If sending a hard copy manuscript, we suggest setting all margins (including any headers and footers) on a 8.5×11″ book at 1″. Generally a book printed from this would contain a 1.25″ binding/interior margin, and a .75″ trim/outside margin. “Fixing” the margins in this way is a free service we offer to make it easier on the manuscript preparation person.

Can you “cheat” the 1″ margin on a smaller format book and still have a pleasing balance of print and white space? Margins that leave less white space don’t have quite as pleasing a balance between printed and white space. Additionally, if the book is very thick, you can make a book with so small a margin that people are breaking it’s spine to read it. Outside margins differ between hard and soft binding selections, as they all have different minimum trim requirements.

This section is drawn from