So I finally got my book proofs and here they are. They are in need of help, as there are a few formatting and spelling errors which I finally managed to fix, family lobbed in and I’m three days behind, but I thought I’d show you.
So now I need to load up new versions to Smashwords as well as I found spelling mistakes and added a few things I left out last time.
Oi, what a time consuming hassle!
Figuring out CreateSpace was a whole lot harder. There’s not a lot of info out there and I scoured the forums for ages trying to find the right way of doing things. But here is how I ended up doing it.
1 – If you haven’t already – join at http://www.createspace.com/ and use your pen name and email add to sign up.
1.a – Once you’re ready to upload your file in your account there’s a window that pops up that asks how you want to do things, take the guided tour or streamline it as a pro. I took the guided tour and it’s much easier. It guides you through the whole setup step for step. And you will need to add your title, author name, size, it will ask you to get an ISBN which is free through CS and you NEED to get this so you can add it to your copyright page on the inside of your book before uploading, or even if you add it then upload a second time. Take your time with the details, nothing’s being published yet.
2 – Decide on what size you want your book to be. CreateSpace have made templates for you to use instead of figuring out everything on your own. I chose the 5.06 x 7.81 template and you can find them here – https://www.createspace.com/Products/Book/InteriorPDF.jsp
3 – Play with the template for awhile. Get the feel of it, see how it works, there’s no guide to how it works, you just have to figure it out yourself. CS have already set the preferences for the text body, titles etc, and they’ve put title, copyright, table of contents, acknowledgements and dedications pages in the front, as well as about the author page at the back. CS use different fonts for all and it’s highlighted in your MS word bar up the top of the page. If you don’t need the table of contents, delete it. I did have some issues deleting page breaks, but you’ll soon figure it out.
4 – There is a sort of guide here – https://www.createspace.com/en/community/docs/DOC-1323 in the purple section just above the table “additional tips”. Print it out and it will help a lot! It also tells you how to add extra chapters which will be handy. I also found author, Helen Hanson and her trip through CS – http://www.helenhanson.com/?p=2201
5 – Use a copy of your Smashwords file as this made it easier. You know there’s no mistakes. Just don’t add your Smashwords details. Copy and paste a chapter in and while it’s still highlighted, change the font to your choice. I chose Time New Roman size 12. While the text was also highlighted I right clicked it and clicked on paragraph. I chose line spacing of exactly and AT of 14. It gave it a nice look. Although my book also has uneven lines on the page, I’m not sure how this worked, and maybe you won’t have a problem, I had say, 37 lines on one page and 36 on the other. Maybe I should have shortened my paragraphs. It doesn’t really make a lot of difference overall. I did try to fix it by changing the line spacing etc but it still turned out the same.
6 – Once you have everything pasted go back through it. If you can tighten your sentences so you don’t have one word on a line delete them. Some of my sentences ended in words like one, or on, and they were the only word on the line and it’s a waste of page and space, so I tightened the text (deleted unnecessary words) so all of my lines fit perfectly.
Make sure they all sit on the pages properly, everything is nice and neat. It does a take a while but you’ll get there. Just don’t rush.
7 – Save it as a word doc to your file and leave it for a day. Go back and with fresh eyes check for mistakes. Then save it as a PDF, open that and check it for mistakes. If you use your Smashwords copy, there shouldn’t be. If it looks good as a PDF then it’s time to upload to CS. Make sure you have your ISBN. And CS will let you know if it needs fixing in anyway. Just go back and fix it then upload a new PDF.
8 – Then it’s on to cover. Now this can be hard. If you know how to work Adobe Indesign, or some other design software, you can create your own. If you have your pictures from your Smashwords cover then that will help. Now there’s several ways to do the cover. To find out what size cover, you go to this page – https://www.createspace.com/Help/Book/Artwork.do and fill out the details and it will give you a zipped file with the cover inside. Inside is Adobe versions of the cover. You can make your cover that way or –
8.a – Have someone make one for you and pay.
8.b – If you have InDesign – https://www.createspace.com/en/community/docs/DOC-1251
8.c – You can go through the CS Createcover which is featured after you upload your pdf.
Now if you don’t want the “pre-made” covers this offers, don’t worry, on page 4 of the pop up window of designs, there is a cover that allows you to upload a full image that you’ve made, via the zipped file I believe, or one that allows you to upload a back and front design and then you just have to pick a plain colour for the spine and fill in the title and author. You also get minimal font choice. I went with “natural” as it was more like arial. There is an issue with the front and back cover though, you have to be careful that your design doesn’t reach the outer lines of the provided “cover”. I uploaded my designs many, many, many times until they were accepted by CS. Even though it looked good, they always had issues. So make sure text and pics aren’t near the outlines of the upload.
