One of the most crucial choices to make as you approach the finish of the self-publishing saga is book size. Given the variety of book sizes available, some direction can be helpful in deciding which trim size is best for your project.

Common book sizes for the many genres have been defined by publishing industry standards, offering guidelines for this choice. For instance, most children’s books are either 8.5″ x 8.5″ or 7″ x 10.” A novella, on the other hand, would normally have book proportions of 5″ x 8.” If you go too far from these conventional book sizes, your independently published book can appear out of place with its genre. Because of the artistic nature of this genre, photo books are an exception to the rule and don’t have a set standard size.

There is a purpose behind the industry standards for typical book sizes by genre. Every genre has a distinct reader profile, and it is these characteristics that have informed which trim size is most appropriate for a given genre. Consumers have particular expectations for their reading experiences, and trim size can either meet or fall short of those expectations. The physical feel of a book and how well it suits the intended function are both influenced by its size.

What Are the Best Book Trim Sizes for Your Project?

The book size refers to the finished size of a book after its content has been uniformly trimmed. Deciding on the best trim size for your book will take into consideration publishing norms by genre, in addition to page count, cost, and profit margin. Consider these examples of standard book sizes:

  • Children’s Book Sizes: 7” x 10,” “5” x 8,” 11” x 8.5,” or 8.5” x 8.5”. Have questions about the nuts and bolts of publishing a children’s book?
  • Novel Book Trim Sizes: 6” x 9.” A novella is a short novel with a word count of 15,000-40,000 words, so this compact size is perfect.
  • Non-Fiction Book Trim Sizes: 5.5” x 8.5,” 6” x 9,” or 7” x 10.” Non-fiction is a broad category that can include memoirs, textbooks, biographies, historical writings and more. Choose the size that best fits your book’s specific category.
  • Fiction Book Trim Sizes: 4 x 7,” 5” x 8,” 5.25” x 8,” 5.5” x 8.5,” or 6” x 9.” A work of fiction may fall into a multitude of categories, such as romance, science fiction, horror, adventure, crime & mystery, and fantasy. Let your book’s category determine the most commonly used book size.
  • Art Book Trim Sizes: This is one genre that allows the author to be as creative as they desire, so any trim size is acceptable. Art books might include photo books, classic artwork, illustration, and art history.

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