Bookstore-grade qualityTrade books allow full customization from cover to spine to paper type. Our papers have a terrific hand-feel and feature rich black ink and deep, bold colors.
Easy worldwide distributionTrade books make it easy to print, distribute, and ship your work wherever you want to sell it, including the Blurb Bookstore, Ingram (includes Amazon), and 39,000+ indie bookstores.
sellersTrade books are an extremely affordable option for printing, so you can competitively price your creations and still make good earnings. Plus, our trade books come with a free ISBN.
13x20 cmWe like it for: novels or novellas, fiction, paperbacks, travel journals, how-to books
15x23 cmWe like it for: fiction, non-fiction, short stories, textbooks, behind-the-scenes books
20x25 cmWe like it for: children’s books, biographies, yearbooks, cookbooks, portfolios, manuals
Trade books can be as few as 24 pages to as many as 440 pages with these three paper types.
Economy Black and WhiteWhite or cream uncoated, 75 g/m²
Why we like it: Works well for books of mostly text and line art.
Economy ColorWhite uncoated, 75 g/m²
Why we like it: Great price, lower fidelity black and color, but great for print and line art.
Standard ColorWhite uncoated, 105 g/m²
Why we like it: Shows rich black and deep color, perfect for images and illustrations.
SoftcoverPrint on the front cover, back cover, and spine
No cover flaps
ImageWrap HardcoverPrint an image on front and back cover plus spine
Durable matte finish
No cover flaps
Dust Jacket HardcoverGlossy dust jacket
Slate-gray linen hardcover
Ready to make your trade book?
BookWrightDesign trade books with our free software featuring customizable templates, layout ideas, and image retouching tools.
Adobe InDesign Plug-inCreate unique, print-ready books, magazines, or wall art as part of your InDesign workflow.
Blurb PDF UploaderHave a PDF ready to publish? Just upload it and get your trade book printed quickly and easily.
Adobe Lightroom Book ModuleAlready editing photos in Lightroom? Turn your digital galleries into beautifully printed photo books.
Trade Book Success Stories
AG23By Dan Milnor and Rick Elder
This offset printed 15x23 cm, softcover zine promotes understanding through dialogue and art. They chose trade for its exceptional reproduction of illustrated content and portable trim size.
MixedBy Cameron Mouton
'Creative freedom,' is the reason this Los Angeles-based Afro-Latina writer and editor chose an affordable trade book for her debut.
HOME AND GARDEN
houseplantBy Hannah Stetter
Leafy, flowery, and prickly plants get their moment in the sun with stunning, colorful spreads fit for a high-quality photography book, but priced to sell.
Create, Sell, and Distribute
Sell any formatChoose the best format for your self-published book to strike a balance between your creative vision and a price that works for your audience.
Print as you goReduce your self-publishing risk! Order a single book to proof. Since you can digitally print trade books for each sale, you’ll eliminate upfront expenses.
Distribution optionsCreate a self-published book you can sell and distribute at scale through the Blurb Bookstore, on Ingram (includes Amazon), and in more than 39,000 stores worldwide.
Large order servicesEnjoy custom discounts, bespoke print solutions, and expert support from our in-house team for orders of 100 or more books.
Trade Book FAQs
What is a trade book?
As the largest category in book publishing, a trade book is intended for general readership and typically sold through bookstores and other traditional retail channels. Trade books are available in various genres, including fiction and nonfiction novels, memoirs, and lower-price-per-copy photo books. They're what most people envision when they think of books and publishing in the general sense.
Trade books are common formats for self-publishers who use platforms like Blurb as well as publishing houses that specialize in producing books for the general public. They're often printed in a standard size and format and priced affordably for sellers. Blurb offers 5x8 in (13x20 cm), 6x9 in (15x23 cm) and 8x10 in (20x25 cm) trade book sizes.
Why are they called trade books?
The definition of "trade book" originates from the practice known as "trade publishing," which refers to the business of publishing books intended for the general public. Trade publishers are for-profit publishing houses that aim to produce books that will sell in the marketplace and generate profits for the publisher, author, and other stakeholders.
Not to be confused with skilled trades or stock trading, the term "trade" in this context refers to the commercial activity associated with buying and selling books as a commodity in the marketplace. Trade books are intended to be published and marketed to the general public instead of specialized audiences like academics or professionals. In turn, trade books reflect a much wider audience and genres ranging from children's books to self-help books.
What are trade books used for?
Trade books are a popular format used for a wide variety of purposes, including reading enjoyment and enrichment, personal growth, research and documentation, and subject matter teaching. In an educational context, trade books lend to various topics for student consumption and offer teachers autonomy in choosing relevant materials for instruction.
In the general marketplace, trade books are an affordable alternative to photo books and portfolios for creating collections of photos, art, and stories. They're primarily genre-agnostic and are often used for leisure reading or to learn about a new subject or topic. Overall, trade books serve a vast array of purposes and are enjoyed by readers of all ages and interests.
What are examples of trade books?
There are countless examples of trade books, as they encompass a broad range of book genres and subjects. Here are a few popular examples of trade books across core categories:
- Fiction: F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby," "Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird," and J.D. Salinger's "The Catcher in the Rye."
- Nonfiction: Jon Krakauer's "Into Thin Air," Charles Duhigg's "The Power of Habit," Rebecca Skloot's "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks," and Yuval Noah Harari's "Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind."
- Memoirs: Tara Westover's "Educated," Trevor Noah's "Born a Crime," and Michelle Obama's "Becoming."
- Self-help: Stephen Covey's "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People," Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends and Influence People," and James Clear's "Atomic Habits."
- Children's Books: E.B. White's "Charlotte's Web," and Shel Silverstein's "The Giving Tree."
These are just a collection of classic trade book examples by popular genres. The world of trade books spans a much broader scope of topics and genres, and new titles are constantly being released.
What are the types of trade books?
Trade books can be classified in several ways. The most common way to organize the various types of trade books is by genre, which can include: novels, memoirs and autobiographies, self-help and personal development, children's literature, travel and guidebooks, and art and photography. However, in a publishing context, the classification of trade book types can be viewed a bit differently.
In addition to the genre, trade books can be classified based on their book cover type: softcover, hardcover imagewrap, and hardcover dust jacket. Trade paperbacks, or paperbacks, usually measure around 13x20 cm and are more affordable and portable compared to hardcovers. Hardcover trade books are hardbound, with perfect-bound spine and removable dust jackets. Hardcover trade books are preferred for being more durable; however, standard paperbacks generally cost less to produce.