed fonts in the file box
  4. Make sure the two sub-boxes "Embed only the character used in the document" and "Do not embed common system fonts" are not checked
  5. Click OK
Learn more about embedding fonts when creating PDF files.

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