January 24

Standard Book Sizes: Hardcover Books

Standard Book Sizes: Hardcover Books

There are three different standards in book publishing: the hardcover, the trade paperback and the mass-market paperback. These three types of books represent sort of the stage of life of books. In traditional publishing, a publisher will make a deal with a new author to publish their book and hardcover. These books are relatively expensive to purchase compared to other formats, and they are only expected to sell limited number of copies.

These are the books that get purchased by libraries all over the country as well as by bookstores to stock on the shelves. However, once the hardcover run is over, the publisher may choose to publish a paperback version of the book instead. These are less expensive to purchase because there are less expensive to publish. The first type of paperback that new books generally get published to is called a trade paperback. However, with some books that entire stage is skipped to go directly to mass-market. In other cases, the hardcover is skipped in the trade paperback is the main book the gets published.

Understanding hardcover books is important. There are some standard industry sizes for hardcover books that you should be aware of, and some other nuances with hardcover. Let’s start with understanding the trim size.

Understanding Trim Size

The trim size of a book is simply an industry term for the size of the book. When a book is published, the pages are mechanically trimmed so that they all fit perfectly. That’s why you have a completely flat surface without any bumps or ridges along the page edges of any of the books that you pull off of yourself. To make it easy to understand though, just consider the trim size of a book the physical dimensions of it.

Why Are Standard Sizes Important?

You might be wondering why standard sizes are important in any books out there. No matter if you’re talking about hardcover, trade paperback or mass-market, as well as the different genres out there, there are established standard sizes that almost every book is published in. These standard sizes are specifically designed to fit on the shelf at bookstores and libraries. Publishing a book in a standard size is important, because industry catalogs will not carry books that are not standard, and publishing in one of the sizes that the major publishers use legitimizes a book; even if you are self-publishing.

The Hardcovers of 5.5 x 8.5

There are two industry standards when it comes to hardcover books. Without getting into things like cloth covers and dust jackets, just understand the one of the industry sizes is 5.5 x 8.5.

The Hardcovers of 6 x 9

The other industry size for hardcovers is slightly larger at 6 x 9. These are the two sizes that almost all of the hardcover books are published in. There may be others that do not conform to these standard sizes, but they are pretty rare. If you go into a bookstore or get a hardcover off-the-shelf at your local library, these are the sizes that you will almost always find.

Source for this article: Reedsy

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September 14

Getting the Confidence to Start a Story

Getting the Confidence to Start a Story

There are way more aspiring authors out there than there are published ones. In fact, the ratio of aspiring authors to authors that actually finish a story or novel (even if they never publish it) is probably around 30:1. One of the reasons why aspiring writers never start their stories is due to a lack of confidence. So buckle up, prepare a nice meal with a new kitchen knife set, and prepare yourself for becoming the writer of your dreams. In this article, we’ll go over some ways that you can get the confidence to start the story you have always wanted to tell, and hopefully, begin your career in writing fiction.

Read Lots and Lots of Books

One of the things that can give you the confidence to start a story is to read lots and lots of books. There are two ways in which this can give you confidence. First of all, you get confidence because you have read books or stories that you know you can do better at. This is a common coming-of-age point for any writer. When you realize that you can write a story better than someone who actually got published, it inspires great confidence to begin your own story. The second part is reading good stories that you want to emulate can give you motivation as well.

Take a Writing Class

Taking a writing class can jumpstart your confidence because you are surrounded by people who want to write just as badly as you do; in addition, one of the things that you will probably be required to do in any writing classes is write.

Join a Writer’s Group

Being part of a writer’s group will mean that you are listening to other people read their stories and it will make you want to come up with something of your own. In addition, you’ll get extra confidence when you read something you’ve written and everyone loves it. There is a writers group in almost every town and city in the United States; look on Meetup or other group sites and try to find something that you feel comfortable joining.

Set Small Writing Goals

If you are having trouble starting because a 50,000-word manuscript just seems like too much of an effort, then set small writing goals. If you can write a chapter, then you only have to worry about 1000 to 3000 words instead of an entire manuscript. In addition, set daily writing goals so that you only think about the words that you’re going to write for that day.

Set Aside Time to Write

If you set aside a time every day that you are going to write no matter what – even if it is only fifteen minutes – then you are going to get something down on paper. Even if you sit there and do nothing for the first time or two, eventually if you force yourself to sit down at the computer or with your pen and paper ploys to write, something is going to come through. This will likely keep you going long enough to get over the writer’s block. Don’t hesitate to get some extra help with the help of medicinal marijuana either.


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June 12

What’s the Recommended Length for a Novel’s Chapters?

What’s the Recommended Length for a Novel’s Chapters?

Have you ever pick up a book with a super compelling title and a description that you were so captivated by that you couldn’t wait to sit down and start reading? But, once you dove in, did you find that the chapters were just too darn long?