9 – Once your design has been accepted and there are no other issues, order a proof of your book, or if you have more than one, of your books. Cost kinda comes into it here. If you sign up for Proplan then every time you order your own books it will cost you less to do so. But there is a hitch. Proplan is PER book! If you have one, great it’s only $39.95. If you have two, like me, $78 YIKES! Proplan is $39.95 per book for the first year, and then $5 every year per book. So you will be paying for your book to be printed on demand!
9.a – I’ve ordered my proof of each book and they were $6 and change each as they’re so thick. I also had three choices of shipping. Normal, expedited and superfast. While normal shipping was only $10.47, it may have taken until September sometime to get here. So I chose expedited for $17.17 and they should be here sometime in August. I’m hoping sooner.
10 – While waiting for your book you can fill out more details in your dashboard, like sales information and channels. CS tells you, based on the size of your book (total number of book pages) what price it must be over to sell. If you’ve applied for Proplan, then you can fill out the other details for distribution as well. Your CreateSpace Store, Amazon.com and Expanded Distribution Channel which means it will be available on other websites for people to buy. The more people who see your book, the more chances to make sales. One thing I did find out though, is that with the size I chose I cannot pick the third part of expanded distribution, which is that stores will not be able to sell my books on their shelves. Which I DID NOT KNOW when I chose the size. Had this info been on the template page, I would have chosen a size that was appropriate.
11 – Once you’ve read your proofs and either fixed whatever issues there may be you’re almost finished. Fill out any leftover details and decide if you want a CS store. If you’ve done everything that needs to be done, filled out everything that needs to be filled out and fixed what needs to be fixed then you can start selling your book!
12 – Next comes marketing, but that’s up to you.
So in the lead up to being a published author I did many things. Raided Google, Smashwords, CreateSpace, Kindle. I didn’t always find what I wanted, but when it comes to Smashwords, the style guide really is the be all and end all of the way to do it. And so for authors reading this page now and in the future I thought I’d do what I could not find. A list of what one needs to do to publish at Smashwords.
1 – Print out the Smashwords style guide by Mark Coker and read through it several times. I was very overwhelmed reading it in the Adobe file but having it in front of you makes for better reading. As it prints, put the pages into a folder that you’ve set up as your publishing file. I have one with all the print outs from Smashwords, CreateSpace, Kindle, Audio, bits and pieces etc so I know where it all is when I need it.
have to record it yourself. So while I have the info, I’m not going this way.
assessed and anything else you can do to make it spic and span. Google copy
editors for your area or if you’ve used one before use them again. Also, make
sure all of the Smashwords necessities are already in the book. The copyright
page, title and author, About the Author, Connect online, sneak peeks of your
other book if you have one, all website links etc so when you do the style,
it’s already there.
software, or Adobe or something similar, you can create your own book cover.
Some clip art is free online and there are sites where you can pay for
pictures, but I used pics I already had or had used on my website. If you have
software for making other things like art and craft, business cards, letters,
brochures etc, I have Broderbund, then it’s easy to make one. Just make sure
it’s sized to the Smashwords specifications which are in the guide.
computer so you know where it is and then use the copy of your novel for the
time, get your folder with the guide in it, open your book copy and follow the
instructions slowly and carefully. DO NOT RUSH. It will only lead to mistakes.
And don’t forget to have your show/hide backward q highlighted. I started with
the nuclear method because I had written my book in another version of word. So
to save myself hassles later, I just did the nuclear method with both of my
with the table of contents, but if you used the nuclear method you MUST go back
through your book and re-bold, re-italicise and re-underline everything that
was because you will lose it. I had both the copy, and the file I copied it
from open in windows side by side. Slowly go through and redo everything. And a
warning, it may take hours.
everything is perfect. Print out your book. I know it may seem long and
arduous, and it is, but this way you can catch all the mistakes you didn’t on
the computer as there is such a thing as word blindness. I found it was easier
to take the number of the last page, divide by two and then once I’d printed
the first half, turned the paper over and printed on the reverse side. You save
half the paper.
through to make sure everything is perfect, save a copy to your pc folder as a
word.doc. I used 97-2003. Save your copy that is open and then open your brand
new book file and have a quick check through. If it looks perfect and you’re
confident, upload to Smashwords.
going to use a pen name, use your pen name to set up your account. They only
need your real name for paying you and the details are in your new Smashwords
account anyway for filling in. And don’t forget to use a name that no one else
has, you could Google the name first.
