Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Uploading A Book On Createspace

Good day everyone! I hope you had a wonderful weekend. Did you get a lot of shopping done? I didn't buy one gift, I was too busy getting Fated ready for publishing and our launch party set up for December 20th. I did give a writing class on Sunday, too. 

Before I get into how to upload a book for print on Createspace, I thought I would announce to two winners of Fable and Fated, as soon as I get Fated that is. Susan Uttendorfsky and Johnny Padilla are our winners! I need your addresses so I will send you both an email requesting them! Congratulations and I hope you enjoy the books!

I do have one more contest on Goodreads going so if you haven't had a chance to go on there and sign up, you have until Saturday. The contest ends on my birthday, December 8th.

Well, I had a request to post information on how to ready your book and download it to Createspace for distribution. This task is not as bad as it seems but there are a lot of steps to making sure your book is up to snuff and will look great for the reader.

First things first. If you want your book to look like a traditionally published book, go grab one off your shelf and see how they set it up.

You'll notice that the first page is blank, and the back as well. Then the next is just the name of your book, and the back blank, then the next the title and you name, and the publishers name on the bottom. (this is based on most, not all) On the back of that one, will be your copyright info and library of congress number. Also your barcode number. Next page is usually your acknowledgements, and then dedication, not necessarily in that order. You could do the dedication first. 

You don't need a chapter list unless your chapters are named, instead of numbered. If you have a map, that would be next. All of these, except for the copyright page, should be on the right. People look to the right of a book first.

Next, the beginning of each chapter should start about ten tabs down. After that, you need a header for each page except for the first page in the chapter. Leave that blank. Your name should be at the top of the left hand pages and the name of your book on the right. Then you set up your lines for 1.2 to 1.5 apart. 

The next step is adjusting the text to justify. You want all of your pages square. No long sentences and short ones. Then at the back of the book, you would add your dictionary, if you have one, or glossary. And last but not least, your "About the Author" page. Your page numbers are typically on the bottom middle, but we found they work better on the top right hand corner for the right page, and left hand corner for the left page. 

That is the inside of your book. The outside, your cover, is usually set up by the artist, in our case, Mikey. If your doing the cover yourself, then you need to have the dimensions correct for the size of the book and spine. Most books are 6 by 9 now. You want to pick the cream colored pages for the inside, too. It looks nicer than the black and white.

In createspace they give you the correct math dimensions to figure out your spine. The back needs your blurb, in present tense. Also justify the text. You need a place for your barcode space in the right hand bottom corner, 2 inches by one inch. (I'm sure Ryan will correct this one for me!)

And on the left, your info, such as the title again, contact info, publisher. also, on your spine you need your name, title and publisher on the bottom corner. 

One thing that's great about Createspace is they will adjust anything for your cover if wrong on the dimensions. You can call them anytime and they will help you!

After all these steps are done, you can do a trial download as many times as you need to. They have a program for you to see anything you need to fix. Once there are no more errors, they will check everything themselves and give you the okay to order your "proof' to check out the look of the book before downloading to the book sites and ordering books yourself.

It's mainly a step by step process, and a trial and error frustration sometimes, but you will get the hang of it. Having Microsoft word as my program, I've had no major problems doing all of this. But make sure if your using microsoft you have the Pro version, otherwise they will get you for copyright infringement. You cannot publish on the smaller programs such as "office and home use". Another thing, is make sure your fonts are not copyrighted. We had to pay for the use of one of our fonts. 

Well, I guess that's about it. Any questions, I'm hear for you. And If I can't answer them, then I know people who can! I will post on here a picture of our cover, front, back, and spine so you can see how it's set up.

Have a wonderful week all! See you on Friday!

Love, Lisa


  1. Yay, back to book design. <3

    Also, I shouldn't be so surprised that my comment was too long for Blogger.

    It's not copyright infringement that's the problem when you use Home and Office for commercial purposes, it's simply against the Home and Office End User License Agreement (and there continue to be debates about the enforceability of EULAs, so tread lightly).

    But, that's not why I'm leaving the comment(s).

    A lot of interior book design is somewhat fluid. Some books, for example, put acknowledgements up front. Others put them in the back. Some will have a series book list in the front and a full bibliography in the back, or just a book list in the front or just one in the back. It depends a bit on the designer.

    And I believe you meant the publisher information should be on the back of the book, not on the spine. =)

    The barcode will go into a 2" x 1.2" (width x height) space that is positions exactly 1/4" from the spine and 1/4" from the bottom (that does not include the bleed; if you don't know what a bleed is, don't worry, your cover artist will know--if they don't, worry). When I do covers, I tend to put in the barcode manually, because I think mine look nicer than CreateSpace's. CreateSpace does not included the dashes of the ISBN, which some bookstore Point of Sale systems REQUIRE. I would know. I worked at one that couldn't search by ISBN unless you knww the placement of the dashes. Thus, I generate my barcodes and place them into the cover when I assemble it in InDesign (which is also where I design my print interiors; InDesign offers far more control over book design than Word ever will).

