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  1. OurJud

    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    Sp size options

    Discussion in 'Self-Publishing' started by OurJud, Sep 8, 2015.

    There's one thing that puzzles me about the SP market, and that is why so many of the books come in such odd dimensions - the kind you never see in the commercially published stuff. I'm talking specifically about paperbacks here.

    The two main choices with commercially published paperbacks are Trade and Mass Market. Mass Market are falling by the wayside now, but they are still a very traditional and recognizable size (17cm x 11cm). Tradebacks, now far more common, are slightly larger (19.5cm x 12.5cm).

    Why then are the choices in the SP world so varied? Admittedly I haven't looked into the area of SP very thoroughly, but I don't think I've ever seen anywhere that offers these traditional and familiar sizes, with the smaller Mass Market size seemingly being a definite no-no.
     
  2. Mumble Bee

    Mumble Bee Custom Title. Contributor

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    It's not the size of the book, it's how it is read.

    I know, I know but Look- it had to be said.


    On a serious note, no idea. If I know anything about manufacturing processes though it probably has to deal with either the companies that publish those types of books either have contracts with nonstandard sized prints, those are the traditional sizes since way back and are resistant to change, or someone just hasn't had the bright idea yet to bring that category into the fold yet.
     
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  3. Edward M. Grant

    Edward M. Grant Contributing Member

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    You only need to look at my bookshelf to see there's a heck of a variation in the sizes of trade-published books. Or has been, over the eighty years or so my book collection covers.

    As for mass market, current print-on-demand printers can't handle the thin paper used for mass market books. So print-on-demand is basically limited to hardbacks and trade paperbacks, of any page size you want up to the size of the paper they run through the machine.

    I eventually settled on 5"x8" for my books, as that seemed to be the closest match to the most common size on my shelf.
     
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  4. OurJud

    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    Granted, but no one can deny that if you logged onto amazon right now - or any other online store - and ordered a trade published work of fiction in paperback, chances are it would be one of the two sizes I mentioned in my OP.

    However, I think you've probably answered my question with the paper thickness fact. This would explain why SP book generally need to come in larger formats.
     
  5. psychotick

    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    If you go to CreateSpace they offer I think four sizes they class as standard. Two of them I think are the sizes you mentioned. But for me with my failing eyes, I choose the six by nine size as standard. What you have to realise is that rules don't apply any more with the advent of the indie. Now the only rule that applies is - make sure it works.

    So I use a six by nine book size. A format option with block paragraphs and small first line indents. A simpler grammatical style dropping almost all colons and semi-colons in favour of em-dashes. A larger font size - eleven or twelve point. And a full gloss cover. While none of that is standard, it gives me a book that looks awesome, has maximum space for a full cover graphic, and when you open it is easy to read and looks good on a page.

    Plus if my home ever gets invaded I have something to whack the burglars over the head with that will leave a nice dent!

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  6. OurJud

    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm a real traditionalist, see, and like paperbacks to look like paperbacks. That means a size I'm familiar with and that lovely, grainy, cream-coloured paper that yellows around the edges over time.
     

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