Tag Archives: Twitter

Tips & Tricks for CreateSpace

The following tips can all be found on Twitter, but I thought people might want to see them all in one place. A few are for Aussie authors only and are shown in green.

PRINTING Tips 4 Absolute Beginners

  1. Print-On-Demand is new tech that allows books to be printed one at a time instead of in hundreds.
  2. Print-On-Demand means authors don’t have to buy 100’s of their own print books.
  3. 3 biggest Print-On-Demand printers are CreateSpace [Amazon], Lulu and IngramSpark.
  4. Print-On-Demand works with standard trim sizes only. For table of trim sizes see : https://www.createspace.com/Special/Pop/book_trimsizes-pagecount.html
  5. Trim size = physical size of book after pages glued inside cover & trimmed.
  6. Page size templates for all trim sizes can be found on CreateSpace forums: https://forums.createspace.com/en/community/docs/DOC-1323
  7. Convert Word A4 pages to trim size pages via the Word Page Setup dialog box.
  8. ISBN = 13 digit no. that identifies your book worldwide.
  9. Buy your own ISBN or accept the free one offered by CreateSpace.
  10. In Oz you can buy ISBN from Thorpe-Bowker or accept free one from CreateSpace.
  11. As a rule of thumb, print, ebook & audiobooks all need their own ISBN unless you publish via Amazon.
  12. Books printed via CreateSpace are listed on Amazon automatically.
  13. To publish Kindle ebooks go to: https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/
  14. Amazon supplies ebooks with ASIN identifiers so ISBN not strictly necessary.
  15. If you want to ‘go wide’ & sell with other retailers as well as Amazon, your own ISBN is a must.
  16. CreateSpace will not accept Word documents. It accepts only PDF files.
  17. File/Export completed Word doc. to PDF. Then upload that PDF to CreateSpace. 
  18. With CreateSpace, royalty = List Price – Print costs.
  19. With CreateSpace, Print costs= Sales Channel % + Fixed Charges + Per Page Charge.
  20. With CreateSpace, Standard sales channel % = 40% of List Price, Expanded sales channel % = 60%. 
  21. Spine of cover = trim size & no. of pages. See: https://www.createspace.com/Help/Book/Artwork.do 
  22. Total page no. of book = pages AFTER conversion to chosen trim size [not A4 Word pages].
  23. Amazon deducts 30% withholding tax from each sale. Aussies can claim exemption to reduce tax to 5%.
  24. Withholding tax exemption: US TIN = Australian Tax File No.
  25. Aussie authors must deposit 1 copy of each published book with the National Library of Australia: https://www.nla.gov.au/legal-deposit
  26. Aussie authors must also deposit 1 copy of each published book with their state library: https://www.nla.gov.au/legal-deposit/australia-wide
  27. For Legal Deposit FAQ see:https://www.nla.gov.au/legal-deposit-faq

I hope these tips provide some quick help if you’re stuck, or still trying to make sense of all the information out there on printing with CreateSpace.

And now for the obligatory book promotion:

If you want to print a ‘simple’ novel and need step-by-step help, you can buy my book – ‘How to Print Your Novel with CreateSpace’ – on Amazon. The book comes in an expensive, full-colour paperback OR in a very inexpensive, full-colour ebook:

Clicking the image will take you to my Amazon Author Central page as the Look Inside feature isn’t working.

The only Another problem with the ebook version is that it will only work on the Kindle Fire tablets or via the Kindle app [on other tablets and pcs].

After all the feedback I received on the colour screenshots vs the grayscale screenshots, I made the decision to stick with colour. But only the Fires have colour so…Sorry. 😦

Okay, the ‘How to…Novel’ contains literally everything you need to know about:

  • Preparing your novel in Word
  • Converting it to a PDF
  • Uploading that PDF to CreateSpace

That said, I’ve cut all extraneous options out to avoid confusing first-time Indies, but I did include some appendices at the back specifically for Australian authors. This one really is for absolute beginners.

But not everyone wants to print/publish a novel. Some people might want to publish a memoir full of family photos, or maybe a cookbook full of their favourite recipes. Unfortunately, non-fiction is a trickier beast than the ‘simple’ novel.

For non-fiction you will need:

  • A Table of Contents,
  • Captions for the photos/pictures
  • A Table of Figures for the captions,
  • An Index to make finding information easier
  • And possibly Headers for the main sections, to make ‘browsing’ easier.

All these high end functions can to be done in Microsoft Word [if you are using Word] but they’re not exactly easy as I discovered when I first began working on these ‘How-to’s’. So the second book – ‘How to Print Non-Fiction with CreateSpace’ – is full of screenshots and examples [over 150] that walk not-so-expert Word users through all the trickier stuff:

Again, the Look Inside isn’t working so I’ve directed the image to take you to my Author page on Amazon.

As with many things though, just knowing what to do is rarely enough. The step-by-step method used in both ‘How-to’s’ lays out the exact sequence in which tasks are to be done in order to avoid some of pitfalls that can crop up in Word. For example, did you know that the Word Index function automatically inserts a Continuous Section Break at the start of the Index [table]? Well, it does, and this Continuous section break can play merry hell with any manual section breaks you may have applied.

So ‘How to Print Non-Fiction with CreateSpace’ is not for the faint-hearted, however it, too, is available in both print and ebook format on Amazon. The same caveat re the Kindle Fire applies to the ebook version of ‘How to…Non-Fiction’ as well.

Thanks for bearing with me. Normal transmission now resumes with a picture of the forest of tomato plants growing on my deck:

I’m preparing for an orgy of Passata making!





#Corel Draw 8’s Skew function and a new graphic for Twitter

…and here it is!

