So how do you avoid this? What is 'normal'?
To find out we did another one of our experiments. We randomly collected 20 fiction books sized 6 inches by 9 inches, and 20 fiction books sized 5.06 inches by 7.81 inches. These are two common sizes in bookstores. We realize there are lots of others sizes, but we'll stick to these two for now. We then looked at four key measurements. These were the top (distance from top of the page to the top of the main body of text), the bottom (the distance from the bottom of the page to the bottom of the main body of text), the outside (the distance from the outside of the page to the main body of text) and the gutter (the distance from the paper inside the spine to the beginning of the main body of text).
Lost already? Here's a diagram.
For the 6 inch by 9 inch trade paperback books, the median margins were:
Gutter: 0.85 inches.
Outside: 0.8 inches.
Bottom: 1 inch.
Top: 0.9 inches.
For the 5.06 inch by 7.81 inch trade paperback books, the median margins were:
Gutter: 0.65 inches
Outside: 0.55 inches.
Bottom: 0.9 inches.
Top: 0.6 inches.
There was a lot of variability it is fair to say there is no 'one size fits all'. One key variable for the top and bottom was placement of header or page numbers, as these required extra room. Also, the thicker the book the larger the potentially required gutter.
What are your default margin sizes?
As always, if you like this be sure to 'like' it and share it with your network. Let us know if you have any other areas of formatting you would like us to delve into. Next week we'll be back to looking at formatting with individual genres.