Step 4: Technical Details For Self Publishing On CreateSpace.com
My guide is specific to Createspace.com but I know there are other internet platforms you can use for self-publishing. I just stick with this one, since it makes my books available on Amazon and Kindle once they are uploaded. It’s not too complicated a process. The website guides you through it.
Before you finalize a book, maybe even before you write it, you will need to get an ISBN number to add to your book if you intend on making it available for public purchase.
Start a project by clicking ‘Add New Title’ on your dashboard and enter in the basic info it requests. Createspace will assign you an ISBN number at no cost to you. Make sure to copy and paste both numbers that are created in your book.
You can upload a Word document or a PDF document. Createspace will then format your file and you can launch the ‘Interior Reviewer’ to see how it looks. In my experience this can be a labor some part of the process, because if it does not convert correctly, it can take some time to figure out how to get the layout just right in your original file and re upload it. Sometimes I have done this over an over multiple times until I could figure out what the issue was with my original file.
Now Createspace does help out, in that when you decide what page size you want your book to be, it has Word document templates you can download and use to build your book. I strongly suggest using them.
The good thing with a formatted template is margins and mirrored margins are built in. If you don’t use a formatted template, you will want to make sure you remember to add mirrored margins to your Word document. This basically just adds a gutter area where the pages fold in the middle of your book and is wasted space you can’t really use for text or important images. You will notice your text will seem to shift further left or further right off center to the page, based on which side of the double page spread your are on.
The template also shows you where to put your copyright and ISBN info.
Createspace has all the relevant information you need to format your book, so I won’t repeat all of it. Just good to have in mind and be aware of.
300dpi is recommended and I would suggest not going any bigger or your file size will be too large and not upload at all. I had that problem with Mr. Nobbles when I first tried to upload it.
Also in tune with templates and formatting when you add your images to your book, you need to consider if you will ‘bleed’ over the edge of the page or not. Createspace will ask you to define whether images do or don’t bleed. Follow its templates for page sizes if you do wish to have a bleed area.
Your cover needs to be a separate file from your interior. Your front and back cover can be two different files or one (but just remember the front cover will be on the right and back cover on the left if you do one file).
You can also use Createspace’s cover creator if you are unable to create your own cover.
PROOF YOUR BOOK:
Once all files are uploaded and you are happy with them, you will need to proof your book. You can do this with the digital proofer online or request a printed copy, but will take a while to reach you.
Once you approve the proof, you submit your book for review and typically within 24hrs your book will be approved for printing.
SALES CHANNELS & PRICING:
Lastly, decide which channels you do or don’t want your book to be available on and set your pricing. I would suggest using standard book sizes for printing and within 32 page maximum for picture books to keep the price affordable. There are set minimums on pricing and the Royalties aren’t huge, but you can oder personal copies yourself from your Createspace dashboard at much less. Your Royalty payment is also higher if you get orders from buyers on Createspace.com versus Amazon.com. Just harder to drive sales traffic there though.
You also have the option to transfer your files over to Kindle format, which I highly recommend doing. It costs you nothing.