Book Printing

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How to Pick the Size of your Book

As soon as you get serious about self-publishing a book, you are confronted with the choice of what size your book ought to be.

For instance, if you want to get a price on how much a book will cost to print, the first thing you need to know is the size.

Some pricing on digital books is in a range of sizes rather than having a different price for every different size, but that only helps a bit.proof-wt
If you plan to print offset, you’ll need to specify the exact size in your request for an estimate. So one way or the other, it’s good to figure out near the beginning of your planning.

That’s not to say you can’t change your mind along the way. You won’t be locked into anything at this stage, so as long as you’re close to what the final size will be, the figures you’ll be working with should also be close enough until later in your production process.get-a-quote-button

Production Decisions and Trim Sizes

The decision you make on how to print your book will also affect your choice of trim sizes. Generally speaking, due to the highly automated nature of digital printing (used in print on demand distribution) you will have fewer choices of sizes.

For instance, here is the entire list of trim sizes offered by Lightning Source, the largest supplier of print on demand production:

5 x 8 inches (203 x 127mm)childrens-book-illustration
5.06 x 7.81 inches (198 x 129mm)
5.25 x 8 inches (203 x 133mm)
5.5 x 8.5 inches (216 x 140mm)
5.83 x 8.27 inches (210 x 148mm)
6 x 9 inches (229 x 152mm)
6.14 x 9.21 inches (234 x 156mm)
6.69 x 9.61 inches (244 x 170mm)
7.44 x 9.69 inches (246 x 189mm)
7.50 x 9.25 inches (235 x 191mm)
7 x 10 inches (254 x 178mm)
8 x 10 inches (254 x 203mm)
8.25 x 11 inches (280 x 210mm)
8.5 x 11 inches (280 x 216mm)

You’ll notice many of these sizes are identical to the Lightning Source sizes. Many are considered “industry standards.”

At more specialised digital printers, the choices may be even more limited. For instance, at the colour book specialist Blurb.com, you have a choice of only 5 sizes for colour books:

5 x 8 in., 13 x 20 cmprinter-wt
6 x 9 in., 15 x 23 cm
7 x 7 in., 18 x 18 cm
8 x 10 in., 20 x 25 cm
10 x 8 in., 25 x 20 cm
13 x 11 in., 33 x 28 cm
12 x 12 in., 30 x 30 cm

These are all larger sizes, intended for full colour books.

Picking a Size for Your Book

Most of the books I see from self-publishers are either 210 x 210mm, 215 x 215mm 180 x 210mm or 200 x 290mm. They are good, readable size that will work for many types of books. there’s a good chance one of these two sizes will work for you.

Pick a different size if:

  • your book is clearly in a different category, like a workbook
  • if you have a functional reason you need a larger or smaller book, like for a gift book or an atlas
  • if you want to stand out in your niche by having a different size than everyone else.

However, be wary of larger sizes, over A4. Why? Many book shelves—including the shelves in some bookstores—won’t easily handle books bigger than that. Unless you’re producing a children’s book, but these larger books also cost a lot more to print!

Small print runs (“publisher direct”) open even more doors to generating revenue and reaching a wider audience. With a small print run, you can:

  • Get your book in regional bookstores, which are more open to supporting local talent
  • Sell copies at book signings, events, and speaking engagements
  • Break into local book clubs and watch the word of mouth spread
  • Incorporate books into your business offerings (great for consultants and advisors)

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Getting your book printed…book-delivery-wt

Once the design of your book has come together its on to the next stage…. printing.

So whats Stitched and Perfect bound mean?

Stitched – is a stapled book (like a magazine finish)

Perfect Bound – is a book thats glued together with a spine. So you can add details onto the spine (which I recommend)

Print Quotes

Here are some basic prices to give you an idea of what you will be looking at!

All the prices below are based upon book at the sizes: 297 x 210mm, 215 x 215mm, 215 x 270. These also cover the following paper stocks: Silk, gloss and uncoated. They all have a slightly different finish but the price is the same for all of them.

 

A few of my previous clients

Design against furSt Ives Memory BayEden ProjectSkyRespect for animalsPets at HomeSt Moritz Hotel

  • "Our brand wouldn't be the same without her on-going input. Just fab xx”
    - Justine Rogers, Dainty Dizzy

  • "I hope my recommendation will persuade you to use Sarah! I cannot fault her, for her professionalism, enthusiasm and talent." - Michelle Hawkins, Director: The Flying DoDo

  • "Sarah understood what I was looking for and produced a fantastic logo for me.  She is very approachable and friendly – I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her” Katie Jarvis, Fancy Prints

  • "Sarah is quality.  Not just her design but she is a pleasure to work with."
    - Bob Harper, Portfolio Marketing

  • "Thank you so much Sarah! What a fantastic set of illustrations for the first in our series of children’s books. We can’t wait to work with you on the second book!" Jane Archer-Wilms & Marlies Veenhof

  • Sarah is an extremely talented designer and illustrator. She has that rare gift of being able to find something in your business or character that you never knew existed" Craig Green

  • "She has a keen eye for the quirky detail, she is punctual and a joy to work with. I simply cannot praise her enough.” - Clickety Books

  • "These posters and flyers are perfect”
    - Julia G, Manager at the Truro branch of Pets at Home

  • Got home tonight and the books had arrived. Absolutely love them. My girlfriend loves your illustrations.” - Andrew Jeffery: 'Wolfboy Book'

  • “Logos received with a BIG thanks, Basically I love them all” 
    Helen Chuah, Giggling Baby Products

  • "I am absolutely THRILLED TO BITS with your illustrations! THEY ARE MAGNIFICENT!”
    - Susanna Jennicrai, Book Author

  • “I was so nervous ringing you as i've never done anything like this before, but you were so friendly and put me completely at ease.” - Donna Purvis

  • "WOW! Love it! I'm so happy with what you've produced- and with so little input from me. FANTASTIC!!! THANK YOU” - Darren Pascoe: 'Red Rabbit Book'

  • Sarah is professional, friendly and very knowledgeable, she delivered 100% with a new logo that was spot on! We can't recommend her enough!” - Lucy @ Get Active

  • "Yes!!!! Wow…Love it!!! ..thanks so much, I absolutely the character design you have done for us!!! xx” Lisa Dell, Cornish Firewood

  • "i really like ur books my mommy reads them 2 me all the time ur really good at drawling and i want 2 be like u when i grow up :-)"  Natassia Flegal (hd fan)

  • "Sarah provided us with an extremely friendly courteous and efficient service and injected an energy into the project, that only Sarah could" Discovery Leisure

  • "You do have a very positive feel about everything you do. I do wish you continued success in all your work. All the best, SimonSimon James, Famous Children’s Book Illustrator

  • "The logos are absolutely fantastic, they are spot on brief and are even better than we imagined!Paolo Pini, Step Up To Languages

  • "It won’t be a struggle working with Sarah, it’ll be a pleasure. Can’t recommend enough”
    - Richard Quick