Something very important we self publishers have to deal with is picking a font and point size for our books. We probably all have a favorite font for certain things. COMIC SANS, may be my favorite of all. But I would not use it for the main text of my book. I used it on my business card, titles for some sections of publicity material, sometimes in emails, and greeting cards. I prefer NEW TIMES ROMAN for my books and most text articles. In preparing my first book, Willowtree, I printed two things I used as tools to help me decide on font and size.
First I gathered the names of possibilities from fonts I had used, or seen used elsewhere like in the drop down list of any text editor, or real books. Some authors or editors kindly noted the font on their copyright page.
I made a sheet of samples of these fonts in two sizes. It looked something like what is shown below. (Sorry I could not change font in the article. The picture below is poor).
Notice my samples contain caps, numerals, and italics. It is important to see how these look, especially if you use a lot of them.
I could compare the text in a book I liked and sometimes figure out what the font was.
Also notice the length of the line differs in each font. If you are concerned with the number of pages for cost of printing purposes, this will make a big difference. Some fonts called "fixed-pitch" give each letter the same amount of space, so an 'i' gets the same as a 'w,' which can look bad especially in larger print. 'Proportional' fonts give each letter the right amount of space to look good.
After narrowing it down to five or six suitable fonts I printed a full page of text using each. With these sheets I could easily see the ones that were comfortable to read. Some appeared darker, though they weren't. Serifs are the little squiggles or tails on a letter, setting it apart from a block letter. In my research I learned that most authors/readers preferred serif fonts to those without (sans). Easier to read. I agree.
I compared the number of lines each font produced to fill the page. The pages varied by as many as six lines. Willowtree is 240 pages in New Times Roman 12 pt. For example, it would have been over 300 pages if I used Courier New 12 pt.
This is easy to check if your complete manuscript is in MS WORD. I kept my precious file safe and played with a copy. Simply 'Select All" Then change the font and or size. In an instant you can see what it looks like and the number of pages, if you go to the Menu. Tools, Word Count. It gives page and word count. Cool.