Book Printing Sydney

2. Book Sizes

There is no right or wrong size when it comes to book design and printing, however, we can make some recommendations based on age-old practices. Printed books typically all look roughly the same because of three reasons. Book Size, as a subject, has three (3) considerations, and they are 1. Paper yield as it pertains to and effects cost. 2. Geometry and ergonomics, and 3. Technological limitations.

Cost: The most cost-effective use of the material would suggest better value, and given that paper sheet sizes come in a range of standardised sizes, achieving the best page size from those large standard sheets, will mean less wastage and better value. For example, an A5 book with a finished size of 210mm T x 148mm W can cost significantly less than the same book 20mm larger, because 2 A5s will fit inside 1 A4 and there is no waste of paper. If a book has a random size somewhere between A5 and A4, then the book can still be produced, but it will be produced from a larger sheet size and the excess paper trimmed away.

Geometry and ergonomics: It’s no accident that typical sizes are A5, A4, A3, US Letter and 6” x 9”. These sized are widely considered to be 2. Geometrically user-friendly, and the ideal shape for paper usability and readability, based on the Golden Section.

Technological Limitations: While we can do some amazing things here at Barbossa Book Printing, book printing technology does have its limitations. These limits are mostly based around what machines can print on what size and what type of paper.

As a general rule with book printing, if it’s been done before, the chances are we can do it again. The best way to find out though is just to ask.


The problem with automatic quoting systems is that they force your book into the format
they want. You're not a cookie, so why put your book through the cookie cutter process.


most Common printed book sizes are...


A5 PORTRAIT Books: 210 x 148mm


A4 PORTRAIT Books: 297 x 210mm

297mm x 210mm (A4) is more common with magazines, annual reports and reference books than it is with your typical paperback novel


6 x 9 Inch PORTRAIT, or any variation of USA Novels

Here’s an interesting one. While some printers will tell you that 6” x 9” is more expensive in Australia than it is in the states, that is just because some printers buy a paper sheet that has a poor yield. i.e. fewer book pages per each large master sheet. That all being said, there are several sizes that are all around the 6” x 9” novel size, and their cost effectiveness will impart depend on what large sheet sizes those papers are available in.


270 x 210MM PORTRAIT

Also known to us as a Short A4, the 270mm x 210mm is another typical magazine and reference book size.


A format: 111 x 181 mm


B format: 128 x 198 mm


B+ format: 135 x 210 mm


C format: 153 x 234 mm


Demy: 152 x 229 mm


Royal: 191 x 235 mm