Publishing 101

  1. Traditional and Self-Publishing
  2. Publishing vs. Printing
  3. Text and Formatting
  4. Fonts and Styling
  5. Editing and Proofreading
  6. Photos and Illustrations
  7. Color vs. B&W/Grayscale
  8. Paper Options
  9. Trim Sizes
  10. Covers and Bindings
  11. ISBN
  12. LCCN
  13. Copyright
  14. Publishing Costs
  15. Pricing Your Book
  16. Sales and Marketing
  17. Legal and Tax Requirements

Trim Sizes

A book's trim size is simply the size of the book. In the US, trim sizes are expressed in inches; the first number is the width and the second number is the height. Books come in an array of trim sizes, the most common being 5 x 8, 6 x 9, 8 x 10, and 8½ x 11. While a portrait (width smaller than height) orientation is more common, books can also be landscape-oriented (width larger than height). However, landscape-oriented books are often more expensive to produce than portrait-oriented books (i.e., a trim size of 10 x 8 is more expensive to produce than a trim size of 8 x 10).

Choosing a trim size will depend on personal preference, the trim sizes your printer/publisher can produce, the number of pages in your book, how your book will be used, book content, cost, and various other factors.