If so, you are not alone. A lot of readers complain that they don’t like to engage with books that have chapters that are super long and drawn out. Why? – Because they want to be able to finish a chapter in a single sitting, and for most readers, a single sitting is about 10 to 15 minutes. If the chapters in a novel are too long, chances are that they are going to struggle with finishing a chapter in one sitting.

So, with that said, the question: “How long should the chapters in my novel be?” is begged.

The answer to that can be really tricky. However, here’s a look at what famed authors, publishers, and literary agents have to say on the topic…


Image result for reedsy chapter length

What’s the Perfect Length for a Novel’s Chapters?

On average, most authors, agents, and publishers recommend keeping the chapters of a novel to about 2,000 words. That seems to be the perfect number because the average reader can get through that amount in a single sitting. It’s not too much that it seems to be long and drawn out, it’s easily digestible, and enough drama can be built or questions can be answered in a 2,000 word chapter.

Now, that is not to say that a chapter can’t be longer. It certainly can be. In fact, there are plenty of acclaimed novels that feature chapters that are significantly longer – up to 6,000 words! But, the key here is that they are usually books that are written for older audiences or are genres that are expected to have long-winded chapters, such as science fiction or fantasy.

You can also have chapters that are fewer than 2,000 words. Just like there are plenty of famed books that have longer chapters, there are dozens that feature chapters that are shorter than 2,000 word. Some chapters may not even reach the 1,000 word mark! But, if you’re going to do that, you really have to make sure that the chapter is truly thrilling and captivating. Additionally, you should consider following up with a longer chapter. Doing so will help to keep the reader’s momentum going and make them want to dive right into a longer chapter that can answer more questions.

The Bottom Line

In short, there isn’t a specific rule that applies when determining the appropriate length for a chapter. While 2,000 words is recommended, you certainly don’t have to stick to it. You can have a very successful book with chapters that are shorter or longer than 2,000 words; however, just make sure that you are filling them appropriately. Remember: your goal is to entertain your audience and keep their attention. In other words, write what you think works best for your story.

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April 20

Pros & Cons: Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing

Pros & Cons: Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing

If you have been thinking about self-publishing, but you aren’t sure what the benefits actually are, then this is the perfect opportunity to weigh the pro and cons of each one. We’ll be looking at traditional publishing in details, including the advantages and disadvantages, and then face them off with the advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing. This will give you a much better idea which one to choose,

Traditional Publishing

Traditional publishing simply means submitting your book to publishers via an agent or through the publisher’s submission process. Generally, publishers will sign a contract with you and pay you some sort of an advance. This will likely not be much for a first-time author, and how much you actually get will depend upon the size of the publisher and the genre that your book is in. Some publishers do not do advances at all. From there, the publisher will publish and distribute your book, typically six months to a year after you sign the contract, and then you will be sent royalties every quarter.

Pros of Traditional Publishing

  • You may get an advance up front before your book sells a single copy.
  • You will be automatically listed in industry catalogs and possibly available in bookstores.
  • Your publisher will be willing to give a higher advance next book if this one sells well.
  • You get the distinction of being a published author and respected within the industry.
  • You will have a much easier time getting an agent if you have a contract for a book deal.

Cons of Traditional Publishing

  • You have to sign rights to your book over to the publisher.
  • Your royalties are going to be somewhere between 10 percent and 15 percent most likely.
  • You do not have any creative control when it comes to book covers and blurbs,
  • You may have to change your book in many ways to meet the publisher’s guideline.


Self-publishing is simply the act of publishing the book yourself either by creating your own publishing company, using a paid vanity press or by using any of the free or nearly free platforms out there for self-publishing a book. The advantages and disadvantages that we will be covering refer mostly to the third option here.

Pros of Self-Publishing

  • You get a much higher royalty.
  • You own the rights to your book at all times.
  • You are able to pull the book from the shelves if you want, make corrections and republish is another edition.
  • You have creative control over everything to do with your book.

Cons of Self-Publishing

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September 13

5 Photoshop Tricks for First-Time Book Cover Designers

Photoshop Tricks for First-Time Book Cover Designers

If you are a self-published author trying to create your own book cover, you might have found out that it is not as easy as it looks. Luckily, many authors do eventually figure out how to use Photoshop successfully and create some really amazing book covers. There are some tricks that can help you get to that point faster if you know them. We’ll be looking at five things that you can do to create an amazing book cover for yourself.

Look at Book Covers for Inspiration

The first thing that you can do is look at other book covers for inspiration. While you should not there is no harm in taking inspiration from someone else’s book cover and then changing certain things to make your own. In fact, this is how many cover designers actually learn. If you can figure out what makes a good book cover, and then copy the design, then you can make your own design just as good.

Download Lots of Photos

You should also download lots of photos. If you are using stock photos, then downloading a lot of photos make sense. If you can figure out which photo works for the design that you are making, then you only have to buy that single photo. Luckily, most stock photos allow you to download the actual photo you are considering the watermarks on it and use it in your designed to see if it works. When you find the one that actually does work, you can buy it.

