2017/10/16

[Self-Publishing] Selecting a Book Size


Once you've published your ebook you may want to start looking into creating a paperback book. You to start thinking about things like 'trime size' and whether you should use creme or white paper.

But don't panic! I'm going to give you some helpful pointers for you to understand what everything means, so you can get your paperback started.

What is the 'Trim Size'?
The 'trim size' refers actual size of the book which has been trimmed down and bound at the printer.


There are various 'trim sizes' depending upon whether your book is fiction or non-fiction, includes photographs or images or category your book falls into. For example:

Mass Market

These books have to 4-1/4" x 7".Books sold through supermarkets, airports, drugstores etc., their size is part of their appeal and the way they're distributed. Not usually self-published books.

Trade Paperbacks

These books have to be 5-1/2" x 8-1/2" to 6". Most self-published books are 6" x 9" trade paperbacks.

Manuals and Workbooks


These books are larger, 8" x 10" to 8-1/2" x 11. Usually used for instructional books and directories with detailed drawings and graphics.

Novels

Usually smaller sizes 5-1/2" x 8-1/2" most popular size. You can also find memoirs in this category and published in a similar size.

General Non-Fiction

These books are usually 6" x 9", one of the most popular sizes. Also widely used for hardback books.

Art and Photography Books

These books have no particular size to conform to. They can be big heavy books or very small. Photographers prefer a more square or nearly square shaped book.

Trim Sizes and Production

Print on demand distribution leaves you with limited sizes and choices. Here are the most popular sizes used by some of the biggest publishers.

Lightning Source

Black and White
5.06 x 7.81 inches, (198 x 129 mm)
5 x 8 inches, (203 x 127 mm)
5.25 x 8 inches, (203 x 133 mm)
5.83 x 8.27 inches, (210 x 148 mm)
5.5 x 8.5 inches, (216 x 140 mm)
6 x 9 inches, (229 x 152 mm)
6.14 x 9.21 inches, (234 x 156 mm)
7.50 x 9.25 inches, (235 x 191 mm)
6.69 x 9.61 inches, (244 x 170 mm)
7.44 x 9.69 inches, (246 x 189 mm)
7 x 10 inches, (254 x 178 mm)
8 x 10 inches, (254 x 203 mm)
8.25 x 11 inches, (280 x 210 mm)
8.5 x 11 inches, (280 x 216 mm)
8.268 x 11.693 (A4) inches, (297 x 210 mm)

Standard Colour
5.06 x 7.81 inches, (198 x 129 mm)
5 x 8 inches, (203 x 127 mm)
5.25 x 8 inches, (203 x 133 mm)
5.83 x 8.27 inches, (210 x 148 mm)
5.5 x 8.5 inches, (216 x 140 mm)
8.5 x 8.5 inches, (216 x 216 mm)
6 x 9 inches, (229 x 152 mm)
6.14 x 9.21 inches, (234 x 156 mm)
7.50 x 9.25 inches, (235 x 191 mm)
6.69 x 9.61 inches, (244 x 170 mm)
7.44 x 9.69 inches, (246 x 189 mm)
7 x 10 inches, (254 x 178 mm)
8 x 10 inches, (254 x 203 mm)
8.25 x 11 inches, (280 x 210 mm)
8.5 x 11 inches, (280 x 216 mm)
8.268 x 11.693 (A4) inches, (297 x 210 mm)

Premium Colour
5.5 x 8.5 inches, (216 x 140 mm)
8.5 x 8.5 inches, (216 x 216 mm)
6 x 9 inches, (229 x 152 mm)
6.14 x 9.21 inches, (234 x 156 mm)
7 x 10 inches, (254 x 178 mm)
8 x 10 inches, (254 x 203 mm)
8.5 x 11 inches, (280 x 216 mm)

