WHY AM I GETTING PRINT COPIES?
I’m going to offer print copies of Femme through CreateSpace, which is a print-on-demand company owned by Amazon. I’ll be buying and shipping 50 copies for myself, half of which I’ll sell to pay for the printing and the rest will be used as promotional copies, review copies, local library copies or anything else that will help me build a fan base.
Benefits To Having Print Copies
- I will be able to attend trade shows and other opportunities armed with a product rather than just posters and business cards.
- The books help me reach the audience that prefer to hold bound books rather than using e-readers.
- The print version will also give the digital copies a higher perceived value. If a buyer can see that the print copy is $10.99 and the digital copy is $2.99, there’s a tangible saving.
- I have an option to bundle the digital book when someone buys the printed version through Amazon. When I do this, I should have a happy reader.
CREATESPACE INTERIOR AND COVER DESIGN TEMPLATES
CreateSpace is fantastic when it comes to supplying artwork. When you select what size book you want to use, they give you access to a template in Word that you can drop your novel into.
I fiddled with their template and made the internal design more personal to my story, using the same font for my chapter headings (named, not numbered) that I used for the book and chose a page numbering design I liked best that makes the book look more complete. While working with the template, I could be secure that my margins, trims and inside layout were appropriate for print.
Tip: The first page of a book is always on the right hand side, meaning the ODD numbered page is where chapter one should begin. If chapter one starts on the left, insert a blank page to get it onto the right hand side for a professional presentation.
Once I uploaded the interior file to the CreateSpace website, I launched their preview software which discovered I hadn’t embedded my fonts properly. There was a link I could click that took me to a step by step process that outlined how to do it. I converted my file to a PDF first using Word (make sure you select the PRINT READY check box) and then uploaded it. That took care of it.
For the cover artwork, I once again downloaded a template provided for me by CreateSpace.
The number of pages in the book dictates how wide the spine is going to be so I had to ensure my internal pages were complete before I started work on the cover.
I ended up with 270 pages so I dropped that into the CreateSpace calculator and it gave me a measurement I could use, as well as an option to download a template. I’m a visual person rather than mathematical so I downloaded the template, which was more suited to my way of working. The template was very clear and easy to understand. I have worked in the printing industry some twenty years ago (as a receptionist!), but I did pick up the fact printing is a craft that can carry imperfections, because sometimes paper can be set a few millimetres this way or that. Trim sizes and bleeds account for that movement.
Tip: CreateSpace has some ready-made covers that you can drop your own images into, change colours and be helped along. Excellent for those with little to no graphic design experience.
ONLINE IMAGE EDITING AND CREATION SOFTWARE
I fiddled with the covers until I had something that fit into their little drawing – you can see the finished product at the start of this blog post. I’m pretty happy with it. I chose to use online software via pixlr.com and picmonkey.com, both of which can save high resolution images, the latter more so. The reason why I used those online programs is because I don’t own Photoshop or other graphic or photo-editing software.
Because neither Pixlr or Picmonkey can save a high resolution or print ready PDF, I saved the image as a high quality PNG and then used an online PDF converter freepdfconvert.com to create a PDF for me.
A tip: view the file in actual size (or 100%) to catch imperfections. The image should be so large at actual size that it doesn’t fit your monitor.
It took me a day and a half’s worth of fiddling and going back and forth to get my internal design and cover artwork correct to the specifications. A person better versed with graphic design or who owns the right software with up-to-date skills would probably get both done in half a day. I can really see the value in paying those cover creating businesses $50 for a design, especially if I wasn’t well-versed in graphic design… an occupation I used to have almost ten years ago.
I am very out of practise, but good enough to muddle through for myself and save $$$.