Compile for paperback in Scrivener 3 - default size?

Hi there,

This is probably a dumb question, but here you go. I’m getting ready to compile my MS to PDF to submit to KDP for a paperback. I see the default size of paperback in the Compile formats is set to 5.06" x 7.81". Is this the size of the book itself, or the writing in the book, excluding margins? If the latter is the case, would that mean that the book size is 5.5 x 8.5"? :confused:

I’m just not sure what size I’m supposed to put into the info on the KDP site in terms of what size book I want that matches with what Scrivener says in its compile formats.


The paper size should be the same as the book trim size. in your example, the paper size should be 8.5 x 5.5. I had to create a custom paper size in Scrivener to match my trim size. So far as I know, the default paperback size in Scrivener doesn’t match anything in KDP.

To summarize, you’ll need to customize the paperback format to use a customized paper size.

Hope this helps!

Hmm. Ok, I’m still a bit confused. Trim size is the actual size of the book? How do I figure out the margins, etc, if I’m using a custom size? Which I presume would be 6" x 9" which seems to be the size Amazon recommends? Maybe this is something I have to Google?

It just seems weird to me that Scrivener is so helpful in formatting everything in Compile except for this, which feels to me like a pretty important part of the Compile. Why isn’t the standard size or even more options than just the one size available?

At any rate, thanks for your help. If you know of anywhere where I can find the info I need to set the margins, etc for the standard sizes that Amazon recommends, I’d be grateful.


The size listed in the name of the Compile format is the paper size. If you edit the Compile format, the Page Settings tab lets you specify whatever paper size and margins you like.

Amazon should supply a spec sheet telling you what their process can support.


One of the recent releases of Scrivener 3 includes a 6x9 compile format. If it isn’t available to your current (old / existing) project, create a new project based on one of the book templates and then copy the 6x9 compile settings to your project.

That will produce a 6x9 book with margins that fit inside 6x9 pages. You can adjust internal margins if necessary.

Slàinte mhòr.

EDIT: 6x9 compile settings attached.

Paperback (6%22 x 9%22).zip (5.51 KB)

There is an option to copy and paste compiled text into one of the paperback templates that can be downloaded from the KDP page on Amazon.


Ok everyone, thanks for your input. I’m using Scrivener 3.0.3 but the only paperback compile format I see is Paperback 5.06" x 7.81". So no 6" x 9" paperback option. Drat. I have everything perfectly the way I want it right now, I’m afraid to update in case it all goes wrong. :angry: :frowning:

I will try to figure this out by checking out the KDP site. Hopefully it’s there somewhere. JoRo I can’t open your zip file…or at least when I do, I just get html gobbledegook. But thanks for the help anyway.

This whole self-publishing thing is tricky. So much to learn the first time around. Hopefully next book it will be easier!

Upgrade to 3.1.2. Not only does it have the latest supplied Compile formats, but it also has a bunch of important bug fixes. Free for all 3.x users.

As noted, though, page size specifically is easy to change yourself.



That’s actually good. You just need to import the compile format:

Slàinte mhòr.

Oh, thank you, JoRo! I will do that.

You learn something new every day.

I am going to take the plunge and update to the newest version. Fingers crossed, everyone! I will back up my project first, of course… :smiley:

Hopefully that will do the trick. If I have trouble, I’ll let you know!

Just letting you all know that I updated to 3.1.2 with no issues, phew. Am happily compiling into 6 x 9" format.

Appreciate the help, all!