Regardless of the font you choose for your eBook manuscript, once the file is converted to ePUB format, the CUSTOMER will decide which font they want to read your book in. This fact is sometimes frustrating for book designers/typesetters, but it’s great for the end-user– and you!

To ensure maximum readability (across multiple devices, screen sizes, etc.), you will want to eliminate anything in your manuscript that might unnecessarily complicate the eBook conversion process. When it comes to fonts, we recommend that you use only ONE font in your book, and that it be a standard one: Ariel, Times New Roman, or Courier.

Fancy fonts (especially fancy serif fonts) might look great, but oftentimes they are converted into strange characters and symbols. Your eBook could look like a garbled mess. If you’re a font snob, look at it this way: by sticking to a safe, boring font– you’ll ensure that nothing gets lost in translation (or conversion). You don’t want to risk the language itself for the sake of typography.

If you want to include other elements like bold, italic, or underlining, please use the format font menu or the buttons on the tool bar. If you need to use characters that aren’t on the keyboard, be sure to choose them from the menu with the same name as your font– not wingdings, symbols, or special characters.

Like the font itself, the font size will be customizable by the reader. The conversion process will go smoothly if you avoid very large or very small font sizes. We recommend 12pt font size for body text and 14-18pt for chapter titles.

In a world where a text can be discovered, accessed, and customized to reader preference on multiple devices (computers, phones, eReaders, tablets, etc.), maximum readability benefits the author as much as the consumer. Hopefully these font tips will help you avoid any conversion gremlins along the way.

Let BookBaby help you with your eBook conversion so you can worry about the important stuff (like writing and promoting)!

Chris Robley

About Chris Robley

Chris Robley has written 612 posts in this blog.

is an award-winning poet, songwriter, performer, and music producer who now lives in Portland, Maine after more than a decade in Portland, Oregon. His music has been praised by NPR, the LA Times, the Boston Globe, and others. Skyscraper Magazine said he is “one of the best short-story musicians to come along in quite some time.” Robley’s poetry has been published or is forthcoming in POETRY, Prairie Schooner, Poetry Northwest, Beloit Poetry Journal, RHINO, Magma Poetry, and more. He is the 2013 winner of Boulevard's Poetry Prize for Emerging Writers and the 2014 recipient of a Maine Literary Award in the category of "Short Works Poetry."

7 thoughts on “What Font and Font Size Should I Use for My eBook?

  1. Franklin Veaux says:

    While I generally agree it’s a good idea to stick to the basic typefaces and that letting the reader set the face is the right way to go in most cases, I’ve recently had some eBook projects that have shown me there are exceptions.

    I have just done two very complex academic eBooks that are both histories of Indian theology. They include long expanses of text with diacritic marks, and I’ve discovered that the fonts built into eBook readers sometimes do not include a full set of diacritics. That left me with no choice but to embed a font that did include the full complement of diacritics. I chose Gentium, a free open-source typeface that has the entire Unicode library of accent marks and diacritics.

    1. Franklin, how did that work out? Did you try the final text on various Kindle readers? How would including German accented words work if used in a basic font like Times New Roman, but the reader changes the font?

  2. Bren Murphy says:

    Hi Chris,
    Just found your article as my scrivener is putting out a large font and I was using 12pt size and I thought it was me. I agree with your advice to stick with the basic fonts and the 12pt standard sizes – readers are buying your book for the content, not the presentation.

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