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Print Layouts & Trim Size

Trim size is a key piece of information needed to start a print layout.

In fact, the trim size must be chosen before we can move forward with a print design because it directly effects the proportions of the blank canvas that’s used to start the layout.

A quick-reference diagram is included below to help demonstrate what that means visually.

A few tips and tricks about choosing your trim size:

  • The most popular KDP and LS/IS trim sizes are 6×9, 5.5×8.5, 5.25×8 and 5×8. These are the standard paperback sizes offered here at P&S and are featured in the graphic below.
  • Trim size effects royalties and distribution. Learn more about trim size & expanded distribution with KDP here.
  • Finally, pull some books off of a shelf (focus on the same genre as your title) and measure them to see 1) what the standard for your genre is and 2) which “feels” right in your hand. This gives the decision a more real-life feel instead of just numbers on a screen and lets you know what the readers in the genre expect.

Updated September 2021