Selecting a Book Size for Your Self-Published Book

Self-publishing provides many advantages for authors. One of the greatest is complete control over not only the material but also most aspects of your book’s production. Even in full-service self-publishing, where you find a publishing consultant or representative who helps you every step along the way, you may arrive at certain decision you may not have anticipated.

Choosing book sizing and format is often one of those unexpected choices, especially with all of the options available with advancements in on-demand print technology.

Most books fall within a few major categories. Here are some suggestions on book sizing based on your genre:

  • Novella, Short stories, Romance: 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Trade paperbacks, Non-fiction, How-to: 6 x 9 inches
  • Children’s, Photography, Manual, Textbook: 8.5 x 11 or 8.5 x 8.5

It is also important to note that larger font and/or word count books often print and market better at a 6 x 9 size or larger. Shorter manuscripts print better at a smaller book size, resulting in a larger, more marketable page count.

Take a trip to your local bookstore and see what sizes books similar to yours are publishing at. It’s generally recommended to stick with what works. Or, be very, very different. Remember, your publishing professional will be available to run ideas by.

ABOUT JODEE THAYER: With over 25 years of experience in sales and management, Jodee Thayer works as the Director of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps, publishing consultants and marketing professionals; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams and on assisting authors with marketing and promoting their book once published. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Jodee Thayer can put you on the right path.

Copyediting Is A Must For Self-Published Authors

Copyediting is different from the revision process. While you may read through your manuscript before publishing, that does not count has copyediting for two reasons. 1) Most writers can’t read their writing objectively. It is easy to overlook areas of weakness because you know what you are trying to say, and you are more likely to miss obvious errors because you are too comfortable with the material. 2) You aren’t the expert. Copyediting requires training on grammar and style. Copy editors look for more than just misspellings and typos. There are specific ways that items such as numbers and titles should be formatted. They also can pick up on inconsistencies you may not notice.

Self-publishing sometimes gets a bad rep because authors don’t spend the money to have their manuscript copyedited. If you want your book to be taken seriously, it needs to look and sound professional. This is especially important for non-fiction books by experts. If you want to be recognized as an expert, you must have your book copyedited.

ABOUT WENDY STETINA: Wendy Stetina is a sales and marketing professional with over 30 years experience in the printing and publishing industry. Wendy works as the Director of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants; and together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction, or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Wendy Stetina can put you on the right path.


London Book Festival Awards calls for unique self-published book entries:

The 2009 London Book Festival will hold its annual awards program celebrating books that deserve greater recognition from the international publishing community on January 21, 2010 at the city’s famed Grosvenor House. The awards ceremony is open to competition entrants and invited guests of the festival.

The awards ceremony is open to competition entrants and invited guests of the festival. The 2009 London Book Festival will consider books in English, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese and Italian in the competition. The works may be published, self-published or independent publisher non-fiction, fiction, children’s books, poetry, art/photgraphy, teenage, how-to, audio/spoken word, comics/graphic novels, e-books, wild card (anything goes!), science fiction, romance and biography/autobiographical works.

A panel of judges will determine the winners based on the following criteria:

1) The story-telling ability of the author;
2) The potential of the work to win wider recognition from the international publishing community.

Our grand prize for the 2009 London Book Festival Author of the Year is $1500 and a flight from your city of entry to London OR Los Angeles – your choice!

ENTRIES: Please classify your book and enter it in the following categories. Multiple entries must be accompanied by a separate fee for each book.

1.General Non-fiction
2. General Fiction
3. Children’s books
4. E-books
5. Comics/graphic novels
6. Wild Card
7. Teenage
8. Science fiction
9. Romance
10. Biography/Autobiography
11. Audio/spoken word
12. How-To
13. Poetry
14. Art/Photography

FESTIVAL RULES: London Book Festival submissions cannot be returned. Each entry must contain a print-out of the official entry form, including your e-mail address and contact telephone number. All shipping and handling costs must be borne by entrants.

NOTIFICATION AND DEADLINES: We will notify each entry of the receipt of their package via e-mail and will announce the winning entries at the web site.

Deadline submissions in each category must be postmarked by the close of business on November 25, 2009. Winners in each category will be notified by e-mail and the results posted on the site. Please note that judges read and consider submissions on an ongoing basis, comparing early entries with later submissions.

TO ENTER: Entry forms are available online at or may be faxed/e-mailed to you by calling our office at 323-665-8080. Applications must be accompanied by a non-refundable entry fee via check, money order, credit card payment or PayPal online payment of $50 in U.S. dollars for each submission. Multiple submissions are permitted but each entry must be accompanied by a separate form and entry fee. Entry fee checks should be made payable to JM Northern Media LLC.

Entry packages should include one copy of the book; a copy of your official entry form; the entry fee or receipt from online payment; and any relevant marketing materials, i.e., press kits or other material that illuminates the background of your book. Entries should be mailed to:

JM Northern Media LLC
The London Book Festival
7095 Hollywood Blvd. Suite 864
Hollywood, CA 90028, USA

AWARDS: The London Book Festival selection committee reserves the right to determine the eligibility of any project.

The London Book Festival is produced by JM Northern Media LLC, producers of the Hollywood Book Festival, New York Book Festival and DIY Book Festival. We are sponsored by the Larimar St. Croix Writers Colony, eDivvy, Westside Websites and Shopanista

Self-publishing Book Marketing Advice – Readers that Count

Placing your book in front of readers that matter is one of the most important elements in successful book marketing of your self-published title. This  should be high on your long range radar even as you write.

What does this mean? The smaller, most identified reader base the better off you’ll sit. Does your non-fiction piece focus on Green Building and Design? Your fiction take place in the US Civil War? Or your title introducing relevant ways to manage a company during a recession?

Each of these examples presents you, the author, with a strong, identifiable reader base. Should you care if someone who blogs incessantly about the Harry Potter series doesn’t know or care about your book? Without question, no.

Should you take note if Robert Morris mentions your B2B management or effective leadership piece? Absolutely. He is an individual influential on a specific topic that will bring others to your book.

The bottom line challenge is finding which circles, critics, and resource that matter to your book and convincing them of its value. Its in trying to please everyone that we become invisible – something like the law of diminish returns.

Doesn’t writing sometimes seem to be the easiest part?

– Karl Schroeder