Paper: white vs cream

by Nancy LaTurner
(Albuquerque, NM)

I'm a subscriber to your newsletter and grateful for the helpful information on self-publishing. My memoir is finished and I've started the pre-publication steps to the point of choosing my book format and the kind of paper.

I really like the look of cream paper, but my book includes 40 black and white photos. I'm concerned that the photos won't reproduce as well on cream paper as on white. What do you recommend?

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Paper colors
by: Shelley Hitz

So glad that you're connected and learning here! How exciting that your memoir is almost done as well. Congrat!

I, personally haven't used the cream paper to let you know how the pictures will turn out. What I recommend is to order a proof, check it out and then decide. The most you'll lose is a few dollars on the proof and a few days until it's officially ready for purchase.

Then, come back and let us know what you decide!


My Paper choice
by: Amanda (AK) Taylor

My novel "Neiko's Five Land Adventure" has bold black and white illustrations in it, and I used white paper. I am also an artist and I could visually "see" the difference in my head. White does make black and white illustrations bolder and more 3D looking as opposed to cream. Cream sort of drains some of the pizzazz from the digitally printed illustrations and makes them...bleh. It also added more boldness to the text and drop caps, and people handling my book thought 'wow'. Another way of looking at it would be just like having a black and white zebra print color scheme in a room and choosing between a cream or white paint for the wall which the pictures and wall decor would be placed on. Cream with this scheme would be...ew. I hope this helps you.

Cream for Fiction Without Illustrations
by: Ezra Barany

When I went with cream-colored paper for my book The Torah Codes, a thriller without illustrations, I was quite happy. My wife (a book coach) and I were told to go with cream because it looks more professional (the standard paperback fiction has off-white paper).

However, when we tried comparing Create Space with Lightning Source, the cream paper for Create Space looked more of a sickening yellow than Lightning Source's off-white (and Create Space's text was somewhat gray compared to Lightning Source's black text).

So if you choose cream color pages, I recommend Lightning Source's. If you're working with Create Space, I suggest using white.

And it makes sense for books with black and white illustrations to use white paper. :)

white vs. cream NEW
by: Anonymous

Glad to read the comments. I'm going with CreateSpace and was considering the cream pages, but after looking at what others have posted, I may be changing my mind. Thanks for sharing.

Black and white sketches NEW
by: Anonymous

When you use black line drawings in a book that will be printed on cream paper with Lightning Source, do they remove the white background on the jpeg of the sketch? or do I have to.

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