This question is based on this question. It is different, however. While that question deals with the safest way to create a custom font (or have someone else create it), this question assumes you've written your book and have no custom font, but still need one.

If this is the case, will a publisher create and use a custom font for you? Is this done at all, or is it all down to the author?

  • This is merely personal speculation, but I would think that any type of custom fonts, writing, scripts all fall on the author's spectrum. They probably could recommend some people who are capable of doing what you want, but I don't see a publisher doing much more than editing and publishing/marketing the book. – ggiaquin16 Oct 25 '17 at 16:27
  • Can you say why you need a custom font? For one book I read a custom font for small parts of the text was absolutely necessary and the publisher created it, but that was a very special case. – S. Mitchell Oct 25 '17 at 18:08
  • The Fellowship of the Ring had a custom font created for Elvish script -- which, ironically, was only seen in the language of Mordor, in the inscription inside the One Ring -- but that was published a long time ago, and might have included a plate in early editions rather than a printed font (since creating a font was a bigger deal then than it is now, and the original publisher couldn't know the book would still be in print fifty-plus years later). – Zeiss Ikon Oct 25 '17 at 19:31
  • @S.Mitchell It is entirely possible that I won't need it at all and no one will have to create anything. However, if it does turn out that I need it somewhere, I want to know what I need to do. – Thomas Reinstate Monica Myron Oct 25 '17 at 22:31

I question whether a publisher is going to produce a book using a custom font. The complications of making sure such a book was formatted correctly on all possible digital devices don't seem worth the risk and expense. If they are willing to include them at all, I expect they will do so using a graphic.

And, as a generality, publishing is a business and every book proposal is evaluated on a cost benefit basis. Any additional production costs that your book requires factor into that decision, meaning that the expected benefit from publishing your book has to be that much greater for them to say yes. It is in your interest to make the cost of publishing your book as small as you possibly can. In other words, avoid the use of alternate fonts if you possibly can, and do them yourself if your can't avoid them.

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I wouldn't expect a publisher to create a custom font for a book without knowing it was worth the expense. An alternative, however, is to create the lettering you need for yourself and include it as an image. With modern publishing, it's relatively trivial to include a line-art image inline with the text.

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