I admit to being rather fond of the typeface Galliard, Matthew Carter’s update/modernization of the traditional Garamond-like font generally known as Granjon. Granjon tends to be ‘livelier’ than most Garamonds, and Galliard carries this a step further, while remaining quite readable. I have used it for several fantasy novels of the lighter sort at Arachis Press. It suits them well.
Too lively, though, I felt for THE DICTATOR’S CHILDREN. So I went with a more traditional Granjon, Bit Streams’s ‘Elegant Garamond.’ This seemed like a good compromise. Does it actually matter that much what typeface is used, especially when the differences between two are rather small? Of course not, but that is no reason not to choose the one we think best suited to the narrative.
Incidentally, I tend to use Bit Stream fonts in a lot of our books for licensing reasons. There are some decent free fonts out there and I am not inclined to turn up my nose at them. Yes, there is also a lot of amateurish type that is not at all suited to text (but can sometimes work for covers or titling). I have said before that I could get by with nothing but the typefaces URW donated to the GhostScript project way back. They remain completely serviceable and I have used their Garamond No.8, a Stempel Garamond clone, in several novels. (Bit Stream’s ‘Original Garamond’ is nearly identical.)
The next novel with my name on it will be THE CROCODILE GOD. And I will use Galliard as I did with the previous book in the series. There will also be books forthcoming with other choices for type. I’m not so big on Galliard for contemporary ‘realistic’ novels, though it would undoubtedly work well enough. We are looking to put out a science fiction novel by Oliver Davis Pike in the near future and are looking into new and different choices there. Adobe’s free Source Serif is one — or we might just use Galliard. :)