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Createspace paperback publishing

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Offline Ray Kingfisher Reading No, Writing.
02 Oct 2015, 07:27 AM | Post: #1

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Createspace paperback publishing

I know this subject has appeared in other threads, but things change fast in this industry.

I am about to dip my toe into the 'proper book' market and produce a book with Createspace, and wondered whether any of you good folk would care to give your opinions on what to do about the following:

1 - Createspace assigned ISBN or provide your own?

2 - Book size - 6" x 9" is the recommended size, but it seems a bit big to me. Is 5x8 a better option?

3 - White or cream paper ? (Does this really matter?)

4 - Upload the book as a pdf or doc file ?

5 - The best font for print books ?

6- Should the formatting differ from that of ebooks ?

7 - er... anything else.

All thoughts and opinions received with great thanks.
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Offline Daphne Reading Wanted by Tim Arnot
02 Oct 2015, 08:56 AM | Post: #2

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RE: Createspace paperback publishing

I used CreateSpace back in 2010 and and at various intervals right through to 2015 - and hasn't it changed! Particularly the brilliant online previews which are now possible. My thoughts would be:

1. I've always had CS ISBN - it's free, so why not.

2. I like the 5 x 8 - it just looks right to me (and on the book shelf).

3. I used white for my first book but I now use cream. It just looks warmer and nicer to read from.

4. I always used PDF because I knew exactly how the book was going to look, but the online previewer now means you can do that anyway, so doc file is OK too.

5. I've used Times New Roman or Garamond - both look good in the books.

6. My formatting is completely different for ebooks and paperback - not least because blank pages eg. between title pages and chapters which look right in a paperback are not suited to ebook version etc.

7. Good luck!
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Offline Daphne Reading Wanted by Tim Arnot
02 Oct 2015, 09:03 AM | Post: #3

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RE: Createspace paperback publishing

Oh - a word on font size. In TNR and Garamond, 12 makes for a lovely, readable print. But CreateSpace books can come up pricey, so sometimes a smaller font is good to keep the length of the book/price down. My longest book comes out at about 124 000 words, so I used Garamond 10 to keep the size of the book down (316 pages in paperback). I guess 11 is a good compromise.
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Offline Campbell
02 Oct 2015, 09:23 AM | Post: #4

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RE: Createspace paperback publishing

1 - Createspace assigned ISBN or provide your own?

You'll have better luck selling to stores via your own ISBN. Lots of small bookstores will not stock createspace ISBN books because they dislike Amazon/ worry about the quality. If you've got your own ISBN then your book looks like any other in the catalogue. Of course if you're not going expanded distribution/ don't have a plan to market to bookstore owners then that doesn't matter so the free ISBN is just as good if you're only concerned with Amazon sales.

2 - Book size - 6" x 9" is the recommended size, but it seems a bit big to me. Is 5x8 a better option?
6x9 is the US standard. 5x8 is the UK standard.

3 - White or cream paper ? (Does this really matter?)
The rule of thumb is cream for fiction, white for non-fiction, but get a sample as you might have a preference that goes against that.

4 - Upload the book as a pdf or doc file ?
PDF = no post processing. Doc = they do some post processing to prepare the file. If you want to get out exactly what you put in then use a print ready PDF.

5 - The best font for print books ?
Garamond.

6- Should the formatting differ from that of ebooks ?
Yes. See New Hart's Rules on recto/verso, consider drop caps if you like them stylistically, look for places where you spl-
it words over two lin-
es so that it looks sens-
ble.

7 - er... anything else.

Price higher than you think you need to. Amazon will probably discount anyway, and the other stores need the margin to make it worthwhile. Don't expect oodles of print sales as nobody likes buying non-returnable books as they represent a risk of loss where big 5 books do not (as they can be returned/ destroyed for full credit). Signed copies are popular, and you will get readers emailing asking for them so have a plan to deal with that (whether that plan is 'send me yours, I'll sign it', 'No', or 'I've got a big stack of signed copies here. They're £10.' ; and don't forget international postage can be insane.).

