This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Self Publishing nuts and bolts

If you plan to self publish, it’s important to know the top fonts for books – and WHY they are the top fonts. As it happens, the topic of fonts and what to use came up recently in our GSB Group on Facebook, so I thought I’d do a little research and track this down.

If you’re going to publish a book, it’s crucial that you use the right font.

For kids, it can make the difference between a readable or unreadable story.

top fonts

There are hundreds of fonts available for license today. But what is best?

There’s more than one way to determine whether a font is right for your book or not. Unless your book is about fonts, the interior should really have just one font type or at least one font family. If visual variation is needed, it’s better to play around with font size.

What not to do?

There are really just two big no-nos: don’t use all caps, and don’t constantly change the font style.

What you’ll get here:

  • the award winning fonts
  • the popular fonts
  • fonts for kids books
  • fonts for ebooks

Award Winning Fonts

Every year, books are awarded for their book block (a.k.a. the inside of the book) design – specifically. Here’s the list of fonts most often used in award winning book block designs. (Go here for great tips on book design.)


See Fournier here.


See Din here.


See Electra here.


See Gothic here.

Adobe Garamond

See Adobe Garamond here.

FF Scala

See FF Scala here.

The Popular Fonts

In addition to the fonts listed above, there are some extremely popular fonts that simply haven’t been awarded yet. Here they are.


Minion (see Minion here) isn’t just an award winner, it’s extremely popular.


Arno (see Arno here) is a newer font that is getting a lot of buzz from typographers. So far, it hasn’t won any awards yet (too new), but it looks to be a shoo-in.


Another very popular font is Dante (see Dante here), though it isn’t really recognized as an award-winning font.

What About Kids Books?

Kids books are treated differently than adult books. Why? It’s a matter of style and of readability. If a font is too thin at certain loops, or is just too loopy, it will be too hard for a child to read. (Go here for a list of all the types of books with pictures.)


Futura (see Futura here) is one of the most commonly used fonts in kids books today.

Century Schoolbook

Century Schoolbook (see Century Schoolbook here) is an old traditional font. It’s been used for kids books pretty much from the beginning.

Comic Style

Comic San Serif or other comic book styled fonts are quite popular. Go HERE for a list of great comic options.

What about eBooks?

Certain fonts tend to read better on an ebook reader screen. The following are the top 3 choices for ebooks.


The only drawback with Baskerville (see Baskerville here) is that it doesn’t work well an a smart phone.


Georgia (see Georgia here) is quickly becoming the top choice, because it works well on all e-devices (including phones).


Palatino (see Palatino here) is considered the classier style font for ebooks. It’s one of my personal favorites, but I would really only use this in YA-level or higher.

How to Choose

The font design you choose for your story should absolutely reflect the overall tone and intention of the book as a whole. The visual style of the words will impact your story just as the audible impact – especially if you’re writing for kids.

Do you have a favorite font? Write below, let me know – and if you’ve used a font that ended-up working very poorly, please share that! It will be an opportunity for all of us to learn.

Keep creating, no matter what.





--Download Top Fonts for Books as PDF --

This entry is part of the series
Self Publishing nuts and bolts
Be sure to check out the other posts:
<< Self Publishing: design for successWhat Goes on a Copyright Page? >>
K.C. Hill
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