Believe it or not, there is a science behind choosing the best fonts for books. Think about all the places you see type today. Whether it’s a phone, a computer screen, a book, an ad, a magazine or a menu, almost every minute of the day is spent reading something. And—other than the menu at your favorite restaurant perhaps—much thought has gone into which font to use.
The notion of setting type might belong to another era, but with the advance of technology, it’s more relevant than ever. Ironically, technology is the reason that typesetting matters today: increased exposure to (sometimes) beautiful typography in books, magazines, and marketing materials, not to mention websites, has raised our collective expectations regarding appealing type. Even the uninitiated among us can easily pick out poor font choice and bad formatting. So, what exactly is typesetting—and why does it matter for self-publishers?
The decision to ask a professional book designer to typeset your book versus typesetting it yourself is driven largely by a limited budget. However, once you realize the astonishing number of details designers must attend to in book layout, you may conclude that it’s best to spend your time marketing your professionally designed book rather than attempting to become a book designer yourself.