Self Publishing the Easy Way
I know a lot of people have a book inside themselves that just has to come out. Some people even went as far as writing their books. If that book is on a word processor, you can publish that book and it won’t cost you thousands, or even hundreds of dollars. If you want to put in the time and have the right tools, you can get your book published for free.
There are two options available. You can publish as eBooks and/or print books. If your like me, you’ll search the Internet looking at statistics. You’ll find some sites say eBooks are more popular, or getting there. Most sites say print books are more popular. But why not forgot those statistics, or opinions, and do both?
Lets go over how to organize a book. The best way is to write one chapter at a time. Each chapter will be saved as a file. Save each of those chapters in a folder you can easily find and get to. The folder can be the book title. Chapters can be any name you choose. Like, Chapter 1 Beginning.
Some times I like to include a description in the chapter name. I write books about the Bible, so I may call a chapter, Chapter 1 The Beginning Genesis 1. That way readers can use it as a reference book. I also use sub-chapters. A book page may look like this:
Chapter 1 The Beginning Genesis 1
God Formed Adam
God Formed Eve
The First Sin
Chapters are one of the most important details in a book if it is an eBook or print copy. So you should know how to use chapters. You’ll want a powerful word processor that gives you all the options you’ll need to complete your book. I use Open Office, a free program you can download from the Internet.
Open Office Download
Once you download it, you can set it up for the way you like it to appear and operate. Play around with the program for a while until your comfortable with it.
I used a few examples here showing chapters. The title on the top uses a CHAPTER 1 format. Open Office Download uses CHAPTER 2, and Chapters Explained uses CHAPTER 2 also.
On Open Office there is a pull down menu on the upper left. It may say Text Body. Set your courser at the beginning of a Chapter or Header and click the menu down arrow. Choose Heading 1 or Heading 2, whichever applies. This will set the line of text as a heading. You’ll see the size change.
Why headings or chapter? Because eBooks use those as short cuts. They are also used to create the Table of Contents for both eBooks and print books. Here is a little trick you’ll want to know. You’ll have to insert the Table of contents into the print book, but eBooks create the table for you when they convert from .doc files to ePub files. So you’ll need one word document for the eBook and another for the print version. Not a problem. In the file name you can call one BOOK and the other PRINT. Just include the words in the file name.
Here is an example of what a Table of Contents looks like when it is inserted into the book.
Table of Contents
To Insert the TOC, go to the top menu, choose INSERT/INDEXES AND TABLES//INDEXES AND TABLES, a pop up will appear. Just click OK and the table will appear where you have your courser set in the document. We will cover when to to this later.
You’ll want to set .doc as the default.
Go to TOOLS/OPTIONS/
You’ll get a pop up. Got to LOAD/SAVE/General
Click the pull down on the lower right and choose Microsoft Word 97/2000/XP, or whatever is closest to Word 2000. This will always save your documents as a .doc file. Anyone can open and read doc files. This is what ePub and PDF converters use. We’ll cover that later.
You’ll want to proof read your book. It is best to have someone else proof read your books. If your not a good writer, have someone proof read the first few chapters. That way you’ll see your mistakes and have a chance of correcting them on the rest of the book.
Some of the major mistakes are of course spelling. Use the spell checker and use the option to turn on auto spell checking. That will place red lines under misspelled words. There is also a spell checker you can use.
Another issue writers often have is tense. They write sentences or paragraphs mixing past tense with present and future tense. Look out for that.
Many people have the habit of putting extra words in sentences such as the word the. Go over sentence structure and see if the sentence sounds better when the word is eliminated. Proof reading a book can cost about $200. Editing a book, where someone straightens out the sentences for you takes a lot longer and costs a lot more. You try to get yourself in the mind set of an author to figure out what they were trying to convey when the sentence structure is messed up.
Put Together an eBook
It may be easier to put together an eBook, then use that to convert to an print version. Ebooks can be arranged on the normal 8 1/2 x 11 sheets used in most word document files. The eBook converter will make the right size pages for the reader people are using, if it is a phone, tablet, or computer. The software works all that out for you. The converter also creates and inserts the table of contents for you.
What you will need is a cover sheet. The cover sheet includes the Title in big bold letters and the subtitle. You also want to include written by, and copy right information. Take a look at a book to get an idea how to arrange the cover sheet. Choose the set up you like best.
