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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am hoping to release my upcoming eBook though Amazon within the next few weeks.

It's a long book so I'm planning on releasing it in print too. Does anyone have any advice for porting a book over to CreateSpace?

I signed up to CreateSpace a long time ago and I'm familiar with the interface etc. In fact, all I need to do is submit my book. I know that in addition to the front cover, I also need a back cover designed (duh!). My question is more in regards to the book content.

For example:

  • I have put some words in italic in my eBook. I read that italic doesn't look great in printed books. Is that the case?
  • Are there any other formatting tips you advise e.g. font type, font size, use of headers etc. Does the same advice for ebook formatting generally apply to print books too?
  • The preview is a big thing for selling eBooks. Therefore, it's advisable to place things like acknowledgements etc at the back of the book. I assume it's fine to move all these things to the front of a book in a print book?
  • Is there anything else I need to know about releasing a print book through CreateSpace? (I've researched other options like Lulu etc but feel that CreateSpace suits me best)

Thanks,
Kevin
 

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My CS POD is just now going on line (within the next 2 days if not there already). Fingers crossed.

I don't have much advice on most of your questions because we're about in the same place.

I did find that my text looked better (in the proofs that landed on my stoop) when I used 10 pt font than it did using 12 point. And , seeing those of others I may use 8 pt next time (if it looks good with the proof).

On the acknowledgements, I think your thoughts are correct. Put them in the back. You want to catch potential buyers quickly. That means minimize the work they have to do. Short attention spans and all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
strath said:
My CS POD is just now going on line (within the next 2 days if not there already). Fingers crossed.

I don't have much advice on most of your questions because we're about in the same place.

I did find that my text looked better (in the proofs that landed on my stoop) when I used 10 pt font than it did using 12 point. And , seeing those of others I may use 8 pt next time (if it looks good with the proof).

On the acknowledgements, I think your thoughts are correct. Put them in the back. You want to catch potential buyers quickly. That means minimize the work they have to do. Short attention spans and all.
I forgot that print buyers will use the preview too. I was thinking more about someone actually reading a print book.

Most books recommend 12pt for ebooks. It sounds like that's way to big for printed books.
 

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Could be.

Consider this though, pick up any trade or mass market paperback you own. Do any of them look like 12 pt? Mine looks less like a 5th grade primer and more like books I bought.

CS didn't complain and the book looked good - and was comfortable to read.

By the way, I had a quote up front that had the source's title in italics. It looked well enough but seemed mightly like the unitalisized (sic) text above it.
 

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If you have just 1 book, I recommend hiring someone. If you're planning to do a bunch, it's worth getting over the learning curve hump.

That being said, my books have page numbers on the blank pages because I just can't get it to work properly in OpenOffice. I give up. My blanks will have numbers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
cdstephens said:
Where in the world did you hear that? Italics were used in printed books quite successfully for 500 years before eBooks even existed.

My advice would be to hire a professional to design and format your printed book.
I'm not sure exactly. It was an article I read a few days ago but I don't recall the url.

Any recommendations for a professional formatter?

strath said:
Could be.

Consider this though, pick up any trade or mass market paperback you own. Do any of them look like 12 pt? Mine looks less like a 5th grade primer and more like books I bought.

CS didn't complain and the book looked good - and was comfortable to read.

By the way, I had a quote up front that had the source's title in italics. It looked well enough but seemed mightly like the unitalisized (sic) text above it.
I'll try out 8pt or 10pt and see what it's like.

Dalya said:
If you have just 1 book, I recommend hiring someone. If you're planning to do a bunch, it's worth getting over the learning curve hump.

That being said, my books have page numbers on the blank pages because I just can't get it to work properly in OpenOffice. I give up. My blanks will have numbers.
Yes I'm planning on releasing a lot of books this year. If I can find someone good to format the book correctly, I could use that as a template for my other books.
 

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In my second of 3 proofs, I had a blank page at the end of a chapter. 'Turned out that if the previous page is completely filled the grinder doesn't like to begin a following chapter on a 'right' page and skips to start it on a 'left' page.

