Size and Format

Published 03 October 2023 in Size and Format


Today we look at the third step in designing your own book cover.


Book cover dimensions are rarely spoken about but are still very important in book cover design. Book cover dimensions can vary depending on the format and distribution platform.

“Trim size” is essentially the publishing term for “book size.” After each copy is printed and bound, the book is mechanically “trimmed” so that the size of every page is uniform. The trim size relates to these dimensions, in Width x Height format.

Different trim sizes are chosen based on factors like the genre of the book, the intended audience and personal preference. It is important to note that the choice of trim size can impact the overall look and feel of your book. Smaller trim sizes may make a book appear thicker, while larger sizes can make it thinner. The genre and content of your book, as well as reader preference, should guide your decision when selecting a trim size.

What are the recommended book cover dimensions (trim sizes)?

Kindle/eBook: eBook covers don’t have fixed dimensions because eBooks adapt to different screen sizes and orientations. However, the ideal size of your eBook cover art is a height/width ratio of 1.6:1. This means that for every 1,000 pixels in width, the image should be 1,600 pixels in height. This ensures that the cover looks sharp and appealing on various devices from small smartphones to larger tablets and eReaders.

Novels and Non-Fiction: The better-quality books you pick up in a bookstore are probably what you picture when you think of a paperback book. Sizes will range anywhere from 5.5” x 8.5” to 6” x 9”. This is the go-to paperback size range for many novels, memoirs, and non-fiction books.

Hardcover: These book sizes tend to range from 6” x 9” to 8.5” x 11”.



When designing your book cover you have to take into consideration not only the size of the cover, you have to calculate the whole book, front cover, spine and back cover. The spine is calculated by the number of pages your book will be after it has been formatted in a specific size eg 6” x 9”. Then you also have to calculate the bleed which is a few extra mm all round so that the printer can trim the book exactly to size.

Designing your own book cover can be a very daunting task. If you need any assistance, feel free to drop me a mail [email protected]

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