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Discussion Starter #1
Anybody have suggestions for whether to have white or cream paper based on my cover for Iron Bloom? Also, think it's worthwhile to make 40-odd page shorts available on Createspace?

Since I'm so early in the process I expect to run into a lot more hiccups along the way lol.
 

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CS has really made it a lot more user friendly than it was a while back. I think the hardest thing now is setting margins. I have some of my shorter works in paper. I think it help sales to have the paper copy too. I use cream paper and print at 5x8. My serials are printed at 4x6.5. Since most novels are printed on cream, I use cream. Its easier on the eyes. Good luck! And have fun sniffing your book when it comes in. You know you're gonna. MMmmmmm booooooks!
 

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My advice is to hire someone to format for you.  For $40-80 you can have it done without pounding your head on the concrete floor.  And it can have page numbers and alternating headers and chapter headings and blank pages where they belong and everything.

If your stuff is a lot of shorts, you might do better to combine them into anthologies.  There are minimum page count requirements for Createspace.

And I do love how my cream pages came out.  They look beautiful (like a "real" book).
 
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Discussion Starter #4
AndreSanThomas said:
If your stuff is a lot of shorts, you might do better to combine them into anthologies. There are minimum page count requirements for Createspace.
I have a novel and will be releasing more soon, but also have some shorts - what is the minimum number of pages? I'm mainly thinking of the 30+ page shorts...
 

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I choose cream too. Don't know about white but my cream proofs look and feel great.

I wish I could remember the minimum page requirements but I believe its more than what you mentioned. If you've already gotten an account for your longer work it should be fairly easy to look up. Your local Office Max/Depot may have to print up the smaller ones that you can sell on your sites. I don't know of another way except for a fairly expensive vanity press with a distrubution program. I liked the anthology idea.
 
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Discussion Starter #6
strath said:
I choose cream too. Don't know about white but my cream proofs look and feel great.

I wish I could remember the minimum page requirements but I believe its more than what you mentioned. If you've already gotten an account for your longer work it should be fairly easy to look up. Your local Office Max/Depot may have to print up the smaller ones that you can sell on your sites. I don't know of another way except for a fairly expensive vanity press with a distrubution program. I liked the anthology idea.
Yeah, I have an account, I'm trying to get Iron Bloom up now. :D As for the shorts I suppose I could wait until the next 2-3 Gothic Warrior sequels are out and then put them all together as an antho.
 

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After switching to cream paper, I am totally sold.  Much better than white.  Got good advice on that here on KB.
 

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I think the minimum is 26 pages.

I chose cream for my collections, white for the GAMELAND series episodes (~135 pages each) and the Omnibus editions (doorstops at ~765 pages). The choice is purely one of taste. I wanted my collections to have a more "vintage feel," even though they're both modern in their cover art. They're slightly different thicknesses, so take that into account before making your cover. Not a big worry, but a hassle if you change your mind and have to go back and tweak the cover size.

As for whether or not shorts sell in paper, I decided not to. Up to about a hundred pages and regardless of size up to 8.5x11, paperbacks costs all run around $2.10, which means you'd have to charge around $5 to make something (#s off the top of my head). Not sure how many people would be willing to pay this for a short story, especially when you factor in shipping and the wait. But you can't underestimate the pleasure of getting that little baby in your hands and seeing it on your shelf.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the advice everyone, the formatting doesn't look too hard it seems so I should be able to finish this in a few hours... relieved after the apparent horror stories of some, I guess they did improve it a lot! Hope I didn't jinx myself with that comment...
 

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Minimum is 24, but that's going to give you a "booklet" sort of book.  The minimum for anything other than a blank spine is 101 pages, they don't recommend text/color/image on a spine less than 130 pages.
 

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glutton said:
the formatting doesn't look too hard it seems so I should be able to finish this in a few hours...
Bwahahahahahaha.

When you hit 40 hours, pay someone. Just sayin'.
 
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Discussion Starter #12
Well it doesn't look like I need to do much besides add page numbers and fix the table of contents to correspond to them (and remove the Amazon links at the back lol)... am I missing something?
 

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Yeah, formatting headers with alternating page numbers and text (especially with collections or chapter titles) is a bear.

My ~136 page episode books have spine titles, but CS told me they had to "shrink" the text to fit, even though I made sure I had the recommended buffer. Whatever.

One recommendation: include QR codes, either on your back cover or inside, so anyone with a webcam or smartphone can find your website, Amazon author page, other books... They're not the prettiest thing, but your book should make it easy for a reader to stalk find you.

