Saturday, February 25, 2012

CreateSpace Without Angst

Unless you're rich and/or have no computer skills, don't even dream of hiring someone to do this for you.  If you wrote the book in a word processor, you can format it.

I'm sorry.  I have never even touched a Mac so none of this applies to you Apple people.  But isn't Mac so easy that you don't need help?

I'll assume you're using Word.
1) Open your document and rename it like Mygreatbook CS 022512 v1.
Each time you make changes save it, make it a new version.  Yes, this is important. You don't want to make a lot of changes then have something happen where you have to start over.  (You can delete all the versions but the last of them after the process is over.)
2) Go to Page Layout and find Margins. Choose MIRRORED.
3) Go to Page Setup.  Under Paper, type in the size of the book you chose at CreateSpace.  5.25 X 8, 6 X 9.  Whatever.  Apply to whole document.
4) Go to View.  Choose the side by side.  You will now be looking at how the book is laid out.
5) Wait.  There's no Frontmatter.  Put it in.  Pick up a published book like yours and see how it's done.

I followed the template of my previously published books by Atheneum:

Half Title (Title of Book)
Copyright page (dedication can go up at the top, copyright, disclaimer, ISBNs, publisher, what's the BISAC)
Title Page (Title with Author's Name)
Blank page.  (go to insert hit section break on your last front matter page)

Why do you need a blank page?  Because without it the front matter ends on a right side page.  If you add a blank page, your next page is right side.

Joel Friedlander, a book designer, explains it in greater detail here Joel Friedlander on Front Matter.

I think this is from another era, it's trad pub stuff no one cares about anymore, and you can scoot by on the basics.  You're paying for these pages and no one is going to read them anyway.

What if there is a blank page before the Half Title?  Decrease the size of the view until there are 3 pages on your screen.  Delete the blank one.  That should take care of it. You might want to leave this until one of the final steps.  Your choice.

Chapters start on RIGHT SIDE PAGES.  That's why you want to look at the project in 2 page view, so you can easily tell when you get screwed up.

Choose a font.  Stick with something typographers have always used--Garamond is great.
I like using 14 pt for kids books.
Most adult books will be 12 pt.
Large print is 16 pt.
We need to do something about line spacing now.
Under Home go to Paragraph.  Open the Paragraph Dialog Box.  (in Word 2007 it's the little arrow in the lower right corner)
Under line spacing choose EXACTLY and a number 2-4 pts greater than the size of your font.  So if the font is 12, you'll want 14 or 16.
Click apply.

For more detailed and accurate information on all this go to Aaron Shepard Self-Publishing .  He really is the maven.

Number your pages.  Watch this vid if you're unsure how to number and separate the front matter section from the text.  Richard Rost on Numbering in Word .  He makes it simple.

Start each new chapter around 2" down the page.

Comb through the book carefully as many times as it takes until you're happy.  (CreateSpace will point out your errors anyway but we'd like to avoid that as much as possible.)

You can upload the doc to CreateSpace this way.  I didn't have good luck with that and it takes them forever to convert it to a PDF.  It will take you less time so do it yourself.

Name the document something like vfinal1.  I usually call the first test upload prefinal.  Save it.

Go to print document.  One of your choices will be Adobe PDF.  Choose that.  Go to properties.  In Defaults Choose high quality.  In Adobe Page Size, type in the size of your book.  You'll want to unclick Rely on system fonts only otherwise the fonts you used will not be embedded in the document.
Click accept/apply/whatever.  And you're done.

Upload it to CreateSpace and let them find the mistakes for you.  There will be little flags with explanations in the Interior Review Machine.

Keep fixing it until it's right.

You just saved hundreds of dollars and acquired new skills and earned self-esteem.

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