Monday, August 8, 2011

My Guide to self-publishing print books at CreateSpace.

Figuring out CreateSpace was a whole lot harder. There's not a lot of info out there and I scoured the forums for ages trying to find the right way of doing things. But here is how I ended up doing it.
1 - If you haven't already - join at and use your pen name and email add to sign up.

1.a - Once you're ready to upload your file in your account there's a window that pops up that asks how you want to do things, take the guided tour or streamline it as a pro. I took the guided tour and it's much easier. It guides you through the whole setup step for step. And you will need to add your title, author name, size, it will ask you to get an ISBN which is free through CS and you NEED to get this so you can add it to your copyright page on the inside of your book before uploading, or even if you add it then upload a second time. Take your time with the details, nothing's being published yet.

2 - Decide on what size you want your book to be. CreateSpace have made templates for you to use instead of figuring out everything on your own. I chose the 5.06 x 7.81 template and you can find them here -

3 - Play with the template for awhile. Get the feel of it, see how it works, there's no guide to how it works, you just have to figure it out yourself. CS have already set the preferences for the text body, titles etc, and they've put title, copyright, table of contents, acknowledgements and dedications pages in the front, as well as about the author page at the back. CS use different fonts for all and it's highlighted in your MS word bar up the top of the page. If you don't need the table of contents, delete it. I did have some issues deleting page breaks, but you'll soon figure it out.

4 - There is a sort of guide here - in the purple section just above the table "additional tips". Print it out and it will help a lot! It also tells you how to add extra chapters which will be handy. I also found author, Helen Hanson and her trip through CS -

5 - Use a copy of your Smashwords file as this made it easier. You know there's no mistakes. Just don't add your Smashwords details. Copy and paste a chapter in and while it's still highlighted, change the font to your choice. I chose Time New Roman size 12. While the text was also highlighted I right clicked it and clicked on paragraph. I chose line spacing of exactly and AT of 14. It gave it a nice look. Although my book also has uneven lines on the page, I'm not sure how this worked, and maybe you won't have a problem, I had say, 37 lines on one page and 36 on the other. Maybe I should have shortened my paragraphs. It doesn't really make a lot of difference overall. I did try to fix it by changing the line spacing etc but it still turned out the same.

6 - Once you have everything pasted go back through it. If you can tighten your sentences so you don't have one word on a line delete them. Some of my sentences ended in words like one, or on, and they were the only word on the line and it's a waste of page and space, so I tightened the text (deleted unnecessary words) so all of my lines fit perfectly.

Make sure they all sit on the pages properly, everything is nice and neat. It does a take a while but you'll get there. Just don't rush.

7 - Save it as a word doc to your file and leave it for a day. Go back and with fresh eyes check for mistakes. Then save it as a PDF, open that and check it for mistakes. If you use your Smashwords copy, there shouldn't be. If it looks good as a PDF then it's time to upload to CS. Make sure you have your ISBN. And CS will let you know if it needs fixing in anyway. Just go back and fix it then upload a new PDF.

8 - Then it's on to cover. Now this can be hard. If you know how to work Adobe Indesign, or some other design software, you can create your own. If you have your pictures from your Smashwords cover then that will help. Now there's several ways to do the cover. To find out what size cover, you go to this page - and fill out the details and it will give you a zipped file with the cover inside. Inside is Adobe versions of the cover. You can make your cover that way or -

8.a - Have someone make one for you and pay.

8.b - If you have InDesign -

8.c - You can go through the CS Createcover which is featured after you upload your pdf.

Now if you don't want the "pre-made" covers this offers, don't worry, on page 4 of the pop up window of designs, there is a cover that allows you to upload a full image that you've made, via the zipped file I believe, or one that allows you to upload a back and front design and then you just have to pick a plain colour for the spine and fill in the title and author. You also get minimal font choice. I went with "natural" as it was more like arial. There is an issue with the front and back cover though, you have to be careful that your design doesn't reach the outer lines of the provided "cover". I uploaded my designs many, many, many times until they were accepted by CS. Even though it looked good, they always had issues. So make sure text and pics aren't near the outlines of the upload.

9 - Once your design has been accepted and there are no other issues, order a proof of your book, or if you have more than one, of your books. Cost kinda comes into it here. If you sign up for Proplan then every time you order your own books it will cost you less to do so. But there is a hitch. Proplan is PER book! If you have one, great it's only $39.95. If you have two, like me, $78 YIKES! Proplan is $39.95 per book for the first year, and then $5 every year per book. So you will be paying for your book to be printed on demand!

9.a - I've ordered my proof of each book and they were $6 and change each as they're so thick. I also had three choices of shipping. Normal, expedited and superfast. While normal shipping was only $10.47, it may have taken until September sometime to get here. So I chose expedited for $17.17 and they should be here sometime in August. I'm hoping sooner.

10 - While waiting for your book you can fill out more details in your dashboard, like sales information and channels. CS tells you, based on the size of your book (total number of book pages) what price it must be over to sell. If you've applied for Proplan, then you can fill out the other details for distribution as well. Your CreateSpace Store, and Expanded Distribution Channel which means it will be available on other websites for people to buy. The more people who see your book, the more chances to make sales. One thing I did find out though, is that with the size I chose I cannot pick the third part of expanded distribution, which is that stores will not be able to sell my books on their shelves. Which I DID NOT KNOW when I chose the size. Had this info been on the template page, I would have chosen a size that was appropriate.

11 - Once you've read your proofs and either fixed whatever issues there may be you're almost finished. Fill out any leftover details and decide if you want a CS store. If you've done everything that needs to be done, filled out everything that needs to be filled out and fixed what needs to be fixed then you can start selling your book!

12 - Next comes marketing, but that's up to you.

Jewels xxoo

1 comment:

  1. I'll love you heaps . . .

    Thanks for the mention. I wish you all the best! And you are absolutely right, David Tennant is the best Dr. Who ever!



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