7 solutions for submission snarls for ebooks and CreateSpace


For the past couple of years I’ve been trying to eliminate all the expenses one encounters when compiling and publishing an “open” book. Those are the books that CreateSpace, Nook, Kindle, Smashwords, and Scribd will accept from you, prepare, and market. Their part is free ($25 or so for CreateSpace).

As I’ve found free-arounds I have shared them with you on this blog. To find the earlier such posts, just put the key word(s) in the search box to the right and they should pop up.

What prompted this particular share is that lately I’ve been having a problem taking various sections of my CreateSpace texts, saving them in .pdf, and blending them into one .pdf file, which C/S requires to publish the book.

This for me this is a new problem. I used to use a Nuance file to do it, but my computer got blitzed, the file disappeared, and I was no longer able to get it replaced from Nuance. (Thanks, fellows.) The alternative was getting some gilded Adobe system. (No thanks, guys.)

My usual route is to go to Google and ask if there is a free program that does so-and-so. I did it again yesterday to convert a new book, so I picked Google’s mind. And there it was, my old friend Cutepdf.com (that I have been using for Adobe-like needs already). They have a new program that does just what I need.

Let me explain that need quickly, then send you to a landing page to see the book I’m describing.

Most books composed in Word are in three parts. The first five pages or so have no page numbers and are often slightly wider than the parts that follow. That’s Part One. The second part, Two, is the book’s text, from Introduction to the end of the Index. In The Art of School Boarding (like most of my K-12 niche series books), Part Three, I have several pages of book covers with some related text, numberless and mostly artwork. You can see in the table of contents on the landing page that these are ultimately one seamless unit. To do that for CreateSpace I must create one .pdf file by listing each part in order and saving it as a single file. If I just try to save the three together, the pagination flies apart (all pages get paginated or none) and the layout gets unhinged.

So that’s my latest contribution to help you create your own free (or almost free) books for “open” publication.

To remind you of the earlier free-arounds:

* Just follow the instructions at each publishing house’s website about how to submit the main body of text. That’s free. Or use my book How to Get Your Book Pubished in Minutes and Marketed Worldwide in Days to help writing, prepping, and submitting your book. That’s $10 as an ebook (immediately downloaded). $15 in paperback.

* You need a cover (a front only for an ebook, a front-spine-and-back for CreateSpace) for submission. If you want good artwork, check fotolia.com for all-use rights-free art you can get for $12-25. Then lay out the cover and you may be ready to go.

* The publishers have cover size submission dimensions that you must match. If you already have a file of another book that has been accepted by them, pluck out that artwork and insert your own artwork and new text. Or if you have an art program with your software, you can play with it until you get the cover the right dimensions.

* If you are creating a full cover—front, spine, and back—you probably don’t have space big enough to get it all into one file. I went to fivver.com and asked an artkid to put the three panels (front, back, spine) on one submissible file page, like a full book cover, for $5. It was done that day. You can ask him/her to save it in .jpg too, since you’ll need that for submission.

* There’s another way to get .doc or .pdf saved in .jpg. One, you can save Word in .pdf at Cutepdf.com. Then you can save the .pdf to jpg at pdf2jpg.net. All are free.

* Need a professional layout for your text? Find another book that looks just the way you want yours to look—and steal everything that works. The font, type size, margins, spacing, index, table of contents, and so on. Don’t worry, they probably did the same thing. (Some of the “open” publishers have lay-out templates at their website too.)

That’s it. Many of you already knew the work-arounds or have a much better and faster way to do what I’ve shared. Others are dumber (or never saw a computer until they were 110, like me), so these tips may help.

I also hear that others think my tips are so cheap they don’t merit doing. The fun for me is taking a gift system, like “open” publishing, and seeing how well, quickly, and inexpensively I can convert my books to use it fully while it’s still around. If this advice works for you, great.

Best wishes,

Gordon Burgett

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