Many independent authors have doubts about the size of their books. They want to choose the ideal size for their publication. This article will help you to know the most commom sizes in the professional publishing industry for each book genre.
Choosing the size
Your book dimensions can follow some traditional book sizes in your country (see tables below) depending on the book genre. But there are other variables to take in consideration.
Two important variables are printing cost (which affects the final price of the book) and the page count. When the book has a high number of pages (400 to 500 pages, for example) it is often worthwhile to change to a larger format (e.g. from 129 x 198 mm to 148 x 210 mm) to reduce page count.
The opposite is also true. Some books do not reach the number of pages necessary for the reader to perceive its commercial value. A book of just 90 pages can become a thicker book in a 5″ x 8″ mm format than in 6″ x 9″.
Sometimes even the paper type and thickness become part of the “book format equation”. The printing shop of your choice or the designer of your book can help you a lot in this decision.
United Kindom and Australia
|111 x 178 mm||A Format||Pocket: Classic Novels and Self-Help|
|129 x 198 mm||B Format||Fiction – short novels|
|138 x 216 mm||Demy||Fiction – novels|
|148 x 210 mm||A5||Fiction – alternative format|
|156 x 234 mm||Royal||Non-fiction, Biographies, Novels (hard cover)|
|175 x 250 mm||B5||Textbooks, Technical Books|
|240 x 300 mm||Medium 4to||Art Books, Illustrated books|
United States and Canada
|4.25″ x 7.00″||108 x 178 mm|
|8.00″ x 8.00″||203 x 203 mm||Children Books|
|5″ x 8″ or 5.25″ x 8.25″||127 x 203 mm or 133 mm x 209 mm||Fiction and Novella (short novel)|
|5.50″ x 8.50″||139 x 215 mm||“Digest”: Novels, Memoir; Non-Fiction|
|6.00″ x 9.00″||152 x 229 mm||“US Trade”: Non Fiction, Novels (Hard Cover)|
|8.00″ x 10.00″||203 x 254 mm||Textbooks|
|9.50″ x 12.00″||241 x 304 mm||Art Books|
Brazil (my homeland)
|110 x 180 mm||Pocket Book 2|
|140 x 210 mm||Fiction|
|160 x 230 mm||Non Fiction and Fiction|
|210 x 280 mm||Non fiction and Art Books|
|245 x 300 mm||Art Books|
|200 x 200 mm||Children Books|
Most Popular sizes
The sizes 5.25″ x 8.25″ (USA) and 138 x 216 mm (UK) are the most common sizes for fiction and 6.00″ x 9.00″ (USA) and 156 x 234 mm (UK) for non-fiction books. In the book genre I work with (personal and professional development books) more than 90% of the books are printed in one of these two formats.
The sizes 111 x 178 mm (UK) and 4.25″ x 7.00″ (USA) characterize a “pocket book”. The pocket book has its advantages, not only for carrying in pockets and small bags, but also for easy reading. It is possible to hold the book open with just one hand. The lower cost of printing is another advantage.
The choice for larger sizes like 175 x 250 mm (UK) or 8.00″ x 10.00″ (USA) has a lot to do with content. These are ideal formats for technical books with images: photos, graphics, diagrams, illustrations. In smaller formats, these images would be visually impaired. So they are used for textbooks, college books and so on.
240 x 300 mm (UK) and 9.50″ x 12.00″ (USA) are tradional sizes for text books about art in general: Fine Arts, Architecture, Design, Photography, Dance, Theater. This proportion between height and width presents the perfect space to gather text and images.
Finally, we have the square format 200 x 200 mm, a square format, widely used – but not exclusively – for children’s books.