Self-Publishing on Createspace – Part 6

To learn how to set up your Createspace account, then create a book, please do catch up by reading Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5.

#7. File Review

Once you have received and email from Createspace, saying that your book has been approved, you can now view an online proof copy (which is like the online reviewer used previously), you can download a PDF proof and you can also order a printed proof copy.

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(If the email says that you need to make changes before they will approve it, then make the appropriate changes and re-submit it for reviewing).

#8. Proof Your Book

Even though I have published many books now, and I probably could just look at the online proof and approve the book, I still ALWAYS order a paperback proof copy. Why? Because I like to do one last proofread before publishing, and also because occasionally something might not go to plan on the cover or in the front and back matter. In my last book, for example, the book title on the title page was not in the right place, and looked odd, which I hadn’t noticed on the online proof copy. It’s much easier to spot formatting errors and also spelling mistakes and typos, when the book is in printed format. And even if it’s been edited and proofread extensively, and you’ve employed all kids of tactics, I promise you, there will still be more errors lurking in there.

The proof copy will be the most expensive copy you will buy, as you will have a huge postage cost for just one book, which in the future will be spread out over lots of books. You can buy up to 5 proof copies, so you could get some extra if you have willing friends to look over them for you. They will have ‘Proof’ in large letters on the final page of the book, so there’s no point buying too many as they won’t be saleable.

If you find errors in the print copy, then you can make changes to the original document, and re-upload it, but you will then have to re-submit the book for Createspace to review it and approve it, which will take another 24-48 hours.

Once you are happy with the proof, you can approve it, which will mean that it will be available to buy on Amazon within a few days, and that you can now buy copies at cost price.

In the next part, I will go through the distribution and pricing sections.

 

 


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Michelle is the author and publisher of 8 Visionary Fiction novels, all available on Amazon in paperback and on Kindle. She spends her days helping Indie Authors to publish their books, taking photographs and making gluten-free cakes.

If you need any help with your publishing journey, please do get in touch with her by emailing theamethystangel@hotmail.co.uk. You can book a Skype session or a phone call with her, or ask questions via email. Please do follow this blog to receive more posts on Indie Publishing.


Disclaimer:All views, ideas and tips presented on this website are my own, based on my own experience and the experience of my clients. It is by no means the only way to do it, or the right way to do it, but it is the way that works for me. Please take what helps you and makes sense to you, and don’t worry about the rest for now. Please know that I take no responsibility for anything that happens as a result of you following my advice. I have created this blog as a resource for Indie Authors to help them make the publishing journey a little easier. I am not affiliated with any of the companies I mention, other than the fact that I use their services myself.

 

 

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Self-Publishing on Createspace – Part 4

This post will cover uploading the interior file of you book to Createspace. For help with setting up your account, and starting a new project, please check out Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

#4. Interior

The first part of the process for the interior looks like the image below. You need to choose the Interior Type, either black and white, or full colour. If you have any images at all inside the book that you want in colour, you will have to choose full colour, and it is much more expensive than black and white. Then you need to choose the Paper Colour. I have only ever used white for my own books, as cream wouldn’t go with my covers. But I have had clients who have chosen the cream and have been very pleased with it.

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Next, is trim size. Createspace offer many different sizes, which you will see when you click on Choose a Different Size.

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 For my Earth Angel Series books, I use the 5.5″ by 8.5″, mainly because I used to publish them elsewhere and this was the only size they offered. When I switched to Createspace, I kept the same size. But when I had the covers of the Visionary Collection re-designed, I decided to switch to a smaller size, more appropriate for a novel, and the smallest size that Createspace offers – 5″ by 8″. It’s entirely up to you what size you use, but bear in mind that with Print on Demand, the cost of the book rises with the number of pages. So if you have a 100k word novel, and you choose the smallest trim size, you will pay more in manufacturing cost than if it were a bit bigger and fewer pages. At the other end of the scale, if you have fewer pages, and you want the book to look more substantial (and you want writing on the spine) then go for a smaller size.

Once you have chosen the trim size, you can click on Upload Your Book File. At this point, I am assuming that you already have your book file properly edited, proofread, formatted and laid out in the correct way. You can upload a word document, but I prefer to upload PDFs, so that my formatting isn’t changed in any way in the process. If you haven’t got the book file ready to go, then you can just save your choices so far, and come back to this stage later. I will be posting a series on how to format your book for print very soon.

