Just in case you didn’t notice, that’s me holding an actual copy of The Truth About Alex! Many of you already know that I prefer ebooks over physical ones. They’re easier to shop for, more economical, and one Kindle can hold a gazillion books on it, which is a lot better than cluttering my house with stacks of novels because I’ve run out of shelf space. None of that means, however, that the appeal of a print edition is completely lost on me. I love the smell of books, and that very special unnamable sensation of holding what you created in your hands.
What I’m holding there is the proof copy of Alex. CreateSpace has a FANTASTIC online proof reviewer, which I did make good use of. It has a 3D cover/back view, and the pages turn and look as close to the real thing as I’m sure is possible. Still, I ordered the proof copy just to see if everything would match what it looked like on my computer screen. It did. So, I went ahead and accepted the proof.
The next step involved assigning distribution channels. I assigned The Truth About Alex to six channels. The first three had to do with distribution through Amazon and it’s various foreign branches. The other three were for availability on CreateSpace directly, as well as national public libraries and academic institutions. No harm in broadening my horizons, right?
The transition to all of these areas, Amazon in particular, can take up to eight days. Within the first few hours, Amazon was picking up my ISBN. A few hours after that, it had a page declaring the book is currently unavailable. Six hours later, it was available for purchase, but the book description was all blocky and wonky. I’m not sure if this is just some overlooked glitch with CreateSpace or not, so I logged into Author Central to change it to something more legible.
Next, I logged into KDP and signed The Truth About Alex up for Kindle Matchbook. That means if someone were to buy the print version of my book (for 8.95) then the Kindle version would be discounted. I chose to make the Kindle version free for anyone who buys the print version.
As far as the price goes, you can change how much you are charging for your book at any time using CreateSpace. I settled on 8.95 due to pricing trends for novellas, a quick search through Amazon showed me what people were charging for books around the same length as Alex.
As of this publication, Amazon has still not displayed the “other format” box on The Truth About Alex’s page. I’ll have to wait a few more days before contacting them, because these things really do take time.
[EDIT] Amazon just now put the “other format” section onto Alex’s page. If you would like to purchase a paperback copy, or pick up the Kindle version, click HERE!
Today, I officially submitted The Truth About Alex for review on CreateSpace! Before that happened, I adjusted the footer margins within the book to allow the page numbers a bit more breathing room, and made modifications to the Monsoon Morning sample that’s included at the end of the book. Printing the file to PDF became less painful every time I did it, and I’m very glad that I was using PDFWriter, or else my Mac would have printed the file at 8×11, which as you all know, is NOT the planned format of my print book.
So far, CreateSpace has been less painful than I had imagined. Upon uploading my PDF, I opted for a free CreateSpace ISBN. This number will allow me access to a broader distribution than if I had paid for one (option two) for ten dollars. I went with the glossy finish for the full cover, and the CreateSpace reviewer was pretty fantastic as far as previewing my final manuscript goes. Still, I have to wait 24 hours for all of my information to process (that includes tax information) before they will give me the opportunity to order a proof copy. The proof is essential, because I want to be able to hold the book in my hands first, and determine whether or not this is a good looking product.
In the meantime, there’s no reason for me to be sitting on my hands. Monsoon Morning still needs a final run through before going out to my betas. There’s work to be done, and no time for stopping.
When The Runaway Train was released, there were a few people who wanted to get their hands on a physical copy. The Kindle, to them, was still a newfangled contraption that could destroy the world of books as we know it, and they would have no part in it. After trying to explain that one does not need a Kindle device at all to read Kindle books, they were still unwavering.
The fact is that I have considered publishing a print edition of The Runaway Train for some time. To be honest, I just couldn’t see the benefit of producing a print book that had a page count of 43. It was a novelette, one that I am very proud of, and I have plans for it to appear on the printed page soon. It will be part of a book of Montana Marrenger stories.
For now, I’ve decided to give The Truth About Alex the print treatment. It’s the sequel to The Runaway Train, and because it’s a novella, the page count is more substantial. So, I went to CreateSpace’s webpage, decided on a trim (5.25×8) and downloaded the Word template to format the manuscript in.
Within the formatting, there were several decisions that I made. One was to drop the Table of Contents. I see the benefit in an ebook for a TOC, but in a print novella, I’m sure that people will make perfect use of a bookmark. Secondly, I had to explore my own personal book collection in order to examine the front matter layouts. Which one to choose? Reviews, Title, Copyright, Series Page? Title, Copyright, Series Page? Sample, Title, Copyright, Series Page, Title? Yeah, that last one almost made the cut. After careful consideration, I went with Title, Series Page, Title, Copyright Page, Dedication, Acknowledgments, and A Note from the Author. The selection was very deliberate, and the flow feels nice. I think.
The trouble I was having had to do with printing the template as a PDF file in order to submit to CreateSpace. In some sort of cruel display set about by Microsoft (I completely despise Word, btw), Word would only print to PDF in 8×11. That’s not even the correct size of the template! So, after many hours of pulling my hair out, I gave an application called PDFWriter a whirl. Low and behold, when I printed from Word through PDFWriter, the template retained it’s correct size! You can imagine that there was much rejoicing.
There’s just one more problem. The Truth About Alex was showing a page count of around 96. The printers at CreateSpace don’t want to do any lettering on a spine if the book is under 100 pages (as long as you provide your own cover). So, I decided to do something about it.
I chose to place an excerpt from Monsoon Morning at the end of The Truth About Alex to bring the page count up. It worked, and now it will have lettering on the spine instead of being blank! (cheers!)
Monsoon Morning is Selena’s very first novel length adventure. Although it’s fully written, it still has yet to appear on my editors desk (sorry J.C. Hart!) My reasoning is that I want to give it one last read through before giving it away. Luckily, J.C. Hart accepted my request to have selections from the first chapter edited on a whim.
The selections from Monsoon Morning are exclusive to The Truth About Alex. You won’t find the sample in the ebook at all.
Now, at this stage in prepping, I’m waiting on Hillhouse Designs, LLC to finish the final cover/back/spine for The Truth About Alex, and then I’ll be submitting it to CreateSpace! Of course, I will be getting a sample copy to review. We don’t want all of you getting your hands on something that isn’t put together well, so I have to be sure. Fingers crossed that it all comes together nicely. This is my first venture into CreateSpace land, and I will be chronicling it here.