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Sherrie Cronin
10-16-2015, 07:36 PM
It looks like I will be using a second POD provider to print copies of my self-published novels to place in a local bookstore. Luckily I have ample ISBN numbers, and I am considering using a new one for each book so that I can make a few changes to make my Create Space novels look more like trade published ones. Specifically I am considering
1. reducing the size from the Create Space recommended 6" by 9" to something more like 5.06" by 7.81"
2. reducing the font size from 11 point to 10 point
3. going from white to cream paper
I write science fiction and I am guessing that people will be more likely to buy a book that resembles other books in this genre.
If any one has switched formats in this way and has run into unexpected problems because of it, or done it and been so glad that they did, I would appreciate hearing about it. Thanks!

WriterBN
10-16-2015, 07:59 PM
If you're using Createspace to self-publish and sell through Amazon, nobody will see your book until after they purchase it anyway. It does help to use one of the standard sizes, because they qualify for expanded distribution.

If you plan on having your book on store shelves, then these factors become slightly more important. But getting a self-published book on shelves is a long shot.

Edit: Just saw your other post, so I assume you're trying to get your books into stores. In that case, yes, using an industry-standard size and formatting will help, but the covers will still give you away to anyone who cares about the distinction.

J. Tanner
10-16-2015, 08:05 PM
I've heard a few people say they chose cream for the same reason but the paper does not look at all like the cream paper trade publishers use. (I haven't seen it myself. The few CS books on my shelf are all white paper.)

10 point type sounds small for trade paperback sizes. It seems more like a mass market paperback size. (If you've checked a handful of books in your genre, and it's common, then ignore this.)

Sherrie Cronin
10-17-2015, 12:20 AM
Thanks both of you!
I know it won't look exactly like a trade publication, and I'm not trying to mislead. I'm just thinking that if it is closer in appearance, then those not used to the look of self-published books might be more comfortable with it and more inclined to consider it.
I have one Create Space book in cream. It's not an exact match, but it looks more "normal" in my genre than white does.
I printed out sentences in both 10 and 11 fonts in Palatino Linotype (and in 9 also which is way too small) and the 10 overlays the various science fiction paperbacks on my shelves fairly well. Those paperbacks may well be mass-marketed as you suggest, but people who read them are my target audience. I chose the particular font because it was the one I liked best out of the few that were recommended.
The downside is that if I go this direction I will have to go back through each book page by page to make sure nothing odd has happened once I change the paper size and font size. It's a good bit of time and I'm looking for thoughts on whether it is worth it.
I'm also concerned that having two versions in two sizes available from two places might cause me problems I never considered, down the road. If anyone has done this and wishes they had not, I'd love to know.

WriterBN
10-17-2015, 08:42 PM
I actually spent a good bit of time (more than I care to remember) tweaking page size, fonts, margins/gutter, drop-cap settings, chapter first pages, etc. on a few sample pages before I set things in stone, for precisely this reason. I didn't want to have to reflow the whole book again.

It's not the end of the world if you do have to create two different versions, but I like to avoid extra work whenever possible :)

Sherrie Cronin
10-17-2015, 08:54 PM
Thanks! I have that same kind of tweak till I drop personality, so I appreciate this.

J. Tanner
10-17-2015, 11:03 PM
The downside is that if I go this direction I will have to go back through each book page by page to make sure nothing odd has happened once I change the paper size and font size. It's a good bit of time and I'm looking for thoughts on whether it is worth it.

No problem with the goal of having the print look as professional as possible by emulating trade books. I'm the same. No problem with tinkering. I'm the same.

All of the pure SF on my shelf seems to be in the mass-market 4x7 size. The most SF-adjacent books at trade size are The Road and Neverwhere both of which look like 12 point to my eye. So I wouldn't put much value into resizing one point smaller from 11. (Neither would I say it would hurt you in any way--just wouldn't be worth the time investment to me.)