The opening dialog box in any new InDesign document asks for the book trim size, so you really need to think about this. The different factors to consider when choosing your book trim size are set out below.
Book Design Made Simple discusses three things to consider when deciding on an appropriate book trim size for your book: other books in your genre, the thickness of your book, and where your book will be printed.
What is book trim size?
Book trim size is the size of the pages, regardless of the type of book cover. A hardcover book will appear larger than a paperback with the same book trim size because the hardcover itself is larger than the pages.
Three things to consider
What size should your book be? You’ll want to consider three things when choosing your book trim size:
- What sizes are other books in the same genre?
- Do you want a thinner or thicker book?
- Where will your book be printed?
What sizes are other books in the same genre?
Your book should fit in perfectly with other books in the same genre. Browse your bookstore or library and see what sizes the other books are.
Do you want a thinner or thicker book?
If you have a lot of text and want to keep your printing costs down, moving to a slightly larger trim size can lower your page count and save printing costs. Increasing your trim size from 5″ × 8″ to 6″ × 9″ will make a thick book slightly thinner. Or, if your book promises to be a slim volume because of a low word count, choose a smaller trim size to maximize the thickness of your book. A 5″ × 8″ book will appear thicker and less “floppy” than a 6″ × 9″ book with the same word count and give more perceived value to your potential reader.
Where will your book be printed?
A standard book trim size is the most cost-effective to print, and some printers only print certain sizes of books. To the left are some examples of standard book trim sizes. Often, at the design stage, you won’t know where your book will be printed. If that’s the case, select a size that will give you choices down the road. If you change your mind later, it won’t be a disaster. Chapter 19 offers instructions on how to change your trim size.
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Read more: Book binding types » shows you lots of options beyond paperback and hard covers.
Read more: Digital vs offset printing » will help you make this sometimes difficult decision.
And still more: Book printers for indie authors » lists some reputable printers in this shrinking industry.
The excerpt above is from Book Design Made Simple, Second Edition, chapter 5, Choosing your trim size, page 20. Copyright © 2017 Fiona Raven and Glenna Collett.
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