My foray into self-publishing was derailed this week. Not by my own procrastinations but by the death of a family member. It wasn’t an unexpected death but death always seems so sudden and absolute even when expected. So I allowed myself a swig of the morose with a chaser of the guilt for not doing more, listened to ragtime and wrote badly.
But yesterday I got back to business. I logged onto CreateSpace and finally began the process. The first thing you do is either enter your IBSN or you buy one from CS ($99) or you take a chance and accept their offer of a free one. Then you download one of their Microsoft Word templates.
Now, you don’t have to use their templates. They have a whole list of rules and regulations regarding things like “bleed space,” embedding fonts, eliminating orphans and widows, etc., etc., you can apply to your existing MS to get it print ready. In my humble opinion, only do this if you consider yourself a Word expert. They made my eyeballs sting and I was a tech writer and documentation manager for years.
So I downloaded a version of the template with boilerplate text so I could see what they wanted a doc to look like. Holy Cow. It looked exactly like the ready-for-print version of my MS that my publisher sent me before they went belly up. I even did a Select All/Copy on my MS and a Paste into the blank template – almost identical. The one difference was a Table of Contents. One of my books does not have a TOC. So I sent an email to CreateSpace’s customer support email explaining the situation and asking if a TOC was necessary. This was the response I received:
Thanks for contacting us about including table of contents in your title. I will be happy to assist you with your inquiry.
Kindly note, CreateSpace will not include a table of contents in your designed interior unless you have included one in your manuscript. You are responsible for listing the chapter and section headings you would like to appear in your table of contents.
In this case, you’ll need to include the table of contents in the interior file and then submit it accordingly.
The rather oddly put answer was followed seconds later by this:
I’m sorry for writing another e-mail. Please disregard my previous e-mail as it was sent in error.
In my previous e-mail, I’ve missed to address the PDF part and sincerely apologize if this is of any disappointment.
CreateSpace will not include a table of contents in your designed interior unless you have included one in your manuscript. In this case, you’ll need to include the table of contents in the interior file and then submit it accordingly.
We appreciate your patience and understanding.
Unfortunately I don’t think I do understand! Do you?
I decided it’s easier and less time consuming to upload the files and wait for their experts to yell at me! In the words of Genghis Trump “It’s easier to apologize than to beg permission.”
Without googling, does anyone know who is actually credited with that phrase?
23 thoughts on “Onward Methuselah, Part Three”
It sounds like it’s easier to grieve than it is to do this work, Jan. yikes. My best to you in all of this~~
Oh good great grief! Martini time.
I can only say that I applaud your courage and tenacity.
It would break your heart Jan.
You don’t have to include a toc for the paperback file.
I’m also sorry for your loss.
That’s the problem with these companies where you cannot speak to someone. The Responder’s English leaves much to be desired for a company servicing writers – hopefully someone else does the editing. We will look forward to your final analysis! Hope it all turns out great in the end.
Thanks Cinda. They do have folks you can speak with but I thought it was such an easy question to answer!
Pretty funny, a publisher hiring people who can’t write.
And they do offer editing services!
Ali has said it. No TOC in a novel paperback. But if you leave it in the MS then CS will leave it in. I think they mean they won’t put it in if not there or take it out if it is. It’s just rather redundant. I stripped mine out for paperbacks. Thank heavens given putting in an interactive one that works for both Kindle and Smashwords ebooks drove me potty.
Holy polony! This sounds like something from a sci-fi movie. I’m so looking forward (not) to this part of self-publishing.
Sorry about your loss, Jan. As they say – Onwards and Upwards.
Thanks Hugh. It’s not really that bad – one of my problems is that I’m on a MacBook and their templates are in Word.
I’m a Mac user as well. However, the partner of a fellow blogger has told me that he’ll do all the formatting for me. Phew! Buy that man a drink. 🍺
This is one of those situations where it’s so rotten awful and unbelievable, you can only laugh. And drink, and then cry. And then laugh, and then drink s’more. Jeez. I’m sorry. Truly.
They want folks to get frustrated and hire them to reformat you books!
I can’t even imagine doing this on my own. I overthink things and would be a complete mess worrying about the details. You are the bomb, Jan! Take your time and it will be fantastic!
Good grief! I see you are still struggling… Hang in there, your book is worth it.
I am sorry for your loss, good for you to jump back on your writing horse.
Simple question made more complicated, sounds typical.
This, too, shall pass. (?) Another one of those frustrating phrases!