Paper size & weight, Covers and such

Here’s a summary of info about paper (size, trim size, color, weight), covers, binding, length of book… and technical restrictions.

Paper size

  • 8.5″ wide is the max
  • 11″ high is the max
  • For industry standard trim sizes, scroll down to the foot of the page

Paper color & weight

  • White paper: 60# and 444 ppi [pages per inch – this tells you how fat your book will be]
  • Cream paper: 60# and 440 ppi
  • Full-color paper: 60# and 426 ppi

How do you know whether to use cream paper or white? One consideration is: Which one goes best with your cover? And which one do you find easier to read? Also, some distribution outlets only handle cream paper in certain trim sizes.

A tip from the SRP book design team: If you use cream paper, try using a heavier weight in your typeface / font (otherwise the cream tends to eat up the black color of the text, making it look a bit grey). By the same token, if you’re using white paper, go for a lighter weight in your typeface / font.

Covers: specs for the printers we use at Salt River


  • “Perfect Binding” (glued along spine)
  • Rule of thumb: Allow 1/4″ extra in the inner margin because the book won’t open out flat

Length of book

  • 24 pages minimum
  • Full color: 480 pages max
  • Black & White: 570-828 pages max (depending on trim size)


  • Cream paper: Bookstores and online retailers only accept trim sizes of 5×8, 5.25×8, 5.5×8.5, 6×9 in cream paper
  • Standard distribution (Amazon USA/Europe, Amazon sellers, your own eStore distribution, and Extended distribution – academic & libraries): Custom or industry standard trim sizes are acceptable
  • Bookstores and online/offline retailers: Industry standard trim sizes only

Industry standard trim sizes

Trim size: This is the size of your book after trimming. Look at different books to get a feel for the size you would prefer, keeping in mind the weight of your book (longer books and larger page sizes are heavier).

– 5” x 8” (12.7 x 20.32 cm)
– 5.06” x 7.81” (12.9 x 19.8 cm)*
– 5.25” x 8” (13.335 x 20.32 cm)
– 5.5” x 8.5” (13.97 x 21.59 cm)
– 6” x 9” (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
– 6.14” x 9.21” (15.6 x 23.4 cm)*
– 6.69” x 9.61” (17 x 24.4 cm)*
– 7” x 10” (17.78 x 25.4 cm)*
– 7.44” x 9.69” (18.9 x 24.6 cm)*
– 7.5” x 9.25” (19.1 x 23.5 cm)*
– 8” x 10” (20.32 x 25.4 cm)*
– 8.5” x 11” (21.59 x 27.94 cm)*
* – This trim-size supports only white paper when selecting “Expanded Distribution” at Amazon through

For information on your cost, your distribution optionscoming up with a retail pricefiguring out your royalty: click on the subject you want more info about

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ON SALT RIVER Website by AG et al is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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