Self-Publication Hurdles and Solutions
Dave Cleinman as a Hurdler? Not bad. I also jump through hoops at times
Last time we were here together, you and I dear reader, I was fumbling through the formatting process for self-publication on Createspace. I had all the knowledge and tools. It turned out that my impatience was my undoing. Self-publication decisions are difficult and often entail a high degree of risk, especially in terms of how much you will like the final product as the author and creator. Readers will look at your efforts and either identify with them or not. You, as the author, have to live with your choices every day.
I had trouble formatting the cover. The images need to bleed off the edge of the cover so there is no white space. This needs to include an 1/8th of an inch on all sides. It took me several tries and measurements to get it right. Too much bleed can lead to live elements being cut off. Createspace will not allow this to occur. Elements or text which have been cut-off look like a printing error. So, here’s how you do this:
For a trade paperback: make sure your entire image fits with comfort within a 6×9 box. Bring all text well within the 6×9 margin. Add .125 inches (1/8th inch) on all four sides. You can do this by increasing the image size, or by adding surrounding elements. When the printer cuts off the excess cover material, your text and important images will not be part of the trim.
The interior text is easy to format, as long as you use their pre-formatted template and understand the basics of text placement. I prefer to use MS Word for writing and formatting. It works fine, but I also prefer no headers until the second page of text. So I covered any headers I didn’t want with an invisible box. Now the header with my name, the book title and the page number start on page 8. Self-publication decision number 124: What to say in your header.
All issues are now resolved and here is the whole cover image:
The interior looks great. I used five different books for ideas on how to format the interior. What to say, where to place it, where to place the title page and where to begin the book. The main trick with self-publication, in my opinion, is to be patient and allow yourself some time to figure things out. There is a slight learning curve, which may grow larger depending on your level of proficiency with computers and computer interfaces.
If you are going the self-publication route, Createspace does make the process very easy, even with the learning and their sometimes cryptic explanations. I enjoyed the process and my proof copies are on their way!