Writer Wednesday


As promised a CreateSpace update. First let me tell you, if you’re coming from Goodreads, that I just switched to CreateSpace after 3 years with Lulu. Last week I tried both for my upcoming Star Minds Omnibus and here are the results:

LuluVScreatespace_resizeSo, for Lulu I used the digest template I’ve used until last year. For CreateSpace I took the “most popular” and since I’m bad at turning inches into centimeters, I thought it was also a Digest size – turned out it’s bigger. The cover looks better on CS, but it took some tweaking and as you can see in the last pic, the spine wasn’t perfect, because I couldn’t find a “spine calculator” (included in the Lulu cover wizard) on CS. Both covers were saved as RGB and not CMYK as suggested by CS, so that’s probably why when I uploaded to CS it said that it was less than 300dpi – my friend Cristina, the half-wizard of Photoshop, said that might have been the reason.

Then Saturday I spent 2 hours on CreateSpace to redo the cover and the whole book in Digest format (might be a few cents more expensive, but the other format is too big, at least for the 2 people I asked for feedback). This time I did find a template with spine size and everything, but whenever I uploaded the image to CS it was either too low-res or didn’t fit in the frame (again I forgot to save as CMYK, so we’ll see what comes out! ;)). So it took more tweaking and trying. I like this version more, since I can put the little “stamp” (the cover art without writing) on the spine, which isn’t possible with Lulu, but at the same time… man, it’s complicated! I guess I only need to get used to it! :)

Anyway, I’ve now ordered another proof copy (after I spent all Saturday reading one of my proofs and then correcting typos and adjusting the formatting for a final manuscript version), and I even have a .doc ready to upload on KDP (and then Smashwords, Kobo, D2D and DriveThru, hehe). I took CreateSpace’s free ISBN that should let me into the libraries system and will buy the expanded distribution when I make the title go live. I guess I only need to get used to the new interface or figure out how to work with those cover templates, and then I’ll probably stop using Lulu (although I’ll leave what’s already there out – will have to do a CreateSpace edition with ISBN!) since DriveThru uses Lightning Source and whenever I manage to finish SKYBAND, I’ll do the final printed volume with them.

Now, if you’re new to this blog and have landed here from GR, you might want to check those posts about Lulu and Author’s Solutions or Dean Wesley Smith on this brand new world of publishing. I relented and tried it, because I know that if I want to do another workshop with him (I did a publishers’ workshop back in October 2011) he won’t let me in the class if I tell him I still print with Lulu, haha! :) If you’re American, you can even send your books to bookstores with CreateSpace, following Dean’s advice. From Italy… it’s complicated! :) Anyway, it’s also cheaper than Lulu (the “digest” costed a few cents more than the 6×9, but still less than the Lulu version, and it had more pages (470 vs. 450), since I ordered it after I ordered Lulu’s copy, so I adjusted chapters better in the CS version…)! :D

And while I’m at it, I’ll keep sharing writers’ links, in no particular order. Why you should stop submitting manuscripts to traditional publishers – something I stopped considering in 2011 when I went indie, but now scares me even more. I’m even a foreigner, they can screw me with their law-babble even more than any of you! :( So unless a traditional publisher comes to me, I won’t submit anything, not even send them a printed version of my books, since the mailing expenses would kill me. And I’m already in the red paying editors and sometimes cover artists, and nowhere near to quit DayJob that pays all those writing bills. But I’m investing on myself, and I know that sooner or later, I’ll be able to quit and live off writing! :)

I’m not sure I see myself in any of the stages of an indie writer, but then, I’m not American, so I face different challenges from whoever is lucky enough to live in the same country as Dean and Kris! :) I have slowed down production, since I’m also working on new titles besides translating my unpublished backlist, but I am still experimenting with everything, that’s why I haven’t written my non-fiction guide for foreign indie authors yet. I can tell you that I know of an Italian writer who thinks Amazon is the biggest market when Amazon opened in Italy precisely because otherwise Kobo and Apple would have stolen that share of the market. Even if I manage to convince him Amazon is not the only game in town, especially not in Italian, he’s probably going to be one of those KDP Select authors.

As long as he doesn’t undersell himself. See how you can write an eloquent F* Off to an indecent offer (again, like Dean says, no begging). We shouldn’t work for free, or give away our novels for free. A short story, yes. A novella, why not. But a whole novel? Maybe if it’s the start of a series, but in my case, Technological Angel is also longer that its sequels, so I’d rather give away a Snippet or a longer prequel instead. And you’ll get one in the Smashwords Anthology, so stay tuned. Maybe another I’ll put it on this blog – if I get enough requests, that is. I still don’t know who’s reading or why, so I’m going to improvise. Schedule, but improvise, LOL!

Last but not least, if you’d like to be a guest on Joe Konrath’s blog, you need to donate at least 100$ to this cause. Since I don’t really want to do that, if you’re a writer, we can split like he suggests, and interview each other. Let me know with a comment or an e-mail, and we’ll do it! :) Have a great week!

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