Paperback coming too!

So yesterday, as I killed time (72 hours to go…) I started thinking about CreateSpace. CreateSpace is an Amazon company that will print your book into an actual physical book and put it up on Amazon (and other places if you want to pony up another $25). Since I can do it all for free, I figured why not.

I did experience a moment of absolute horror when I realized I was going to need either a Word, PDF, or RTF version of the finished book…as I think I’ve mentioned, when I was doing the last two polishing runthroughs of Night and Day, I made my changes directly in the HTML file that I used in Kindlegen to build the Kindle version. That was the only up-to-date version of the book. My WordPerfect files were a couple of revisions back from there.

First I tried opening the HTML file in WordPerfect, which worked fine except for quotes and other special characters. They were there, but they were codes rather than the actual characters. I did try a search and replace, but that was a no-go. So I ultimately ended up opening the HTML file in a browser and just doing a copy and paste of the whole damn thing. And it worked.

Next step was getting the layout right – proper font sizes for chapter headings, new page break for each chapter, that kind of thing. That took an hour or so. Paragraph indents…check. Got it all together, exported it to a Word file. Warning, danger, warning!

All my indents were gone, and there were other issues. And I’m really not comfortable doing a lot of formatting in Word, since I haven’t used it steadily in almost 4 years, since I retired. Tried importing the WordPerfect file into Word. Same issues.

But CreateSpace also takes PDFs, which I could easily make in a variety of ways in WordPerfect. So I did that. Everything was fine. Uploaded it to CreateSpace. Warning, danger, warning. My book is 6” by 9”. A piece of paper is 8” by 11”. The PDF was 8×11. Spent probably an hour on finally getting the page, in WordPerfect, to 6×9, and then getting the PDF export to actually be 6×9, and not 8×11. Many tries, with success only at the end.

Compared to that, the cover was a breeze – I had the graphic….

Full paperback cover

…with the spine copy that they add bisecting it nicely. I could have put my own spine copy in, I guess, in my normal Night and Day font, but I figured I’d let them do it since the font I chose was pretty close. As you’ll notice, I also used the narration from the video trailer as the back cover copy.

Uploaded the whole mess, got my confirmation that it had been approved (in terms of formatting). Checked the proof. Decided I wanted to add page numbers (which I’d neglected) and headers on the pages, as well as add a blank page before Chapter One starts to make it start on a facing page. Exported and uploaded it, and am now waiting for the update to be approved.

Next question for me will be pricing – I don’t actually buy many paperbacks anymore, preferring digital (I have thousands of paperbacks already – I don’t need more) and am really unsure of what the list price on them is. It looks like it’s in the $10 range, but if I price this at $9.99, I don’t think I’ll make any royalty on it. I may actually make negative royalty. So it’s looking like around $11.49 is the right price to make a couple of bucks per copy. It seems high to me, but maybe it’s not these days. I have paperbacks here that I bought for $.95 back in the day, so my perception on paperback prices is probably skewed.

The paperback version will probably take 4–5 days to filter into the market, so it’ll show up a few days after the Kindle version goes on sale. Which is fine. Most people will go for the Kindle version anyway, but if they really want a physical book, I figure it’s worth having one available.

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