The fix: I added an extra space between each of the previous chapter's sections to drive 3 extra line of text onto the formally blank page. No one notices but me.
 

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Don't forget to put the page numbers back in!

My favorite font for print is Georgia sized 10 to 12. That depends on the measurements of the book itself -- 5x8, 6x9 etc.

I also have no idea how to get page numbers off blank pages. It has cursed me for many years, dating back to academic work and beyond.

Anyway, I have no experience with Lulu, but I found CreateSpace immensely easy to use. You really shouldn't have any problems; it guides your hand the whole way.
 

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It's worth the time to learn how to use InDesign. It's great the way it automatically keeps track of page numbers (and headings) and lets you delete them on certain pages while keeping them on others.

As for advice... the nice thing about print is that you don't have to worry about making hyperlinks or what it might look like on this device versus that device. When you render that final PDF, what it looks like on the screen is what it will look like on the page (barring some technological anomaly with the printing).

Pick your favorite bestseller and look at how the book is laid out. Use that as your inspiration and work toward getting yours looking similar.

Pick a plain, legible font that is easy on the eyes. I use Palatino Linotype myself. Others will probably chime in with their preference.

Italics will look just fine. The production cost of each Createspace copy will be determined by the number of pages, so if you have a 600 page epic, you'll want to go with a smaller font size. My book is only 81,000 words, but I still wanted it to round out to around 300 pages, so I went with size 12 and it looks fine.

Page count is also determined by margins, so you can play with those a bit until you get to the spot you're looking for. I believe the standard is 1.25 for top and 1.21 for bottom. Createspace's minimum requirement for side margins is 0.75, but you might want to go a little higher so readers don't have to bend the book spine to read the text on the inside margins. I went with 0.85 myself.
 

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Dalya said:
That being said, my books have page numbers on the blank pages because I just can't get it to work properly in OpenOffice. I give up. My blanks will have numbers.
I took an age to figure that out, but with hindsight it's not that hard; you need to have two different page styles, one for the first page of the chapter which is automatically followed by another for the rest of the chapter which does have page numbers.

Here's how I ended up doing it:

http://blog.edwardmgrant.com/?p=872

Oh, and I'm using Cardo 11 point for text these days. It's a free font from... somewhere?
 

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Some links for POD info:

https://www.createspace.com/en/community/index.jspa

The Create Space forums, with boards for interior and cover formatting, templates for both, and other useful stuff. There's an article on fonts there.

http://www.12on14.com/pages/createspace.htm

One of the members at the CS forums, has downloadable PDFs with all sorts of good information about covers and book interiors.

http://www.thebookdesigner.com/

Another good site for tips on designing books, lots of topics.

I'm almost ready to upload my book, finishing up the last pages. I've been rewriting as I go, which is slowing me down, but I'm getting a better book at the end. At least, I think so. ???

I'm using Minion Pro Med, 11 pt for body, and Minion Pro Semi Bold, various sizes, for everything else. Headers/footers are Minion Pro, 9 pt.

I used the template, but I've been fiddling with it to get the look just the way I want it. I looked at several books to see what I liked for the interior, and just adapted things as I went.

The hardest thing is getting the kerning and line spacing to look right; hyphenation is a bugger; widows and orphans will drive me totally bats**t. But other than that, I'm good. :p
 

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11 or 12 point would be my guess.

One thing I would definitely recommend is pasting up a few pages of your book at the same size and layout as you want to use. It'll give you a notion of what it actually looks like. A 5x8 page on a screen or printed in the middle of a 8 1/2 x 11 page looks very different than it does when it's actually 5x8.

Pay attention to whitespace, you want a balance between density and readability. Consider changing line or paragraph spacing by just a little to make it less WALL OF TEXT. Garamond or Palatino are both good fonts. Times can be very dense.

I'm completely kicking myself. I found a fantastic tutorial out there a few weeks ago and now I can't find the link again.
 
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