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!
***THIS PAGE IS FULL OF OLD INFORMATION AS CREATESPACE WAS AMALGAMATED INTO KDP
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.
Kindle section. I decided not to go the Kindle route as Aussies only get paid via cheque and it takes $30 to bank it. Waste of money. And people have complained on the Kindle boards about the company.
2 – Read through the style guide slowly and carefully. Have a look at your version of Microsoft Word to see what parts are referred to in the guide. Mark with a highlighter all relevant parts of the guide that refers to your version of MS so it’s easier to deal with in future.
In the weeks leading up to the release of my books I suppose I’d better start some writing posts.
Not so much about how, when where, although I suppose those questions will come up, but more along the lines of how far I’ve progressed to how far I’ve come.
When I wrote my first novel, THE ROAD TO VEGAS, back in July/August of 2006, I knew one day I’d be famous for it.
But no publisher wanted it.
I can see why.
While I believe the story is still good, it definitely needs an overhaul and will be the third book I release, sometime next year.
In Feb of 2008 I wrote my second, HOW I WON LOTTO, MOVED TO L.A. & MARRIED A REALLY HUGE TV STAR!
It took about three weeks of handwritten labour and then another three weeks of typing it all up. After two years of submitting a publisher wanted it, but also wanted to take another two years to publish it. After many a night of crying over either saying no, or paying an exorbitant amount of money to get it released this year, I said no.
Then last year came LIFE AND DEATH ADVENTURES IN LONDON, my third book which will be released at the same time as LOTTO.
I sent it on the usual round of agents and publishers and did think of digital, as Cyn-B-Demented suggested. But at the time, I wanted to hold an actual book in my hands, and see it on bookstore shelves.
Then one day, a few weeks later, I came across CreateSpace and realised I could hold my book in my hand, and not long after the realisation hit me, “Why am I waiting for a publisher to tell me I’m good enough?”
So I decided to do it all myself and have set the plan in motion. Especially since bookshops are a dying breed (my closest one has shut down) and the “BIG PUBLISHERS” don’t seem to want any new fiction from unknown authors anymore. But that’s a different story.
Back on the first of May my list was – get my books edited, get them formatted and get them uploaded.
Well, I’ve had one copy edited and the second has been sent off. I’ve decided to do the formatting myself, so that’s in the next few weeks. I’ve had covers done for some time but have tweaked them to the specifications of the places I’ll be selling. I’ve downloaded and printed all necessary info from all three places about formatting and selling. I’ve also set up Facebook pages for the books and they will go live when the books are published.
So, while I have done so much, there’s still so much to do.
Yesterday was the day for one last proof read of LOTTO, and then sending separate copies into three separate folders, I’m going to attempt the formatting by following the instructions.
I think it went well. The instructions were somewhat easy but I wasn’t able to do a table of contents and it took me well into the night.
In future writing posts, I’ll detail everything, but not down to the last crossed t and dotted i as that will be too boring, but I’ll definitely thank the other writers for their help and give links to their websites for future writers.
If you have any questions about my writing or anything to do with my books, let me know and I might start a FAQ page if anyone thinks that’s interesting enough.
That’s right peeps, I’m taking control!!!!! No more waiting on those big fat “NO”s to come from publishers and agents concerning my new book.
No more waiting on my first book to be picked up, although the submissions were long ago and most publishers/agents will say on their webpage if you don’t get an answer they ain’t interested.
The right of L.J. Diva to be identified as the author of her work has been asserted. The author greatly appreciates you taking the time to read her work. Please consider leaving a review wherever you bought the book, or tell your friends about it to help us spread the word.
2021 AND BEYOND ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, L.J. DIVA.
Requests to publish work from these books should be sent to: authors (at) royalstarpublishing.com.au