Baby from the Moon Store


The Royal Palm: multi award-winning children's book!

Runaway Clothes:multi award-winning children's book!

Good Morning, World! - Mom's Choice Award Winner

The Trees Have Hearts - Mom's Choice Award Winner

Follow Carlo the Mouse Series!5 books are coming in 2017-2020!

Join The City Kittens and the Old House Cat

The Little Girl Praying on the Hill- Readers' Favorite International GOLD Award Winner

That Is How Things Are - Coming in fall 2017!

Who Will Feed Stacey First? Story 1:Coming 2018!

The Mysterious Life Inside a Closet-A New Children's Book Coming in spring 2018!!

A Beautiful Tribute From My Fans

Monday, August 20, 2012

Book Sizes: Selecting The Right One For Your Book


One of the decisions you have as an independent publisher, taking the ‘real self publishing’ path is what book size you’ll have.
The size of the book is referred to as the ‘trim size’. It’s called this because that’s the actual size of the book once it has been trimmed bound at the printer.
It’s important to decide on a suitable trim size earlier on in your book production as it’s required to determine such things as; the cost to print and ship it and how many pages it might have. This helps determine the thickness of your book and the potential perceived value to the customer when pricing.
There are a number of conventions that are worth keeping in mind when selecting your trim size. These aren’t “hard-and-fast-rules”, but a guideline to what is considered standard practice.
Below are some reference tables for helping you in deciding a trim size.
Table A: Is the most common, industry standard trim sizes used and the available paper types for each.
Table B: Is the list of trim sizes available by Lightning Source the largest of all print on demand companies, and Amazon’s Createspace which has a similar list.

Table A

Most common, industry standard book/trim sizes and available paper types

Book type Trim size (Book size)W x H Paper typeavailable Description
Trade paperbacks5.25” x 8”
5.5” x 8.5”
6” x 9”
This is the most common of self published books. Used widely between fiction and non-fiction books.
Novels5.25” x 8”
5.5” x 8.5”
6” x 9”
These come in a wide variety of sizes. For a shorter book a smaller size can increase the thickness and the perceived value of the book. Longer novels can benefit from the 6” x 9” size, so it’s easier to handle.
General non-fiction5.5” x 8.5”
6” x 9”
The most popular size today is 6” x 9”, for both paperbacks and hardcovers. The extra room allows room for more complex layout requirements such as tables, pull quotes, lists and diagrams.
Short story anthologies & novellas5.25” x 8”
5.5” x 8.5”
6” x 9”
Sizing remains quite varied. Today it’s becoming more common and cost effective to publish novellas as eBooks.
Children’s picture books7” x 10”
8” x 10”
These are the most common sizes for picture books. The sizing largely depends on the unique layout of the illustrations.
Art books and workbooks8” x 10”
8.5” x 11”
9” x 10”
Sizing varies extensively with this group of books. The sizing allows for complex layout such as multiple columns and diagrams. The larger sizes are used for books that showcase portfolios such as photography and general coffee table books.

Table B

Lightning Source and Createspace trim size availability

Lightning Source Createspace
 5 x 8 inches (203 x 127mm) 5 x 8 inches (12.7 x 20.32 cm)
 5.06 x 7.81 inches (198 x 129mm) 5.06 x 7.81 inches (12.9 x 19.8 cm)
 5.25 x 8 inches (203 x 133mm) 5.25 x 8 inches (13.335 x 20.32 cm)
 5.5 x 8.5 inches (216 x 140mm) 5.5 x 8.5 inches (13.97 x 21.59 cm)
 5.83 x 8.27 inches (210 x 148mm)
 6 x 9 inches (229 x 152mm) 6 x 9 inches (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
 6.14 x 9.21 inches (234 x 156mm) 6.14 x 9.21 inches (15.6 x 23.4 cm)
 6.69 x 9.61 inches (244 x 170mm) 6.69 x 9.61 inches (17 x 24.4 cm)
 7.44 x 9.69 inches (246 x 189mm) 7.44 x 9.69 inches (18.9 x 24.6 cm)
 7.5 x 9.25 inches (235 x 191mm) 7.5 x 9.25 inches (19.1 x 23.5 cm)
 7 x 10 inches (254 x 178mm) 7 x 10 inches (17.78 x 25.4 cm)
 8 x 10 inches (254 x 203mm) 8 x 10 inches (20.32 x 25.4 cm)
 8.25 x 11 inches (280 x 210mm) 8.25 x 6 inches (20.955 x 15.24 cm)
 8.268 x 11.693 inches (A4) (297 x 210mm) 8.25 x 8.25 inches (20.955 x 20.955 cm)
 8.5 x 8.5 inches (21.59 x 21.59 cm)
 8.5 x 11 inches (280 x 216mm) 8.5 x 11 inches (21.59 x 27.94 cm)

