Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wednesday's Writing Update: Creating a Print Book


Happy Wednesday!

Brief writing update, I'm writing Nightmare Ever After and hope to finish it this weekend. *crosses fingers* I'm going to have to work at NaNoWriMo speed (about three chapters a day or around 3,000 words) to get it done, but it'll be great having that first draft finished and off to the CPs. So far I've written through chapter 13 and have almost 13,000 words.

Gravity: The Complete Trilogy is Cinderella-approved, but it might be because her name is in it.
Now I'm going to talk about creating a print book. Ebook formatting is challenging in its own ways. I use the Smashwords Style Guide and with a few minor tweaks, I'm able to post readable ebooks on Kindle, Smashwords, Nook, and Kobo, but creating a book for print was a tad bit more difficult.

I went with CreateSpace. I've heard from various authors that it's very user friendly and pretty easy with its step-by-step instructions. I agree with this.

The first thing I did was decide on the size of the book. I went with the 6x9. It makes it a fairly good sized trade paperback. CreateSpace offers free templates for their sizes, so I downloaded the template.

Then, I was ready to start formatting the interior design with Microsoft Word. You can use other programs, but I'm pleased with how my interior looks. It's simple, clean, effective.

The template gives options on how to format, so I followed their title page, made a few adjustments to the copy right page, added a reviews page, kept the dedication, got rid of the Contents page and added an Other Books By page and an Author's Note. I like to put the Acknowledgements in the back, so I removed that page as well. Most of this stuff was copy and paste and then spacing it the way I wanted it. Then I added chapter by chapter to the document. The template goes through 10 chapters, so then I had to create my own. After you learn about paragraphs and the like when formatting for ebooks on Word, then it's pretty self-explanatory. At the end of the last story, I added a "If You've Enjoyed This Book" page, an Acknowledgements page, and then my About the Author page. I would suggest keeping several print books around to see what they looked like.

The template design for the body of the work was Garamond 11. It's a nice font, but the size is a smidgen on the small side. After I got my proof, I decided to up the body size to Garamond 12 to make it a bit easier to read.

The nice thing about CreateSpace is they have a digital proof, but if it's your first time (like it was mine), ordering a print proof is a good idea. I used my print book to mark up anything I wanted to change. This included a final final proofread. I found a handful of typos, changed some punctuation that could've gone either way, and found two or three formatting errors. Interestingly enough, the story that had the most errors was Defying Gravity, the story I have edited more than the other two combined. Oops.

As for the cover art, they have a cover art digital designer you can use. It was really helpful getting the spine right. You upload your cover art, and they tell you if it is right. I noticed the spine was off, and Aubrie was able to fix it.

The process was fairly simple, even if it took me about two and a half weeks to proofread the e-copy, format for print (and ebook), get my proof, proofread the print proof, make changes to the print (and ebook) format, and have a published book. The hardest part was formatting the interior, but it'll be easier next time. CreateSpace also shows you how much you can price your book and what your royalties would be. I decided to price mine at $7.95 (around mass-market paperback price) to make it cheaper for people to purchase. I would use CreateSpace again too.

To purchase the print book: Amazon   Amazon Europe UK / DE / FR / ES / IT  CreateSpace

By the way, I'm currently doing a Goodreads giveaway for two copies of Gravity: The Complete Trilogy. It runs through October 31st. Right now it's just for the US, but I plan to do an international giveaway around Christmas.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Gravity by Cherie Reich


by Cherie Reich

Giveaway ends October 31, 2012.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win
If you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them. What are you working on this week?


Julie Flanders said...

I'm glad Cinderella approves. It's funny how cats have a way of turning anything into their own personal bed.

Good luck with finishing Nightmare!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Hope you finish soon. That many words a day scares me.

Unknown said...

Good luck on NaNoWriMo. I did JuNoWriMo, it was exhausting and exhilarating at the same time.

Esther Jones said...