CreateSpace

Full-colour interior books:
5 x 8 inches, (12.7 x 20.32 centimetres)*
5.06 x 7.81 inches, (12.9 x 19.8 centimetres)
5.25 x 8 inches, (13.335 x 20.32 centimetres)
5.5 x 8.5 inches, (13.97 x 21.59 centimetres)
6 x 9 inches, (15.24 x 22.86 centimetres)*
6.14 x 9.21 inches, (15.6 x 23.4 centimetres)*
6.69 x 9.61 inches, (17 x 24.4 centimetres)
7 x 10 inches, (17.78 x 25.4 centimetres)*
7.44 x 9.69 inches, (18.9 x 24.6 centimetres)
7.5 x 9.25 inches, (19.1 x 23.5 centimetres)
8 x 10 inches, (20.32 x 25.4 centimetres)*
8.25 x 6 inches, (20.955 x 15.24 centimetres)
8.25 x 8.25 inches, (20.955 x 20.955 centimetres)
8.5 x 8.5 inches, (21.59 x 21.59 centimetres)*
8.5 x 11 inches, (21.59 x 27.94 centimetres)*

Black and white interior books:
5 x 8 inches, (12.7 x 20.32 centimetres)*
5.06 x 7.81 inches, (12.9 x 19.8 centimetres)*
5.25 x 8 inches, (13.335 x 20.32 centimetres)*
5.5 x 8.5 inches, (13.97 x 21.59 centimetres)*
6 x 9 inches, (15.24 x 22.86 centimetres)*
6.14 x 9.21 inches, (15.6 x 23.4 centimetres)*
6.69 x 9.61 inches, (17 x 24.4 centimetres)*
7 x 10 inches, (17.78 x 25.4 centimetres)*
7.44 x 9.69 inches, (18.9 x 24.6 centimetres)*
7.5 x 9.25 inches, (19.1 x 23.5 centimetres)*
8 x 10 inches, (20.32 x 25.4 centimetres)*
8.25 x 6 inches, (20.955 x 15.24 centimetres)
8.25 x 8.25 inches, (20.955 x 20.955 centimetres)
8.5 x 8.5 inches, (21.59 x 21.59 centimetres)
8.5 x 11 inches, (21.59 x 27.94 centimetres)*

Many of the above sizes are "industry standards" so can be found with Createspace and Lightning Sources.

Blurb

5 x 8 in. (13 x 20 cm)
6 x 9 in. (15 x 23 cm)
7 x 7 in. (18 x 18 cm)
8 x 10 in. (20 x 25 cm)
10 x 8 in. (25 x 20 cm)
12 x 12 in. (30 x 30 cm)
13 x 11 in. (33 x 28 cm)

Lulu

Black and white only
5.5 x 8.5 in. (13.97 x 21.59 cm)
4.25 x 6.87 in. (10.79 x 17.45 cm)

Full-colour only
12.75 x 10.75 in. (32.39 x 27.31 cm)
12 x 12 in. (30 x 30 cm)

Black and white or full-colour books
8.5 x 11 in. (21.59 x 27.94 cm)
5.83 x 8.26 in. (A5) (14.81 x 20.98 cm)
6 x 9 in. (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
6.13 x 9.21 in. (15.6 x 23.4 cm)
6.625 x 10.25 in. (16.83 x 26.04 cm)
7.44 x 9.68 in. (18.9 x 24.59 cm)
7.5 x 7.5 in. (19 x 19 cm)
8.26 x 11.69 in. (A4) (20.98 x 29.69 cm)
8.5 x 8.5 in. (21.59 x 21.59 cm)
9 x 7 in. (22.86 x 17.78 cm)
8.25 x 10.75 in. (20.96 x 27.31 cm)

Things to Consider When Choosing Paper

A good choice for non-fiction, novels and memoirs would be creme coloured paper. It's kinder on the eyes when being read for long-stretches.

CreateSpace and Lightning Source both offer creme paper in sizes 5.25″ x 8″, 5.5″ x 8.5″, or 6″ x 9″. Any other sizes only offer white paper.

What is a Good Size for My Book?

The most commonly used sizes for self-publishers are 5-1/2″ x 8-1/2″ or 6″ x 9". These sizes work for a lot of different kinds of books. If your book falls into the above categories, then you'll have no problems with these sizes. If you're finding it difficult you need to:

Choose a different size if:

your book falls into a different category, such as a workbook
if your book needs a larger size for functional reasons
you want to stand out in your chosen category

Read more about writing: The Benefits of Writing on HubpagesDiscover the Websites that Pay Writer's $50+How to Write About What Your Love and Get PaidA Simple Guide to Writing an Article in 30 mins or Less

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