Trim Size

Continuing on the (very belated) A to Z theme, here’s some brief advice and a few thoughts on picking the right print size for your book…

In printing terms, trim size is the final stage of your book’s production, where all pages are trimmed to a set specification. For print on demand, consider it to be your book’s size as it sits in your hand.

When you look at companies such as CreateSpace or Ingram Spark, they list a huge range of sizes and knowing which to choose can be daunting at first.

However, pick a couple of books off your shelf, similar to how you envision your book to be and find out what size they are. If you have a similar word count and format it in the same font size and spacing, you can expect it to be very similar in spine thickness too.

When choosing your size, you do need to think about word count if you’re going to use a print on demand service. The lower the page count, the lower the production cost and the more money you can potentially earn. However, if you charge too much for your book and it looks like a pamphlet, your readers won’t be happy so there is a balancing act.

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Another factor to think about is paper colour – Ingram Spark and CreateSpace only offer cream paper in certain trim sizes, so if you’re wanting a cream page finish rather than white, double-check that printing is available in the size you want.

If you’re creating a manual, rather than a fiction book you might want to increase the trim size to allow for images but for fiction, I suggest looking at other authors in your genre and emulating them.

For Sexy Little Pages paperbacks, we generally use 5″ x 8″ (12.7 x 20.32 cm).

Finally as a cautionary note, your ISBN is tied to your trim size so if you change the size of your book after it’s been published, you will need a new ISBN.

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