Decisions, decisions, decisions! Book size is one of the most important decisions to contend with as you near completion of the self-publishing saga. Considering the many book sizes available, a bit of guidance may be in order to help determine which trim size is appropriate for your project.

Publishing industry standards have established common book sizes for the various genres, thus providing norms to help guide this selection. For example, the common children’s book sizes are 8.5” x 8.5” or 7” x 10.” Conversely, the book dimensions for a novella would typically be 5” x 8.” Venture too far out from these standard book sizes and your self-published book might seem out of sync with its genre. An exception to the rule exists for photo book sizes, as there is no pre-determined standard photo book size, due to the artistic nature of this genre.

The industry norms for common book sizes by genre exist for a reason. Each genre has its own reader profile, those traits that have influenced which trim size is best suited to a particular genre. The consumer has a certain expectation for the reading experience, and trim size can either satisfy those expectations or leave them disappointed. Book size impacts how a book feels in one’s hands; how it fits the particular purpose it is serving.

What Are the Best Book Trim Sizes for Your Self-Published 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? Learn about how to self publish a children’s book from Gatekeeperpress.
  • Novel Book Trim Sizes: 5” x 8.” 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.

Standard Book Trim Size Chart

With all the data available regarding trim sizes, we thought it would be helpful to provide a book sizes chart for easy reference:

book sizes

You’ve Chosen Your Book Dimensions – Now What?

Congratulations! You have consulted the book sizes chart and selected the best trim size for your project. But before you go to print there are still some boxes to check off.

Have you had the manuscript proofed and edited? Is your cover design compelling? Have you selected the best font for your genre?

These last steps are what set a professional-looking book apart from an amateur product. Team up with Gatekeeper Press today to help put the final touches on your self-published project.