Industry Standard Book Trim Sizes | How to save money when printing your book

Industry Standard Book Trim Sizes

How to save money when printing your book

The size of your book may be one of the most important decisions you make as a self-publisher. To help you make a decision early on in the process, we’ve identified the industry standards AND some ways to save money when printing your book.

One size doesn’t fit all

Books like people come in different shapes and sizes. From the smallest pocket-sized handbooks to beautiful table top collections, your book’s size influences the reading experience… and who buys it. If you print with an offset printer (like MCRL), you can print almost any size book. But should you?

Since the trim size impacts the readers’ experience, your book’s marketability AND cost, it’s important to understand genre and industry best practices.

What to know about trimming

Trim size in printing terms refers to the book size. A book is trimmed before it is bound and released into the world. Trim size is usually measured in width by height; inches in North America and millimeters in the UK.

If you Print-on-Demand (POD), make sure your digital printer is able to print the trim size you are considering. POD has specific sizes and limited features – so check this early on.

MCRL is an offset printer so we can print any size AND you can get creative with custom finishes like spot gloss, glitter, foil stamping, folds, flaps, dust jackets, mirrors and more. You’re only limited by your imagination! Click here for more information on offset printing vs print-on-demand.

Industry Standard Book Trim Sizes

Fiction Books are typically printed in one of five sizes.

  • 4.25 inches x 6.87 inches
  • 5 inches x 8 inches
  • 5.25 inches x 8 inches
  • 5.5 inches x 8.5 inches
  • 6 inches x 9 inches
Cover of The 7 virtues of a philosopher queen

Note: Novella books are typically printed in one size.

  • 5 inches x 8 inches

The standard trim sizes for Children’s Books are:

  • 8 inches x 8 inches (most economical)
  • 8.5 inches x 11 inches (most economical)
  • 9 inches x 8 inches
Cover of Daniel's Day

As mentioned above, offset printing allows you to add creative features like mirror sheets, flaps, dust jacket, glow in the dark ink and other finishes that make your illustrations pop!

Board Book sizes are typically:

  • 5 inches x 5 inches
  • 6 inches x 6 inches
  • 7 inches x 7 inches
Children's book

Comic Books/Graphic Novels

  • 6.625 inches x 10.25 inches

Non-Fiction Books come in three standard sizes, with the smallest book being an inch larger than their fiction counterparts.

  • 5.5 inches x 8.5 inches
  • 6 inches x 9 inches
  • 7 inches x 10 inches
Photography Book

Memoirs are generally printed in two sizes

  • 5.5 inches x 8 inches
  • 5.5 inches x 8.5 inches.

Photography is the most diverse category.

Photography books are not prescribed typical sizes like other books. Photography books can be large, gorgeous coffee table books, standard paperback, hardcover sized books and small brag books.

Fast Fact!

The most economical sized books have the least amount of waste.

For Hardcover Books consider…

  • 8.5 inches x 11 inches (portrait or landscape format)
  • 8 inches x 10 inches (portrait or landscape format)
  • 8.5 inches x 8.5 inches
  • 8 inches x 8 inches

Don’t underestimate the importance of quality printing

From vivid colors to durable construction to just-right sizing, taking your story from a fabulous idea to a beautiful book is MCRL’s specialty. You can rely on us to print a top quality book at a competitive price. Request a quote today!

Additional Resources
Three Eco-Friendly Printing Tips
The Best Book Trim Sizes for Children’s Books
3 Features Make this Children’s Book Extraordinary