Saturday, 10 January 2015

Self-publishing guide to POD with Createspace: 'Smell of Poo' Children's Book out in paperback!

The 'Smell of Poo' Children's Book Collection is now available in print!

After completing the rather arduous task of formatting the text and cover design to suit a high quality paperback edition (see the guide below so you may benefit from this experience), the 'Smell of Poo' collection is now available in print - for those of you who prefer to hold the actual book in your hands (I still prefer the feel of paper to holding my kindle, but maybe I'm just old fashioned?).

You can find it with all the information you need here:

smell poo funny children's book print
The 'Smell of Poo' is now out in glossy paperback!

How to prepare, format and process your book on Createspace - an easy 'Print on Demand' self-publishing guide:

Even though I don't expect to sell too many print versions as they are more expensive than the ebook version, it'll be nice to give out a few copies to friends and family (my parents are afraid of anything with buttons anyway), so the whole POD process has already been worth it in my view...

With regard to the formatting process, people can charge a lot of money to help you but I recommend being patient and trying to manage it for yourself (as much as I appreciate Createspace and their enabling self-publishing authors to print on demand, I did raise my eyebrows at their fees - hence this advice).

If it's just a regular paperback you're going for, i.e. no colour or pictures inside, then it's not too tricky. Just remember to set your margins for the text, have someone redo your cover design with a blurb on the back, and tick all the necessary boxes in createspace in their step by step self-publishing process.

Firstly, for text formatting, you can see the margin requirements here (6x9 is the recommended book size for most regular fiction):
createspace printing options
createspace printing options

For further advice on this, The Creative Penn is as helpful as ever:
creative penn self-publishing printing advice
Print on demand self-publishing advice
Then, go to Fiverr to find someone who can 'redesign' your ebook cover into a paperback cover with all the right dimensions, etc (it needs to be 300dpi, by the way). Personally I used 'Fluxydesign' who I hope you agree did a nice job:
fiverr createspace POD cover design
createspace POD cover design

children's funny poo paperback cover
Here's the full glossy paperback cover with spine - not bad eh?
Createspace give you a choice of 'matte' or 'glossy' covers. They say that matte is better for fiction / glossy for non-fiction, however for children's books I was advised by an experienced self-published author (see the next link) to still go with glossy - aren't we all usually still drawn to shinier things after all..?
Matte or Glossy book cover
Matte or Glossy book cover?
For the book description section, make sure you have your 'metadata' ready with lots of keywords to help your readers find your book, while also making sure it matches what is in the book itself! Here's a few hints and tips from 'The Book Designer':
Guide to Metadata / Keywords for ebooks bookdesigner
Guide to Metadata / Keywords for ebooks
Incidentally, Createspace also give you the option of choosing a FREE ISBN for your book, which will save you a fair bit of change if you're on a budget.

Everything else in the createspace process was so simple that I'm sure most people will be ok, i.e. selecting distribution channels, pricing and so on - it's a bit of a 'no brainer' really and basically depends on your own intentions.

However, it isn't too obvious that you can 'create' your own createspace estore! It is already set up for your but you can change the colours and background and even add your own banner. Here is a guide to help you along with this:
publishing solo guide createspace estore
Guide to creating your own Createspace 'estore'!
For resizing an image for your banner (good luck with this!) I found the best way was to simply do a 'print screen', paste it into Microsoft Paint, then resize it there. This link might help you if you're as 'techno challenged' as me..:
Guide to 'resizing' with Microsoft Paint
Guide to 'resizing' with Microsoft Paint
Phew, having just written this post it actually seems like quite a lot - but compared to going through the process of finding an agent, then finding a publisher, then getting published and making any kind of profit or reaching a potentially large audience, Createspace and their kind are heaven sent!

Good luck with the self-publishing process! If you have any other useful hints or tips, please leave a comment...
smell poo funny children's book print
The 'Smell of Poo' is now out in glossy paperback!

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