Install Layer Styles

You should definitely install Photoshop layer styles. Layers styles allow you to change the text into many different professional looking designs. There are lots of websites out there that have remade Photoshop layer styles already ready for you to install. All you have to do is look for them, download them and install them into your Photoshop library. If you want to learn how to properly use photoshop, check out IT Support NYC

Visit 1001 Free Fonts

1001 Free fonts is a website you can go to to find the perfect font. You can download all of the fonts that are available, which by now is way more than 1001, or you can simply look for the font that you want and then download it for free. This is a terrific resource for book designers, and especially for those that are looking to save money on fonts. However, make sure that you are allowed to use the font in commercial projects.

Combine or Expand Stock Photos

Finally, if you cannot find the perfect design, then you may want to consider combining two different stock photos, or expanding the stock photo that you have. For example, if you find a photo that has the perfect background, but I have something else in their the you don’t want, then you can simply expand the photo using edit > transform > free transform and then dragging it out to get it to where you need it to be. This is a great way to use stock photos to make an original design.

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May 28

The Number One Question You Must Ask Before Self-Publishing a Book

Self Publishing
Increasingly, vanity publishing is understood to be a behavior in place of a definition of particular companies or individuals, although there remain a handful of businesses that clearly qualify as vanity publishers. Out of the three primary steps writing, publishing, and marketing publishing is unquestionably the simplest and these businesses will provide you with no help with writing or marketing. Standard publishing appears super glamorous. It does not always allow that, no matter how insightful or worthy an author may be. Self publishing has never been simpler.

Check out this Thought Catalog article for more information on how to publish a book

The Self Publishing Stories
Authors will need to select which format best suits their requirements. Your favourite authors may have spent years writing works which were rejected. You would like to become a published author and you would like to publish your own books.

Include a bio, photo, and link to your site or blog that will help you stick out among authors. Today, authors who need to go published have many choices. The author must proofread the last text and supply the funds necessary to publish the book, together with the camera-ready artwork. As a consequence, it was difficult for an unknown author to find a publishing contract under these conditions. A self-published author accounts for the technical elements of self-publishing, including formatting for printing and digital conversion. The thriving self-published author cannot be dismissed as a fluke.

The Characteristics of Self Publishing
Because of the boom in digital and print publishing, everyone can see her or his book in print! For this reason, you can correct the book’s supply to meet with the reader’s demand. Editing your book is perhaps the most tedious portion of the self-publishing procedure, but trust us, you will be glad you did it! If you’ve got a lengthier book, you’ll have to set the price even higher to earn money.

You’d be astonished how many men and women are prepared to help to make your book a success! The best method to receive a book published by a big publishing house is to acquire a literary agent who will represent your manuscript. You’re too near your book and too utilized to your book to spot all of the errorsand when you self-publish, you wish to minimize errors and kill the plan and layout so that it won’t seem like a not-so-epic effort at an expert publication. Publishing a book is only the start. Religious books are an ideal case in point. So imagine whenever your great book with terrific design hits the marketplace.

The Argument About Self Publishing
A subsidy publisher is comparable to a vanity publisher in that the author has to cover the printing and binding procedure for the book. Publishers and academics want to return to a mutually beneficial relationship, Weller explained. If traditional publishers wish to survive, Reidy states, they need to stay informed about the rapid changes occurring in the business. If a conventional publisher or agent should happen to approach you after your ebook has gone on sale, you’re totally free to sell rights with no obligation to the services that you’ve used.

You choose to check into publishing your book. Print books may also be given away on Amazon. It’s the exact last step prior to a book is published. Whether your book is published by a conventional publisher or you’re an indie author, Amazon lets you produce an author page similar to this one. The best way to promote your book is to produce a launch page where you could collect email addresses for people who may be interested in reading your book, andbuild your launch team. It’s also an excellent way to announce your newly published book to all of your buddies, family members, and colleagues.

If you’re writing a book since you need to sell that, then it’s ideal to go the standard way rather than self publishing. A book will be able to help you expand your organization in how no type of advertising can. If you’re thinking about writing your own book in this manner, If you ever choose to go down this road and would prefer some advice, don’t hesitate to get in contact.

You would like your book to be presentable and appear good. Which meant I had to ship almost 1,000 books at the same time. It costs more than the do-it-yourself strategy but frequently causes a better book.

If you’re self-publishing then it’s possible to publish your book at this time without any other work. If you would like your self-published book to stick out in an extremely competitive market, employing a competent editor is just one of the greatest investments that can be made. Your book will probably contain serious formatting errors. Next you will need to determine how you would like your book to look. 1 key consideration to offer your book is to produce an attention-grabbing page for your Amazon self-publishing listing. Niche books have a tendency to do best.

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