When designing a book how do you decide what size the pages should be?


What size should my book be?

As you can see on our portfolio of books, we have produced a wide variety of differently sized books.

From square books like Through My Eyes and The Anger Volcano to novels like Ripple, Reigntime and Talon. All of these have greyscale interior (black only printing) except for Through My Eyes, which is in full colour. Size is an interesting question with The Anger Volcano as there are two sizes. The paperback version of this children’s book about anger management is 165x165mm (6.5x6.5 inches) whereas the casebound hardcover version is 203x203mm (8x8 inches).

The size of your book depends on your book’s genre, your own creative vision, the paper available from the printer, and ultimately your budget. Our book printers offer dozens of book sizes, so we prefer to find out what you think your book should be, then let you know if it is possible for the kind of publishing project you want.

Books can be printed in a wide variety of sizes and the price increases with the page size. Smaller books offer great benefits in terms of accessibility and usability. Small books are likely to find a spot on standard bookshelves; be it in a library or at a bookstore. They also weigh less and can easily be held in a reader’s hands. Large books conversely are heavier, so they are restricted to where they can be displayed and catalogued, and they aren’t great for hand-held reading.

Book weight affects the cost to ship, so knowing your book’s weight before going into printing is ideal for a properly costed offset book printing venture.

As a guide, novels and memoirs make great paperbacks (the standard size is b-format: 198mm x 129mm), whereas cookbooks and photo-heavy special interest books work great as larger books because they aren’t expected to be hand-held readers. They are more likely to be utilised as instructional books or coffee table books. Children’s picture books are printed square, portrait, or landscape, in differing sizes. Landscape printing is not available through print-on-demand. See the different kinds of book printing projects that are suited to POD vs offset book printing.

What goes on a spread two pages of a book? Anatomy of a page layout.

While it is worth considering the size of your book as you write, it is a decision for your publisher. Even if you are self-publishing, it is not something that really needs to be considered until you reach the book design and book printing stage of the project. Once the book is ready for typesetting, then you can decide what size will work best for your book and make it most appealing to your audience.

You can get advice from us at the outset of your book design and book printing project, or engage us for a publishing consultation to answer any of those burning questions you want a customised answer to. Please contact us today to learn more about how we can help you publish your book!


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