KDP Book Sizes

KDP Book Sizes: How to Select the Right One

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*This blog post was published on 1/5/23, and was updated on 4/10/24.

There are no strict rules when it comes to choosing which KDP Book Sizes you should use for your books. However, there are some best practices to keep in mind when it comes to selecting the right trim size.

Simply put, trim size is the height and width of your print book. It is the actual size of the book once it has been trimmed and bound at the printer.

Rulers along the side and bottom of a coloring book showing the height and width in inches of the book. Box stating Trim Size 8.5 inches by 11 inches.
The Food Alphabet Coloring Book for Kids by Liz Jalkiewicz

In the kids coloring book pictured above, the trim size is 8.5” x 11”. This is one of the low-content books that I self-published using Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). As we’ll see in this article, 8.5” x 11” is a common size for coloring books. If you’re looking for help picking the right size for your next book, keep reading! 

In this article we’ll cover: 

  • 5 factors to help you pick the right book size
  • Common trim sizes for different types of books
  • Books sizes available with Amazon KDP
  • What is bleed and how does it affect KDP book sizes?

Which KDP Book Sizes Should You Use?

Here are 5 factors to consider when deciding on your book’s trim size. 

  1. Genre or type of book: Think about the content of your book. Consider the amount of text, size of images, lines per page, etc. Ensure the book size makes it feasible for the customer to comfortably read and view image details. 
  2. Competition: Do you want to have the same size book as others in your niche? Do you prefer a different size so your book stands out? Do readers expect a certain book size for this type of book?
  3. Printing costs: Trim size, page count, and ink type are three print options that affect printing costs with Amazon KDP. For trim size, there are different costs depending on whether the book is considered “regular” vs “large” trim size. A “large” trim size book is greater than or equal to 6.12” in width OR greater than 9” in height.  
  4. Distribution channels: Select a trim size that is offered by Amazon KDP or the platform you’re using, if different. Keep reading to find out more about Amazon KDP’s common trim sizes.  
  5. Usability: How well the trim size aligns with the functionality and practicality of the book. For example, if your book is a guided prompt journal, ensure the trim size allows for ample space to allow users to easily write responses.

What are Common Trim Sizes Used by Authors?

The most common trim size for books in the U.S. is 6″ x 9″. Below are 3 examples of books that fall within this size. These three lower-content books below were created by dietitians from my Click to Publish program where I teach the ins and outs of self-publishing on Amazon.

Most common trim size in the U.S. 6 inch by 9 inch. 3 books that fit this size.
Kidney Warrior Journal by Amanda Lane
IBS Food Diary by Jenna Volpe
Dietitians Like to Veg Out Notebook by Rochelle Inwood

Keep in mind, 6″ x 9″ is the default option that pops up when you are setting up your book in Amazon KDP. If you want a different trim size, this can be selected when entering your book’s print option information under the middle “Content” tab.

Screenshot of KDP page, with red circle around paperback content tab. Selecting your book's trim size in Amazon KDP on the right corner.

Under the “Content” tab, scroll down to the “Print Options” section.

Screenshot of KDP page, with red circle around select a different size button. Red arrow pointing to 6 x 9 inches with callout box stating "default trim size."

Click “select a different size.” Then choose your book size from the pop up menu.

Screenshot of KDP page, showing a callout box of trim sizes.

What Amazon KDP Book Sizes are Available?

Amazon KDP offers a variety of trim sizes to choose from depending on if you opt for a paperback or hardcover book.

Paperback Book Sizes

There are 16 different trim sizes available for paperbacks. The table below shows 8 of the most popular trim sizes along with types of books that are commonly published in these sizes.

