300+ Fool-Proof Fonts to use for your Book Cover Design (an epic list of best fonts per genre)

300+ Fool-Proof Fonts to use for your Book Cover Design (an epic list of best fonts per genre)

Using the right fonts on your book cover helps tell the reader what genre your book fits into and elicits an emotional response. You want it to look great, but also be appropriate, fit in well with the cover design, and (probably) be just a little more interesting than a standard font.

So I’ve put together some cheat-sheets of the best fonts to use for your book cover, divided by genre.

In general, stick to 1 “fancy” or decorative font, and keep the other fonts very simple. You don’t want them to compete.

Also – the MOST important thing about your book cover (for fiction at least) is the picture – so don’t distract or cover it up with the text. Let the picture do its work, make the text more subtle, by blending in with the image as one art piece.

For non-fiction, the most important thing is the text, mostly the subtitle. Use simple serif or sans-serif fonts.

To use these: find the font you like and Google it. (The name of each font is written in that font).

Some are free, some aren’t.

There are LOTS more, but this is a good start.

Want to download all these fonts in a simple PDF? Click here.

romance

sans

scifi

serif

thriller

fantasy

horror

paranormal

western

chicklit

 

PS. I feel like I should apologize for this post: it’s become really popular, because it’s useful, but it was only meant as a suggestion for the *kinds* of appropriate fonts to use for each genre. A lot of these fonts are outdated, overused or too flashy. You’d probably do better to google “best fonts for [genre]” and choose some good ones. Fonts on CreativeMarket tend to be higher quality. Try to avoid free fonts unless you’re sure they’re for personal *and* commercial use – or sometimes you can donate to the designer.

Finally, here’s an updated version with just my favorite fantasy fonts. Of those, there are about 5 fonts I’d actually rely on, and this is true with most genres, certain fonts are go-to, until they become overused.

These fonts are a bit too showy or flashy for most books, but should help point you in the right direction.

Cover design secrets that sell books

If you need help, make sure to download my free guide!

I’ve helped design over 1000 book covers, including hundreds of bestsellers – download my free book to learn all the insider secrets I use to sell more books. Click here to get it now. I’ll also share some of the advanced book marketing tactics I’ve used to make a full-time income with my writing.

cover design secrets

7 must have qualities for a book cover that sells

Here’s an updated article on cover design

More book cover design resources

67 Comments

  • Taryn Markele Posted February 13, 2014 8:43 am

    Wow. This is awesome. I look forward to seeing what fonts you come up with for chick lit. THANKS!!!

  • S. J. Pajonas Posted February 17, 2014 3:16 pm

    Very nice! As a former web designer now author, I’m pleased to see these. A lot can be done with the right font in combination with a stunning photo or illustration. Too many times designers choose the wrong font for the job. And thank you for not including Scriptina in the Romance list 😉

    • Derek Murphy Posted February 18, 2014 1:10 pm

      Ha – I could have done but it’s a little overused. Any font can become “too much” once everybody’s using it (that’s why I hate “bleeding cowboys” now).

    • Derek Murphy Posted February 18, 2014 1:33 pm

      I could have done, but Scriptina is too used and I’m not fond of it. I loved “bleeding cowboys” the first time I saw it and now it makes my skin crawl. A nice font that isn’t too flashy but has just a little more character than a basic normal font… that’s ideal.

      • S. J. Pajonas Posted February 18, 2014 1:44 pm

        That’s exactly why I thanked you 🙂 Some fonts are so overused. This was a good sampling.

  • iGO eBooks Posted February 17, 2014 3:25 pm

    We love such fonts but we need to be aware and conscious of who our potential readers are, or may be, as some may have sight impairment or dyslectic and certain types of fonts will deter them, as they cannot read. Generally, as boring as it may see, the standard Aerial font, in size 12 is best when you are reaching such a potential market of readers.

    • Derek Murphy Posted February 18, 2014 1:09 pm

      Strongly disagree. That’s like saying we should make all TV shows in black in white for color blind people. Arial size 12!? For book covers, way to small, for book interiors, also terrible (serif fonts are better to read). For “sight impairment people”?! Why design a book to be more functional to a tiny, tiny segment of your possible readers?

