DecoImage6About Book Design: Things to know and think about…

Choosing Your Book Size

The professionals here at River Sanctuary Publishing work with you to determine the best book size  and font size / style to meet your vision for your book.  Many book size options are available through our print partner (see below for some of the more common sizes).

Not sure what size is best for your book?  A good place to start is by exploring the books in your personal library, imagining what your book might look like in that size and style.  You might want to make a photocopy of cover designs you like.

Note:   Unfortunately, landscape orientation (commonly seen in commercially-produced children’s color books) is NOT available with on-demand printing.  At least, not yet…

5 x 8
5.06 x 7.81
5.25 x 8
5.5 x 8.5
5.83 x 8.27
6 x 9
6.14 x 9.21
6.69 x 9.61
7.44 x 9.69
7.50 x 9.25
7 x 10
8 x 10
8.25 x 11
8.268 x 11.693 (A4)


5.5 x 8.5
7 X 10
8 X 10
8.5 x 8.5
8.5 x 11

About Paper

Paper choice is limited in on-demand printing.

For black-and-white interior books:  Paper choice is white or cream paper.  The cream paper is slightly heavier, giving the book a bit more bulk.  Some people find cream paper easier on the eye, but it’s really a matter of personal choice.  However, you will definitely want to choose white paper if you are using black-and-white images in your book because images “read” better when printed on white paper.

For color books:   There are three tiers of color printing now available for full-color books:

PREMIUM COLOR — these books are printed on a digital color press on 70# paper

STANDARD COLOR — printed on an inkjet press on 70# paper.  The print cost (calculated according to the number of pages) is about 1/3 as expensive for these books as compared to Premium Color, making this a good choice for books longer than 40 pages.

Note:  Glossy papers such as those seen in high-end photography or art books is not available.


About Images

Because “a picture is worth 1,000 words,” your black-and-white interior book can be enhanced by including images.  However, to have good image quality in your print book, you have to start with high quality images.  The following are good guidelines to follow:

You must own the images, i.e., you took the photos or created the graphics yourself; if you got them from someone else, even a friend, you must make sure they have given you the rights and you should give them credit for the images on the copyright page;

The images should be 350 dpi (or more):  DPI means “dots per inch” which determines the quality of the image FOR PRINTING.  Note:  Many phone cameras are set to take images at 72 dpi for quick posting to Facebook etc. BUT THESE PHOTOS ARE NOT HIGH ENOUGH QUALITY FOR PRINTING.

Don’t use images pulled from the internet.  Images that look good on your computer screen will most likely not look good in print.  So, do not grab free images from the internet, thinking you can use them in your book.

Make 350 dpi digital scans of your old photographs or artwork.  If you have old photographs, you can scan them yourself if you have a good printer; or, you can mail them to us to scan and we’ll mail them back you.  (We’ll treat them very gently)  You can also get them scanned at a copy shop like FedEx/Kinko’s.

How can you tell if a photo is large enough?  When you hover over the photo file on your computer, it will show you the size.  Generally, the photo needs to be more than 200 kb if it is of decent size for us to print.  THE BIGGER THE BETTER!  We can always make a photo smaller (reduce the number of pixels), but WE CANNOT MAKE THE PHOTO LARGER.

Send us your photo files in the most raw form (in other words, the original photo as taken by your camera).  Do not attempt to “correct” your photos using one of the photo editing programs that comes with your computer.  These programs are fine for adjusting photos to post on the internet, but you risk making changes to the photo that make it unusable for printing.  (Obviously, if you are an expert with Adobe Photoshop this doesn’t apply to you.)

Send image files to us using our dropbox:

Subject Headings for Your Book

We input three subject headings into the master digital catalog when we setup your book for on-demand printing.  The headings classification system is established by the Book Industry Study Group (BISG).  Most of the books we publish can be classified using the categories below.  We welcome your input as to the best choices for your book:

BODY, MIND & SPIRIT (this category is a catch-all for a lot of today’s spiritual/inspirational writings)







BISAC Subject Headings full listings can be found here.