Are you thinking about publishing a family history, photography or children’s book on CreateSpace or Lightning Source? Have you thought about what size the book will be? Before you start working on illustrations or editing your photographs, it’s important to decide what size of book you’ll be printing and where you’re going to print it so the illustrations fit well on the page. You don’t want to have all the art finished and then find parts of the illustration are going to be cut off or you have to leave empty space at the top or bottom of the page to fit it all in.
Most people assume since the majority of children’s picture books are in landscape format, these two main sources of print-on-demand books offer a variety of landscape book sizes. This is not the case. Lightning Source offers no sizes in landscape format and Createspace only offers one: 8.25 x 6. They both do offer one square size: Lightning Source has an 8 x 8 and Createspace offers an 8.5 x 8.5. Other than that, it’s all portrait style. You can turn all the illustrations and text 90 degrees so the binding would, for all intents and purposes, be at the top of the book, calendar style, but such a book is hard to hold, especially for children, and is definitely not ideal.
Lulu, Blurb, and Bookbaby offer a limited selection of landscape sizes or, if you’re willing to print copies of your books and store them at home, there are book printers around the world who will print in landscape format or a unique size of your choosing.
Whichever printer you go with, make sure you read the reviews, thoroughly understand the terms of the contract, and how to contact the company if you have any questions. Once you know the book sizes available, then create your illustrations or crop your photographs with the sure knowledge they will look beautiful on the page. If your artwork is already done, take extra care to research your printing options to find a business who can print in the size you want at an affordable cost. With this information in hand, your book designer can then create pages you’ll love for years to come.