Paperback version

I’m thinking of doing a paperback version of my collection of stories, Love (, currently out in the wild only as an ebook.

The instructions and forums on CreateSpace are kind of difficult to follow, but I gather that if it’s to have the appearance of a normal book - title and author name on the spine, front cover and back cover - it needs to be at least 130 pages. It’s currently 109 pages when I use Compile for Paperback/PDF in Scrivener.

Is there a workaround for this? Larger font (how do I do this projectwide? Added pages? Add another story to the paperback version? How have others dealt with this?

I can’t provide any advice based on experience with self-publishing or createspace, but I can at least point you to the font settings.

When you bring up the compile window, there should be a section called Formatting. Within that, there should be a few rows, at least one of which is a folder. For the body text, you can ignore that (usually) and look at the others. Depending on how you organized your manuscript in the binder, you can probably focu in on just one of the rows with a page-like icon. Click on one, and you’ll see a fake latin preview of how the text would be formatted. There are buttons around that window that you can click on, drilling down to the details of what font to use, how to space your lines & paragraphs, and all sorts of other aspects of the output.

Play with those for a while, compiling to PDF to get a good idea of how the settings have affected what you see. If you can’t figure out how to do something more specific, just come back and ask.

Ah, thanks. I suspect that I should probably use a more book-y font for the paperback than the Optima I used for the ebook, anyway. But I think I’ll sling a couple of extra stories in there anyway.

Assuming that you have already gotten your book layout to something that looks, well, ‘booky’, then probably the most transparent method of adding pages would be to do all the things you have suggested.

That is to say:
make a small increase in font size
make a modest increase in line spacing
add an extra line of padding on the first page of any new story
increase the left, right, top and bottom margins very slightly
make sure you are taking advantage of all the approporiate book ‘furniture’, such as copyright pages, title pages, an acknowledgements section and a sensible number of blank spacing pages

Doing lots of things at once means that the chances of any of them having to be that large so as to be noticable is much smaller.

Still, 109 pages to 130 is quite the jump (19.3%, some might say). To put that in perspective if you currently have 25 lines per page for 109 pages, you’d need to use the above methods to reduce your work to only 21 lines per page to extend it to 130 pages long.

I should point out that Optima is a lovely font, but unless you are using one of the ‘Thin’ versions (eg Optima Thin), then it’s actually a deceptively broad font. You’ll probably find that changing it to most anything else will actually reduce the size of your book a little.

All said and done, adding extra stories is either the easiest (if you already have them written) or the hardest (if you don’t) method of getting it done. Still, a couple of extra tales in the print addition might be a nice touch to reward purchasers of the print version.

Yeah, I’ve a couple of nice stories I can add; one funny one about Mick Collins rising from the grave to save Ireland, another a ghost story told in chicklit form and set in the Celtic Tiger; that should do it.

Any suggestions on what’s a more book-y font? And what for the story names, which I have on separate pages at the moment?

Yeah, I have all the copyright stuff and acknowledgments and so on done.

You don’t need to be too extravagant here - in fact I’d suggest that the more familiar the font, the less intrusive your selection will be.

For the main text, I’d go for something like a Garamond (bottom) or a Georgia (top):
(shown with left aligned text here to illustrate the difference in spacing, but in an actual print I’d keep everything ‘justified’.)
Personally I prefer the Garamond, but it’s a personal thing.

For title pages and things like that I usually also use Garamond (but larger, obviously).

For Chapter headings that are on the same page as the main text, I use the same font, but distinguish through the use of font size and bold.

Finally, if I have any Part seperators on distinct pages I’ll use a sans serif fornt for contrast, usually in all caps, bolded and centered. Personally, I just use good old Arial for that (as shown below), but you Mac types seem to be crazyinlove with Helvetica.

Of course, if you do all of those things, you’ll have a book that looks like it’s come straight out of Pigfender Publishing. Just grab a few books you like the look of off your shelves and see what they did.

Pigfender? Sounds good!

Hm, most of the books on my shelves that I really like come from about 1880.

I wouldn’t use Georgia, as that to me is more of a screen font than a print font. I use Adobe Garamond Pro for everything I produce on paper, but perhaps that is a bit academic for your purposes.

For a more traditional font, I’d have a look at Baskerville or Didot; for a more modern look, I’d have a gander at Hoefler Text or Minion Pro. I attach a PDF showing each of them, and a zipped up .RTF file if that will help.

That, of course is dependent on whether you have access to them on your computer.


Nisus Writer ProScreenSnapz001.pdf (35.2 KB)
Font (3.32 KB)

The Createspace requirements are not that difficult and there is an active user forum.

But unless you want your book to look like a Word document, I would advise against compiling your Scrivener document into a 6x9 format and doing nothing more.

First, as to the cover, Createspace has a sophisticated cover creator program. But give some thought to having artwork professionally done. This need not be expensive—there are a lot of artists on who are happy to help. Odesk is a little more involved alternative.

You do need to educate yourself about front matter and its order in book design. You can get an ISBN number from Amazon. If you’re American, they’re expensive. Canadians get them for free.

There are free-lancers who will format your book for Createspace. It may or may not be cost-effective to use them.

If you want your book to look professionally typeset, you essentially have four choices: LaTex, InDesign, Quark or Scribus. LaTex is free, and the program makes all the hard typographical design choices for you. While many claim that there is a steep learning curve to LaTex, that really isn’t true. You can compile your Scrivener file to *.rtf or *.doc (I don’t recall at the moment if you can compile to Open Office format) and then open the file in Open Office, Libre Office or NeoOffice. Set the page size (for Createspace usually 6x9). Get the LaTex plug-in and export to a *.tex file. Compile that using a LaTex editor (there are some online options, or you can install LaTex on your own machine). Run LaTex and you should have a file which looks pretty close to being professionally typeset. Scribus is free as well, but you will have to make design decisions.

Remember that you have to embed fonts for a Createspace pdf. This could be an issue because, depending on how you create a pdf, if you use system fonts they may not be embedded in your document. LaTex (and Acrobat Distiller) automatically embed fonts for you.

There is a world of difference between a book typeset using these programs and a compiled Scrivener document. It’s worth the extra effort.