    Another thing you might find on the back of the back of the book is price. This will also, often, be included in the barcode (though not by CreateSpace).

    A note on title pages. You have the full title, which includes title, subtitle, author name, and publisher logo and location (typically). You have the half, or bastard title, which is just the full title of the book, but may include subtitle. The placement of these differs from book to book. Typically, the first page (after review quotes) will be a half title, followed by a full title, on the verso (left side) of which is the copyright page. You may also find books that have a full title up front and a half title before the story actually starts (i.e., after all the front matter). That's how I tend to do things if there are too many pages of front matter, or if I need to pad out the length of the book, which is why there are two title pages in the first place. I've even seen books with 3 title pages. Kind of drives me batty. Why repeat yourself once, let alone twice, am I right?

    A lot of books, particularly indie books, are also including a statement like "E-Book Version also available" or "Audiobook version also available" on the back cover.

  2. And now for comment part 2.

    All fonts are copyrighted, whether they're free or not. That's just the way copyright law works. What you must make sure of is that you are licensed to use the font commercially. If they came with your word processor and your word processor allows commercial use, then it is more than likely the fonts that came with it are good to go. The fonts that come with your operating system, be it Windows, Mac, or Linux, are fine. Those that come with Windows and Mac are licensed for commercial use, and the ones that come with Linux are usually SIL or Apache licensed, which are free licenses that permit commercial use. When it doubt, fire off an e-mail to support and find out.

    If you pay a monthly or annual subscription to use InDesign Creative Cloud, you have a license to use the fonts that come with it commercially.

    FontSquirrel has a large collection of wonderful fonts that can be used free for commercial use. However, there are some whose creators can no longer be contacted or whose license terms are ambiguous. I only recommend using ones that are licensed using the SIL Open Font License or the Apache License, and I strongly recommend seeking out the font creator's website to find out what the current licensing terms are. Google Fonts is another source of some excellent free for commercial use fonts. Most of these are SIL or Apache licensed.

  3. Oh, and as fair warning, just because you pay for a font does not mean you can use it commercially. I have found some font creators to be so restrictive that their license terms spell out things you can't do in large itemized lists that make your head spin. And it turns out some of these prevent you from doing things like embedding the font in a PDF file so that a book printer can print your book with that font.

    I can't help but wonder if these font creators realize that without their customers, they wouldn't have jobs, and that they should thus treat their customers right by trusting them. And allowing their fonts to be used commercially. Because frankly, why else would a person want to spend money on a font if not to use it in a commercial work?

    1. Thanks for all the insight Ryan! As always you are so thorough! If I were to post all this info my article would have been way too long!

  4. I have to disagree on right justifying story pages. As an editor, I hate receiving justified material, because it spaces out words and I can't tell if there's an error in spacing or not. As a reader, I hate it for the same reason. I think a ragged right edge looks perfectly fine and professional. Many times a short sentence
    will get spaced out terribly like this and I think that looks worse!

    That's my tale and I'm stickin' to it! :)

    Thanks for the books!

    1. Oh, all right. I just ran into my bedroom and looked at three paperback books---a Maeve Binchy, a Michael Crighton, and a Stephen King. All are right justified and hyphenated. I lose. Ignore me! :)

    2. There are few books I can think of that are aligned ragged right (i.e. right aligned). Most are left justified (flush left and right, save for the last line which is left aligned). It's impossible to balance properly in Word, but you can usually do it okay in Adobe InDesign. It has settings for justification and hyphenation that, when balanced properly, allow for fairly uniform type without obnoxious gaps.

      Which is why I always recommend InDesign over Word for book layout. With the new Creative Cloud (though there's little "Cloud" about it), you pay $30 for a month of access to InDesign. You'd probably spend two months learning how to use it properly, and then you'd only need it as many months in the year as you put books out. So if you have 3 releases a year, you end up spending $90 a year on InDesign subscriptions. And that's a massive savings from designers who charge anywhere between $75 and $300 per book.

      Of course, InDesign skill does not come easily. It's a very complicated program with more features than you can shake a stick at, 90% of which you won't even be aware of while doing your book. When it comes down to it, hiring a professional is rarely a bad decision.

  5. Drats. I just KNEW it would take out all those deliberate spaces!!!!! >:F

    1. Ha ha! Susan, you crack me up lol!

    2. Lol. :) I'm glad I gave you a giggle.

      And I spaced them all out so carefully, too! Five spaces in between each word---OCD editor me even counted! Lol.