You’ll also need an Introduction. Again, look at a book to get an idea of what to say in the introduction to your book. The Introduction should be set as a Heading 1. You may also want to add information such as dedicated to, and a page about yourself, the author. Look over the beginnings of a few other books to give you an idea how you want to include in the first few pages of your book.
Then comes the book itself. You already have a number of chapters in separate files. All you have to do is INSERT/FILE, and single click on the first file, or chapter of your book. That will place the chapter into your new file. Don’t forget to SAVE the file as a name you’ll know is the eBook. Keep inserting Files until the book is complete. And save the file along the way. Include a page break between each chapter. And make sure all your headings and subheadings are properly formatted.
Just a note. NO NOT have any spaces or extra lines at the end of a chapter. That can mess up the table of contents. Create a Page Break at the end of the period in the last sentence of the chapter. Then Insert the next chapter with Insert/File.
It is easier to see which file to insert next if you display the Headings Window next to the file your creating. On Open Office, double click the Page #/# on the lower left corner of the window. The Heading Index will pop up on the left.
Put Together a Book for Printing
Here is the fun part. You have all your chapters in separate files in the folder for your book. I always write my chapters using the standard 8 1/2 x 11 format. That’s fine. We can change that when we set up the book.
Start with a fresh page. Open a new file. Go to FORMAT/Page. Set the page size to the one you prefer. I prefer 6×9 books. Set the page size to 6 inches wide by 9 inches high. Go to the margins and set those. I prefer .70 for left, right, top, and bottom. That way there is room for notes and words aren’t on the curved part of the page when people are reading the book.
You’ll want page numbers in a printed book. You do not put page numbers on eBooks. The conversion sets that up for you. That’s because different readers use different page sizes in different devices. Don’t worry about that. The programs got that all figured out for eBooks. But you’ll need page numbers for printed books.
Go to INSERT/Footer and make sure it is on for ALL. You can also set up the footer on the page set up under the footer tab.
Go back to INSRT/Fields/Page Number
The you most likely want to set that in the middle of the page. Click on Align/Center
Now you have your first page. All you have to do is INSERT PAGE BREAK, then INSERT/FILE, and single click on the next file or chapter of your book. That will place the file into your new file. Don’t forget to SAVE the file as a name you’ll know is the printed book.
Converting to PDF
You’ll need to convert your doc file to pdf to load it up on CreateSpace. All you need to do is go to FILE and select EXPORT AS PDF. Make sure you save it in the folder for the book. It’s a good idea to name the file Book Title Print Interior. You’ll have to save the book cover as a PDF also. So when you load it up to the publisher’s website, you’ll know which PDF if the Interior and which is the cover.
Before you export your doc book interior to a PDF, you’ll need a complete, ready to print copy. To get to that point may be a little confusing the first time. Here is the process.
Adding a New Book Title to CreateSpace
This is actually very easy to do. Go to Createspace.com, create an account, log on and click the Add New Title button. Fill in the Title, choose Print Book, and choose if you want to be walked through the process or use the Expert screen.
I copy and paste in the Title and Subtitle from the book file. That cuts down on possible errors. Remember, the title on the Interior must match the title on the cover, and those must match the info you put on the Add Book page. They have to be exact.
Go through the set up page. Click on the Createspace supplied ISBN. This is a number you’ll need. But hey, where is the number? There is a little trick we’ll cover.
Fill in the form from line to line. I generally us the 6×9 format and use the pre-checked standard options. Skip over uploading the interior for now. Upload the PDF of the book cover. You can get a jpg file of the book cover converted to PDF at this website. http://www.jpgtopdf.com/
Add, Upload, then convert the file. Save the file in the book folder with a name telling you it is the print cover. Upload the PDF to Createspace.
Add your description you want to show up on the sales page for the book. Usually I copy and paste a portion of the Introduction. Then add something about yourself, the Author. Choose a category for your book. Finish the rest of the choices and click on SAVE at the bottom.
This will cycle through all your input and after the little pop up goes away, scroll back up to the ISBN section. A set of ISBN numbers will appear. I copy those and paste them into the cover page of the book file. Then save, and convert to PDF. Now you can go back and add the interior PDF to Createspace. Back to the bottom, click save, and follow the screens.
I click on all the options for distribution. Set your price. I generally look for a price that will pay me about $2 on extended distribution. Click SAVE again. When that cycle finishes, you click SUBMIT. That’s it. You’ll get an email telling you what to do next.
Once the book is published you can sit back and retire. Ya– like that’s gonna happen. You got to market your book. Look at the marketing links in CreateSpace. They can be helpful