Today I’m going to talk about pulling together a Createspace version of your book. For those of you that don’t know, Createspace is a print-on-demand service. It is now owned by Amazon.
Scrivener does have the facility to output a pdf file, but currently Scrivener for Windows is a bit of a PITA to use. The lack of certain features necessitates the use of a convoluted procedure. The steps are as follows:
You separate your document into three parts to control the page numbers on them. Otherwise your copyright page will get numbered page 2, which just looks wrong. The separation is more in your head than actually doing anything in Scrivener.
You should have a FrontMatter folder already in your document. Within it are subfolders labeled ‘Amazon, Kobo, Nook’, ‘Smashwords’, and ‘Createspace’. If you’ve been using other services you may have other subfolders present.
Grab the Createspace folder and drag it into the Manuscript folder. You do this so you can compile it separately. It should have at least two documents, title page and copyright page. You may also have half title page, blurb pages, acknowledgements, dedication pages, and maybe other pages. Any page in the front of the book that you don’t want to count as a numbered text page, place them in the Createspace folder.
Go into Compile and select Content. Make sure to only select the items in your Createspace folder. You want to check ‘Page Break Before’ if you want that item on a new page. In this example I wanted the copyright page to start on a new page, so ‘Page Break Before’ is checked.
You want it to output to your word processor type, in this case OpenDocument for LibreOffice. Next go to Page Settings. Under Paper Size you pick custom. You can chose your paper size here, usually 6”x9”. Make sure you have no header or footer text. You can also change your margins, though I’m not sure how much it matters. Hit compile.
Next, open your word processor. LibreOffice never respected the page size I set, so I had to go through and change it again. Check your margins on all your pages. Then export as a pdf file. No, I’m not showing screenshots of that. Figure it out.
The next step is the manuscript itself. Again, go to Compile. Under Contents, Alt-Left Click twice to unselect and then select all components. Then uncheck everything in your Createspace folder and Backmatter folders. Again go to Page settings and set the page size and remove any headers or footers. Compile as word processor document.
Once inside the word processor, you again change the page size and check the margins. For a printed page, it’s nice to use a space of 1.15 or something similar. The extra space between lines seems easier to read. Choose select all, and set the line spacing. Or you can use styles if you know how. You could try to set this in Scrivener, but LibreOffice seemed to ignore whatever I set.
In the footer, insert a page number. I did it the easy way and put them in the center of the page. It’s nice if you can start on page 1, but I wouldn’t worry about it. Most books the manuscript does start on page 1- the page number may or may not be there- but several books I checked started on some other page number. You have enough to worry about to spend time stressing about the first page number.
The header is more complicated. Most current books have the author’s name in italics on the verso page, and the book title on the recto page. What are verso and recto? If you open a book, the page of your left hand side is the verso page, and the page on the right is the recto page. Use your word processor to set the Left and Right headers accordingly. Depending on how many pages in your front matter, your manuscript may start on either the verso or recto page. Note that if you want to get fancy you could mess around with left justifying the page number on the verso page and right justifying it on the recto page. You man need some trial and error to get your verso and recto pages set properly.
One older book I checked had the title on both verso and recto pages. I suppose you could do that, but it feels like cheating.
When the margins, footer and header are set the way you like, export as another pdf file.
Finally, go back to Scrivener and only select your backmatter. This section is a folder that contains pages such as ‘About the Author’, ‘Books in this series’, ‘More from this author’’, and similar pages. Some folks put the acknowledgements in the back, or a short afterword. Compiling these pages are similar to front matter. They don’t have headers or footers, so it’s fairly simple to export them into the word processor and then export a backmatter pdf file.
Now you have three pdf files. Go get the utility PDFSam. The basic version is free. First you have to look at your manuscript PDF. Did you have to add a dummy page to get the verso and recto headers to work out? If so, use the split function to remove that page.
Next, select merge. You add the three pdf files in order at the top. Then at the bottom of the window you specify an output pdf file. Click Run. The program calculates a bit and then asks if you want a preview. Click yes, and check everything. Common errors are that you forgot to change page size on one of the pdf files, the margins don’t look nice, the line spacing seems cramped, and your headers are switched on the verso and recto pages. If this happens, just repeat the steps. You can usually narrow it down to one of the pdf files and just redo it, leaving the others alone.
Once done, go to Createspace and upload your pdf file. Let the automated checker look it over and then check it again yourself.
The next step is to create a book cover. The Createspace cover creator seemed limiting and didn’t work for me. I’m going to bale here and refer you to these guides, which worked well for me. I assume you have an e-book cover already.
Bookow has free templates available for GIMP. You input your book size, ISBN number, price, and page count and it e-mails the template to you. You can also get a separate ISBN and price barcode template.
If you know how to use GIMP, you can just create your cover following the template. If you don’t, here is a guide, found on the webpage of Walter Mendelson, book designer.
Google has found other guides, and you may need to reference some tutorials on GIMP just to understand what’s going on.