How to design my book

Formatting, Dimensions, Binding


There are very few “rules” about book sizes, but there are a number of conventions that are good to know about. (All sizes quoted in this article are width x height.)

  • Mass market books are often sold through racks at point of purchase sites in supermarkets, airports, and drugstores. Their size is an essential part of the way they are distributed.
  • Trade paperbacks, Trade paperbacks, a pretty loose category of books, are often in the 5.5″ x 8.5″ to 6″ x 9″ range. You can create good-looking books at different sizes but in the same page proportions.
  • Manuals and workbooks are larger and, depending on the printing equipment being used to produce them, are in the 8″ x 10″ to 8-1/2″ x 11″ range. This size is also good for directories and instructional books with lots of graphics or detailed drawings to follow. It lends itself to a 2-column text layout which is an efficient use of space.
  • Novels appear in lots of different sizes but for a shorter book, some prefer smaller sizes that seem to be more intimate a reading experience. 5-1/2″ x 8-1/2″ is probably the most popular size, but 5-1/4″ x 8″ is also a charming size for these books. Memoirs are similar sizes. Longer novels move to 6″ x 9″ to avoid becoming overly bulky at smaller sizes.
  • Short story collections or collections of essays are generally the same sizes as novels and memoirs
  • General nonfiction titles seem to come out in 6″ x 9″ making this size arguably the most popular of all. It’s also the most widely used size for hardcover books. When more room is needed on the page, for instance for sidebars or pull quotes, 7″ x 10″ is a frequent solution.
  • Photography or art books don’t conform to any particular size. They can be very small, or big and heavy “coffee-table” books. Many artists and photographers prefer books that are square or nearly square. This allows both horizontal and vertical pictures to have about the same amount of white space on the page.




No matter how stunning your book cover is, or how amazing the story, choosing the right font for your book can make a big difference when you publish your book. The objective is to create a coherent and visually correct reading flow, so that it does not distract the reader, but it helps him to concentrate on the content.

In order to select the right typography, you should identify your target readers and their features, just as you did when you designed the book cover or the plot. The topic is also key: fiction, non-fiction, religious books… they all require different fonts.

There are two main typography families: serif and sans-serif fonts. ‘Serif’ refers to the small decorative flourishes at the ends of the letter strokes. San serif fonts do not have those flourishes. Inside each group, there are thousands of variations. Usually, serif fonts are considered more appropriate for print works, such as books and newspapers, as they ease reading in long texts.

Time New Roman could be a tempting option since it’s been used for a long time in most newspapers. However, this font creates a solid and dark text block, not very suitable for books or novels.

Choose different fonts for titles and main texts. Here are some fonts you can use for your book:

Palatino Linotype | Book Antiqua | Georgia | Goudy Old Style | Bookman | Adobe Garamond Pro | Century Schoolbook

Font size: most books use size 10 or 11, but the final size might depend on the chosen font. Remember that it is recommended to use font sizes from 12pt to 14pt for children books.

4.25" x 7"

5.5" x 8.5"

6.0" x 9.0"

8.5" x 8.5"

7.0" x 10.0"

8.5" x 11.0"

Are you ready to publish your book?