Measuring Your Book Size for Printing

Since the first project rolled off PrintNinja’s presses in 2009, we’ve printed over six million copies of books, cards, games, and more. From tabbed catalog pages to book covers that double as drink coasters, we’ve just about seen it all. During the prepress process, one of the most common questions we are asked is how to properly measure your book. No matter what type of project you are printing, it is critical to understand the correct measurements of your book so that it turns out exactly like you imagine.

To measure the size of your book, all you need is a:

  • Book
  • Ruler
  • Sturdy flat object (such as a book or piece of cardboard)
  • Flat surface

Start with the height, which is the dimension parallel to the spine. Lay your book on a flat surface and hold the piece of cardboard against your book at the bottom of the spine. Place your ruler against the cardboard and measure to the top of your book, making sure to account for the extra length at the end of the ruler. Then do the same for the the width, which is the dimension perpendicular to the spine. You can see these steps illustrated in the photos. Measure to the nearest 1/8 of an inch.

If you’re printing a hardcover book, the cover extends approximately 1/8″ past the interior pages on all sides. This means that the cover of a 6″ x 9″ hardcover book will be closer to 6.25″ x 9.25″, so plan accordingly.


PrintNinja Tip
If you want to determine the width of your book’s spine, visit our spine width calculator.

Once you have your book measurements figured out, make sure to check out our instant quote calculator to lock in your price for 90 days. Or, if you need some help with your project, contact our print experts for information.

Common Book Sizes:

  • Comic Book: 6.625″ x 10.25″
  • Magazine / Catalog: 8.5″ x 11″
  • Children’s Book: 8.5″ x 11″ or 11″ x 8.5″
  • Paperback Novel: 5.5″ x 8.5″ or 6″ x 9″
  • Hardcover Novel: 6″ x 9″
  • Booklets: 8.5″ x 11″
  • Art Book: 8.5″ x 11″ or 9” x 12”
  • Photo Book: 8.5″ x 11″ or 9” x 12”

For a more comprehensive list of standard book sizes, materials, and bindings, visit our industry standard pages.

What’s next?

We can customize just about anything, but if you’re looking for a more comprehensive list of project types, standard sizes, materials, and bindings, visit our industry standard pages.

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