PDFs for CreateSpace - High Quality / Embed Fonts?

Hi all

I’ve just published my book on CreateSpace and a problem I thought would only appear on the proof copies, has appeared on the final Print On Demand versions.

Basically, the type is grey and pixilated. E.g. m-dashes appear as a series of dots, rather than a straight line. The issue isn’t just limited to special characters, all the text is suffering.

Now, CreateSpace reviewed and approved the files, so they don’t think there’s a problem, and the results certainly aren’t unreadable. However, I’ve seen other books from CreateSpace with a much better internal print quality.

So, I’m wondering if anyone else has had or resolved similar issues with CreateSpace.

I used the default settings for ‘Paperback Novel’, which uses Baskerville / Regular / 11pt for the body text.

Any tips or thoughts gratefully received.

Is this a problem with the PDF itself, or something that is happening to your PDFs after you upload them? If you compile a PDF from Scrivener and open it up on your Mac, does it look fine at that stage? If you print out a few sample pages do they look crisp and black? If so, you might wish to contact CreateSpace with a sample PDF showing the before and after upload quality. They might have some tips to offer.

Hi Amber,

I think the problem may be with the PDF itself.

CreateSpace recommend embedding the font in the PDF and using a quality of PDF/X-1a," “High-Quality Print” or “Press Quality”. I didn’t see those options within Scrivener when producing the file.

Have I missed something in the PDF options within Scrivener?

I’ve seen the post concerning not being able to embed fonts within eBooks, but I’m not sure what the position is concerning PDFs for physical printing.

These sorts of options wouldn’t be in Scrivener itself, but rather in the print dialogue that is presented to you when choosing Print instead of PDF. If you’re having difficulties with the convenience PDF compile output, try using Print instead and saving the PDF from there after having configured the printer settings. These shouldn’t be impacting PDF compile, but if you want more control that is how to get it.

As far as I know you don’t have to do anything special with OS X in this regard. The PDFs it creates are high quality and work almost anywhere. I’d suspect some local configuration problem before going into something broad like this, because this is a singular issue (to my knowledge anyway) that you are experiencing.

PDF/X-1a:2001 - I am struggling to export my books to a PDF/X-1a:2001 format. Has anyone achieved this?

Are you having the same problem with grey, mottled text, or is this another issue entirely?