Archive for createspace

Self-Publishing Your Book on Amazon & CreateSpace

Posted in Publishing with tags , , , , , on September 1, 2012 by Dawn Ross

Writing a book is a very difficult task. The better you want your book to be, the more difficult it is to write. Getting your book published used to be just as difficult, but not anymore. Amazon makes self-publishing your book as an ebook very easy. CreateSpace, which can be accessed through Amazon, makes publishing your book as a paperback just as easy.

Formatting Your Ebook
This was the most difficult part for me. It is not as easy as downloading your word document. Your files have to be in a certain format. For the ebook, you don’t want to use tabs. You want to use indents. Centering should be set up in styles rather than paragraph. Don’t justify your paragraphs. Don’t use page breaks, page numbers, headings, or footnotes. There are a few other things to consider as well. The best way to figure out how to format for an ebook is to go through this step-by-step process from Smashwords. Download free instructions on Smashwords by clicking HERE. Incidentally, you can also sell your ebook on Smashwords.

Formatting Your Paperback
Creating the document for your paperback is much easier. Most of the things you don’t want to do in the ebook format can be done in the paperback format. The most difficult part I had was the page numbers. You don’t put page numbers or headings on the ebook version, but you definitely want them on the paperback version. You want page 1 to start on the first page where your story starts so you have to set up your word document to start counting page one on page 7, for example. You can also have headings where the left pages show the author’s name and the right pages show the book title. Or the left page says the book title and the right page says the chapter name. The tricky part is getting all the left pages to say one thing and all the right pages to say another. Your page numbers can be centered in the footing. Play around with your book until it looks like what you want it to look like. Then download it onto CreateSpace.

CreateSpace takes you through the download process. It also lets you preview how each page of your book will look. Flip through each page to make sure it looks right. If it doesn’t, fix it in word and download it again.

Book Covers
Ebooks and CreateSpace also have different formats for the book covers. When you go through the process of creating your ebook or paperback, be sure to look carefully at the instructions for the proper size and format. Ebook covers are smaller in size while paperbacks require a larger size with a higher dpi. This is because an ebook is viewed on a smaller digital screen which generally requires a dpi no higher than 72. A paperback book is larger and the dpi should be at least 300. Don’t forget, on your paperback version you will want to make sure there is room for the ISBN and barcode.

Traditional Publishing v. Self-Publishing
Before, publishing your book required soliciting an agent. One could solicit hundreds of literary agents and possibly never finding one, or risk finding one that took advantage of rather than helped a new author. If you are lucky enough to find a good literary agent, you have to wait for the agent to solicit a willing publisher. This could take several months, or even years. Or your agent might never find a willing publisher. Self-publishing guarantees your book will be published. But it doesn’t guarantee your book will sell. The benefit of having a literary agent and a publisher publish your book is they do all the marketing and distribution. Once you get a publisher, you just sit back and wait. With self-publishing, you have to do all the marketing yourself. This can take a lot of time and money, and a possibility of little return.

Whether you self-publish or choose the traditional method is a personal choice. For me, I tried the traditional method but found it exceedingly difficult to get my foot in the door and unfortunately found a bad literary agent. Instead of trying the traditional method again, I chose self-publishing because it was more important to me to get my book published than it was to make money and have wider distribution.

More Miscellaneous Chatter from Dawn Ross

Posted in About the Author with tags , , , on February 25, 2012 by Dawn Ross

Well, it has been a busy week so I’m sorry I don’t have an organized post for you this Saturday. Instead, I am just going to tell you a bit on how things have been going.

Why has my week been busy? One of the main reasons is because I have been getting my taxes done. Because my online retail business is structured under a corporation and because there are so many different aspects of the business, I do have a professional tax service do my taxes. But it is still my job to organize and submit everything. Then, of course, there are blanks which the preparer points out and needs more information on. This year, he told me that I have to start doing payroll. Even though I am the only owner of the corporation stocks and the only employee, I have to pay myself. Sounds simple? It is not. Setting up payroll includes more federal paperwork and requires tax reporting and social security withholdings. I suppose I could try to figure it out myself, but business is picking up so I would prefer to focus on customer service and improving my websites than spending time trying to figure out all the crazy federal laws and reportings. So, I am hiring someone to do it for me. If anyone ever tells you that running a website is easy, they are lying or they don’t know what they are talking about. There are a lot of costs involved and a lot of projects that need to be done in order to get a website on the first page of Google, Yahoo!, and other search engines. Even after running websites for nearly six years, I still have projects I need to do. It is a never-ending job. Sometimes it makes me money, and sometimes it doesn’t.

I also had a medical procedure done mid-week. Don’t worry, it was nothing bad. It was elective but nothing like plastic surgery or anything. Hopefully in a few months I will be able to give you more information. For now, my lips are sealed!

Of the many projects I have been doing to make my retail websites better is to build sitemaps. I thought it would be easy. It was not. I’ve finally finished them for my website but not the others. What is a sitemap? It is not something I can easily explain so you may want to just Google it instead. I will tell you that there is more than one kind. There is an xml, html, and rss sitemap. I need one of each and creating each has its own set of procedures for setting up. Once they are set up, I have to submit them to Google and other search engines. I’m still not done.

The Third Dragon
I am proud to say that I finally finished getting a paperback version of my book on Amazon. You can find it at However, it is still not showing up in searches. You have to direct link to it in order to find it. I went back and forth with a bit, and have now sent an email to Hopefully I will find out what the deal is soon.

The Raven’s Fire
I am supposed to be editing book two, but obviously with taxes and doctors I have not been doing it. I should have spent my time in bed rest editing my book. Instead, I watched TV. I will tell you about that in a moment. I dread the editing process. I find that even though I know how my story will go, I get caught up in it and forget to look for editing opportunities. Thank goodness for professional editors.

Our local video store is going out of business so they are selling all their videos. I found a bunch of great ones I wanted including the TV series for Heroes. I watched the first three seasons but missed out on the fourth season. So, you guessed it, while I was getting bed rest this week I watched the full fourth season of Heroes. And I loved it! I am envious of all the twists and turns and little plots which my stories seem to lack. And I love all the characters. Even the most antagonistic character, Sylar, is a fantastic character. I’m not sure I felt he should have been redeemed. I wished Mohinder had been more involved in the story. They never showed whether he got back with his girl. Also, what ever happened to NIki’s son Micah? I don’t remember if something happened to him in season two or three. Perhaps I should buy seasons one through three as well.

Well, that is all I have for now. I will try to have a more organized post next Saturday. Have a good week!  🙂

Paperback Book of “The Third Dragon” Now Available on

Posted in Book 1 - The Third Dragon, The Dukarian Legacy - Fantasy Novels with tags , , , , on February 11, 2012 by Dawn Ross
Third Dragon Book Cover

"The Third Dragon: Book One of the Dukarian Legacy" by Dawn Ross

Yay! I finally have the paperback book version of my fantasy novel available. “The Third Dragon” is available today on To purchase directly from this site, you will have to create a customer username and password with But has a good privacy policy so you do not need to worry about being sent spam or having your email address sold. If you are not comfortable with setting up a customer account with, you can purchase “The Third Dragon” paperback book fantasy novel from It is not available on Amazon yet, but should be within the next few days.