Wednesday, February 19, 2014

My Journey Through CreateSpace Land...

Let me start back at the beginning...

I have 37 titles in fiction out on the Internet, all in e-reader format.  Life was tripping along happily, until my darling sister decided her book wasn't getting enough publicity or sales.  It's about funerals, which isn't really a fun subject for most normal people.  She decided people needed to read more about funerals in paperback (I'm sure there's a fan club for things like that), so she put it out on CreateSpace--with my help (and I had no idea what I was even doing).  She then decided it was so much fun, that she'd put her next book out.  But her next book?  She's working on it.  It's a diet book (which, in my opinion, are all like funeral books--something you wish you could avoid but can't).

Anyway, I learned a lot from my sister's endeavors.  Not to be outdone from her books, I HAD to put one out for myself, or I was certain to hear from my mother on our weekly calls how great my little sister was with books published--REALLY published since she could now read the books.  :: sigh ::  Mom doesn't have a computer and doesn't want one.

Thus, I'm working my way through the journey, from beginning to end, of using CreateSpace.  The book is by Eryn Grace (Christian romance) and once I actually jump through all the CreateSpace hoops, it'll be on and other sites.

The Cover:
Since I do my own covers, I started with the back cover, creating a pleasing picture of a cup of coffee with fruit.  Here's what the cover will look like:

The back cover is first, then the spine, and then the front cover.  I used cover creator to make this.  If you're having problems with your cover, set the dimensions of your cover to 1941 by 2945 and make the resolution 310.  Also, all the wording can't be centered.  There's a 1/2 inch border around the whole outside edges where no words can go.  Thus, move the words just slightly toward the spine and more toward the center of the book.

For the back cover, there's a barcode area where you don't want any words.  I took the picture on the back and flipped it horizontally, so the coffee wouldn't be covered with the barcode area.

For the spine, larger letters make for a better product, or so I'm told.

The Interior:
I set my page color to cream.  I was told it was easier to read on cream for fiction, but my sister used white, since she's writing non-fiction.  I'm sure Mom will have a comment about that, but so be it.  For the size, I used a slightly larger sized book and a larger and different font.  My book size is going to be 5.5 X 8.5, a little larger than the 5 X 8 inch standard book.

CreateSpace includes a template to use to set up the document.  To be honest, it's not for the faint of heart but once you understand it, it's not bad.  They use Garamond 10, but I changed my font to Linux Libertine 11 on a suggestion from a friend of mine.  Linux Libertine is a free font you can download from the web, and then right-click and press install.  It's a really pretty font and easier to read than Garamond.

Since I'm using a font that's not normally available, I'm going to turn my book into a PDF for review.  I'm editing ONE MORE TIME just to find little things.  At this point, I've been through the review process once, and will be going through it again with CreateSpace.

Other issues:
As for the ISBN, I bought a hundred ISBNs from Bowker a year or so ago, and used one of mine through my 'imprint' of SweetTale Books.  That way, I can get my books onto other bookstore shelves.  But I did notice if you use one of the CreateSpace ISBNs, you'll get your book in libraries and academic institutions.  Bummer.  I also have to wait for them to make sure my ISBN is right.  I entered the 13-digit ISBN, and it automatically linked it to the 10-digit one.

I'm currently proofreading the PDF they created for me.  You're allowed to do that online, download a PDF, or send a proof copy of the paperback to you.  I'm going to read this, fix things, re-review it, and then get a paperback sent to me.  Or maybe I should send it right to my mother, so she knows I'm a 'real' author.

I'm sure I missed some details here, but my goal, eventually, is to have all my books in paperback.  It'll take years, at the rate I'm going.  But it's a goal.

Markee Anderson

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