out the page for all the book details first. Title, short description, longer
description, so don’t forget to think about those and have them planned,
there’s a spot to upload your cover and your book file as well. When all of
those are done, hit the button at the bottom to publish and you get the page
where you see it checking all of the versions of the book. You don’t need to
stay on that page you can upload another book if you have one.
descriptions. Make sure the small one is
also included with the larger one because it’s the larger description of your
book that will be sent to all the stores when they’re sent through the premium
catalogue. I’ve seen my larger one at Apple and Diesel and didn’t know that’s
what happened to it until I saw it. So make sure you have your FULL description
in the larger description section as they will be seen in other ebook stores.
email that Smashwords sends to you and check all the versions it recommends. If
you’ve done everything by the guide, it will all be perfect.
to approve your book for premium status and you can check every day under your
dashboard on your Smashwords page.
you’re on, your blog/website, Facebook, Twitter etc and make sure all of your
details are filled out.
for a tax file number from the IRS, and Smashwords do tell you how to do that.
I’m in the process of doing it because it takes so long for Aussies.
guide for marketing your book. It’s very helpful.
everything that’s necessary, but as long as you follow the guide, it’s a
breeze. And don’t forget to breathe! It’s not as hard as it looks. As long as
you have experience with MS Word, then you’ll have no problems.
In my last writing post I mentioned –
“BIG PUBLISHERS” don’t seem to want any new fiction from unknown authors anymore.”
And now I’ll elaborate on what I mean.
Have you seen your local bookshop shelves (if you’ve still got one), or any of the online book shops?
The majority of books, for me, fall into two categories, REALITY and BIG BUCK authors.
What I mean is this.
Big $$$$$ authors who have already proven they can earn money. Jackie Collins, Janet Evanovich (who earns $40 million for four books), Stephen King, James Patterson the list could go on. You would’ve seen their books on the store shelves taking up most of the space as their past books are constantly republished (like Jackie Collins), and basically the publisher puts all of their money into their big $$$$ money makers. I do love Jackie, I’ll just get that in.
And then there’s REALITY.
Reality books cover many subjects. Real life stories, health, money, cooking, exercise etc, and celebrity. How many celebrities have you seen on the cover of books in the shops. Either autobiographies or novels supposedly written by the celeb themselves.
Although I have it on good authority that many celebs DON’T write their own books, instead an in-house ghost writer takes it on and the celeb gets paid the big bucks.
I definitely know that Katie Price, aka, Jordan, HAS NOT written any of her five books as she admitted it on the Graham Norton show.
I have issues with all of this.
1 – I don’t cook.
2 – I don’t exercise.
3 – I don’t need Dr Phil telling me how to fix my life or Suze Orman telling me how to handle my money.
4 – I don’t need to read a celeb’s sob story about how bad their life was when I can barely manage to keep mine going sometimes.
5 – NONE OF THESE BASTARDS HAVE ACTUALLY WRITTEN THEIR OWN BOOKS!!!!!!!
I have two bugbears.
1 – Celebs get paid mega bucks for not even writing a book.
2 – They get all the money so publishers don’t invest in new authors.
I refuse to read celeb books. I don’t buy any of the others and I get them from my local library and even then I don’t think they’re much cop.
I find it incredibly annoying that everyday people who sit down and slave away writing, typing, editing, submitting and being refused don’t get a fair go in the publishing world.
The “BIG 6” publishers are so far behind the real world it’s ridiculous. There are arguments over royalties, who gets what, who owns what, how many versions get sold, whether they’ll go digital.
It’s just bloody stupid.
So I decided to take control of my own publishing life. I follow Nathan Bransford, formerly of literary agency Curtis Brown in America, and now with website, CNET. He’s also published a children’s book. He wrote a blog about indie writer Amanda Hocking, who had, at the time of me reading, just made 1 million dollars from selling her 11 novels online.
So now I follow her. And after reading her blog found Joe Konrath, who does the same. All of his books are available to buy online and he has been lucky enough to have had some printed by a publisher over the years. He has a very informative blog and writes many posts, along with guest bloggers, about the difference between traditional publishing (paper print) and digital publishing.
Both of these writers have been the inspiration in me making my decision in going digital myself. I’ve wanted to be in print since writing my first novel, THE ROAD TO VEGAS. And after finding CreateSpace, I will now have that. And because it’s print on demand (the book is printed when someone buys it so there are no leftover books lying around) it means it will always be in print along with the digital versions that will be available in many formats.
Thank God for the people who decided to invent these websites and innovative ways of giving the world what they can have without slogging their guts out fighting for recognition from the big fat cats of the publishing world.
Do we writers really need some bigwigs telling us we’re good enough? Or do we have the balls to stand up and say, “I KNOW I’m good enough.”
Although some really aren’t!