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Once you have chosen your file, if it’s a PDF, you will be asked if the bleed ends before the edge of the page, or after – I always choose before to ensure nothing gets cuts off. Then, click on Save, and there will be a bit of processing time, and then they will perform the Automated Print Check.

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Then you will get here:

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If there are any issues found, it will tell you, but even if it says there are no issues, you still need to click on Launch Interior Reviewer, to go through the book carefully, to make sure that how it is presented in the Reviewer is EXACTLY how you want it to be printed.

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You want all of your text to be inside the dotted lines (if it isn’t it will tell you anyway) and you can go through, page by page, to make sure all is in order. If there are any issues but you accept them (like a low resolution images) then you can click Ignore Issues and Save, when you are happy with how it looks. Or if there are no issues and you are happy with it, you will click on Save and Continue. If you do find anything that you need to change, you will have to go back to your original document, make the changes, export it as a PDF again, then go through the upload process again. To do that, you would click on Go Back and Make Changes, then click on Upload New File. You can go through this process as many times as you wish to get the interior to look the way you want it to.

When you exit the reviewer, you will then click on Save and Continue, and you will then go onto the next step, which is uploading your cover. I will cover that step in the next part of the series! If you are finding these posts useful, please do comment below and share them with fellow writers and authors!

 


IMG_5734_2Michelle is the author and publisher of 8 Visionary Fiction novels, all available on Amazon in paperback and on Kindle. She spends her days helping Indie Authors to publish their books, taking photographs and making gluten-free cakes.

If you need any help with your publishing journey, please do get in touch with her by emailing theamethystangel@hotmail.co.uk. You can book a Skype session or a phone call with her, or ask questions via email. Please do follow this blog to receive more posts on Indie Publishing.


Disclaimer:All views, ideas and tips presented on this website are my own, based on my own experience and the experience of my clients. It is by no means the only way to do it, or the right way to do it, but it is the way that works for me. Please take what helps you and makes sense to you, and don’t worry about the rest for now. Please know that I take no responsibility for anything that happens as a result of you following my advice. I have created this blog as a resource for Indie Authors to help them make the publishing journey a little easier. I am not affiliated with any of the companies I mention, other than the fact that I use their services myself.

 

10 Tips for Self-editing

When you have a completed manuscript, whether it’s fiction or non-fiction, and whether you are planning to self-publish or traditionally publish, the next step is to edit it. Editing your own work can be tricky, because you generally know what should be on the page, or how a sentence should read, and so your mind fills in any gaps or smooths over typos without you even noticing them. But at the very beginning stage, self-editing is necessary, as bringing in an editor too early can be quite costly. When I get queries from authors wanting me to edit their work, I usually read through it first, and if it needs an extensive amount of work, I will recommend they do a little self-editing first, then come back to me, otherwise we will have to go through so many editing stages that it will end up being too expensive for them.

There are tips and tricks I have picked up along the way, to make the self-editing process easier and more efficient. The following list is by no means a complete one, and if you have any tips I haven’t mentioned, please feel free to share them with other authors in the comments below. I will post tips for the next editing stage soon.

Self-Editing Tip #1: Get some space

Before beginning to edit your work, ideally, it’s best to leave at least a month, if not longer, between finishing writing and beginning the editing process. I don’t always leave myself enough time to do that, but I know that my editing is stronger when I do, because I have had some distance from the story and the characters, and I can look at them more objectively when it comes to editing it. Plot holes and inconsistencies tend to jump out at you, when you have had a bit of time away from it.

Self-Editing Tip #2: Read it like a book

Might sound like a silly tip, but after having a bit of space from your book, if you’re able to, before putting your editing hat on, just read it. From cover to cover. Don’t make notes, don’t be too critical, just read it. Notice if you enjoy it, if it’s gripping, interesting, if it flows, if there’s any slow parts you wanted to skip, etc. Looking at it from the point of view of a reader is not easy to do, but very useful if you can.

Self-Editing Tip #3: Put it on your Kindle

This tip kind of goes hand in hand with tip #2, in that if you send your book file to your Kindle, you can highlight things and make notes or bookmark as you go along. Though I would still recommend a first read-through without making notes, if you’re pushed for time, you could do it this way and make notes and highlight things that need changing. I like reading it from my Kindle because I find it easier to spot the errors than on my computer screen. If you don’t know how to send a document to your Kindle, fear not, that will be covered in another post!

