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Looking to self publish? Here are some informative tips on where to get started, what site I've personally used and loved, and some tricks to help you along to way.
If you're looking to self publish, CreateSpace by Amazon would be the best place to get started. It's a reliable, legitimate site with a simple process that won't shoot up that what the hell am I supposed to do anxiety. They take a percentage of profit from your sales, so there is no upfront payment unless you're looking to order a sample or buy your book in bulk. Either way, it is an inexpensive means of publishing as well as efficient and professional. CreateSpace will publish your book onto the Amazon site and give you a few other sites they'll allow you to sell from as well. You're also given the freedom to choose your release date and send out reminders!
The CreateSpace site has all the info you need on how to format your document properly and upload it, (such as embedding your fonts, checking the page bleed and uploading your cover photo.) Just go into "Free Publishing Resources," and in the drop menu click "Articles on Formatting." This will give you links to everything you need to know.
Depending on which size you choose for your book, they will give you a downloadable Word Doc with the same page and margin size, which you can then paste your book into. Once you've done that, you can then convert the doc into a PDF and upload it onto the site. This is very helpful because you won't have to create a new doc yourself and mess with the settings (besides embedding your font and converting it into a PDF once you're ready to upload).
After you've completed this initial process, all that's left to do is upload your cover photo, fill out your title info, and you're done.
Alright, so I gave you the basics on how the process works. Now I'm going to share with you some tips I have to make your flow into this much easier.
- Type out your book in Google Docs, and proceed to do spell checks and proof reads in there. Once you've completed your book and reviewed it, download CreateSpace's Word Doc template, (one which matches the size of your book) and paste your book into it. There, you can do final touch ups, embed your fonts, make sure you have a proper layout for the print size, and then convert the doc into a PDF. This makes the process a whole lot simpler.
- Once your doc is converted into a PDF and uploaded, the site will prompt you to "launch interior reviewer." Don't skip this part, as it will notify you if you have any errors, and you can fully visualize how your book will look in print. If your layout looks messed up in Interior Reviewer, it's most likely because you forgot to convert it into a PDF. But no worries! Just exit out of interior reviewer, click "upload a different PDF," then convert your doc properly. Now just re-upload it, check it in Interior Reviewer again, and you're golden.
- Try your best to avoid any fancy fonts in your doc; it won't embed properly and will therefore print blurry. You'll see this error in Interior Reviewer (another reason why you shouldn't skip that step) and then have to go back into your document, highlight all of it, and change it to a different font. That'll mess up your layout since each font is a bit different in size, and you'll end up having to spend a good amount of time re-adjusting your layout. I know those fancy fonts are tempting, but it's not worth the extra time it'll take you to fix everything. There's plenty of pretty, simple fonts you can choose from that will embed just fine.
- Try adding some little details to your book; it'll assist in making your project look more professional and complete, as well as your overall satisfcation once you have it in print. This can include adding page numbers, title headings, and providing a decorated spine for your book (see articles of formatting on how to properly add a spine to your cover.)
- Okay, I know when you initially set up your CreateSpace account you may want to jump and see how everything works at once. Try to start by editing in Google Docs, then go ahead and set up the size of your book so you can download the template. Proceed with finishing your final edits, then go ahead and launch Interior Reviewer. When I was working on my book, I wasted so much time by uploading and re-uploading my doc into the site (each time having to first convert it into a PDF), just to go back and keep editing. I know you might be itching to get your hands on it all at once, but trust me when I tell you that taking each step at a time really applies here.
- Once you're all finished, have someone go into your Interior Reviewer and proof read. It's always helpful to have a fresh pair of eyes look at it before it goes into print.
- Take your time with this. The wonderful thing about self-publishing is that you're not on a timer.
I hope you've found this helpful, and good luck on your self-publishing journey!