Friday, March 15, 2013

Formatting a paperback for Createspace.

Formatting a POD in Word.

So far I have written and published a novel and a novella. I wanted to take an ebook and turn it into a paperback using print on demand publishing. This entailed putting in a section break after the front matter and then after the text. This creates three sections to the book.
Next, I put a page break at the end of every chapter. Then I went through and made every chapter heading seven twelve-point spaces down from the top. The chapter number is twelve-point and the title fourteen-point. This is exactly the same in the ebook version. Then I adjusted the paper size to 5X8 (my ebooks were on regular typewriter sized pages) and set the gutter at 0.7 inches. The outer margin is set at 0.4 inches. The bottom is 0.4 and the top 0.7 again. This is because I have a header and the text should have some white space above it. The header and footer are also adjustable.
In doing ‘Master of Darkness,’ it ended up at 246 pages. I set it up to have mirrored margins, which is only important in the middle or text section. Page numbers are centred at the bottom. I’m using Word, incidentally. Windows XP.
There were a couple of chapters that ended with a bit of text on an otherwise blank page. I sort of made three short paragraphs one longer one, and this made the chapter shorter in terms of physical space. This saved a couple of pretty blank pages in the book, although there was one I couldn’t fix.
I don’t squish dialogue together, only exposition, and the sections probably had long paragraphs with a fairly long last line. These are hard to compress and get enough white space for any saved lines of text.
Part of the process is to go through and right-justify everything. You have to do it section by section or fix the headings, scene breaks and ‘The End’ if that’s what you have in there.
The process also includes inserting blank pages. Up front, I have two blank pages, which means one sheet of paper in the finished product. Next, there is the title page, on the other side of that the typical publishing information, ‘front matter.’ Then I have the story, although you could insert more blank pages, two at a time. At the end of the book is an author bio, and of course the back of that is another blank page to make up an even number of pages, numbered or otherwise.
When putting in page numbers, be sure to look at ‘link to previous section’ in the toolbar and make sure it’s turned off. To set the numbers, put the cursor on page one of the appropriate section. Click footer and format page numbers, there’s a thingy for sections in that dialogue box.
If numbers appear in different sections, go in there and separately remove them. Make sure it’s not linked to previous section and there you go.
This whole process took me approximately two hours. It’s a nice, simple product. When publishing it on Createspace, it might be necessary to fiddle with the marketing image depending on the location of titles and author name and how the program renders it in the free template. You have to keep all text back a half an inch from the edges, not necessarily true in an ebook, which don’t have a machine trim size.
It goes without saying that I’m kind of reluctant to load it up without scrolling through it a few times just to make sure everything looks okay. But that book will be up and on there shortly.
Once I get a proof in my hands, I could adjust things like the gutter and margins before approving the final book.
All of this was free. As to whether or not I will sell any books, that is an entirely different question.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this explanation! This was my biggest challenge in getting my first ebook published at Amazon and CreateSpace last June! I have a few more in different stages, so now I'll be better informed. :-)