Publishing 101: Get Ready to Upload

Publishing 101This is one in a series of posts entitled Publishing 101: Draft to Book in 30 Days. To learn more about this challenge, visit the Publishing 101 page, where all links regarding this topic will be listed as they become available.

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Once you have the interior and cover formatted and saved in PDF, it’s time to upload to CreateSpace.

If this is your first encounter with CreateSpace, you’ll need to set up an account. It takes only a few minutes, a few pieces of information, a password and username. CreateSpace is a division of Amazon. It’s a Print on Demand (POD) service that will print paperback books (both children’s books and novels; both full-colour interior and black and white interior).

After you sign into your account, go to the Member Dashboard (in the drop-down menu under My Account). Here you’ll see the list of books you’re both working on and published. You can navigate your books to find or change information by clicking the title. The Member Dashboard is also where you Add a New Title.

Adding a new title takes only a few minutes when the interior and cover PDFs are ready. Here is the information you’ll need to enter:

  • Project Title
  • Type of Project: Paperback (because CreateSpace also creates Audio CDs, MP3s, DVDs and Video)

Set up Process (Until you get used to adding new titles, choose Guided)

Click Get Started

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Publishing 101: Formatting the Interior

Publishing 101This is one in a series of posts entitled Publishing 101: Draft to Book in 30 Days. To learn more about this challenge, visit the Publishing 101 page, where all links regarding this topic will be listed as they become available.

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There are several options available to format the interior of a paperback book. They include:

  1. Hiring someone to format it for you
  2. Purchasing a preformatted template
  3. Formatting from scratch in a word processing program
  4. Using one of CreateSpace’s templates

I’ll briefly describe the top three and then provide more information about the option I chose.

Hiring someone to format your novel

This may be the easiest method for individuals who are not software savvy or who do not want to take the time to learn how to format the interior of the book themselves. The increased popularity of self-publishing has created a demand for this service, so it’s much easier now to locate someone to format your manuscript than it was fifteen years ago.

Formatting prices depend on the size of the project (word count and complexity of text) and the individual offering the service. I’ve seen it as low as $35, but that was a few years ago.

Formatters can be found by searching the web. You can also post the job to eLance and choose the bidder that best suits your project.

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Publishing 101: Sizing up the Paperback Cover

Publishing 101This is one in a series of posts entitled Publishing 101: Draft to Book in 30 Days. To learn more about this challenge, visit the Publishing 101 page, where all links regarding this topic will be listed as they become available.

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When I talked about my preproduction schedule on February 12th in the Publishing 101: Production Schedule post, I noted the dimensions I’d chosen for Fowl Summer Nights were 5.5 inches wide x 8.5 inches tall. When I discussed designing a cover in Publishing 101: Cover Design I mentioned the sample covers were exactly 11 x 8.5 but would not remain that size. They were destined to be resized to accommodate pages.

Here are the steps I took to resize the cover.

Step One: Page Count

The page count used to calculate the width and height of a cover is the actual page count. In MS Word this number appears in the bottom left-hand corner of the document screen. Fowl Summer Nights contained 113 pages.

The page count I did NOT use is the page numbers inserted into the manuscript. For Fowl Summer Nights the page count was 104, which meant title page, copyright information, dedication, table of contents and other material took up 9 pages.

Step Two: Thickness of Paper

The cream coloured paper at CreateSpace is thicker than the white paper. If you choose white paper, the thickness is 0.002252 inches.

Fowl Summer Nights was printed on cream coloured paper. The thickness I inserted into the equation was 0.0025 inches.

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Publishing 101: Read it One More Time

Publishing 101This is one in a series of posts entitled Publishing 101: Draft to Book in 30 Days. To learn more about this challenge, visit the Publishing 101 page, where all links regarding this topic will be listed as they become available.

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When people ask me what story they should write or which story they should choose to publish from the many stories they have in draft form, I tell them to pick one they love. I mean really love. Love so hard they can’t live without it love. Because by the time they complete the editing process, they’ll be so sick of the story they won’t want to read it again for weeks, possibly years.

Don’t believe me?

I wouldn’t believe me either except I discovered the truth in the fall of 2010. By the time I completed editing Mystery Light in Cranberry Cove, a youth novel of only 30,000 words, one I completely adored, I was ready to bang my head against the wall.

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Publishing 101: Book Trailer

Publishing 101This is one in a series of posts entitled Publishing 101: Draft to Book in 30 Days. To learn more about this challenge, visit the Publishing 101 page, where all links regarding this topic will be listed as they become available.

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Book trailers are interesting, they’re fun to watch and can be fun to make. In the past few years they’ve become all the rage with publishers and authors. It’s as if your book has hit the big screen even though it’s still on paper.

How important are book trailers to book sales? I can’t answer that. The only information I’ve read is ‘unknown’. Like many marketing ideas, it’s difficult to say which one entices readers to buy a book.

Still, book trailers are an asset, and if you can make one, they certainly shouldn’t hurt sales.

I create my trailers in Windows Live Movie Maker that came with MS Word 2010. Here are the basic steps:

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Publishing 101: Writing an Author’s Note

Publishing 101This is one in a series of posts entitled Publishing 101: Draft to Book in 30 Days. To learn more about this challenge, visit the Publishing 101 page, where all links regarding this topic will be listed as they become available.

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I have never written an author’s note to add to my book for readers to find after the story, but as I have mentioned in a previous post, I’m trying on a few new ideas with Fowl Summer Nights, so a personal letter to readers sounds like a great idea.

I discovered the idea of author’s notes in the article Fine-tuning Your Author’s Note by Victoria Grossack on Writing World. I think it’s an interesting idea, so here’s the draft of my first letter to readers:

The idea for Fowl Summer Nights came from my own experience buying livestock from the online classified site Kijiji. It was surprising how easy it was to get addicted to checking the site daily to see what new animals were offered for sale. I bought several batches of chickens and ducks advertised on the website.

When we began our homestead in March of 2011, we had no animals. By the end of the summer we had one miniature donkey, two sheep, two goats, ten ducks, five turkeys and around forty chickens. It was too easy to get up in the morning, check Kijiji and scheme of how to get another animal.

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Publishing 101: Book Summary

Publishing 101This is one in a series of posts entitled Publishing 101: Draft to Book in 30 Days. To learn more about this challenge, visit the Publishing 101 page, where all links regarding this topic will be listed as they become available.

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Also known as the story blurb or back cover blurb, the goal of the brief explanation or book summary is to pique the interest of readers so they’ll look closer. It provides readers with an idea of what the story is about without giving away any spoilers.

Novel blurbs are usually short, averaging 200 words. They often focus on one or two of the main characters, providing a snippet of information to encourage readers to care what happens to them.

I’ve seen formulas for blurbs, but they don’t often provide enough spunk for what I’m looking for. I’ve used them, but I’m not over the top thrilled about them. They don’t make me think, “I have to read this book!”

But as Art Burton said so eloquently at our last writers’ group meeting, the idea is to not make readers NOT want to buy the book. So while not great, my blurbs don’t outright discourage people to drop my book immediately and run.

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