I’ve just put my order for the proof of my book, The Night of the Moon Serpent, and I’m so excited–and tired too. I’m finally done with the work I needed to do to send it on its way to being printed out. It started with choosing an independent publisher. I decided to go with CreateSpace.
The process turned out to be easier than I thought it would be. Maybe, I scared myself unnecessarily because I had been reading bits and pieces of their submissions and cover guidelines and forum discussions on formatting issues; in other words, I was doing research with no idea of the whole picture. However, once I signed up and created an account, I found out that CreateSpace would guide me through a sort of 1-2-3 process.
The part that I feared the most was setting up the interior of the book, which had to do with calculating gutter and outside margins. Fortunately, CreateSpace provides blank and formatted Word templates for its most popular trim sizes. These templates save you from having to do the math. I chose a formatted template because it clearly showed where sections such as the dedication, acknowledgment, table of contents, and chapters should go. However, I found out that as I deleted the sample text and I copy-and-pasted my book (better done section by section), it was necessary to turn on the Hide/Show formatting codes feature. I accidentally deleted a couple of End Section codes and if like me, you’re not proficient in Word, you probably know that section breaks and page numbering can be hell.
Once I uploaded the formatted book interior, CreateSpace ran a preliminary check and then gave me the chance to use their online reviewer. I highly recommend doing it because if you submit your book interior as a Word document, your page numbering is going to change, depending on the trim size you’ve chosen. And if you typed in your table of contents (instead of letting Word generate one), your page numbers and the TOC are not going to match.
Preparing a cover for submission would probably had given me a headache. That is why I was glad that my cover designer took care that it complied with all the requirements. All I had to do was to upload the file. The interior and cover files were then reviewed by CreateSpace. They will usually notify you within 24 hours if they are acceptable or if any of them needs to be corrected. If both files are accepted, then you can go ahead and order a proof. I was surprised that shipping and handling was more expensive than the cost of printing the book. I made myself a mental note to take that into account when ordering my future courtesy copies. Next stop: marketing. But for now, I’m looking forward to getting my hands on the proof and seeing how it turns out to be.