Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Yesterday, CreateSpace emailed me to say that they've shipped the proof copy of my new murder mystery, Little Mountain. The uploading process wasn't too difficult, although it's nitpicky work. Of course you can hire them to do all or part of the job, but that just seemed like an unnecessary expense. They don't have layout guidelines per se, but they do provide templates. Each size layout has its own set of templates--my book, for example, will be 6" x 9", so I first downloaded the appropriate text template. All the margins and font styles and sizes are preset, so you can copy your contents and past it into the template.
Easy, huh? Well, yes and no. Be sure to copy only your text, not your document formatting (don't copy the very last spot in your document, and you should be okay). Then your margins will be fine, but you may have to tweak your font as well as headers and footers to make sure everything is consistent. You may want to justify your text, too. There is a table of contents section that you can simply delete if you don't need it. As with any templates, you can adjust it to suit yourself. Just leave the margins alone.
The cover upload is a separate task. I uploaded the text and then went to work on the cover. Their template is set up for Photoshop users, but if you use something different, you should have no problem. For example, I use Paint Shop Pro X. If you get something wrong, which happened to me on my first two tries, CreateSpace simply rejects your submission with an explanation of the problem. For example, your images must be at least 300 dpi and must fit properly. If there is text too close to the edge, you'll be told to fix it, and there are other details to watch for.
The exact cover template they give you depends on your page count, because that determines the spine width. Then it all has to fit within the specified borders. It's a little tricky, but not difficult. Just be patient, and don't panic if you don't get it right the first time.
I've skipped over a lot of details, but you'll see them for yourself on the CreateSpace website. One last detail you'll need, though. The files you upload have to be in PDF format, and they don't tell you how to do it. Luckily, it's really easy. The PDF Converter website is one of several that will convert your files for free. It's what I used, and it works perfectly.
If you have any questions, please post a comment, and I will do my best to answer helpfully.