Adventures with CreateSpace

Publishing your own books isn’t easy. After you write it and pay to have it edited, or self-edit the best you can, you still have to format the insides, write front and back matter, write the blurb, and design the cover. And after you’ve managed to do that, you still have to submit it, and if you’ve got it wrong–well.


It’s enough to make you pull your hair out. I’ve been working on Summer Secrets since last August. I’m not kidding. It’s when I opened the file and started with that first sentence. It feels like forever, though some writer friends kindly remind me that they’ve been writing their current WIPs for years. I feel for them, I really do, because there’s nothing I want more than to push these books into the world and never look back.

But alas, I cannot because CreateSpace, to borrow the words of my friend Brickley, is a temperamental hag, and what I’m doing isn’t good enough for her.

Don’t get me wrong, that’s a good thing. It’s a great thing because of course I want to publish my best work, and I want it to look its best, too. But I’m beginning to lose hope that I’ll ever be able to publish a book without some issues. Well, this is only my second try, and some things have changed since I published 1700 last year, so I should cut myself some slack. Publishing will always be a learning curve, and yep, I’m learning.

First off is my font. CreateSpace didn’t like the font I laboriously searched for. It’s not embeddable. That doesn’t mean I can’t use it (always look for a site that says their fonts are free for commercial use or pay because my first choice was $35.00, and let’s face it, publishing a book costs enough as it is), but CreateSpace gave me warnings up the wahoo. Interestingly enough, in the email I received saying my cover had been rejected, they mentioned my interior file was fine. The email and the interior viewer said two different things, so the only thing I can do is wait for the proof.

My cover was rejected?!

confused cat

You caught that, huh? Yeah, let me tell you it was a surprise. I knew I had the measurements for the page set up just right. I triple-checked the numbers. The only thing I could think of when they said I didn’t leave room for bleed, (though I know I did because my measurements were spot-on with what they said they needed) was that my font on the cover was too close to the edges. I can’t show you because I’m not revealing my cover yet, but I fixed it, lowering my font size and bringing in the margins on the blurb. I did the same thing to my title and my name. I’m hoping this fixes it. If it doesn’t, I’m going to have to call.

No one said publishing was boring!

excited cat

I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Until next time!

9 thoughts on “Adventures with CreateSpace

  1. Copyright laws about fonts are a little funny. You can actually use any font you want in a *print* book, because once the font is committed to paper, it no longer has copyright protection. The copyright is only on the computer code that draws the letters, which is why you cannot embed a font in an ebook without permission (since ebooks embed the computer codes, not the letters, so the end-user can scale the text up and down).

    What that means is that you can use any font you want in the PDF you send to CreateSpace, as long as you don’t include the font software. The lingo you need to know is “convert text to outline.” There are many tools that will do that for you. Most people use Adobe Acrobat Pro. (If you don’t have it, just email me your PDF and I’ll do it for you.)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting journey you’re taking. I’ve considered using CreateSpace to put together a poetry collection of mine, but I’m not sure I have the patience for its nonsense…


  3. Createspace has given me a lot of headache in the past as well. I had a perfect cover design that I paid a decent amount of money for and it didn’t fit, the font on the cover was too close to the edge. So I redesigned the cover myself, adding a thicker margin. There were also loads of issues with the formatting, but the final product(s) ended up looking pretty good. I have yet to publish my third novel on there though, I’m not ready for the day of headache it would take haha.


    • It’s difficult to admit they know best. I didn’t admit defeat, but I certainly know where my limits are in terms of design so I can only hope that what they want, and what I can do, meet in the middle. Besides, it’s the story inside, and not the font, that will make it a bestseller, right? I’m glad you got your situation worked out.


  4. you had me with the cute cat pics. ^.^ I am looking at createspace to make a little poetry zine. I’ve heard of Lulu and Createspace, I like Lulu because there is the option to make a hardback, but come to think of it, all the poems I had published were in magazines and tiny chapbooks and it was still meaningful. I’ve heard a lot of negative things about Createspace everywhere I go to look for positive reviews – trouble with layout, the cover itself, or the pages being very thin. I hope you finish your book! It can take years just to think of it then a few more to write it all down lol.


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