About Me

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I received teaching and engineering degrees and have traveled extensively, living ten years outside the US. I moved from the big city of Houston to a small sleepy community in North Carolina, which has been a tremendous change and a great inspiration for my novels, full of the local color. My time has been filled with writing and helping to physically construct three additions to our former farmhouse. I have a great view of the mountains ten miles away across the broad valley and the sunsets are breathtaking. I am an avid reader of all kinds of mystery and contemporary fiction.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Uploading Fifth Novel to CreateSpace

Uploading Fifth Novel to CreateSpace

I just went through the process of uploading my fifth novel in the Rachel Christie murder mysteries, “Murder One Too Many,” to CreateSpace. It has sometimes been a real challenge, but this time went pretty smoothly with only one mistake.

After converting the 8-1/2 x 11 manuscript to 5 x 8, the layout was set to mirror margins and the margins were set to a half inch for top, bottom and outside. The inside was set to three quarters with a gutter of 0.15. It would probably be the same to make the inside margin a half inch with a gutter of 0.4, but this works.

I had to justify both the margins and add a new Table of Contents. The process of adding page numbers in the footer, making sure that the first few pages before the actual novel began had no page numbers, came next. That was mainly a matter of inserting a section break and deleting the page numbers before the section break. For some reason, that is usually a trial and error affair. This time it only took three trials and it came out right. Someone on the internet had complained about page numbers on the last few pages after the novel was over. So, I put in another section break and deleted those page numbers also.

Then, I added a bunch of blank pages. The two at the beginning make sure the first page of the book is a blank one. That could be for signing the book. That is what I use it for, but it is more professional to have the blank page. Next, I inserted a preliminary title page with just the title, another blank page for the back of that one and then came the main title page. More blank pages made sure the copyright page, dedication page and table of contents started on a facing, right hand, page and not the back side of a page. Tres gauche.

To make it look professional, I added blank pages at the ends of some chapters so that all the chapters start on a facing page. I think that looks more professional, even though all the big name writers and publisher don’t do it. Many do. I also inserted enough blank lines on the first page of each chapter to bring the chapter name two inches down from the top. Some recommend that the chapter name be centered halfway down the page, but I think two inches looks better.

Then, I went to www.createspace.com, logged in and filled in the required information for the new book, such as the title, "Murder One Too Many," author, key words and others. On my first book, "Murder by the Clock," I made a mistake which I couldn’t figure out how to fix. I started over and at a later date, I had the opportunity of deleting the first one and I did. I always use the guided tour for filling in the book information. Using the expert method skips some things and I usually make a mistake when I do that.

After all that, I got to the part on CreateSpace where the book is uploaded. I just upload the .doc file from Word. That is easy and only takes a few minutes. Time for a short break. Next, the cover is uploaded. That was made in PhotoShop a few days before. It is best to start with a template downloaded from CreateSpace. I used to use another program, but Windows 7 didn’t like that one. I had to get something else. So, I went with the cheap version, PhotoShop Elements. The cover of the book was trial and error, also. But that was easy. I knew what the pieces of the cover should be, based on the plot of the book. By the way, the Walthur PPQ on the cover is a real gun I photographed. The pills and the Power of Attorney, also. It was just a matter of moving the pieces around until they looked right. I began to upload the cover as a PDF file and took another break. This one for five to ten minutes. The cover should be at 300 dots per inch and in medium to high quality. That results in a file of several megabytes and that takes several minutes to upload.

Once the book cover was uploaded to CreateSpace, the book was submitted for review. Sometimes this has taken three or four days, particularly around weekends of holidays, but this time it only took a few hours. I got an email saying it had been approved and I checked the book again. For the previous review, the cover was not part of the ‘Digital Preview’ but this time it was. I could now clearly see that the author name on the cover was not centered by half an inch. How did that happen? I went back to PhotoShop and changed it and uploaded the new PDF cover and resubmitted it again.

I got another email a few hours later saying that it was approved. I checked the digital preview and it looked good. I signed off on it and ordered five copies for less than thirty dollars. Somewhat complicated, but, then, writing a book is complicated. If you can do that yourself, you can publish it yourself.

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