Additionally, there is also what’s known as mass market paperbacks which commonly fall between 4” x 7” to 4.25” x 7”. These aren’t usually published by independent authors and publishers, as they are sold via supermarkets and corner stores and used by trade publishers to release long running, top selling books at reduced prices of your typical trade paperback.
My preference for the average 40-60k word novel is 5.5” x 8.5”. It’s a nice balance between it fitting nicely in your hands and readability of the text size.

Paper types

Along with selecting your trim size, you’ll also select your paper type. You have the choice between crème and white paper. The former is recommended for novels, memoirs, short story anthologies and novellas. Some non-fiction personal development books have also used crème. The main reason for this, is because it’s easier on the eyes when reading for extended periods.
White paper is selected for many non-fiction books, children’s picture books and image heavy books. This is so the image colour looks its best and helps them pop off the page.
Both Createspace and Lightning Source have a limit on which trim sizes are available with crème paper, this is to be in line with industry standards across the board with all distributors and retailers. Trim sizes of 5” x 8”, 5.25” x 8”, 5.5” x 8” or 6” x 9″ are only available in crème when looking to use expanded distribution.

Which trim size should you choose?

Most independent authors and publishers use either 5.5” x 8.5” or 6” x 9” for their novels or non-fiction books. These are good, reliable trim sizes that present a good reading experience for both non-fiction and novels. From these two sizes, it really comes down to personal preference as the manufacturing costs and time is virtually the same for each.
When looking to make your final decision for the size of your book, just keep in mind which paper colour you want to use, your genre and run with an industry standard where possible as it’ll allow you to change printers with very little alterations (if any) to your book files.
Just refer to table A above, which has narrowed down the best options for you which should make it easier helping you decide.
Thank you for stopping by.


The Trees Have Hearts

Follow the delightful story of a little girl who discovers the real meaning of friendship in The Trees Have Hearts.
ISBN 13 (SOFT): 978-1-4691-3479-6
ISBN 13 (HARD): 978-1-4691-3480-2

Carlo the Mouse on Vacation

Begin a big adventure with your little ones, join Carlo the Mouse on Vacation!
ISBN 13 (SOFT): 978-1-4628-4449-4
ISBN 13 (HARD): 978-1-4628-2993-4

The City Kittens and the Old House Cat

A great story with a positive message, a perfect addition to the holiday library, and holiday traditions.
ISBN 13 (SOFT): 978-1-4575-1619-1
ISBN 13 (HARD): 978-1-4575-1682-5

Good Morning, World!

Join happy Baby Thomas and his grandpa for a walk and have a delightful, uplifting morning!
ISBN 13 (SOFT): 978-1-4575-2154-6
ISBN 13 (HARD): 978-1-4575-2155-3

Carlo the Mouse, Book 1: Too Many Rules for One Little Mouse

Let your imagination soar in this full series of Carlo's adventures! Too Many Rules for One Little Mouse is the first in a series of books on Carlo's adventures.
ISBN 13 (SOFT): 978-1-4575-1917-8
ISBN 13 (HARD): 978-1-4575-2072-3

Carlo the Mouse on Vacation and The Trees Have Hearts have been published and ARE available as ebooks  on e-devices. To download e-books please go to:
The Trees Have Hearts
Carlo The Mouse on Vacation
The City Kittens and the Old House Cat
Good Morning, World!
Carlo the Mouse, book 1: Too Many Rules for One Little Mouse

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