image shows page with various fonts in use to illustrate the question: Should authors buy fonts for their books?

If you’re an indie author who plans to self-publish and do everything yourself, you need some basic design skills and the right typefaces. While your computer has some built-in fonts, sometimes you have to buy fonts to get the look you want.

Where, when, and why should you drop cash for your book’s fonts? Keep reading to find out.

Finding Fonts to Buy

The right font defines your book. Finding that right font to buy takes time, but it’s an easy process. Today, there are a lot of great websites that give you access to all sorts of fonts.

Some of the most popular sites to purchase fonts include:

Once you find the font you want, simply download and install it on your computer. It will then be ready to use in your book.

Buy Fonts You Need

On any of the sites above, you can download a lot of fonts for free. But be careful! Most of them are free for personal use only. Your book—if you ever plan to sell a copy—is a commercial product. So, you don’t want free typefaces. You need to buy fonts.

Why? There are two reasons:

  1. It’s the right thing to do. Someone put a lot of work into creating that font. If you make money with it, the font maker should as well.
  2. It’s the legal thing to do. Selling books without buying a license for the font is considered stealing. Get caught, and you could get in legal trouble. Of course, the font creator may never hear of your book. But is that a risk you’re willing to take? If so, remember the first point. Paying for fonts you use is the right thing to do.

Note: Books aren’t the only commercial use for fonts. Any specialty font you use on your author website, business card, or anything else that promotes your book needs to be purchased. Remember—your book is a business!

Using Fonts Built into Software

Sometimes, you don’t have to buy fonts. You already own them.

When you purchase InDesign, Microsoft Word, or another design software, you get access to a number of fonts at no cost. Some, such as Adobe InDesign, gives you access to even more fonts that you can download when needed.

If your design program has all the fonts you need, you’re set. There’s no reason to drop cash on fonts.

A Word on Your Responsibility

Controlling every aspect of the publishing process is empowering. It also puts all responsibility on your shoulders. That means knowing whether you have to buy fonts.

If a website says a font is free for commercial use, don’t believe it. It might be true, but you need to make sure. Find out who created the font, then find the creator online. Most font creators have websites. On their sites, you can find out if their fonts are actually free. If not, you can buy it from them.

A Font-astic Partner

Want someone else to deal with all the confusing backend stuff that goes into book publishing? That’s what we’re here for. Check out our simple publishing process our simple publishing process to learn what we do to get your book off your computer and onto bookshelves.