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Comparing Trim Sizes

Created on: Sep 15, 2011 12:18 PM by CreateSpaceResources - Last Modified:  Sep 15, 2011 12:41 PM by CreateSpaceResources Contributors/Douglas Headshot_Final.jpg

Comparing Trim Sizes

By Douglas, CreateSpace Creation Tools Administrator

As an author, it can sometimes be difficult deciding which trim size will best suit your project's needs. The trim size of a book is often an afterthought in the book creation process, but it is an important decision that will affect the reader's overall reading experience and your options for distribution. As such, it is important to carefully consider your options when selecting a trim size.

This PDF document will help you visualize trim size choices and make a more informed decision: Size Comparison


Using This Document to Select a Trim Size

This document lays out the industry-standard trim sizes on a single sheet of paper so that you can compare and contrast them to each other and to a standard 8.5" x 11" sheet of paper. There are two pages; the first details the industry-standard trim sizes for books with black-and-white interiors, and the second shows those for color interior books. Take these steps to use the document to compare trim sizes:

  1. Print. Print out the document so that you can visually study the differences between the available sizes. When printing, be sure to turn off any "page scaling" or "auto rotation" options so that it prints at the correct size. The document is set up on a standard 8.5" x 11" piece of paper, and you can use the rulers to make sure no scaling has occurred.

  2. Review sizes. Once printed, take note of the various sizes listed. Keep in mind that while you can always create a custom trim size for your book project, it is recommended that you select one of these industry-standard sizes, which are required to enroll in CreateSpace's Expanded Distribution Channel or use Cover Creator.

Other Tips

  • If you like the trim size of one of your books at home, try placing that book on top of the document, aligning its corner with the top left "0" point and then using its bottom right corner to find the trim size closest to its size.
  • Refer to the document for paper type availability. If your book has a black-and-white interior, you can choose between white or off-white paper colors. Color interior books can only be printed on white paper, while Expanded Distribution only supports off-white paper for a select few trim sizes.
  • Finally, keep in mind the type of book you are creating. Typically, fiction books utilize smaller trim sizes while technical manuals and workbooks are larger. Try to picture how the reader will be using the book and select the trim size that works best for both your needs and theirs.

For more information regarding selecting a trim size, please see the Resources article Understanding Book Elements: Trim Size.

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