Archive for June 7th, 2011

June 7, 2011

>Preparing the book – part 2 (and a Competition!)

>In yesterday’s post, I discussed preparing the book for Kindle. Today, I’ll discuss the differences in preparing for actual hard-copy.

At the start, I didn’t intend to make a paperback version available, but it seemed daft not to, and the thought of having a “real” copy of my book was appealing and there was very little additional cost in doing so.
There are a number of Print On Demand services available – CreateSpace and Lulu are probably the best know. I chose CreateSpace, firstly because Catherine Ryan Howard’s book recommended them (and gave instructions on how to set the book up for them) and secondly because the are an Amazon company and I thought it made sense to keep it under the same umbrella (in the hope it would be easier to make the paperback available on Amazon).
Formatting the book should have been much easier with CreateSpace. Once you decide what size you want your book to be (I chose 8″ x 5″) you can download a blank template and copy your content into it. Unfortunately, that didn’t work for me: it wouldn’t run paragraphs across page breaks, so some pages only had a few lines if the next paragraph was a big one. That may be a quirk with Word 2010 – if you have Word 2003 it might be fine for you (you have to use the 2003 .doc format anyway).
So I had to set my page size and margins manually. I did this by copying the settings from the template. You need to be sure you set “mirror margins” and the correct page size.
Then you have to add various essential pieces into the front matter (you have to create front matter – Copyright pages etc – for Kindle, too, so this is just adding a few things). You need ISBN numbers (CreateSpace will provide these free of charge). Without ISBN numbers, CreateSpace will reject your book.
Once you’ve created all the additional pages and pasted your document into the template, all you then do is save the file in PDF format (later versions of Word can do this, earlier versions might need an external converter program – you can find them by searching Google).
Finally, you need your cover artwork. Again, I’ll discuss this later.
Tomorrow – creating the SmashWords versions.
Now… the competition. If you’ve been following me on Twitter (@MarshallBuckley) then you have a slight advantage, but only a very small one.
The prize? Well, unsurprisingly, it’s a signed copy of The Long Second. Perhaps even the very first copy (when it arrives, unless I have to make any changes…).
The question: I had a blood test yesterday to check my cholesterol level. (Yes, I know it’s totally unrelated to the book, but it seemed like a suitably daft thing to do). I don’t get the result until next week, so even I don’t know the answer at this point but, what will my cholesterol level be?
Answers accepted in comments below, or by email, or you can send it via Twitter. If more than one person gets it right, then I’ll put the names into a hat. If nobody gets it right then… well, we’ll just have to think about that!