Self-Editing Tip #4: Check your facts

If there is anything in your book that you have mentioned but not researched, and you need to verify facts or whether you are allowed to mention it, then get Googling. When in the full flow of writing, I don’t normally stop to research things as I go, instead I insert several **asterisks** so that I can easily spot what needs checking in the editing process. Then I get online and check the facts. If you are planning to self-publish, this is essential, as there won’t be a publishing house checking anything for you, and if there’s any errors or you’ve used something you shouldn’t, it’s all down to you.

Self-Editing Tip #5: Get permission

If you have mentioned a real person, or real products, or have quoted someone or something, you may well need to get permission to do so. Whenever a real person comes into my work, I always make sure to get the permission of that person before publishing. Most of the time, I have received emails back saying they are happy to be featured in return for a free copy of the book when published. I also get permission to mention real books. When I get permission, I usually put a credit to the person/company in the front of the book, in the acknowledgements or on the legal page. If you are planning to use song lyrics – be warned, getting permission to use them can be quite costly, do plenty of research. If in doubt, make up your own song lyrics! 

Self-Editing Tip #6: Always save each draft (and back up!)

It’s tempting to just keep overwriting the same file when editing, but I prefer to save each draft, each version, as separate files, and also always back up the file! You can save them to the cloud, or to an external hard drive, but backing up your files is essential. The reason I save each version, is that there have been the odd occasions where my computer has randomly decided to replace an entire novel with a single paragraph from another file. In which case, because I had the previous version, I didn’t have to redo too much of the work to get it back to where it was. If that file had been the only one I had, it would have been disastrous, because that would have been my entire novel, lost forever. (Unless you’re an amazing tech whizz who can get files back after they’ve been deleted). Don’t worry if you have ten or more versions of your book file by the time you finish, better that than the alternative.

Self-Editing Tip #7: Do a spell check

It’s funny how this most basic editing tool is often the one I overlook the most when editing my own work. But I think that you should run a spell check on your book several times, not just once. Best times to run a spell check –

1. When you’ve finished writing, and want to do a basic tidy up before getting some space.

2. After every stage of editing, because when you edit, adding and changing things can cause new errors to be made.

3. After proofreading. Again, making changes to get rid of typos and grammatical errors can create new errors.

4. After formatting. When sorting out the indenting and paragraphing, it’s possible that again, errors can be introduced. And if you’ve added the front and back matter at this stage, it needs spell checking too.

5. After making any further changes, just before you upload the final files to be published.

Self-Editing Tip #8: Create a timeline

You may have already done this before writing the book, or as you were writing the book. But if you haven’t done it already, the editing stage is the time to get it done. Creating a timeline helps you to see any inconsistencies in the story more easily. You can see if you have set scenes at the right time of year, or in the right weather, or if you’ve mentioned it’s six months later, you can see what month that is, etc. I tend to create my timelines after writing the book, and when I wrote the beginning of The Earth Angel Awakening, I had described many autumnal things, but actually, in the way the timeline worked out, it was summer at that point. So I had to go back and change things.

Self-Editing Tip #9: Summarise each chapter

Again, you may have done this previously, in which case you can just use those notes when you are editing. But summarising the chapters is helpful to check the pace of the book, and to check the length of the chapters too. My favourite way to create timelines and chapter summaries, is using Scapple, which I will feature in another post! Here is an example of my timeline and chapter summary for The Elphite:

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Self-Editing Tip #10: Create character profiles

If you are the kind of writer who plots and researches before writing, then chances are, you’ve done some character development too, and so you will have profiles for each other them. If, however, you are a panster like me, and you just jump into your writing feet first, then now is the time to create the character profile, because it may well help you to catch little incontinuities in eye or hair colour, or the number of siblings they have.

Please do check back for more self-publishing help coming soon, and if you have any questions, please do ask!

 


IMG_5734_2Michelle is the author and publisher of 8 Visionary Fiction novels, all available on Amazon in paperback and on Kindle. She spends her days helping Indie Authors to publish their books, taking photographs and making gluten-free cakes.

If you need any help with your publishing journey, please do get in touch with her by emailing theamethystangel@hotmail.co.uk. You can book a Skype session or a phone call with her, or ask questions via email. Please do follow this blog to receive more posts on Indie Publishing.


 

Disclaimer: All views, ideas and tips presented on this website are my own, based on my own experience and the experience of my clients. It is by no means the only way to do it, or the right way to do it, but it is the way that works for me. Please take what helps you and makes sense to you, and don’t worry about the rest for now. Please know that I take no responsibility for anything that happens as a result of you following my advice. I have created this blog as a resource for Indie Authors to help them make the publishing journey a little easier.