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Preparing files for CreateSpace

CreateSpace’s print guidelines are pretty simple.

Make sure there’s nothing within the .75-inch spine margin (if you use hanging punctuation you’ll need a larger margin because they WILL reject the book if there’s even a portion of an em dash there; the .75-inch margin is for books of 151-400 pages) and within .25 inch on the other three sides if you’re printing in B&W. “Nothing” means no background images, not just text.

For the cover, use a .125-inch bleed. For B&W books, calculate the spine width:
• White paper: multiply page count by 0.002252
• Cream paper: multiply page count by 0.0025

Allow .0625 inch of space on both sides of the spine text.

Using InDesign, export the text as PDF/X-1a; for color use PDF/X-3. Your InDesign file can use RGB.

If they supply the bar code, it will go on the lower right back cover, .25 inch in from spine and bottom.

CreateSpace provides a PDF with guidelines:

About Sandra K. Williams

Sandra K. Williams loves books, both printed and digital. Since 1996 she has worked with authors and independent publishers, editing and designing books for print. Since 1999 she has built easy-to-use, accessible websites, and she uses her HTML and CSS skills to design reader-friendly e-books.

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