Watch your paragraph indents. It looks wonky if you've got an indent on para1 of each scene in print. Watch your page numbers start and end where they should (and are there...!). Don't forget that the barcode createspace place will go over part of your back overs.

Enable matchbook. People love being able to buy a paperback as a gift and get a cheap/ free eBook.
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RE: Createspace paperback publishing

Echo everything that Daphne has said.
I use 5 x 8 and I use the CS MS Word template for text formatting. Templates are freely available.  Easy to use.
The on-line reader is perfect for checking the look and making adjustments. I will move to cream from white in the next update.
Most of the paperbacks I have bought are cream or off white. The white looks so stark against them.
I use the CS cover generator. Both with my own generated covers and with covers generated by a designer.
It can be a bit fiddly but as long as you adhere to their specs then it works well.
I initially went with matt covers but have since reverted to glossy covers. I think they look and 'feel' better.
It does really make your day when the physical book arrives in the post!
Hope this helps.
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Offline Matt5ki Reading
02 Oct 2015, 09:37 AM | Post: #6

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RE: Createspace paperback publishing

I'll be dipping my toe in Createspace soon, so this will come in handy and will mean I don't have to start my own thread! Smile Thanks!
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Offline cecilia_writer Reading Murder by the Glass by Lynda Wilcox
02 Oct 2015, 09:43 AM | Post: #7

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RE: Createspace paperback publishing

From my (limited) experience of Create Space I just wanted to mention that I've found it better to upload a pdf. For some reason the formatting went a bit wrong when I used a Word file - I'm not sure if there's a printer's term for this, but if there was a bit left over at the end of a chapter, so to speak, it was placed in the centre of the next page with white space above and below it, which looked extremely odd. I couldn't find anything in my Word formatting to account for this, but when I used a pdf instead it cured itself.

Gordon, it's interesting that you like glossy covers better. I have started out using matt, but am just hovering on the brink of changing over to glossy because I think it would look a lot better. But I do like the Create Space cover creator. It has so many different options.
I'm gradually working through my main series making Create Space editions. I like the idea of having them easily available, even if I don't get many sales.
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Offline Matt5ki Reading
02 Oct 2015, 09:47 AM | Post: #8

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RE: Createspace paperback publishing

(02 Oct 2015 09:43 AM)cecilia_writer Wrote: Wrote:  From my (limited) experience of Create Space I just wanted to mention that I've found it better to upload a pdf. For some reason the formatting went a bit wrong when I used a Word file - I'm not sure if there's a printer's term for this, but if there was a bit left over at the end of a chapter, so to speak, it was placed in the centre of the next page with white space above and below it, which looked extremely odd. I couldn't find anything in my Word formatting to account for this, but when I used a pdf instead it cured itself.

Gordon, it's interesting that you like glossy covers better. I have started out using matt, but am just hovering on the brink of changing over to glossy because I think it would look a lot better. But I do like the Create Space cover creator. It has so many different options.
I'm gradually working through my main series making Create Space editions. I like the idea of having them easily available, even if I don't get many sales.
I'd heard a PDF was a better way to go somewhere. My will be a collection of previous stories so getting it to format in a PDF would certainly be easier. I'm going to have to have a blank page etc between the ending of one story and the main title page of the next etc
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RE: Createspace paperback publishing

Ceclia, I find the matt versions mark easily, and don't feel as good as the polished glossy.
I've got both matt and glossy mainstream paperbacks, and I much prefer the glossy. 
I'm sure it is a personal choice thing.
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Offline Matt5ki Reading
02 Oct 2015, 10:17 AM | Post: #10

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RE: Createspace paperback publishing

(02 Oct 2015 09:55 AM)Gordon Bickerstaff Wrote: Wrote:  Ceclia, I find the matt versions mark easily, and don't feel as good as the polished glossy.
I've got both matt and glossy mainstream paperbacks, and I much prefer the glossy. 
I'm sure it is a personal choice thing.
How do glossy fair with finger marks? Is it an issue?
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