Canzonas of CreateSpace, Part 1

I thought I would give CreateSpace a shot, since I’d heard about it and it wouldn’t get in the way of the Highsong series being Amazon exclusive. I’ve also had quite a few would-be fans say they don’t have Kindles but would like to buy the book in book form.

So, things you need to know.

1. Your formatting is the same. Whatever you used to make your ebook look good, you will need to have the same tricks for your CreateSpace book. (As a matter of fact it asks you at the end if you want to go ahead and make your print book an ebook on the Kindle.) I had actually discovered a much better way of formatting on Risen, so I had to go back and reformat Highsong in the same way. There is a print preview that is a godsend; I uploaded mine about 5 or 6 times to play with margins and such.

2. You will need to resize your document’s page. I opted to do the 6×9 book size, since my story is a novella. So this little trick is actually under File>Page Setup, which I usually never bothered with unless I was printing. (Which in a way, I am.) Under the Paper tab, you can set your page size from 8.5×11 to 6×9.  Your formatting, if you’ve done it right, won’t be an issue with the resize, but you will have to play with your margins a bit. I’ve read way too many self-published books that had giant, straight-laced margins that crammed the writing into a column, and I didn’t want that. I switched between playing with CreateSpace’s preview and Word’s margins before I got what I liked. I didn’t play with fonts for chapter headers or anything, but definitely after doing this I’m excited to do so for future projects.

3. Uploading your .pdf will take forever and you must babysit it.  One of the more annoying aspects of my experience. I am an illustrator, so I took my ebook covers and footled around with them to make them accessible enough real book covers. You can generate your own template for a proper bleed and all, and CreateSpace asks for Print Quality .pdfs. Therefore, your .pdf, which is the only image format accepted, will be huge and take forever to upload. I had to keep resending and resending the thing, because the upload bar would get to 22% or even 40% and then decide it needed to quit. Oddly enough, surfing the Net while I uploaded seemed to help. (I would have thought it counterproductive, but whatever works.)

I am waiting on my proofs for both books now. A little hesitant, since this is the first time I’ve done something like this, and print-on-demand has such a bad rep. My next post will let you know how it goes, what mistakes I made, and what I did to correct them.

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About coyoteclockwork

I am 29 and living on the outskirts of the North Austin, TX area. I'm an illustrator and a writer of YA fantasy. I'm also an avid video gamer and have a lot of background in good-old tabletop RPG, when I'm not editing manuscripts for myself or part of my writing group at the Austin SCBWI.
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