Six by Nine Too Big?

Lafayette

Man of Artistic Fingers
Joined
Jun 14, 2016
Messages
373
Location
Phoenix, Arizona
I'm in the process of downloading my manuscript to Create Space. Create Space is suggesting (?) I go 6 by 9 inches for my book. However, some Britisher on Youtube says the author shouldn't be swayed by publishers preferences, but do right for him/herself. What is right for me is what is right for my reader. I want to give my reader the most pleasant reading experience possible which may include cream color.

The gentleman displayed several different sizes for the viewer. The 6 by 9 appeared to be rather cumbersome, however, I know that I'm not most people in this regard.

I am currently, using Times New Roman 12 (which I find boring) for the main text, Black Chancery for the inside book title, the table of contents, the copyright page, and the chapters titles, formatted for 6 by 9 my novel stands at 416 pages for book one. I took a friend's advice and split my original manuscript.

Any questions or comments are welcomed. I want to eliminate as many mistakes as possible.

Sincerely,

Lafayette
 

Brian G Turner

Fantasist & Futurist
Staff member
Supporter
Joined
Nov 23, 2002
Messages
23,083
Location
Highlands
Is your paper white or cream?

Simply that cream has more limited size options than white.

I opted for cream paper and a trim size of 5" x 8". I reduced my text to 12pt Times New Roman to keep the page count manageable, and is easily similar in size to similar books (larger font than most "epics", but smaller than most "bestsellers" - somewhere in between).
 

Lafayette

Man of Artistic Fingers
Joined
Jun 14, 2016
Messages
373
Location
Phoenix, Arizona
I'm want to go for cream. I understand it is easier on the eyes. Will cream increase the page count?

Before I go any farther I will experiment with 5" x 8" on MS Word and see how that goes.
 

tinkerdan

∞<Q-Satis
Joined
Dec 10, 2012
Messages
4,239
Location
x² + y² = r²:when x~∞
The trouble with self-pub is that the smaller the size the more pages and the more pages the more you will have to charge the customer to make up for the costs.
Though it seems odd. A 400 page book costs the same no matter the dimenstions of the page.
And going from 6x9 to 5x8 without changing font size will increase the page number.
My best guess would be 10%
so you would be looking at 460 pages.

Cream won't change the page count.
make sure it's available in 5x8 though.

Honestly the number of paper-bound you sell might not make it worth any amount of grief you might have over size. Most of my hard and soft paper editions sold so far have been to friends and family and many that I've hand given away to people willing to read it. Mine are 6x9 for both and it's handy because you only need to design the interior once.

Unless it turns out that size really does matter.
 
Last edited:

Cathbad

Level 30 Geek Master
Joined
Dec 9, 2015
Messages
9,201
Location
Everywhere.
I don't find 6x9 cumbersome at all. I prefer it when the page count goes much over 300. I can recall trying to hold pages of long novels (Dune), published in 5.5x8.5, together.
 

tinkerdan

∞<Q-Satis
Joined
Dec 10, 2012
Messages
4,239
Location
x² + y² = r²:when x~∞
Yes, though I'm fairly certain as mentioned it has to be a new book and requires its own isbn number.
Thanks for your insights Tinkerdan. Will Create Space allow me to have both sizes?
That's not to mention that you may have to deal with a seemingly automated process that requires proof of copyrights because they flag another title similar to another book.
 

Brian G Turner

Fantasist & Futurist
Staff member
Supporter
Joined
Nov 23, 2002
Messages
23,083
Location
Highlands
I bought a couple of self-published books with different sizes, so I could compare and make a decision based on them.

For me, 6x9 screamed "self-published", whereas 5x8 was much closer to ordinary trade paperback size - and therefore to me seemed more natural.
 

tinkerdan

∞<Q-Satis
Joined
Dec 10, 2012
Messages
4,239
Location
x² + y² = r²:when x~∞
It's really difficult to get unbiased statistics on which size is best as far as what the customer will buy.
I think in many cases an SP author needs to consider how much a customer will be willing to spend on a new author. You might easily price yourself out of the market with two small a trim.
 

Lafayette

Man of Artistic Fingers
Joined
Jun 14, 2016
Messages
373
Location
Phoenix, Arizona
You might easily price yourself out of the market with two small a trim.
At New Times Roman 12 point for body text and 627 pages 'too small trim' I think may be the least of my worries.

The high page count is why I decided to make it two books. I'm afraid 627 pages will make a book to cumbersome for the readers.
 

oganalp

very epic new member
Joined
Aug 17, 2018
Messages
26
Location
Toronto
I went for cream and 5.5 x 8.5 for my books. They look good in size; not as big as the new trend of books the size of my head (like the Cixin Liu books, or the James Corey ones), but it is still big enough to look good in your library. Since CreateSpace is a print-on-demand system, shelf visibility is not an issue like the traditional releases.

