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I'm trying to decide whether to choose a trim size of 5.25 x 8" or 6 x 9" for my 100,000 word fantasy novel. I was leaning towards 5.25 x 8. My novel is a Kindle e-book and I'm looking at converting it to paperback with Createspace. Presumably a larger trim means less pages which may mean a slightly cheaper printing cost? Many thanks in advance for your thoughts. :)

  • Printing cost is related to the number of sheets, a fixed divisor of the number of pages. Say, given format of a book gets 32 pages per sheet: a book of 100 pages will cost the same as a book of 125 pages, requiring four sheets. But a book of 129 pages will cost considerably more, because you need to add fifth sheet. This is not the case in case of "print on demand" or small runs, where the cost is pretty much per page with page size classes. I can't tell you how many pages per sheet 5.25x8" or 6x9" yields. – SF. Feb 9 '17 at 11:58
  • Many thanks for that, I appreciate your thoughts, and it's given me more food for thought! :) – Snippit Feb 9 '17 at 13:39
  • Does Createspace quote you on the price before you place your order? Most places like that do. Try different size options and see, what is cheaper. – Lew Feb 9 '17 at 17:07
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    I think you can work it out from their price charts. I haven't quite got that far yet. In the end I've decided on the 5x8" trim simply because I like that size of book. BIG learning curve with setting all this up! Thanks for your thoughts! – Snippit Feb 10 '17 at 18:29
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There are a few things to take into consideration for trim size.

I have had experience using CreateSpace as well. Published a book with 90,000 words, and that was in a 6 x 9 trim size. They recommend this size as the standard for market. My 90,000 word novel cost about $4.50-$5.00 USD (with color cover) to print. My next novel is going to be published with CreateSpace as well, and it is 110,000 words. Seeing that you are right in between those numbers, I'd say 6 x 9 would be the best option for you.

If you're looking to see the price differences, you can find the CreateSpace print cost calculator here: Printing Costs (Then click on 'Buying Copies' tab )

For a 5.25 x 8 Trim Size (300 Page Book Estimated size based on my last count and your # of words) would be about $4.45; and $4.09 for a 6 x 9 trim size. The cost of printing would only vary about .40 cents per book. Usually the cost goes down with the higher quantity you by (but this is due to shipping costs).

So to answer your question, your cost of printing would go down around fifty cents if you chose the larger 6 x 9 trim. CreateSpace recommends this as mentioned above: that is the industry standard for books this size, as it gives you more options for distribution. As for kindle, they can format it well in any size. The main concern you should have for your trim size is the width of your book's spine. Going with the smaller trim for a 100,000 word novel would lean toward the thicker side. CreateSpace also has a formula to calculate this. Spine Width

Overall, make sure to really research all your questions about CreateSpace before you move forward on publishing. You may want to see their community forum for more info. Congrats on your accomplishment, good luck!

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