Friday, June 28, 2013

CreateSpace - Head to Desk

Happy Friday, good people of the blogosphere! Yay! Friday! It's about time, too. This week was a long one, but I wrote many words. I have five works in progress, so expect a rash of publishing coming out of this Indie author later in the year. Perhaps I'll be doing a number of giveaways around Christmas again. My goals are to publish the next two installments of the Mystic series (Melody and Coralie), M, Player, and possibly another book I've written a chapter of. Lofty goals! But that's not the topic of today's post. Today, I'd like to talk about CreateSpace.

As you may know, I'm a graphic designer. Because of this, I use Adobe InDesign to format my books for print. On occasion, I format books with artwork that bleeds off the edge of the pages. As in the examples below:

 The Bird
 Dark Premonitions - Second Sight, Book Three
Chasing Memories - The Tala Prophecies, Book One

If you've read The Indie Author's Guide to: Building a Great Book, you've probably already hit the point where you don't get errors back from CreateSpace's auto-check. And you're probably using MS Word to format your books.

This little golden nugget of teachings is for those of you that want to have elements in your book that bleed and are using ID.

When you place your artwork, be sure the bounding box bleeds on all sides all the way to the edge. Even though it looks right on the screen, and you know it'll print correctly, the auto-check will kick it back and show it as an error. If you ignore the issues and save past them, submitting your book without the all-clear, you'll get a reject.

I've even gone as far as to call CreateSpace about the book I'd submitted, assuring them that the artwork was exactly as I wanted it, and they told me they couldn't push it through to the printing house without causing a major headache for everyone involved.

So, to keep others from experiencing mounds of frustration, and having minions, who only know that if the auto-check says no it can't happen, laugh in your face and tell you there's nothing they can do, I'm sharing my frustration.

I only thank the heavens above that I experienced the drawback with my own book and not that of a client. I'm grateful for the experience, but wish I'd known all that I'm sharing with you now before I hit that wall and was forced to step back and re-group.

I hope this post prevents some headaches for some of you.

If you're designing in MS Word, I'm not sure you can create elements that bleed. Though perhaps it's possible.

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!



  1. I boshed two of my books through CreateSpace recently.

    I was rather excited to see that you can download a blank Photoshop/InDesign template and do the cover/spine yourself... but then I realised that my Photoshop/InDesign skills are non-existent so I used the built in template things instead 'cos I'm lazy.

    All the stuff about bleed went right over my head though. And I'm still clueless about kerning.

    1. This is why you need to hire IBGW to do your formatting, Michael! We guarantee a no-error upload to CreateSpace :)

  2. You did a great job on my formatting! Definitely less stressful than trying to get everything perfect and avoid having to go back and forth to fix errors.

    1. I'm glad you were pleased, Heather! I love creating beautiful books that wow the reader :)


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