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Trim Size of the Book

– Posted in: Self Publishing

The Trim Size of the book is pretty much the outside dimensions. The size of the book is almost as important as the cover design and determines how the book looks.

Do you know how you want your book to look?

The considerations are;

  • Your preferences – No further comment needed.
  • Industry standards
  • Printer requirements
  • Number of pages

Industry Standards/Printer Requiements

These are really quite broad, for example should you choose Amazon’s ‘Create Space’ these are the allowable trim sizes;

5 x 8               Inches – (12.7 x 20.32 centimeters)
5.06 x 7.81    Inches – (12.9 x 19.8 centimeters)
5.25 x 8         Inches – (13.335 x 20.32 centimeters)
5.5 x 8.5        Inches – (13.97 x 21.59 centimeters)
6 x 9               Inches – (15.24 x 22.86 centimeters)
6.14 x 9.21     Inches – (15.6 x 23.4 centimeters)
6.69 x 9.61    Inches – (17 x 24.4 centimeters)
7 x 10             Inches – (17.78 x 25.4 centimeters)
7.44 x 9.69   Inches – (18.9 x 24.6 centimeters)
7.5 x 9.25      Inches – (19.1 x 23.5 centimeters)
8 x 10            Inches – (20.32 x 25.4 centimeters)
8.25 x 6        Inches – (20.955 x 15.24 centimeters)
8.25 x 8.25  Inches – (20.955 x 20.955 centimeters)
8.5 x 11         Inches – (21.59 x 27.94 centimeters)
8.5 x 8.5       Inches – (21.59 x 21.59 centimeters)

Even the most restrictive digital publishers allow;

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

So I guess unless you were being driven by a particular look it could be wiser to choose from the restricted list. Should you do this for a novel, rather than a non fiction or picture book, industry standards produces an even smaller list, namely;

5 x 8   Inches –  (13 x 20 cm)
6 x 9   Inches –  (15 x 23 cm)

Your choice above will affect the number of pages your book contains. As the number of pages directly impacts the cost price of your book, this in turn can affect your commission from a Print on Demand Service. So if commission is a driving factor reducing the number of pages will give you cheaper production costs, so you may select the 6 x 9 option.

It looked complicated but we now have a choice between two. It’s time to get a tape measure and explore your own library. Which of these two sizes would you prefer?

I often think to myself, “Am I wasting my time writing this blog?” and it’s a good question? Years ago in an earlier life, I was a Trade Teacher, the wisdom in the college was… if you want to understand a subject – teach it. When I was doing this research I became side-tracked with internal book design, as it too affects the number of pages contained within the book. I was glad I decided to write this section as it has clarified my thinking.

For me, income is not the deciding factor and I much prefer the less pretentious 8 x 5, so there we go… one decision made.

Note added 12/5 – I ultimately ignored my own advice and used the 5.5 x 8.5-inch format. This was because I found an ‘Internal Design Template’ that saved me money and because the finished book was 385 pages. My preference when choosing books from Amazon is for more pages rather than less.

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3 Comments… add one

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3 comments… add one
Kindle Publishing May 20, 2016, 2:08 pm

Hi my friend! I wish to say that this article is awesome, great
written and come with almost all important infos.
I would like to see extra posts like this .

Kerry Sharp May 20, 2016, 4:06 pm

Hi Sheree,
Thanks for your support. I am trying to share all my lessons. Self-publishing took weeks of research but I hope I’ve distilled my lessons into a few posts. Keep watching.

Antoine May 31, 2016, 6:21 pm

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