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Choosing the Right Size for Your Book

April 10, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 210

There are many advantages in self publishing a book. One is the control that the author has over his book design. As an author, you certainly want your book to come out the way you've always envisioned it to be. However, designing a book cover is not as easy as it seems. Even something as simple as deciding on the book size is really not that simple. Remember, book size is an important concern because it greatly affects the saleability of your book. The question is: what possible choices do authors have for book size and what factors do they have to take into account?

Standard vs. Custom Book Size

Most self-publishing companies can print a book in any size the author desires - for a certain price. But, to get an acceptable cost for your book, it is recommended that you choose from the standard book sizes that are commonly available:

  • 5 ½ x 8 ½ inches (216x140mm) - digest size, commonly used for novels and booklets, as well as children's books
  • 6 x 9 inches (229x152mm) - used for hardcovers and paperbacks
  • 8 ½ x 11 inches (216mmx279mm) - for large format books

These book sizes are very cost-effective compared to customizing the size of your book. The best thing to do in choosing a book size is to get quotes from publishing companies first before you finalize your thoughts. Some companies may have other book sizes they consider as 'standard' compared to the ones listed above.

Additional Factors to Consider

Aside from the abovementioned recommendations, the following criteria may affect the decision of the author in choosing how big or small their book size will be:

Topic - Are you publishing a book about romance? If yes, then a paperback size would be the best choice. If it is a book about sample business forms, the best would be a letter-sized book. How about a cookbook? It would really depend on your format and style and other factors below.

Cover design - If you are going to publish a small book, a simple cover design is more desirable. For a more detailed design or one with lots of illustrations, a larger book will better show off the design.

Font - It is difficult to read small fonts in large books since there would appear to be too many words on a page. Thus, large books should have large fonts. Page size and font size often go hand-in-hand.

Print run size - Authors who self publish a short print run, such as a family history of maybe a hundred copies, will realize that it is more economical to use a standard book size compared to a custom size. But remember, as the print run increases, the cost per book of any size usually decreases.

Audience - This factor is mostly important when creating children's books, which normally come in large sizes. Furthermore, books for senior citizens are recommended to have large fonts. Therefore, it follows that the book size must go along with the size of the font to be used in a book.

Graphics - If you are planning to have tons of illustrations, charts or pictures, a large-sized book gives you the space and vantage point to view these graphics at their best. Small sizes are well-suited for text only books.

One last thing you want to take into consideration is the binding. For example, authors who self publish and want to use comb binding have to make sure their books are not too thick. If the thickness or number of pages cannot be reduced, they should make their book size bigger to lessen the number of pages and solve that problem. Another solution would be to use perfect binding for thicker books. Likewise, books that are too thin are not suitable for perfect binding. Laying the book out in a smaller size would add thickness.

Self-publishing authors need to be careful when choosing a book size. The effort they put into this matter will definitely give great advantage to their book. In the long run, a book that is well designed and sized ideally for the reader is usually the first step in selling your book. is helping self publishers all around the world to successfully self publish and market their books with cost effective solutions to create bestsellers. The website offers a free book for budding self publishers, and many other free resources.

Terence Tam is the founder of Bookpal, he previously spent 6 years as an academic and was a contributing author for several academic books. Frustrated with the level of service he was getting with traditional publishers, he set up his own self publishing company to help other authors publish and market books with cost effective yet efficient solutions

Source: EzineArticles
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