We use two main print on demand service provides at IndieMosh:

  • Ingram (via their Lightning Source platform) and
  • Amazon (via their KDP – Kindle Direct Publsihing platform).

Each service provider offers a different range of print formats and finishes, and occasionally they cross over. When choosing a size for your book, things to consider are:

  • The most common print on demand size is 6 inches wide by 9 inches high.
  • Do you want people to be able to ‘look inside’ your book on Amazon? If so, then you’ll need to choose a size which Amazon offers. If you only have an Ingram version, then Amazon won’t have the internals file and so won’t be able to activate the ‘Look Inside the Book’ function. However, if you have an ebook version, then they will show the reader part of your Kindle ebook, so you don’t necessarily have to have both Ingram and Amazon print options.
  • Ingram has the wider reach as far as retailers go, and the wider range of print options, including hard cover. Amazon doesn’t currently offer a hard cover option.
  • Amazon’s standard paper for black and white printing is 15 gsm heavier than Ingram’s.
  • Amazon only has one standard for colour printing, while Ingram offers a ‘Premium’ colour printing option.

The printing industry still talks in ‘Imperial’ measurements first, so the tables below are inches first, centimetres second. They are also shown width by height, so the first measurement will be the trimmed width of the book, the second measurement will be the trimmed height.

Abbreviations are:

  • PB = Paperback – these will be ‘prefect bound’ with glue
  • HC = Hard cover (this may be a self-cover or potentially an imitation cloth cover with a dust jacket)
  • SS – Saddle stitch

Page counts are shown in maximums and/or minimums. E.g. 4-48 means the minimum page count is 4, the maximum is 48, while 800 pgs simply means there’s a maximum of 800 pages.

Please note:

  • The dimensions, bindings, page count limitations and colour options shown below have been gathered from different data sources. While we’ve been very careful to be accurate, there is always the possibility of error, for which we take no responsibility. And even if we have made an error, it’s also possible that Ingram and Amazon will change their offerings from time to time, so please ensure that you receive up to date advice before making decisions which will be impacted by a change in trim size.
  • With print on demand, all pages are matte finish – there is no satin, no gloss. If you really want satin or gloss pages inside your book, you’ll need to source a printer who can provide the books to you on a ‘short run’. We are happy to help with formatting and layout, but won’t be able to offer you any form of distribution to retailers.
  • With print on demand, you can’t have raised or embossed printing on your cover. All covers are print in full colour, and with finishes you can choose from matte or gloss (there is no price difference), but that’s about the limit to the choice of finish you’ll have.

Colour printing options

Colour printing is usually used for children’s books, illustrated books and coffee table books.

Ingram’s mid-range colour option – Standard Color 104 gsm White – is the option most commonly used by IndieMosh authors as the printing standard is fine for most books but the paper weight is a little heavier than their Standard Colour 74 gsm option, so there’s less chance of ‘show through’ from one page to the next. The mid-range option also most closely matches Amazon’s colour printing option.

Ingram’s Premium Color 104 gsm White is best for coffee table books where high-end images have been included.

Colour printing - Square formats

wdt_ID Trim size options - Imperial Trim size options - Metric Ingram Standard Color 74 gsm White Ingram Standard Color 104 gsm white Ingram Premium Color 104 gsm White Amazon KDP Colour Paperback 100 gsm White
Trim size options - Imperial Trim size options - Metric Ingram Standard Color 74 gsm White Ingram Standard Color 104 gsm white Ingram Premium Color 104 gsm White Amazon KDP Colour Paperback 100 gsm White

Colour printing - Landscape formats

wdt_ID Trim size options - Imperial Trim size options - Metric Ingram Standard Color 74 gsm White Ingram Standard Color 104 gsm white Ingram Premium Color 104 gsm White Amazon KDP Colour Paperback 100 gsm White
Trim size options - Imperial Trim size options - Metric Ingram Standard Color 74 gsm White Ingram Standard Color 104 gsm white Ingram Premium Color 104 gsm White Amazon KDP Colour Paperback 100 gsm White

Colour printing - Portrait formats

wdt_ID Trim size options - Imperial Trim size options - Metric Ingram Standard Color 74 gsm White Ingram Standard Color 104 gsm white Ingram Premium Color 104 gsm White Amazon KDP Colour Paperback 100 gsm White
Trim size options - Imperial Trim size options - Metric Ingram Standard Color 74 gsm White Ingram Standard Color 104 gsm white Ingram Premium Color 104 gsm White Amazon KDP Colour Paperback 100 gsm White

Groundwood printing

Ingram is now offering ‘groundwood’ paper, so if you’re planning a book which would suit the format of an ‘airport novel’, this could be a good option for you.

Amazon doesn’t offer this product, and Ingram only offers it with black and white printing on 48 gsm paper in portrait format.

Black and white printing - Groundwood

wdt_ID Trim size options - Imperial Trim size options - Metric Ingram B&W 48 gsm Groundwood Binding options
Trim size options - Imperial Trim size options - Metric Ingram B&W 48 gsm Groundwood Binding options

Black and white printing

Ingram and Amazon offer a range of different sizes in black and white printing, and a choice of white or cream (or crème) paper. The below tables have been created in square, landscape and portrait layouts to make it easier for you to compare the options.

Black and white printing - Square formats

wdt_ID Trim size options - Imperial Trim size options - Metric Ingram B&W 74 gsm Crème paper Ingram B&W 74 gsm White paper Binding options Amazon KDP B&W Paperback 90 gsm Crème paper Amazon KDP B&W Paperback 90 gsm White paper
Trim size options - Imperial Trim size options - Metric Ingram B&W 74 gsm Crème paper Ingram B&W 74 gsm White paper Binding options Amazon KDP B&W Paperback 90 gsm Crème paper Amazon KDP B&W Paperback 90 gsm White paper

Black and white printing - Landscape formats

wdt_ID Trim size options - Imperial Trim size options - Metric Ingram B&W 74 gsm Crème paper Ingram B&W 74 gsm White paper Binding options Amazon KDP B&W Paperback 90 gsm Crème paper Amazon KDP B&W Paperback 90 gsm White paper
Trim size options - Imperial Trim size options - Metric Ingram B&W 74 gsm Crème paper Ingram B&W 74 gsm White paper Binding options Amazon KDP B&W Paperback 90 gsm Crème paper Amazon KDP B&W Paperback 90 gsm White paper

Black and white printing - Portrait formats

wdt_ID Trim size options - Imperial Trim size options - Metric Ingram B&W 74 gsm Crème paper Ingram B&W 74 gsm White paper Binding options Amazon KDP B&W Paperback 90 gsm Crème paper Amazon KDP B&W Paperback 90 gsm White paper
Trim size options - Imperial Trim size options - Metric Ingram B&W 74 gsm Crème paper Ingram B&W 74 gsm White paper Binding options Amazon KDP B&W Paperback 90 gsm Crème paper Amazon KDP B&W Paperback 90 gsm White paper