Category: Consulting

Fonts – Who buys Fonts?

Fonts - Who Buys Fonts?

Did you know that there are hundreds of thousands of different fonts available. At some level, every font created since the Windows 95 era is still usable. And there are new fonts created every day. As you might expect, many of the new fonts end up look a lot like existing fonts.

Fonts unlike most software are not complex to code. So unlike the huge teams that create video games a single person can create a font family and market it. So fonts are long lasting, relatively easy to make. Given thousands of high quality fonts available, often for free, who buys fonts? One answer is graphic designers on expense accounts. As company purchases go, a few hundred for a new font is a small purchase. Most designers working for agencies can easily justify multiple font purchases and do. It lets them tell customers that they are giving them something new and special.

Designers who use Adobe products get access to over 20k fonts as part of their monthly subscription. Those fonts are limited mostly to use in Adobe apps and will go away if you don’t continue subscribing. Designers using Adobe software are also the designers most likely to buy custom or new fonts.

Outside the pricey Adobe Cloud subscriptions or even more pricey individual font purchases there are also thousands of free fonts available that are licensed for commercial use. It is just possible that for every name brand font in the Adobe collection there is one very much like it available for free. For example, Google has a collection of free nicely designed fonts at Or you can just download 10,000 fonts Licensed for personal and commercial for just $19.95. at If you search on the web for "free fonts" you will find pages of offerings.

Why would there be so many free fonts available? Who makes them and why?  attempts to to explain.

"Fonts are a rare highlight in software design—stable, with well-defined uses, highly-compatible software stacks, and long-lived. Unsurprisingly, a back-catalogue of tens or hundreds of thousands of digital fonts out there, many nigh-indistinguishable from the next in both form and function.

Why, then do they all cost so much, and who is paying for them all, and even going around commissioning more fonts?

The casualness of the highly marked-up prices & the language around commissioned fonts strongly points to designers spending client money, largely for the sake of novelty & boredom, functioning as a cross-subsidy from large corporations to the art of typography. The surplus of fonts then benefits everyone else—as long as they can sort through all the choices!"


Basic Novel Page Layout

Basic Novel Page Layout

One of the most standard quality paperback sizes is 5.5 x 8.5. Big enough but not too big. It just feels right in your hand.

This basic page layout has about a half inch outside margin. Interior margins depend on the number of pages in the book. The more pages the larger the center margin needs to be to not have the book feel cramped.

Drop caps where the first letter of the paragraph starting a chapter spans two or three lines gives the book a complete look. (To use drop caps, no sentence starting a chapter can start with quotation marks.)

Decorative black and white graphics can be included on chapter header pages.

Page numbering starts with the first actual page of the manuscript. No page numbering on title, dedication etc. Title and Author can be included on the bottom of the numbered pages.

Clif Graves – Self-Publishing Consultant and Book Designer

Let me help you self-publish your book (And not get overcharged or locked into a bad deal)

Professional Page Layout and Design

  • Page layout services to format your novel or poetry book for publishing using Amazon KDP (printed and/or ebook) or IngramSpark.

Support and Training

  • Help you to understand and navigate the complexities of the self-publishing industry.
  • Help you get up to speed with what you need to know about editing and book design, including ISBNs, barcodes, printing, and your options for low-cost book design and formatting tools.
  • Help you understand your printing and distribution options, including Amazon KDP, IngramSpark, Apple Books, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, and advantages /  limitations of local printing.
  • Personalized support for publishing your book.

Keeping Costs Down

  • Low fixed price for services are made possible by focusing on standards compliant designs that will make your novel or poetry book look good.
  • Affordable personalized training and support using Zoom and other remote support tools.

Page Layout Standard Designs

Creativity is a wonderful thing. But most book interiors look a lot alike from a design standpoint.

  • Standards found in The Chicago Manual of Style dictate what a professionally designed book should have for style requirements.
  • The fonts used in professionally typeset books tend to be in just a few font families.
  • There are standards for the size and shape of books.
  • If you stray too far from these standards, the book looks odd and unprofessional to readers.

No Surprises, Flat Rate Pricing

  • Formatting for standard sizes offered by Amazon / IngramSpark for print on demand.
  • Standard interior formatting including copyright, dedication, chapter page, and title page design.
  • Choices of fonts and incidental graphics.
  • Preview and Revisions.

In the end, what will it cost you to print your book?

Historically, self-publishing was limited to so-called vanity presses who charged the author for designing and printing the book. The price per book varied depending on how many books you had in a print run. Often, to get a good price per book, large print runs were required. But times changed rapidly with print-on-demand. Amazon and IngramSpark charge low or no setup fee and provide author copies at a fixed price per book regardless of how many or how few books you order.

You can estimate page layout charges using our standard  Cost Estimates

Print on demand (POD) printing is done all in a single machine from a digital book design. The interior of a book is either color or not.

  • A quality paperback with a black-and-white interior will cost approximately two cents a page to print.
  • A quality paperback with a color interior will cost approximately eight cents a page to print.

What do I charge for Page Layout?

All Book Design Projects Include

  • Page layout to format your nonfiction, novel, poetry, or children's book for publishing using Amazon KDP (printed and/or e-book) or IngramSpark.
  • One 45-minute Zoom remote support / design discussion.
  • Finalized layouts provided to the author for review and approval.
  • Most simple format adjustments or corrections are included in basic price.
  • Extensive revisions, such as substantial changes to the text, will be an additional cost of $45 an hour.

Estimating the Finished Number of Pages

 A standard 5.5x 8.5 novel will have an average of approximately 300 words per page. To that add 3-6 pages for the title pages, copyright page, etc.

Estimate Your Project Cost

(Note - June 2021 pricing. For current pricing see )

  • Novels or other black-and-white interior text-based books. Professional page layout using your edited text. Includes simple cover design, or I can use your own cover design.
    • Base cost: $400 for first 250 pages with additional pages at $2.00 per page.
    • Base cost for e-book add on is $150.

  • Complex Books with Pictures, Tables, etc. Professional page layout using your edited text. Includes simple cover design, or I can use your own cover design.
    • Per Page Cost: $3.50 per finished page
    • Per Image Cost: $2.50 per image for scanning, resizing, and other manipulation of images supplied.

  • Poetry or other 24-50 page black and white interior text based book. Professional page layout using your edited text. Includes simple cover design, or I can use your own cover design.
    • Base cost: $175.
    • e-Book add on: $75 (Note: Not all page formatting designs will exactly translate to e-book format.)

  •  Children's picture book or other 24-50 page full color interior book. Professional page layout using your edited text for interior text and using graphics supplied by author. Cover design using graphics supplied by the author.
    • Base cost: $350.
    • Per Image Cost: $2.50 per image for scanning, resizing, and other manipulation of images supplied.

Individual Support:

In person or online using Zoom. $35 an hour. If travel is required, cost of travel cost and time will be additional. This can include information and assistance uploading and finalizing your book with Amazon or IngramSpark or other training and assistance with your independent publishing project.

Sample Covers

While I have a graphic arts background, I do not consider myself a professional cover designer. But I can provide nice looking covers using your art or stock art and your cover / back-cover text.

Here are a three examples of covers I have done.