Very informative post. I've added it to my "Links" page. Thanks. :)

Tyrean Martinson said...

Thanks for all the good info! I'm not there yet (soon, somehow) because I just don't have the time to get in that 3,000 word a day mark . ..however I'm hoping to get to 2,000 words a day revision in October. This week, I'm getting some housekeeping done on my book and then I'm plunging into another revision - mostly surface but unfortunately some middle revision too (I need at least one more scene from the villainess pov and some more descriptions).

Unknown said...

I actually printed a proof of my first draft so I could hold it in my hands and write notes all over it. Definitely useful that way!

Stevie Marie said...

I've heard good things about createspace, Great job and good luck!

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

You sound like an expert, Cherie. I could totally see you in charge of a New York publishing company and making books that are so beautiful every writer wants to be signed on with your firm.

Samantha May said...

Well I'm glad the cat approves :D

3000 words per day will be tough, but if anyone can do it it's definitely you!

I've always wondered how that process works. Thanks for sharing!

M Pax said...

My attempt at creating paperback was a big FAIL. Mostly, I need to hire an artist to do covers, so that will have to wait awhile yet. You're right, it was way more difficult than digital formatting. All that time I spent on it, and I decided not to do it right now.

Best on the release, Cherie!

Cathy Keaton said...

Good to hear! I don't need to worry about paperbacks for my novellas until I write about 3 of them so I can do an omnibus edition. A friend of mine pointed me to a book on how to format paperbacks in a really professional way, so I'll be going that route when needed.

Kerri Cuev said...

Good luck with your writing marathon! Your cat is very cute and has good taste in books!

Golden Eagle said...

Good luck with your WIP!

CreateSpace sounds useful. I did a little exploring with it after NaNoWriMo had the free proof copy offer last year, but didn't get as far as cover and formatting.

Trisha said...

Yep, I've done the CreateSpace thing twice now, to get free proofs after NaNo. It does take time, but it looks oh so pretty in the end! I will totally be buying your print version :)

BTW, I asked another author friend if they could arrange to have their book appear on Book Depository, because it's by far the cheapest option for buying books for we Aussies, at least that I've found. No postage!! So if you could look into that JUST for me, I'd be eternally grateful :D

Unknown said...

Thanks for being so informative abd offering so much insight especially for a newbie like myself. I plan on keeping you close 2 me thru this process. You are extremely helpful.Thankxxx a bunch

Dariel Raye said...

Great post, as always, Cherie! Very informative. Adding it to my writing tips files :-)

Shallee said...

Thanks for all the details on this! You really seem to know what you're doing. :)

Unknown said...

Excellent information. Thank you. I've been putting off this process, now I feel ready to tackle print!

Trisha said...

Just putting this comment here as well as on my blog where I responded to you:

Cherie, I didn't realise that about BD. Thing about other sites, especially Amazon, for us, is that the postage is usually $8.00 or more, so whatever the price of the book, add another $8.00 on top of it. ;) I just checked with CS and it's the same there, almost $8.00 for shipping. So even if you doubled the price for BD, I'd still be paying the same :D However, I know that changes the cost for everyone else and not everything is about me. ;) Sad but true...haha.

Unknown said...

I've also recently been through the whole print book formatting thing with CreateSpace. After adding in extra pages at the end, there were little things that irritated me, like I DIDN'T want the header and footer on certain pages, and couldn't figure out how to get rid of them ... Anyway, all done now :-)

The next problem ... postage.

Regular postage to South Africa ($12) was going to take until some time in November to get here. *gunk* That was the sound of my jaw hitting the desk. NO THANK YOU!

Priority shipping, the fastest speed, which was going to take 5 days to get here, was $46. *gunk* Again, NO THANK YOU! That seems outragous when the book itself costs so little in comparison!

The middle option was $18 and is going to take a month from the day I ordered it. *sigh* That option just had to be good enough.