Which Book Size is Right for Your Genre?

Book Sizes (trim)

When choosing the size of your book, you are faced with a bewildering choice of trim and paper types which can be hard to visualise.

To help you choose, consider how your book is going to be read.

  • On the train
  • As a bed time story
  • At a person’s desk
  • Relaxing on the beach

You book needs to fit the circumstance. If it’s a ‘How to’ book, it needs to be a little bigger – if it’s a novel, easily sit in your hand and match similar books on the market. Photography books are usually quite large, you want to show off your images!

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Download and print our handy book size template to help you choose the right size book for you.

Popular sizes by Genre

Fiction

4.25” x 7” (108 x 178 mm)  – Trade Size – You see these at the checkout
5.06” x 7.81” (129 x 198 mm)  – Small Novel (not avail in creme)
5.5” x 8.5” (216 x 140 mm) – Digest size – Our most popular

Paper: Creme/White 75gsm or Colour 105gsm 

When choosing the size, bear in mind that bigger books require less pages, and so are cheaper to print.

Non-Fiction

5.5” x 8.5” (216 x 140 mm) – Digest size.

Paper: Creme/White 75gsm or Colour 105gsm 

This is a great size for non-fiction – easy to read and accommodates images where required.

Spiritual

5.5” x 8.5” (216 x 140 mm) – Digest size.

Paper: Creme/White 75gsm or Colour 105gsm 

This is a popular size for Spiritual books, however, any fiction size may also work well.

Self Help

5.5” x 8.5” (216 x 140 mm) – Digest size.

Paper: Creme/White 75gsm or Colour 105gsm 

This is a popular size for Self-Help. Again, any fiction size may also work well.

Children’s

8.5” x 8.5” (216 x 216 mm) Large Square (not creme)
8.0” x 8.0” (203 x 203 mm) Medium Square (not creme)
6.5” x 6.5” (216 x 216 mm) Small Square (not creme)
9.21” x 6.14” (246 x 189 mm) Landscape

Paper: Creme/White 75gsm – Colour or Premium Colour105gsm 

Children’s books are often square and highly illustrated.
Make sure you work with your illustrator to create images that scale to fit the page. 

Note: Board books are expensive for short runs.

Language & Study

6.69” x 9.61” (170 x 244 mm) Pinched Crown

Paper: White 75gsm or Colour 105gsm

These are a good size for study material.

Always include some blank pages for student notes.

 

Poetry

5.5” x 8.5” (216 x 140 mm) – Digest size.

Paper: Creme/White 75gsm or Colour 105gsm

Although this is common for Poetry books, you may want to use a smaller size if the book is short to make the book more substantial to hold.

Photography

8.5” x 8.5” (216 x 216 mm) Square (not creme)
9.69” x 7.44” (246 x 189 mm) (not creme or Premium Colour)
8.5” x 11” (216 x 280) Legal US / A4 (not creme)

Paper: Creme/White 75gsm – Colour or Premium Colour 105gsm

Photography books are primarily images so your aspect ratio needs to match the book size you choose.

Cook Books

8.5” x 8.5” (216 x 216 mm) Large Square 
8.0” x 10” (203 x 254 mm) 

Paper: White 75gsm – Colour or Premium Colour 105gsm

Cook books need great images so choose the size that displays your food the best.

Remember it’s going to be used mainly in the kitchen.

Technical

8.5” x 11” (216 x 280) – Legal US (Close to A4)

Paper: White 75gsm – Colour or Premium Colour 105gsm

Technical books need to be able to show a lot of information on each page often together with images. This requires a large trim size.

Demysifying printing terms

Trim Size

The term Trim Size refers to the final size of a page once the excess has been trimmed down. Printing companies often multiple pages on large sheets of paper and trim them afterward.

Perfect Bound

Perfect Bound is the most common form of binding where pages are glued to a backing sheet.

Case Laminate

Case Laminate basically means Hard Back. You can also have Cloth but that’s rare these days.

GSM

GSM means grams per square and is used as a measure of the thickness of paper.
Most books are printed at 75gsm.
Colour books require heavier paper of 105 gsm. 

Bleed Allowance

Bleed is printing that goes beyond the edge of the final page size. The bleed is the area to be trimmed off.

This usually applies to images where, to get a clean edge, around 1/8 of an inch (30 mm) of an image is trimmed off.

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