Step 8. Creating a CreateSpace/Amazon Print Book
8. Creating a CreateSpace/Amazon Print Book
CreateSpace.com is the print-on-demand side of Amazon. It is full on publishing. To publish a book, you need two pdf files, one for the interior and the other for the cover. You can do it yourself or locate a local freelancer or an online service like Fiverr.com or 99Designs.com to lay your book out for you. Books are usually created with Adobe InDesign but MS-Word, Pages or PowerPoint can work also. Really any program that can generate a pdf file will do the job.
CreateSpace has a wide variety of book sizes that you can print. From 5" x 8" to 8.5" x 11", black and white or color. Any color in your book means all of the book is color. I usually pick Industry Standard Sizes but there are others that are fun also like the square format.
• Minimum page count is 24 pages.
• Margins should be 1/2" all around, stay away from bleeding images off the page unless you know what you are doing.
• Images need to have a resolution of 300dpi, or dots per inch.
Once you have selected a size you will then need to lay the book out in a program that can generate a pdf file at that size. On the high end Adobe InDesign is the main choice. But you can also use MS-Word, Apple Pages or even PowerPoint depending on what kind of book you are publishing. CreateSpace also has online book and cover building options along with design and layout packages that you can purchase.
Wither you are using InDesign, MS-Word, PowerPoint or something else you start by setting up your document to the trim size of your book. Something like 6" x 9". Set up a ½” margin all around and you are ready to go. My preference for creating your book is InDesign, but if your book is mostly text, like a novel then MS-Word can work just fine.
Most of the specs and instructions are here on the Publish a Trade Paperback page on CreateSpace.com, https://www.createspace.com/Products/Book/. You will see tabs for covers, interior, printing options, royalties, etc.
InDesign from Adobe is the top of the line page layout software that you can now rent for a reasonable monthly price. MS-Word is probably already existing on your PC. If your book is a children's book, picture book or coloring book you can easily use PowerPoint.
You start by setting up a new document with the correct margins. Then dropping in the text, add photos if you are using them and then on to design, layout and proofing. I have vastly simplified this process but creating a published book is very doable. There are also plenty of freelance designers to help you with your project.
Photos are required to be 300dpi or dots per inch. This is the resolution of a hi res image. Books are black and white or color. Any interior color and the entire book is color.
Creating Your CreateSpace Book Cover. Creating a CreateSpace book cover can be a tricky thing to get correct. There are plenty of freelance graphic designers to help you create your cover. CreateSpace covers are set up as a full spread with a back cover + spine + front cover + bleeds all around. CreateSpace also has an on-line Cover Creator feature that you can access to build your cover. It does a decent job and can be an excellent and quick alternative to designing and laying out a cover.
Can my images bleed off the page? Yes they can. This is a common question especially with children’s book authors. They want the images to bleed off the edge. Bleeding your images off the page when designing the book is necessary to give the printer enough extra paper to trim it cleanly. CreateSpace allows you to set up books for bleed but it is a little tricky. The pages have to have an extra 1/8” on the three outside edges. My recommendation is for your first book to not do this. Get a first book up and published and learn all the steps. Then work on creating a book with bleeds.
There are many ways to publish your book, but I highly recommend putting it up on Amazon as a print book using CreateSpace.com or an e-book through their Kindle program. It becomes a real book that people can find and order.
CreateSpace also has excellent author prices if you want to order your book in bulk. If you speak or run workshops this is a great way to print and manage your book. Sell from the room or make it part of the package.
• Createspace Info
CreateSpace has an excellent pdf on creating your book, click on the Overview tab to download the CreateSpace PDF Submission Specifications
• Adobe Creative Cloud, Includes InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator, my favorite for creating books. They have different packages that you can rent.