Behind the Scenes: Publishing a Paperback Book


Took a lot of months but I've finished The Lost Sciell paperback.... almost. I've finished with the heavy lifting. I usually publish the ebook and paperback together but time was not on my side. Had to focus on one. Since the ebook is more likely to sell, I released that first.

Creating the paperback was a path filled with canyons and monster walls. If you follow this blog, you know I’ve been struggling with depression. My energy has been low, like really low. It takes me longer to finish anything. Mostly, my downtime is filled with reading or binging YouTube, things to make me forget.

Anyway, I’m exhibiting next month and I need The Lost Sciell to be on the table. Had to keep working even if I didn’t feel like it.

I thought I finished The Lost Sciell months ago but when I tried to get a template for the cover, Createspace, and other publishing tools, told me my book was too long. So, I had to go through both the ebook and paperback to see what I could remove. One beta reader said my story had a lot of exposition so I scanned the chapters to see what else I could remove. I even got rid of some chapters which made fixing the ebook real fun.

You know how a lot of ebooks have a table of contents. Some authors will create an actual Table of Contents at the front of the ebook. I try to avoid doing that. I'm not a fan of how that looks. I prefer the embedded Table of Contents.

I have to build that in. Each chapter is a separate document. I name each document how I want them to appear in the Table of Contents. Chapter 4 needs to be called Chapter 4. Removing one chapter throws off everything. I need to rename every document. That’s 60+ chapter titles to fix.

A while ago, I started reading Children of Blood and Bones. That book is longer than mine. Gave me some confidence. 

It also gave me an idea for my book's dimensions, the trim size. I usually do 8.5 x 5.5.  But seeing that book, I decided to make mine 6 x 9. With that size, Createspace gives you more pages. For 8.5 x 5.5, the page limit is maybe 500. For 6 x 9, the limit is like 700. 

So I changed the book's size and ran into another little problem.

For some reason, changing the dimensions changed my entire document from 1 column to 2 columns. Don't know why that happened and it took me hours to fix it. Still, don't know why the text box is defaulting to 2 columns.  

I finally, finally finished it. I updated all the images. I'll talk about the maps in another post.

Changed my bio. I was ready to update my file on CreateSpace.

I hit another snag. I decided to make Book 2 Chains of the Sciell 6 x 9 as well since it's pretty long. 


Figure it would look better. Turns out, you can update the cover and interior file but you can't change the trim size. I found that out after I did all the work. Changing the trim size would require a new ISBN which means creating a whole new book. So, the 6 x 9 will be Chains of the Sciell Second Edition. 

The Lost Sciell was no problem because it's not published as a print book yet. 

But, I hit yet another wall while uploading the cover. 

I try uploading the cover and nothing happens. I didn't get an error message, nothing. At first, I thought it was because my computer was reading all PDF files as Chrome HTML Documents. Createspace only accepts PDF files. Not sure why my computer did that so I changed the default app to another PDF reader. That didn't work. Some Googling showed that my file was too big. So, I made it smaller without losing quality. It worked.   

The files were all uploaded and submitted.

I battled another monster when Createspace suppressed Chains of the Sciell Second Edition for no reason. I talked about that in the post Ever Had Your Book Suppressed by Createspace? Now, I'm previewing the books and fixing any formatting hiccups.