I don’t sell many paperbacks. When I first started this writing gig, I’d drive up from Germany or fly over from Istanbul to the Netherlands to do book launches (the Dutch not only speak English but many also prefer to read in English leading to English books being widely available – Yeah!). Besides my family, friends, and some former colleagues hardly anyone showed up. Even though I was having tons of fun, I wasn’t increasing my reader basis with these book launches. So, I stopped doing them.
Why then do I continue to publish a paperback edition of my novels? A few reasons. First of all, I gift my books to my sisters and parents and want to continue doing that. I also buy several copies for myself so that I can donate copies to various charities. Finally, I run giveaways in which the prize is a paperback. I find these giveaways are more successful than giving away an eBook.
And not a small factor in continuing to publish a paperback edition is that – through a lot of trial and error – I can transform my eBook into a paperback in a few hours. Here’s how I do it:
Set-up. I use trim size 5×8 in Createspace. The document size is therefore index card 5×8. You’ll need to use mirrored margins with the following customization:
Page numbers. I like centered page numbers. The header and footer margin should be at .39. To make sure page numbers begin at the start of the book (and not with the front material) and stop at the end of the book use continuous section breaks. Just make sure to not link the footer to the previous section.
Middle material. I change the paragraph spacing to 6. Otherwise, there is too much white space in the paperback. You’ll also want to get rid of widow/orphan control. These ensures that paragraphs break over pages instead of staying together, which will leave you with large empty spaces on pages.
Back material. I remove the acknowledgement section at the end and alter the author profile somewhat. It may seem silly, but I like the paperback version of my book to be somewhat serious. (I know, I know, I’m never serious.) All hyperlinks and online contact information should also be deleted.
Front material. The copyright should be changed to refer to print publications instead of electronic. You’ll also need to add the ISBN. Createspace will give you one for free. Unless you’re writing nonfiction, the table of contents can also be deleted.
That’s it! If you follow the above, your book should pass review from Createspace. Now go sell some books!