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Print Options

Before you upload your paperback manuscript and cover to KDP, you'll choose your ink and paper type, trim size, bleed setting, and cover finish.



Ink and paper type

You have three ink and paper options:

  • Black ink and 55# (90 GSM) cream paper
  • Black ink and 55# (90 GSM) white paper
  • Color ink and 60# (100 GSM) white paper

If your paperback is printed with black ink, you can choose cream or white paper. For paperbacks with color ink, you can choose white paper, which shows a higher contrast for images and graphics. For example, you're publishing a textbook with lots of images, tables, and charts. White paper will make these visual elements more striking.

When choosing your ink and paper type:

  • Choose color ink if any images in your paperback are supposed to print in color.
  • Set up a separate paperback on your KDP Bookshelf if you have a black-and-white and color version of your book.
  • Remember that the cost for paperbacks printed in color is higher. Paper type doesn't affect printing costs.

Environmental consciousness is important to us. As a manufacture-on-demand company, we produce units only as they're ordered, which reduces excess production. Our ink is chlorine-free, and our acid-free interior paper stock is supplied by a Forest Stewardship Council-certified provider. We currently offer a cream paper for black and white book interiors that is made from 30% post-consumer waste recycled material. We also maintain a commitment to recycling waste materials resulting from the printing process and from daily office operations, and we will continue to review our practices to ensure we are doing our part to protect the environment.



Trim size

You can choose from a variety of trim sizes (see the table below for a list of sizes, as well as minimum and maximum page count by size). The most common trim size for paperbacks in the U.S. is 6" x 9" (15.24 x 22.86 cm). When setting up your book, this is the default in the "Print Options" section of the Paperback Content tab. If you want a different trim size, click Select a different size and choose from standard and non-standard trim sizes. You can also enter your own custom trim size.

If you want to enable Expanded Distribution for your book (this can help you reach more readers through bookstores, online retailers, libraries, and academic institutions), it has to meet our trim size eligibility requirements.

Trim size Black ink and white paper Black ink and cream paper Color ink and white paper
5" x 8" (12.7 x 20.32 cm)24 - 82824 - 77624 - 828
5.06" x 7.81" (12.85 x 19.84 cm)24 - 82824 - 77624 - 828
5.25" x 8" (13.34 x 20.32 cm)24 - 82824 - 77624 - 828
5.5" x 8.5" (13.97 x 21.59 cm)24 - 82824 - 77624 - 828
6" x 9" (15.24 x 22.86 cm)24 - 82824 - 77624 - 828
6.14" x 9.21" (15.6 x 23.39 cm)24 - 82824 - 77624 - 828
6.69" x 9.61" (16.99 x 24.41 cm)24 - 82824 - 77624 - 828
7" x 10" x (17.78 x 25.4 cm)24 - 82824 - 77624 - 828
7.44" x 9.69" (18.9 x 24.61 cm)24 - 82824 - 77624 - 828
7.5" x 9.25" (19.05 x 23.5 cm)24 - 82824 - 77624 - 828
8" x 10" (20.32 x 25.4 cm)24 - 82824 - 77624 - 828
8.25" x 6" (20.96 x 15.24 cm)24 - 80024 - 75024 - 800
8.25" x 8.25" (20.96 x 20.96 cm)24 - 80024 - 75024 - 800
8.5" x 8.5" (21.59 x 21.59 cm)24 - 59024 - 55024 - 590
8.5" x 11" (21.59 x 27.94 cm)24 - 59024 - 55024 - 590
8.27" x 11.69" (21 x 29.7 cm)24 - 78024 - 730Not available


Bleed

Bleed is a printing term that refers to when printed items on a page, such as images or illustrations, reach all the way to the edge of the page. All book covers on KDP require bleed. However, you can choose whether your interior has bleed or not.

Book interior during file setup: No bleed (left) and with bleed (right)
Book interior after final trim: No bleed (left) and with bleed (right)

When to choose bleed for your interior

You should choose Bleed in Print Options if you have any images or illustrations in your book that you want to reach the edge of the page. Even if just one page in your interior requires bleed, then you need to choose the bleed option in Print Options. Remember, you will need to format your paperback manuscript file correctly to prevent a white border from appearing at the edge of the page when the book is trimmed. The way you do this is to increase your page size and then ensure that the image extends beyond the trim line. This way, when the book is trimmed to size, the image will reach all the way to the edge. For help calculating your book dimensions, try our calculator. Alternatively, use the following formula to calculate your page width and height:

InchesCentimeters
(Trim height) + (0.125” x 2 (bleed)) = Page height with bleed
(Trim width) +(0.125” (bleed)) = Page width with bleed
(Trim Height) + (3.2 mm x 2 (bleed)) = Page height with bleed
(Trim Width) + (3.2 mm (bleed)) = Page width with bleed

For example, if your trim size is 6" x 9" (15.24 x 22.86 cm), set the page size to 6.125" x 9.25" (15.54 x 23.46 cm). See the images below for the layout of the book in this example. For detailed instructions on how to format your interior with or without bleed, refer to the appropriate Help page below, which contains detailed videos and downloadable instructions:


Once you have set up your manuscript file with the correct bleed settings, set your interior to bleed when you choose your print options during your paperback content setup. Note that bleed is only supported for fixed-format files like print-ready PDFs. Changing the bleed settings won't change the printing cost.

Bleed manuscript layout for a 6" x 9" (15.24 x 22.86 cm) book



Bleed for your cover

For production reasons, all covers need to have bleed. All publications are trimmed 0.125” (3.2 mm) along their edges at the end of production for quality control. When calculating your cover size please take this into account. Use our helpful cover resources to create your cover. Alternatively, you can use the following formula to calculate your cover size:

1. Choose paper thickness for interior (this will affect your spine width)
Cream Paper: 0.0025“
White Paper: 0.002252“
Color Interior Type: 0.002347“

2. Calculate spine area
(Paper Thickness) x (Page Count) = Spine Width
(Trim Height) + ( 2 x 0.125“ (bleed)) = Spine Height
(Spine Width) - (0.0625“ (spine area margins)) = Max Size of Any Text on Spine

3. Calculate exact size of cover
(Trim width x 2) + (Spine Width) + (2 x 0.125“ (bleed area)) = Cover Width
(Trim height) x (2 x 0.125“ (bleed area)) = Cover Height


Cover layout for a 6" x 9" (15.24 x 22.86 cm) book




Cover finish

Our covers are printed on 80# (220 GSM) white paper stock with either glossy or matte finish:

  • Glossy finish is shiny. It makes black covers darker and artwork more striking. It's typical for textbooks, children's books, and nonfiction.
  • Matte finish has minimal sheen and a subtle, polished look. It's typical for novels and other fiction.

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