And with reference to QR codes, include affiliate codes if you're an Amazon associate (which you should be if you're not) and shorten the link using a URL shortener. The complexity (and thus the density) of a QR code is directly related to length. Less complex codes can be made smaller without confusing a webcam or smartphone.
 

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Consider your cover colors when choosing page color.  I *thought* I liked the idea of cream pages, but with a back cover and spine based on white backgrounds, the cover looked very bright and the pages oddly dingy, and I thought that the book (even when closed) just looked cheap and wrong (kinda like a phonebook).  But even the allegedly white pages actually look fairly cream-colored compared to the truly white areas on the cover.  I was lucky enough to have CS mess up an order and mistakenly use white pages once.  I could see immediately that this book was better that way.  YMMV, of course.
 

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Go for cream, in my opinion it looks better and read easier than the bright white alternative that gives a text-book vibe.

It took me 10 hours to fiddle with word to finally decide to format the book with open office. With open office it took me two hours to have it formatted. Page numbering is easier in Openoffice and converting to pdf is a breeze.

Once you've done it once, you can use your formatted document as a template for the next one, so you really have to figure it all out once. It's thus profitable to make the effort to learn to do it yourself, it will safe you a lot of money in the long run.
 

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Formatting for Print is not any harder than formatting for an e-book.  It all has to do with how well you properly use your word processor.  If you're still using the tab key to indent and the enter key to get to the next page then it's going to be a nightmare for you and paying someone else to do it for you is advised.

Picking a good font and font size for your page size is probably the most important part.  Using section breaks and checking the box for different odd and even pages for the header/footer and setting margins with a gutter is pretty easy.

I use a Format B (5.06x7.81) perfect bound, white paper, gloss cover for my print books.  I use a garamond font, font size 12 with a 1.15 spacing.  This gives me an average of 28 lines of text per page.  Half inch margins except for the bottom.  It has only a quarter inch.  I don't use a footer, but I do use a different even/odd page header that includes the author name on odd pages and chapter/book title on the even pages.

The books look very nice.  If you do it right, you will be proud of your book.
 

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glutton said:
Also, think it's worthwhile to make 40-odd page shorts available on Createspace?
I have shorts from 4,000-14,000-ish words on Createspace. 4,000 is about the shortest you can do there; as mentioned above, I believe the lower limit is 24 pages.

I wasn't really expecting to sell any, but I have sold a couple of copies now. And they look cool on my book shelf.
 

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Formatting on your own really isn't hard. I recommend using OpenOffice rather than Word for better formatting options. I wrote up a blog post on how to format a book interior not too long ago that goes over what I did first in Word to prepare (by converting quotes) and then in OpenOffice for formatting. I also included the code for a macro I wrote to manage some nice typography including proper scene breaks and ligatures.

OpenOffice's ability to set up different page styles means you don't have to rely on section breaks like you do in Word. All you need to do is tell it your chapter style should be preceded by a page break, that break should start on a page with the format for your first page in the chapter, and then have that format be followed by the standard alternating odd/even form. Handling headers and footers on your page formats is pretty easy. The hardest parts for me were writing the macro, and choosing a font.

Frankly as easy as the process was to do, I'm sorely tempted to hang up a shingle. The basics of throwing in headers and footers are easy. But the existing pros probably handle more stuff like illustrations that I haven't tackled yet. Or worse, hyphenation. Hyphenation is a monster; I used none at all because the automatic setting was pretty awful.

As far as page color goes, I'd stick with cream unless your cover is very very light.
 

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I just did a Createspace and I wanted to cry through most of the process. I use OpenOffice, but I'd actually recommend deleting everything but the margins from the sample document and basically starting fresh. I think using the former-Word-doc in OpenOffice made everything buggy and caused me grief.

OR pay someone.
 

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SBJones said:
Formatting for Print is not any harder than formatting for an e-book. It all has to do with how well you properly use your word processor. If you're still using the tab key to indent and the enter key to get to the next page then it's going to be a nightmare for you and paying someone else to do it for you is advised.

Using section breaks and checking the box for different odd and even pages for the header/footer and setting margins with a gutter is pretty easy.
Not entirely true. You can have 20 years of experience using Word in sophisticated ways, have your document set up properly without tab keys and hard returns, use all the proper section breaks and the odd/even things and STILL have a real problem every time you save as a PDF.
 
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