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.

Copyright Assistance

When self publishing a book, authors need to be concerned with copyright issues. While self-publishing companies are not legal experts or copyright researchers, they do make recommendations and offer assistance to help authors get the advice they need.

One of the most common mistakes self-publishing companies encounter is authors using website images from “download free photos” websites. Many authors don’t realize these are low resolution images not optimal for a printed hardcopy format or that free downloads are for blogging and website usage, not permissible for printed book publishing.

Another common mistake is authors thinking  that everything on Wikipedia is okay to publish or use; many items will require authorization/permission release from the copyright holder/originator/entity. Song lyrics are also usually copyrighted, so utilizing a copyright research company is the best way for authors to protect themselves.

For more information on copyrights, visit You can also talk to a representative at your self-publishing company. He or she should be able to provide you with the resources you need to answer all of your copyright questions.

Cheri Breeding ABOUT CHERI BREEDING: Since 2005 Cheri Breeding has been working as the Director of Production for Outskirts Press. In that time, she has been an instrumental component of every aspect of the Production Department, performing the roles of an Author Representative, Book Designer, Customer Service Representative, Title Production Supervisor, Production Manager and, Director of Production. She brings all that experience and knowledge, along with an unparalleled customer-service focus, to help self-publishing authors reach high-quality book publication more efficiently, professionally, and affordably.

Self-Published Book Review of the Week: BOLIVIA

by Ron Dubin

Ron Dubin is a master photographer and frequent commenter on asian ramblings. It’s a pleasure to announce the publication of his new book.

Ron Dubin wanted to get away. He’d had a trying year: Moving across country, from Los Angeles to Florida, coupled with the illness and death of his mother, Dubin was ready for something else.

“(If I had been offered) an assignment in Pompeii the day before it got buried I would have asked if I needed a visa,” says Dubin in the forward of his book, Bolivia, A Journey.

Ron is a man of many photographic talents. Over the last four years, his images have been featured in food and travel publications, regionally, nationally, and online. Dubin has also shot in Peru, France, Italy, Switzerland, The Netherlands, and extensively in the U.S.

Dubin’s book, 86 pages of extraordinary photographs and the stories behind them, offers readers a look into Bolivia’s diverse scenery and people. His landscape images are striking: Bold mountains under remarkable skies. The local creatures, llamas, snakes, and flamingos, have also been photographically captured in their native habitats.

The photographs of the people, going about their daily lives, give readers a revealing look into Bolivian life. The images document small-town residents going about their daily routine. These images, captured by an impartial observer, offer a glance into another place and culture.

Dubin’s image, The Sisters, captures two siblings at Isla del Sol. According to Ron, they were the most frightening thing about the town. The encounter resulted in him purchasing two palm fronds from the pair.

“She kicked my butt… There are three-card Monte dealers in New York that could learn a thing or two from them,” he says.

The architecture: Basilicas, moments, and ruins, were not overlooked by Dubin’s lens. The buildings, combined with the wide blue sky, are a visual pleasure to view. The images of the Basilica of Our Lady of Copacabana, near the banks of Lake Titicaca, illustrate the sacredness of the site to both the indigenous and Catholic people.

Built in the 16th century, Dubin explains, “It is a popular custom to get your car blessed in front of the church which considering the roads, couldn’t possibly hurt.”

Dubin admits to knowing little about Bolivia before setting out on his expedition. “What I did know couldn’t fill up a trivial pursuit card,” he says. He did know about Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. One of the final images in the book is of Ron brandishing the famous outlaws’ pistols.

Bolivia, A Journey can be purchased at Blurb. Ron Dubin maintains a photo blog at

For more information or to order copies, visit the author’s web site: