Writing Is Hard Work

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  • Roger Colby

How To Use Scrivener to Format a Createspace PDF Interior for Publication

So you’ve written your masterpiece and you want to publish to Amazon Createspace because you just can’t stand another rejection notice and want to see it in print, or you want your friends to buy the book so you can have the satisfaction of becoming a published author.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with this, as I have done the same thing.  However, given Createspace’s stringent guidelines for the way a pdf should be formatted, you may be finding yourself struggling with upload after upload only to find that each one has been sadly rejected due to random pesky format issues.

The following steps entail the method I used to combat this problem and finally publish my book to Createspace without any hiccups:

1.  I bought Scrivener for $49.  This is the greatest word processing program known to man, in my opinion.  I will save the ins and outs and the many benefits of the program for a later post, but I will simply say that when it comes to formatting your work for any medium at all, Scrivener has all of them beat.  Get this program, import your masterpiece into it and then learn how to use it.  There are many video tutorials on the website and within the program itself to help you manage your document.

2.  Once you have written your document and have edited it thoroughly, printed proofs for proofreaders to edit thoroughly, etc., you are ready to “compile” the document.  Go to “File” and then “Compile”.

3.  Next, you will find yourself at the handy-dandy compile screen.  Since you are publishing to Createspace, you will need to select “paperback novel” as a preset in “Formatting” as shown.  This will set up your document for printing to a Createspace formatted pdf.

4. Next you will need to determine the paper size or trim size and this is selected in the Createspace setup screen on their website before hand where you tell Createspace what size book you want.   Tell Scrivener what your trim size is as pictured below.  You can customize the trim size as well.  It is found in Page Settings –> Page Setup –> Page Attributes.  You can also play around with the margins to get them down to where Createspace desires them to be.

5.  Next choose the front matter that will go into your document.  This is the title page, the copyright page, any dedications, etc.  It is found at the bottom of the screen as pictured.

6.  Now out beside “Compile as” select “compile to print” so that you can see what it will look like before you create a file.  Once you do, you can click left and right and view the file as a pdf before saving as a pdf.  When you save as a pdf, it will embed all fonts as well.

When I uploaded my pdf to Createspace using this method, I did not have any errors.  It is my hope that by following these simple steps, you will be able to publish to Createspace with ease.

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