Sarah Potter Writes

Pursued by the Muses of prose and poetry

Poll 01: Choice of Book Size #Indie Publishing

At the moment, I’m exercising my brain about which Paperback trim size to choose for my urban fantasy novel, Desiccation, which is about 65,000 words in length. For a comparison, this is about 5,000 words longer than Stephen King’s novel, Carrie.

On Amazon’s Create Space there are two sizes suggested for Trade Paperback novels: either 5″ X 8″ or “6 X 9”.

I’ve read in a couple of forums that if you choose 6″ X 9″ as the trim size, the book will have fewer pages and therefore cost less to produce, improving the profit margin for the author. But I’m thinking that maybe if 5″ X 8″ is more popular with readers, there’s a good chance that authors who opt for this size earn more because their sales are much higher.

I need to reach a decision about trim size soon, to firm up the specifications for the artist designing my book cover (more about this later).

And so, to end my procrastination, please could all you lovely people measure the width and height of your preferred front covers and vote in the poll below.

Thank you, so much 🙂



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13 thoughts on “Poll 01: Choice of Book Size #Indie Publishing

  1. 6 X 9 but I have old eyes!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I would still have the same font, whatever the size of the cover. Will probably go for Garamond 11, as it’s very reader friendly and one of the fonts least likely to cause eye strain (that is, according to an on-line optician). So hopefully your old eyes wouldn’t suffer, should you wish to read my novel.

      When I’m sitting in a comfy chair reading, I usually have three cushions on my lap with the book resting on top, which saves my eyes from strain, as well as my hands. It also keeps my tummy warm in the winter!


  2. I went with 6 x 9 with The Range, which has 440 pages. I don’t recall the font type. I suspect that given the length, 150,000 words, if I’d gone for 5 x 8 the thickness would have been uncomfortable for some readers to hold. I’d go for 5 x 8 for your novel as the length would make it more suitable for the dimensions.

    I’d be interested to know what paper style you go with. I chose white, and I’m sure there were other options, and it feels a bit too clinical somehow, unbookish compared to those you pick off the shelf.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Dave. It seems that 5 X 8 is the winner here 🙂 I’m going to go for cream paper, as this seems to be the recommended one for fiction, and white for non-fiction. If I were you, I’d probably go for cream for “The Holt”.


  3. I did 5 x 8 for my short story collection as it would have ended up as a pamplet on 6 x 9 as it wasn’t very long, one thing to consider is that if your book ends up too thin you can’t put the title on the spine very easily

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I voted 5 x 8 Sarah, but since I’ve never self published and not faced this kind of dilemma (yet!), I’m going by my view as a reader and personal preference and not as a writer in this instance. Hope it helps 🙂 xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, that’s good, Sherri, as it was more the reader viewpoint that I was seeking! As far as memoirs go, I’ve read them in both sizes. I thought that Paula Acton’s comment was interesting re the length of the book versus the size of the spine. Worth bearing in mind 🙂 xxxx


  5. I really don’t have a preference Sarah – not much help to you I’m afraid, but I’m happy to read all shapes and sizes 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. No preference here, either. In fact, I can’t ever recall having chosen a book based on its size. Cover art, word of mouth, book blurb, author name recognition, having read other works by that author, reading reviews of the book–those are the motivators for me. Although I would suggest the one that makes the book less thick (6 X 9), as I feel that an unduly thick book can intimidate some readers. myself included. I’m not a Luddite–however, I rarely use my Kindle–but at the same time, I’m not sure I would have read the entire Clan of the Cave Bear series had I not done it on the Kindle. HTH!

    Liked by 1 person

    • My novel isn’t that long, so it probably won’t intimidate anybody if it’s 5 X 8. That being said, some books are far too long and would benefit from a hefty edit. The longest thing I’ve written was 105,000 words, but most of my stuff ends up around the 70,ooo mark. Interestingly Desiccation is about the same length as the first Harry Potter novel. The print in the paperback editions of the Clan of the Cave Bear series is so small. I gave up after the first book. Don’t blame you for reading it on Kindle, where you can adjust the font size.


  7. All mine are 5 x 8 Sarah – I imagine that was recommended as I wouldn’t have a scooby.


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