Indie Publishing – Adventures with CreateSpace!

I just finished formatting my first indie paperback. Whew! Feels like I had a workout. It’s so nice to wait for the box of books to come in the mail from the publisher! LOL!

A few things that I had to consider that I hadn’t thought of before:

1. Book Size – You’ll notice the ebook is about 314 pages. When doing the print version, the larger the book, the more expensive it is for readers to buy. So, the challenge here was for me to get the page count down without sacrificing the book’s readability. I’m going to get a print copy sent to me so I can see exactly how the finished product will look. You can see files online, but for something like this, I need to hold the paperback in my hand before I start charging people for it.

2. Cover Art formatting. Syneca at Original Syn creates my cover art and she’s brilliant. She sends me all the files I need for ebook & print. That doesn’t mean I’ll have the common sense to use the correct file!

First, I uploaded a cover without consideration that there wasn’t a back cover with it. So readers would have purchased the book and gotten a paperback with a fancy front cover and a plain white back cover. No art, no book blurb, nothing. LOL Not good!

Second, I didn’t think about the book spine. Size the book incorrectly, and the book spine will not print properly.

Third, CreateSpace requires PDF cover uploads. Not JPEG. I’m so used to every image I work with being a JPEG that I mentally warred against the PDF requirement. Fortunately, Syneca is smart enough to combat the ridiculous things new indie writers do.

3. Glossy cover or Matte cover? Go online to research and nobody agrees. But the arguments I heard in favor of matte covers were more convincing than the ones for glossy. Plus, most of the books in my own personal library have matte covers.

4. Book size!!! Ack!!! I hadn’t anticipated this. I thought this would be a sort of, once size fits all deal. Nope! So I went with the recommended, 6×9 cover. By the way, there’s also much disagreement about this online.

The author basically gets to decide exactly how her book will look. It’s very freeing, but a lot of work. The thing that took the longest was trying to get my page count down low enough so the price would be affordable. I should note here that while the author is able to decide how much to charge, CreateSpace gives them a minimum price based on the book size. So the author cannot go below that price.

It’s been a great, two day adventure! I’ve learned much and won’t be surprised if there are still changes to be made in the print version of Zoe Matthews, the Undead Ghost, and the Demon. But I’m learning and I’ll be better prepared for my next paperback.

Happy Reading!!!

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