Paperback Writer

Once the eBook was officially available, I took a week or so to let my friends and family know about it.  I was proud of the book and I was glad it was out there.  But as a life-long book lover and a library employee, I longed to hold the book in my hand.  A real, physical book that could sit on a shelf, gather dust, and live on long after I was gone.  A book that might somehow find its way into a used book store one day, where other people who never even met me might stumble across it.

I knew I couldn’t afford the actual self-publishing route, where you have to buy a certain number of copies.  For another thing, even if I could afford to do that, I have nowhere to store 100 or more copies of my book and no idea of how to distribute them.  But I could offer publish-on-demand.  Since the main purpose was to get the book out there, royalties weren’t a concern for me.

For various reasons (not the least of which was a built-in distribution through Amazon), I settled on CreateSpace. Since I already had the book formatted, all I would have to do would be to upload that and expand the cover a bit, right?  I mean, I had the front cover all ready to go.  I just needed to add a spine and the information for the back.

Right?

Right??

Right???

In a word — no.

First of all, CreateSpace has its own specifications for text formatting.  First you have to decide on which size you want for your final book. I decided on 5.5″ x 8.5″ (this is a standard trade paperback size).  Then you have to use one of their templates to format/re-format your book to that size.

This actually didn’t turn out to be that bad.  In fact, I think the formatting that I ended up with at the end of it was laid out much better than my original eBook.  I was able to add special dividing pages for each story and section.  I was able to utilize an actual Table of Contents. The pages had actual page numbers.  My title page looked like a real title page. My copyright page looked like a real copyright page.  Instead of just a Word document, it started to look like a real book to me.

But as for the cover? Well, they have an online cover creator, but it did not lend itself well to the way I wanted my cover to look.  I liked my cover.  Their online cover creator insists on adding the text for you; since the title and author were already part of my artwork, I couldn’t use it.

Luckily, they did offer templates for book covers, as well. You could download the template, layer your cover elements over it, and then save the whole thing as a PDF. The only thing was, I’d have to take the time to actually learn to use GIMP.

This wasn’t going to be as easy as I thought…

Next: Creating the book cover, part deux…

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2 Comments

Filed under Notes from the Author, Welcome to Newtonberg

2 responses to “Paperback Writer

  1. Haha! Welcome to my world… format, then reformat. Everything has to be in multiple formats for various media. Ugh! :-D Glad to see it’s not breaking your spirit.

  2. Pingback: The Newtonberg Saga « Welcome to Newtonberg

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