Trim Sizes (Width x Height)Common Type of Books in This Size
5″ x 8″Nonfiction and fiction trade paperbacks, novels, general nonfiction, children’s picture books
5.25″ x 8″Nonfiction and fiction trade paperbacks, memoirs
5.5″ x 8.5″Nonfiction and fiction trade paperbacks, novels, general nonfiction, memoirs
6″ x 9″ Most common trim size in U.S. for nonfiction and fiction trade paperbacks, novels, general nonfiction, textbooks
7″ x 10″General nonfiction, children’s picture books
8″ x 10″Workbooks, coloring books, activity books, textbooks
8.5″ x 8.5″Children’s picture books
8.5″ x 11″Workbooks, coloring books, activity books, textbooks

NOTE: Black ink paperback books can be printed on white or cream paper. Color ink (standard or premium color) can only be printed on white paper.

Hardcover Book Sizes

Amazon KDP offers 5 different trim sizes for hardcover books. The table below shows the 3 of the most common ones. 

Trim Size (Width x Height)Common Type of Books in This Size
5.5″ x 8.5″Nonfiction and fiction trade paperbacks, novels, general nonfiction
6″ x 9″Most common trim size in U.S. for nonfiction and fiction trade paperbacks, novels, general nonfiction, textbooks
7″ x 10″General nonfiction, children’s picture books

NOTE: Black ink hardcover books can be printed on white or cream paper. However, for hardcover books, the only color ink option is premium color. Standard color ink is not available for hardcovers. And premium color can only be printed on white paper.

Also, it’s important to note that when it comes to Amazon KDP hardcover books, these are printed as case laminate. This means your hardcover book will not have a dust jacket and the art is printed directly on the cover.

What is Bleed?

Bleed refers to when printed items on a page (words, images, etc), reach all the way to the edge of the page.

The same floral coloring page side by side, the one on the left with bleed and the one on the right has a white border around the edge so it is an example without bleed.

All book covers on Amazon KDP require bleed. However, you can choose whether your interior file has bleed or not. 

Amazon KDP encourages to include bleed for interior files if you have any images, backgrounds, or illustrations that you want to reach the edge of the page. 

Think of a cookbook where you have a beautiful picture of the finished dish next to the recipe. If you want the picture to fill the entire page and not have a white border around it, then you’ll need to add bleed.

Side by side pages with a food photo. the page on the left is with bleed so the photo fills the entire page. The page on the right is without bleed so there is a white border.

Coloring books are another type of book that I typically recommend to my Click to Publish students to add bleed. 

When it comes to bleed, there is no right or wrong way. It’s personal preference depending on your type of book layout.

NOTE: According to Amazon KDP “even if just one page in your interior requires bleed, then your entire file should be set up with bleed.”

What Does Bleed have to do with KDP Book Sizes?

When a book is printed, all of the pages are trimmed to the trim size you selected by cutting 0.125” (3.2 mm) from the top, bottom, and outside edges. 

In order for elements on your page to reach all the way to the edge of the page (or Bleed), those objects must extend PAST where the page will be trimmed by 0.125” (3.2 mm). 

So for the top and bottom of the page, a total of 0.25″ will be added to the height (0.125″ at the top + 0.125″ at the bottom = 0.25″) and 0.125″ will be added to the width, or outside margin. The table below provides a quick reference to measurements for page size with and without bleed. There is also a file setup calculator on Amazon KDP’s website to determine measurements for paperback interior files.

Page Size without BleedPage Size with Bleed
5″ x 8″5.125″ x 8.25″
5.25″ x 8″5.375″ x 8.25″
5.5″ x 8.5″5.626″ x 8.75″
6″ x 9″6.125″ x 9.25″
7″ x 10″7.125″ x 10.25″
8″ x 10″8.125″ x 10.25″
8.5″ x 11″8.625″ x 11.25″
8.5″ x 8.5″8.625″ x 8.75″

Final Thoughts

It’s up to you as an independent publisher of your book to decide what KDP Book Sizes best resonate with your book type, how it fits into your pricing strategy based on the printing costs, and how the competition stacks up to your book. Best of luck with your next book project!

*There are several affiliate links in this blog article. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a commission on qualifying purchases.

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