The cream paper's performance is excellent.

As for the font, it depends on what kind of access you have. I have Adobe membership, and they offer quality choices. If you don't have the Adobe membership, there are also pre-designed / formatted InDesign files for cheap out there with licenses.
 

Edward M. Grant

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2015
Messages
401
Location
The Frozen North
For me, 6x9 screamed "self-published", whereas 5x8 was much closer to ordinary trade paperback size - and therefore to me seemed more natural.
That's weird. Most of the trade paperback books I own are more like 6x9. 5x8 is more mass-market paperback size.

I do release mine as 5x8, but that's only because they fit better on my bookshelves.
 

Brian G Turner

Fantasist & Futurist
Staff member
Supporter
Joined
Nov 23, 2002
Messages
23,083
Location
Highlands
That's weird. Most of the trade paperback books I own are more like 6x9. 5x8 is more mass-market paperback size.

I do release mine as 5x8, but that's only because they fit better on my bookshelves.
The terms do get a little confusing: Paperback - Wikipedia

I know standard "mass market paperbacks" tend to be small - I simply compared to my "normal" paperbacks on my bookshelf, all of which tend to be around just over 5" and just under 8". Unfortuntely, there wasn't that option for cream paper, so 5"x8" was the nearest I could get - which makes it slightly taller than my other paperbacks, but I figure it may actually be a good thing to stick out slightly. :)

I really don't like the 6"x9" size, but I had to hold a copy in my hands to see that (for reference, The Bookseller's Tale by Ann Swinfen) - the size looks too odd and over-sized compared to all my other paperbacks. The larger size means fewer pages, which makes it look even more odd - it's more like a short-print run book I might buy at a historical site (ie, self-published, or tiny press) than something that looks acceptably mainstream.

In case that helps. :)
 

Cathbad

Level 30 Geek Master
Joined
Dec 9, 2015
Messages
9,201
Location
Everywhere.
I like the 6"x9" better; but I agree with @Brian G Turner - most of the (paperbacks) on my shelf are like his. (My hardcovers tend to be manuals of one kind or another, and usually like 10"x12".)
 

tinkerdan

∞<Q-Satis
Joined
Dec 10, 2012
Messages
4,239
Location
x² + y² = r²:when x~∞
The way I understand it is that 4.3 in by 7 inch- which is typical of my pocket paperbacks was originally for genre fiction where literary titles went something like 5.1 by 7.8.

Oddly, initially mass market were typically 5.1 by 7.8 at first, but that now seems to vary to 5 by 8 and 5.5 by 8.5.

Trade Paperback were originally, usually, the same page size as the Hardback.
And from there within POD publishing you have the Hardbacks that are a page size 6 by 9 and the Trade Paperbacks that are also 6 by 9.
In many of the POD(maybe most)the Hardbacks are glued the same as the Trade Paperback making them look like Trade Paper editions with hard covers.

However there is little doubt that the optimal size for a reader is rather subjective and open for discussion.
 

Edward M. Grant

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2015
Messages
401
Location
The Frozen North
Trade Paperback were originally, usually, the same page size as the Hardback.
Didn't trade paperbacks start when publishers realized they could take returned hardbacks, put a paper cover on and sell them for a lower price? Obviously they lost money with the remanufacturing costs, but it still made a profit and didn't cut into the hardback market.
 

tinkerdan

∞<Q-Satis
Joined
Dec 10, 2012
Messages
4,239
Location
x² + y² = r²:when x~∞
I've not run across this::
Didn't trade paperbacks start when publishers realized they could take returned hardbacks, put a paper cover on and sell them for a lower price? Obviously they lost money with the remanufacturing costs, but it still made a profit and didn't cut into the hardback market.
::What I have found indicates that they were initially made to serve as ARC's and worked well in that they were made in the same format as the Hardbound edition and therefore any corrections or reference to such would correspond to the hard edition that was just about to be released. The quality of the paper used was the same as that used in the Hardbound edition.

Afterward they were offered as a step between Hardbound and Paperback [or mass market] editions with a price that hovered somewhere between the two.

Most of the time, by definition, the process used to bind the books is enough different that they wouldn't use the same process for binding the Hardbound and the Trade Paperback. Also the process of converting the unsold hardbounds, ripping off covers and rebinding onto a softer or card stock cover, would likely be extra work with labor cost making it unlikely that they would do it. And I think they would only do a TP if the sales for the Hard edition warranted a TP.
 
Top