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Since I've had some of the same questions asked multiple times about using CreateSpace to publish my books, I thought it might be helpful if I just did a post about it and answer some questions.
1. Is the formatting difficult, or is it pretty simple?
This depends on how you want your book to look. :) If you aren't trying to be really fancy it is actually quite easy. CreateSpace has formatted templates you can download for the size of book you want that has everything formatted and all you have to do is fill things in. Put the title where it says "Book Title," add the "Author Name," Copyright date and name, Chapter titles, etc. And for the actual chapters, all you have to do is copy and paste each chapter in the right place, justify the font and there you go. You can get fancy and change the font, make the chapters start higher up on the page, add illustrations, and other things if you want and are feeling daring, but it's not necessary.
|Title and Copyright page|
|Chapter One as the template. No story or pictures added.|
2. Is it difficult to make the kindle/e-book version?
No, it really isn't if you aren't too concerned for how it looks. If your book doesn't have illustrations in it, it will look better than ones that do if you don't actually take the time to format it. If you want to make your book a kindle using CreateSpace, all you have to do is click a button, set up your account on Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) and let it go.
Correct formatting takes a little longer, but really isn't too difficult.
3. I have a couple of your books, and I've noticed they're in different sizes. It there one size you would recommend or that worked best?
Great question. Actually no, I don't have a certain size that I like best. My first ones were smaller because that's the size I thought the "should" be, but I have changed to the slightly larger size because I like it. If I had time, I would be tempted to change "Home Fires" to a larger size so it wasn't quite so fat. But really, it's just what you want. Shorter books might look best as a smaller book (more pages, bigger spine that way), but again, it's just what you want to do.
4. When you published, have you done ARC copies? If so, who gets them and why? If you don't use them, why not?
No, I have never done ARC (Advanced Reader Copies). One reason is that by the time I get my proof copy corrected, I'm ready to hit publish and I don't want to make my readers wait any longer. :) My test readers get the book either printed on computer paper or as a pdf.
If I were going to do ARC, then I would just order more "proof" copies to give out because if I wouldn't want to hit the "publish" button unless I was ready for the book to actually be published and available. Though I could "publish" the book but not have it available on Amazon until later.
5. When publishing, what font works best? Is something like "Ariel" or 'Times New Roman" the best to use?
Oh, the font question. :) Again, this is almost entirely up to you, as the author. You will want a font that is easy to read, not some specialty font. "Times New Roman" is a good one. The one I usually use is either that or "Garamond." Whatever you choose, you want one that has the little marks on the bottoms of each letter as it is easier to read.
|Notice the difference in the fonts.|
6. Is the cover fairly easy to create if you have a stock photo you're using?
Covers are an interesting topic. They can be as easy or as difficult and complicated as you would like them to be. :) If you have a photo you want to use, you can either create the cover entirely on your own or you can use CreateSpace's cover creator. The cover creator is easy to use and gives you many options for front and back of your book. There is also an option for uploading the front and back covers that you created elsewhere and letting them mess with the size of the spine. That is what I do with my TCR books. I have the front and back cover and then just pick a different color for the spine of each book. It keeps things pretty simple.
But with "Through the Tunnel" I actually created the entire cover myself including the spine. It was more of a challenge, but a great learning experience.
So, if you know what you want on the front cover and you can create it in Photoshop or something, you can do that, or you can just take your photo and have fun in the cover creator of CreateSpace.
|Here is what you can do if you just want to create the front cover.|
There is so much you can do with a book if you want to, have the time and the know-how, but you can also keep things simple.
I hope this post was helpful for you. If anyone has more questions, please, let me know. I will do my best to answer them. I don't claim to know everything about CreateSpace, or about self-publishing, but I do know what I have done. :)