    • Derek Murphy Posted February 18, 2014 1:36 pm

      Disagree. That’s like saying all TV shows should be in black and white, or come with subtitles, for the sight impaired. Plus, you shouldn’t be targeting “ALL readers.” You should be targeting a very select type of person who will enjoy your book. If you’re worried about the sight impaired, make an Audible version. And even for interiors – Arial is a bad choice; serif is always better for interior formatting (I wrote a post best fonts for interior recently as well…)

      • iGO eBooks Posted February 18, 2014 8:29 pm

        It is not about agreeing or disagreeing. The RNIB guidelines followed by groups provide for this, or perhaps some of us know
        better. Aerial is one example not the only font. We do produce large print books and audio is in the pipeline. It begs the question as to whether we use what we like or consider the reader audience, without whom authors constrain their market & sales of books. Feedback we receive says we are reaching out to a reader group that would not otherwise engage so for us this is important.

        • Christopher Ford Posted February 23, 2014 1:07 pm

          Would it be acceptable to have a tailored book for this scenario, i.e. a version that is tailored to these needs, rather than limiting your mass appeal version, or would that be considered discriminatory? I noticed whilst setting up a book on createspace that there is a check box for large print, and think you can get books from the library that are tailored versions, suited to specific needs – I guess brail would be one. But I suspect the cost of doing this would be too great for the majority of self-published authors, and likely this is left to the big boys. I guess it all comes down to who you think the majority of your readers are, sadly, and there are groups on the margins that will get left out. Mind you, if anyone ever approached me requesting a specific format to enable them to read my book I’d do my best to try and acheve that.

          • Derek Murphy Posted February 23, 2014 5:27 pm

            Even big publishers don’t make versions of the book for minority groups.
            Assume that
            A) the vast majority of readers have no vision problems, then
            B) make the book appeal to your target audience

            You don’t have to do something too creative – it should obviously be a genre book so that ‘the right kind of readers’ immediately recognize it.

    • Amy Posted March 3, 2014 5:19 am

      This post is about fonts for covers, though, right? Which are generally short one-to-three-word phrases. I sincerely hope this post isn’t actually encouraging anybody to write their entire book in Horse Puke, no matter the genre.

      • Derek Murphy Posted March 4, 2014 7:19 pm

        That’s true Amy, we got off topic, this post is about cover fonts, and being legible is not really a big deal, at all, because Amazon conveniently writes out the title right next to the cover anyway; so it’s all and only about immediate effect – it’s got to grab and hold attention, convince of professionalism and hook emotion in less than a second. That’s the only job of the cover.

  • S. J. Pajonas Posted February 17, 2014 3:27 pm

    I believe this list is specifically for book covers. Inside books is another story 🙂

  • Pam Posted February 18, 2014 1:41 am

    Thanks for this: I shall return to consult often. I tried Destroy for a cover, working in InDesign, and found that the capitol Os disappeared once I exported to PDF. I thought the font was a legitimate copy, but I could be wrong, Is that where the trouble lay, or was the problem elsewhere? I don’t want to infringe on someone’s IP.

    • Derek Murphy Posted February 18, 2014 1:30 pm

      That’s kind of strange, not sure why it happened. You should be aware of the fonts and what rights you have with purchase (whether they include print products/books etc). But I think probably it was just an issue with InDesign saving to PDF, not the font.

  • Derek Murphy Posted February 18, 2014 1:16 pm

    “InterFace”. It’s not bad too…

  • Derek Murphy Posted February 18, 2014 1:19 pm

    1. If you don’t know how to install fonts on your computer (or how to Google “how to install fonts on your computer”) then you shouldn’t try and design your own cover.

    2. You shouldn’t use any of the basic fonts that come with Windows (the ones pre-installed on your computer) for your book design. Ever.

    3. Joel is awesome. But even for those five fonts, you’d have to download and install them (you won’t find them on your computer). So Joel’s post is just like mine, except I have hundreds of more options. Should all book covers in all genres use the SAME FIVE FONTS? Of course not – otherwise how would readers distinguish between the types of books they want to read and those they don’t?

    • Julie Posted February 21, 2014 6:35 pm

      First, I agree that anyone designing book covers–or ads or web pages, etc.–should be comfortable downloading and installing fonts on their computer.

      But I had to comment regarding your second point–I recognized a few of your recommends as pre-installed Windows fonts. They’re good fonts, but your comments made me chuckle.