For those unfamiliar with Twitter, we’re allowed to ‘pin’ one tweet to our home page, or whatever it’s called. That tweet can be anything, including a post from another social media site such as WordPress. If there’s an attention-grabbing graphic on that pinned tweet then other people are more likely to click to see what it’s all about. Well, that’s the theory anyway. 🙂

Until now, I’ve been using the awesome 3D looking graphic Chris Graham [The Story Reading Ape] created for me back in 2017. If you follow me on Twitter you’ve probably seen it a million times:

I still like the graphic, but the Innerscape episodes no longer exist so it was well and truly time for a new one. And this is where the Skew comes in.

I used Corel Draw 8 again, and I’m fairly happy with the result, but it wasn’t all smooth sailing. Part of that was my own fault as I underestimated the size of each book’s cover graphic. Corel can usually handle them without a hiccup, but this time it kept stalling on certain functions and flat out refused to allow me to export the finished ‘group’ of images.

I investigated the usual suspects – file size, hidden parts of images that take up a lot of resources, a bottleneck in the clipboard. Nothing. Zip. Nada.

What on earth was going on?

I’m ashamed to admit that it took me hours to finally realise that the Corel ‘Skew’ function was the problem. Basically, skewing a complex graphic or group of graphics is not like adjusting the size or any of the other, ordinary transformations. It uses resources. Lots and lots of resources. I could get away with one or two applications of the skew but after that, it was as if the whole system was seizing up.

My computer is over three years old now, and it was middle of the road even when I had it built, so my problems with skew could have been exacerbated by lack-lustre computing power. Nevertheless, skew itself must have been doing something strange as well because when I tried to export the graphic, Corel couldn’t even display it in the export screen.

Anyway, lesson learned – use Skew sparingly and preferably not at all on big images/groups.

Time now to get Twitter sorted. 🙂




#Tweetdeck – how to filter columns for conversations

TweetDeck is an app owned by Twitter that helps make sense of your Tweets by allowing you to filter and display them according to your own needs. For example, I’m currently having a really interesting conversation with @YorgosKC and @DavidGaughran about politics and the birth of democracy in the ancient city-state of Athens. Trouble is, I’m missing half the conversation because there is no way of tracking a conversation in Twitter.

Enter TweetDeck. It won’t let you track conversations either…but it does have the smarts to create a workaround.

To start using TweetDeck, simply go to:


The TweetDeck banner screen displays a button to sign in to Twitter. Do it. Essentially, you are in Twitter, but you’re viewing it through a ‘shell’ that has some special functions, such as the ability to display different types of information, side-by-side, in columns.

What you can see in the screenshot below, is my TweetDeck screen after I removed the default columns and replaced them with 2 Mentions columns:


The reason for selecting the Mentions columns was so I could filter who mentioned whom. In the left hand column are tweets by David Gaughran in which he mentions Yorgos KC. [Users: By @DavidGaughran, mentioning @ YorgosKC]. As I am part of the conversation anyway, I don’t have to worry about him mentioning me.

In the right hand column, I’ve filtered the tweets so that I only see the tweets in which Yorgos KC mentions David Gaughran. [Users: By @YorgosKC, mentioning @DavidGaughran].

I admit that filtering the tweets this way is tedious, but at least I can see all the tweets of this three-way conversation in one place.

In case anyone wants to do the same thing, here’s a quick how-to:

tweetdeck-filters-4Clicking this small icon at the top right of your column will open a kind of settings menu. At the bottom of the settings menu is the option to ‘Remove’ the column. I removed all the existing columns so I could force TweetDeck to display my new columns side-by-side.

To display new columns of your choice, click the ‘+’ button on the narrow menu pane on the left of the screen. The following popup will display:


Each option is essentially a category of tweet. The ‘Mentions’ circled in red is for single Twitter accounts. If you have more than one account, select the ‘Mentions (all accounts)’ option.

Once you have your chosen column in place, click the settings button to display the menu options:


Click the arrow as shown to select the ‘Users’ option. With the Users sub-menu displayed, click inside the ‘By’ box to display further options:


The option we want is ‘specific user…’ Click. Now you can enter the Twitter handle of the person you’re interested in:


Type in the name preceded by the ‘@’ symbol and hit ENTER on your keyboard.

Next, do the same thing for the person mentioned by your first…mentionee?


Again, hit ENTER when you have finished typing in the name. Now the only tweets displayed in that column will be those in which person 1 mentions person 2.

Repeat the entire process to display the tweet in which person 2 mentions person 1.

As I said, it’s a workaround and not terribly elegant, but it’s better than giving a 3rd Party App access to your Twitter account. There are apps out there that will track conversations for you…but you have to give them access to your account and allow them to tweet in your name. As far as I’m concerned, that’s a no-no.









I just became a fan of Twitter!

Still no news on the Amazon front but…Roger Subirana replied to one of my tweets about his music!


I am trying to restrain myself – dance – but Roger Subirana is one of my favourite Indie composers! How can I not be excited when his music played such a vital part in the ‘feel’ of Innerscape?

I’m going to go calm down now. Happy Tuesday everyone. 🙂


#Howto use #Twitter – a tutorial for absolute beginners

Just read this excellent tutorial on Indies Unlimited and thought I’d share. Honestly, I wish I’d seen it when I first started out on Twitter. In it you will find everything you need to know to get started :


If you’ve heard about Twitter but never had the courage to give it a try, now’s the time to do it.



Now I see the power of Twitter!

I wanted to see if anyone in Twitterland was concerned about GMOs or the attempt to have heirloom seeds outlawed.

#seeds and #EU came up with nothing interesting but #Monsanto hit the jackpot. I followed a link to this :

I have no idea yet who or what Anonymous is but if they have a fan club I’m in. Going to sleep well tonight knowing the groundswell of opinion against Monsanto and its ilk is growing.

Night night,


%d bloggers like this: