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Proper book formatting is one of the key factors that not only enhance the chances of your paper back being accepted by CreateSpace but also give it a professional look in line with mainstream publishing standards. However, certain minute details that would fall into the category of nitty-gritty of paperback interior design play even a bigger role in ensuring your book looks as great on print as on the computer screen.

There are many areas to look at when formatting the interior of your paperback, but one major aspect that calls for serious consideration is Trim size and bleed. A paperback formatter ensures the trim size and bleed are applied such that no live elements are lost when the final paperback is produced.

Trim Size

Trim size defines the final size of a book on printing. It’s the final size of a book after it has undergone all the physical processing such as binding and trimming. For instance a trim size of (6 x 9) inches results in a final paperback that’s 6” wide and 9” high.

CreateSpace offers some level of flexibility when it comes to trim size, allowing authors to choose from a wide array of industry standards. There is also room for custom trim size when setting up your title within the CreateSpace website.

Your options include industry standards, custom trim sizes and even your own unique trim size specifications. However, your lee way with trim size is minimized by the fact trim size determines where you can make your paperback available for sale. Thus, making the wrong choice of trim size can hurt potential sales if your title is ineligible for distribution with certain preferable book stores.

Choosing the right trim size

Industry standard trim sizes allow for dimensions in inches such as 5 x 8, 8 x 10 and 8.5 x 11 among several others for black and white books. The same standard for full color titles allows trim sizes of 5.5 x 8.5 and 8.5 x 11 among several others.

While the trim size options are many, only the Industry Standard is acceptable in all CreateSpace distribution channels. A book trimmed to this standard can be sold through Amazon, your own eStore and even the platforms Expanded Distribution Channel (EDC).

Customized trim sizes allow you to create a book of a unique size, but the book cannot be sold via EDC’s Bookstores and other online distribution outlets or retailers. The same limitations apply for books sized as per the “Enter My Own Size” option.


Bleed defines elements that extend to the edge of a page. Since CreateSpace abhors excessive whitespace, it recommends use of interior or cover images with bleed that extends beyond the trim line. This ensures that no white space is seen when the final book is trimmed to size.

If you encounter difficulties fulfilling the above trim size and bleed requirements for CreateSpace, The Fast Fingers is always ready to help. Our professional paperback formatters will design your book interior and cover according to standards set by CreateSpace.

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CreateSpace Trim Size and Bleed Specifications

2 thoughts on “CreateSpace Trim Size and Bleed Specifications

  • 07/28/2018 at

    Hello Fast Fingers. I have uploaded my first 6×9 book manuscript pdf to Createspace and keep coming up with mistakes for the required trim size requirements. I have done everything I have read in their tutorials, but still can’t figure out what to change. When I change one thing it causes another problem. I had my book cover done through Fiverr. They did a great job, it’s Createspace ready. The problem is that it was formatted for 240 pages and with the formatting I have been trying so hard to do has taken the book to 256-270 and I still don’t know how much that will change once the book is properly formatted. Being a new author I didn’t format before I started the book but learned I had to do that after I was all done writing it, I typed it out on 8/12×11 paper size. Can you help me? And how much do you charge for your services. Thank you.

    • 08/04/2018 at

      Thank you for the inquiry Ellen! Check our response in your inbox. Have a great day!

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