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266,922 Views 8 Replies Last post: Mar 7, 2012 6:53 AM by at00 RSS
Level 0 4 posts since
Jul 26, 2011
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Jan 12, 2012 1:24 PM

Most common font for novels?

Hi,

 

Does anyone please know the most common font used in paperback fiction novels? And what the size of that font is?

 

And the line spacing? It looks like the content of many novels is spaced more widely than Single line spacing.

 

Any pointers would be appreciated!

 

Many thanks,

 

Cornelia

Level 5 12,995 posts since
Aug 22, 2008
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1. Jan 12, 2012 1:42 PM in response to: corners74
Re: Most common font for novels?

Garamond, Minion, and Dante are probably three of the five or six most widely-used typefaces for trade paperback fiction published in the U.S. over the past several years.  Among those, Garamond is the one most likely to come already installed on a home/office system, and is one that behaves predictable if you're trying to do page layout with word processing software (e.g, Word) as opposed to page layout software (e.g., InDesign).

 

For U.S. hardcover and trade paperback fiction, most major publishers set line spacing at 120 to 125 percent of the font size.  So for Garamond 12 pt, 120 percent would be exactly 14.4 pt line spacing in Word. 125 percent would be exactly 15 pt line spacing.

 

Hope that helps.  Best wishes.

Level 5 19,170 posts since
Sep 5, 2009
Currently Being Moderated
2. Jan 12, 2012 2:29 PM in response to: corners74
Re: Most common font for novels?

Here are 6 lists from a "best fonts for books" search:

 

Fontfeed
Self-PubLinotypeThe Bookdesigner
EzinearticlesFontshop
MinionTimes New RomanStemple GaramondGaramondPalatinoITC New Baskerville
ITC New BaskervilleGaramondTimes TenJansonBook AntiquaFF Scala

FF Scala

Bookman Old StyleITC WeidemannBemboGeorgiaMinion Pro
FF Scala SansBook AntiquaSabon NextCaslonAdobe GaramondElectra
Adobe GaramondPalatinoElectraBookmanAdobe Garamond
Trade GothicLinoLetterCentury SchoolbookDante
ElectraFairfieldBembo Book
FournierLinotype Camptil
DanteLinotype Finnegan
DinTrajanus

 

The best fonts for your book are those that best match your style, the content, and the audience, within the overall design of the pages. You must consider the running heads and chapter title fonts when assessing the fonts you use for the text.

 

Most books use fonts that are nominally 10-12 points, with 1-3 pts of leading. But with digital typesetting, where, for example, you can use negative letter spacing, fractional sizes, etc., and when lots of fonts have interlinear space built into them (over all body height versus Hp height, or small x height) it is hard to actually answer you.  I've have fonts (common, book text fonts) where the 12pt equals 14 point of another font in terms of characters/inch and/or lines per inch.

 

Take a look at Build Your Book, a free, 98 page guide to designing your book. It has a small section on type.

 

Walton

Mechanics & Punctuation, free, 20 page guide to everything punctuation  Build Your Book, a free, 98 page guide to designing your book;  CS Digital understand CS digital possibilities; GIMP, free, tutorials, GIMP, GIMP Help, excerpts from GIMP Supremacy Supremacy;  Bleeds, free, 19 page, illustrated guide to bleeds and margins, do's and don't's for CreateSpace;  Contact for graphics, design, and typesetting help.  Disclaimer: all statements of apparent fact in this post are empirical inferences based on observational data. These are idiosyncratic in nature and have not necessarily been subject to verification.

Level 5 12,995 posts since
Aug 22, 2008
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3. Jan 12, 2012 3:45 PM in response to: Lighthouse24
Re: Most common font for novels?

Note: Book Antiqua is a Microsoft font created to look like Palatino when they couldn't reach a licensing agreement for it with Linotype.  On your own computer/printer, they're almost identical.  Microsoft and Linotype eventually did reach an agreement, and Palatino is now available on Windows systems, and it's a better font, technically (for commercial printing) than Book Antiqua.

 

I like Palatino and use it often for non-fiction -- but many authors/readers dislike its quotation marks, so I don't see or use it as much for fiction (where there's usually a substantial amount of dialog).

Level 5 19,170 posts since
Sep 5, 2009
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5. Aug 28, 2017 12:51 AM in response to: corners74
Re: Most common font for novels?

I forgot to say, print out test pages.  You can't really evaluate your design and font choices from the monitor.

 

Walton

Level 1 143 posts since
Sep 23, 2010
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6. Mar 7, 2012 6:12 AM in response to: walton
Re: Most common font for novels?

To Walton: I was just reading your color mystery.pdf... I wish I had seen it before. The colors are really different in CS than what I have originally used.

A light green color had turned to yellow... and so on. The colors do change a lot when you print them.

Level 5 19,170 posts since
Sep 5, 2009
Currently Being Moderated
7. Mar 7, 2012 6:47 AM in response to: at00
Re: Most common font for novels?

There are several places where color change:

 

Monitor--monitors vary by type, by age, by profile. They vary because you want yours brighter than mine, I need less contrast, etc. Calibrating monitors is important, but relying on even a calibrated monitor to anticipate how CS or any printer will print color is foolish. Soft proofing works only if everything in the system, from the monitor and ambiant light, the press profile, etc. are accurate.

 

RGB to CMYK--for my own work, and other artist's work I prepare for printing, I often work in several color spaces. There are things you can do in CMYK or LAB that you can't do in RGB. The biggest loss due to out-of-gamut color is going to CMYK, but often when you need the Yellow ro Black enhanced, CMYK is a great space to work in; and what is gained usually offsets other losses.

 

Process CMYK --CS uses non-traditional inks and proprietary profiles that permit printing (converting) of RGB in CMYK with a stronger Cyan and a more red Magenta.

 

Eyes--we get used to the actaul color space (with color casts and shifts), for example the greenish light of the typical grocery store, the yellowish light of our homes in the evening, the bluish outdoor light in the early morning. Sometimes we have to go by the numbers (in Photoshop or InDesign, for example) and not rely on what we see.  The two greens are identical:

Aren't our eyes amazing?

 

CS Covers seem to have a metameristic failure, although I have read anyone else saying this. I see a marked shift towards the cyan in certain lights. I don't see this with interior printing.

 

Although I've been very disappointed by some of the tests CS recently printed for me, my general sense is this: the universal color mode is sRGB, and the universal image file format is JPG.  Like our desktop printers that print best from sRGB, so too for CS--if we get out of the way. That does not mean we don't prepare our images for print, we need to; but it means that unless we like the challenge, we are best off leaving them in RGB and not converting to CMYK (which is what happens if we use PDF/X-1a).  I think that CS is trying to make things easiest for the average person to get good color (if I'm right about updating their presses, there is a huge learning/development curve on their side that is currently causing problems), without having to know anything; and for those of us who have experience in commercial art, we get in our own way.

Level 1 143 posts since
Sep 23, 2010
Currently Being Moderated
8. Mar 7, 2012 6:53 AM in response to: walton
Re: Most common font for novels?

Really: the two greens are identical??? They don't look the same!

Yes, I think CS is trying to make it easier for printing colors, but I was disappointed to see how much the colors change.

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