Hello SErs! Harmony here. Happy Monday!
Well, with yesterday being both April Fool’s day and Easter Sunday, I took care when biting into my Easter Eggs, lols! 🙂 You just never know …
Okay, so, today, I thought I’d take a look at matters of size when it comes to print publishing.
For a long time, I stuck with the industry standard that Createspace had recommended for paperbacks and told me would go through the most sales channels–which was 6X9 inches. Somewhere along the line, the options increased for expanded distribution. Along with more choice, came more decisions.
Below are two tables of the various sizes and whether or not they are Industry Standard. The first is for black & white, and the second for colour …
While the larger sizes result in cheaper pricing due to fewer pages, I believe that the feel of a book in a reader’s hands is important, too.
Recently, I published a book with a small word count, and so I had a play around with the sizing. I chose 5.86 X 7.81 inches, and it resulted in about 300 pages. When it arrived, it felt lovely to hold and navigate. I could have made it cheaper by sticking with the 6X9 option, but it would have been a thinner and more unwieldy volume.
In considering this, I compared it to the many mass-market paperbacks on my bookshelves. It gave me quite a surprise to learn that my ‘little’ book actually had a ‘bigger’ trim size than the majority of those trad-pub books. The only difference being the thickness (page count). Here are some pictures to illustrate (please excuse my awful photography, lols) …
The first book, on the left, is my book of poetry Slices of Soul, printed at 6X9.
The second book, in the middle, is Jewel in the Mud (the low word count one), which printed at 5.86 X 7.81.
The third book, on the right, by Stephen King, measures just 4.5 X 7.0.
While a few of the books on my shelves match the size of Jewel in the Mud, only the hard cover ones get anywhere near the 6X9 trim size of Slices of Soul. (In hindsight, I wish I’d published Slices at a smaller size, given it is such a slim book.)
This led me to wondering, ‘Why would that be?’
And, if you take another look at the above tables, you might notice that no trim size on Createspace goes below 5X8 inches. So, none as small as most of the traditionally published mass-market books.
Obviously, the bigger the page count, the more expensive the printing costs, right? Well, at least that’s what I’ve experienced in the self-publishing print-on-demand arena. So, what is going on? The only answer I have come up with so far comes down to volume. To quantity. The advantage the big publishing houses have is that they can do bulk print runs and save a lot of money on the cost-per-book ratio.
Fore those of you who have published for print books, I’d love to hear how you decide the trim size. What factors weigh in the most for you? The overall cost-per-book? The feel of the finished product? Other concerns? Let me know your thoughts via the comments below.
Thanks so much for stopping by!