I have had just one too many people tell me they’d like to read my book, but not until it’s in paper. I also noticed that my books are selling well in Some Country Not The U.S. As an experiment to see which sells best in the US, paper or ebook, and to satisfy all my friends who insist on a paper version of the book, I decided right around the time of my last blog post to take the jump into paper through Amazon’s Createspace.

So I began the work. And believe me, it IS work. I removed the linked chapters from my Kindle WORD document, and reformatted the margins. Createspace recommends you start writing with document margins in the size you want your book, but that’s not going to happen with any of the books already written. I didn’t want a 6×9 book, I HATE trade paperback sizes for novels, but when Createspace says they recommend 6×9 they mean that if you try another size you will have difficulties, headaches and glitches.

So I re-margined the book. Thank goodness there is a nifty blog that walks you through the best margins for a paper book. Here it is:
A Step-BySstep Guide To Formatting Your Book’s Interior

(This does have the ‘s’ at the end of the ‘http,’ which means it is a secure site. I can get in without being logged into my Createspace account, so I think anyone else should be able to get in, too.)

After that I had to learn headers and footers, since I decided to do the page numbers on the bottom. You can put them wherever you want, I just wanted them on the bottom. I knew nothing about footers as page numbers. I will do another post about how to make page numbers number, for those who like me couldn’t get them to work. I even had one version where every page of my book was numbered “1.” One thing I learned – when you add a section break you lose the header and footer connections to the section you just left.

I also wanted to put in the preview of the next book at the back, just like I had done in Kindle, but I didn’t want the header to keep the title Temper the Wind. I did want my name continued, which was the left side header, I just wanted the right-side header for the preview to have its own title. That was another steep learning curve.

And then I had to do a full spine and back cover for the book. Since I now know that I can use my professional stock photo covers for the front, all I needed was the rest of the cover. Once again, Createspace has a template you download and open in whatever photo manipulation program you use, Photoshop or as in my case, GIMP.

They have a Cover Creater section that I HIGHLY recommend. Pick the cover you like and use it as is, with just your title and name. Bear in mind, if you use one of their covers you will look like an awful lot of other books because they don’t have that many different covers to choose from. If you have a cover from Kindle and just need the back and spine, try the sample cover “The Pine” in their Cover Creator templates. That one is set up to let you put in your own covers and make a spine and back yourself. Making my own covers is one of my favorite things! I will gladly forget laundry and supper, ignore people who are talking to me, and not even answer the phone to make covers. I just saved the template in my Picture file and opened it in GIMP, pasted in my premade Kindle cover, then made the back and spine according to the measurements listed on the template. Just copy and paste them in when you finish them and you’re ready to go.

If you’re going to do your own back, however, you do need to know how to use Photoshop or GIMP. I guess that goes without saying. And before I forget, keep space on top and bottom for the trimming process. My name hugs the top of my Kindle ebook covers, and it got chopped off. So I had to shrink down the Kindle cover and clone in picture edges. Which, as I said before, I LOVE doing.

They have a proof checker built in so if you have made a mistake anywhere, formatting, cover, anything that can be measured by their little automated measuring tools, they will flag it and show you what is wrong. After that it’s just a matter of ordering the proof copy (they recommend a paper proof for first-time authors) and checking it with a fine-tooth comb for anything you don’t like. That’s where I am right now, waiting for my proof.

But I’m on my way! And I can’t wait to do this for my other books, too!

(original blog date 11/20/2013)

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