I’ve been working on preparing (formatting) my book for the in-print edition with CreateSpace. Some people might be interested in the nuts and bolts of this processespecially since I’m an Ubuntu user and I’ve done the whole thing myself using OpenOffice Writer, Inkscape, and Gimp. That’s all free-to-use software. I’ve also spent time with Sigil and Calibre, but I’ve learned that these excellent programs are not essential to the software suite you need for self-publishing.
It’s actually quite easy to do, if you’re careful about following instructions.
For CreatSpace (CS from here on, okay?) you’d best download the interior template to begin. Get the one that comes with sample text; then you can replace the given text with your own writing. This I did by copying text from my OpenOffice document and pasting in into the CS template, on a chapter by chapter basis. You will have to enter the Header text (Author Name, Book Title) once for each chapter, on facing pages. The big thing you have to watch for here is the font you use.
If you want to use a particular font in your masterpiece, you must make sure that you are good with the copyright holder for the font; don’t assume that it’s okay to use it commercially just because it’s on your computer. CS requires that the font you use be embedded in your document. Embedding is a technical specification that I leave as a ‘black box’; I don’t have to understand it to use it. To check if my font is embedded I look at the properties in my .pdf file and there is a list of the embedded fonts. The same operation holds for the cover.
You can create and upload your own cover, or you can use the helpers that CS provides. I can’t tell you anything about those because I never used them. I did it all on my computer (old Dell Core 2 Latitude D830 with 1Gb of RAM and don’t try that at home!) using the aforementioned Inkscape and Gimp.
To begin, I downloaded a template that was modified for my page count. You’ll notice that this means that you ought to complete formatting the interior file before you begin to put your cover together. The page count must be accurate in order to determine the width of the spine. If your book is under 100 pages you cannot have spine text.
And that’s it. This is just an outline and I’ve glossed over some really important details. If you’d like to know more about this process I’d be happy to share the details of my experience with you. Right now I’m waiting for my second attempt at the cover to be approved. The first was rejected for insufficient bleed.
Update: success! though I’m not too happy with the images, especially the back cover. The text is a little blurry. We’ll see when my proof copies arrive in the mail.
Like I wrote above, if you’d like to know more put it in a comment or send me an email at email@example.com.