      • Derek Murphy Posted February 22, 2014 12:46 pm

        Thanks Julie – you have a sharp eye! I felt something was “off” with my comment, now I know what it was. Yeah there are a couple goods ones, I always come back to Shonar Bangla. So I take back “never ever”… but it’s probably still a good rule of thumb for non-designers. And “Never use pre-installed Windows fonts” is better advice than “Only use the fonts that come on your computer.”

  • Christopher Ford Posted February 23, 2014 12:53 pm

    I decided to use courier new for my title as felt it was crisp and clean, plus likely to be an original choice since its so standard and been around forever…am I deluding myself?! The book is a general fiction genre, leaning towards thriller.

    • Derek Murphy Posted February 23, 2014 5:25 pm

      Send the link to your book and I can check. If it’s techno-thriller, or about writing/typing it might be OK.

  • Vygintas Varnas Posted October 25, 2014 10:19 pm

    I use one font on every cover I’ve made. Simple, but genius.

  • Antara Man Posted November 9, 2014 9:26 am

    Hi, Derek, I read now your book Cover Design Secrets that Sell more Books and came through a link from your book. Very good work, thanks to you, I think I’ll do a better job with my first book cover. By the way, I also like Divergent’s cover. I prefer it from the other two.
    Cheers.

  • Steve Bohne Posted November 18, 2014 4:22 pm

    This link does NOT take me to a PDF, but instead, to https://www.creativindie.com/diy-book-covers/. When you click on that link (https://www.creativindie.com/diy-book-covers/www.diybookcovers.com), a 404 error results. Your page says free cover software will be available, but the site http://www.diybookcovers.com wants $87 for that program.

    I’m confused. Bewildered. Betrayed. What gives?

    • Derek Murphy Posted November 18, 2014 4:57 pm

      Thanks for letting me know Steve, that was a pretty old post – the site has been redone so it may be more difficult to find the free stuff, though on both the Word templates page and the book cover tool page there’s a link to download a pretty huge collection of sample guides and resources.

      It’s here in case you missed it.

      http://diybookcovers.com/free-sample-thanks/

      I give a lot away for free, and if the price bothers you, I can add you as a member for free. There’s a price because I’ve spent thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours developing all the tools, but I don’t mind sharing if you need them.

      Thanks
      Derek

      • Steve Bohne Posted November 18, 2014 6:17 pm

        I was just teasing when I said I felt betrayed. A word play on a line from the movie, “The Birdcage.” You don’t have to add me for free. I just wanted you to know about the link problem. My sense of humor sometimes get misconstrued. I pointed out an error in a person’s Fiverr gig (she stated she was offering editing service and had the words “formatt your book” i her gig description). I pointed out the error and said, “No charge for the edit…it’s free,” and put a smiley face on the end of the post. She was ROYALLY pissed. Oh, well…

        • Derek Murphy Posted November 19, 2014 4:46 am

          OK, thanks – I’m hyper sensitive about that site right now, because I just redid it. I was selling more before, now with the new theme I’m selling less and getting more refund requests, so something isn’t right about it, probably misleading or not as intuitive to use.

  • PEYTON Posted May 22, 2015 2:39 pm

    Excellent post, Derek. Thank you. Will you be at WDS again?

    • Derek Murphy Posted June 4, 2015 5:03 pm

      Yup, looking forward, see you there!

  • Debbie Takara Shelor Posted November 27, 2015 12:56 am

    What a great list. I LOVE fonts. I consider myself a font freak actually – even do calligraphy professionally sometimes. These are categorized beautifully. Thanks so much!

  • Jennifer Durfey Posted December 16, 2015 1:09 am

    Thanks for this fantastic compilation of fonts, Derek. I’m adding this to my favorites. 🙂

  • Derek Murphy Posted February 11, 2016 1:50 am

    Sorry I can’t find it either. I might have screwed that one up, or the font isn’t available anymore. Sorry I can’t help.

    Thanks
    Derek

  • TariAkpodiete Posted April 17, 2016 4:28 am

    something’s gone odd with the romance image. can you reload it? thanks!

  • WriterLady Posted October 31, 2016 2:19 am

    If you know so much better than someone who makes a living doing this, where’s your website? Your blog? Or do you consider your time better spent making snarky comments to people who have made it a point to not only know what they’re talking about, but kindly share that knowledge with others?

  • Denny Poliquit Posted September 8, 2017 7:28 am

    Thank you for this, Creativindie! So awesome! Had a hard time looking for fonts that would suit my cover designs but your site saved me! Bookmarked! lol Stay creative!

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