Moving closer to publication…. Yesterday, I bought the ISBN numbers. I’m almost finished with the revision work. This past week, I also began a font search. A what? I know. I had no idea that I would need to choose a font for my e-book. A good thing I took the time to read BookNook’s helpful E-
Bookery 101: The Handbook. Lots of really good tips, explanations, online resources, and support.
One of the things I need is a font. Why? Well, I typed my manuscript in MS Word using Times New Roman font. That font is owned by Microsoft and I cannot use it for my e-book unless I license it, for a fee, from Microsoft. Hmmmm. I would like a font similar to Times New Roman or Bookman Old Style, nothing sharp, angular, aggressive. My novel occurs in the world of classical music, a world of sound, that I think of as softer, rounder, but clear and pure. I don’t want to pay or the potential hassle to license a font.
BookNook suggests finding a free font, such as a font in the public domain, or offered free by its designer. This is a totally new and foreign world to me, browsing fonts, shopping for a font. Fortunately, BookNook also suggests three font websites that offer free fonts: dafont.com, fontsquirrel.com, and urbanfonts.com. When I posted about my search on Facebook, friends also offered suggestions that included Google fonts.
What do I need a font to do for me? Well, I need both capital and lower case letters, numbers, bold, italic, punctuation marks and diacritical marks like accents and umlauts. It needs to be easy to read, smooth, clear on the page, and friendly. Words in this font will draw in the reader naturally, not repel. Serif or not to serif?
I gravitate to the “basic” category, and serif. The first font at dafont.com that offers everything I want is Linux Libertine. It’s in the public domain. It’s OK. I continue looking. The next one that catches my eye is called OldStyle. It does not have everything I need. The next one, Liberation Serif, is in the public domain and has everything I need, and reminds me of a cross between Times New Roman and Bookman Old Style. That gets a star next to it on my list. The next font that wins a star is called Kompani. And so it goes, working my way through the fonts on this website, and then the other three.
Although I haven’t yet found THE font, I know I’m close. Three at Google fonts received stars from me. I’m still working through the other websites. I may even find a font that’s actually better than I imagine, and certainly better than Times New Roman. I suppose I could have left this decision up to BookNook when they are formatting my manuscript. My first reaction was exactly that — let them do it. But then I started to think about how hard I’ve worked to find the right words to tell Evan Quinn’s story. Why wouldn’t I also want to find the right font for them to wear?