Saturday, 30 April 2016

Birth of a Publisher - Guest Post by Mary Hoffman

OK, so this is not about self-publishing and it’s not exclusively about digital, but it’s a case study of how two people with more ideals than sense decided to start a publishing company that would operate rather differently from the traditional model and the Big Five. If anyone else out there wants to follow suit, it might help you to avoid some of the mistakes we made.

Making the Decision

It was in the Roxy bar in Siena some time in July 2014. I was there drinking coffee with my husband Stephen Barber (I think he had a round cake too) and we were sitting outside, when the heavens opened and we were going to get soaked.

We ran inside and ordered another round of coffee while we waited out the storm. I had a notebook and pen with me (naturally) and we had been talking for some time about possibly starting an independent publishing house. We knew from blogs like this and the experience of friends that it was getting easier for complete tyros to bring out good-looking books.

We talked and roughed out a possible two-year publishing schedule. There are a couple of books Stephen wants to write and I had the feeling that no-one was going to want to publish my next two YA novels, which were both historical, so this could be a vehicle for both of us.

But I was also acutely aware of the tough time fellow YA novelists were having in getting publishing contracts – great writers, some of them prize-winning but writing the kind of books that just weren’t fashionable currently.

We also knew some non-fiction writers involved in interesting projects and I had the benefit of working with my contacts on The History Girls, some of whom had already produced a traditionally published anthology earlier in the year (Daughters of Time, Templar 2014).

So we scribbled away and drew diagrams and talked about money until Stephen finally said, “let’s do it!”

Taking the plunge

It took a bit longer to take the definitive steps towards making it real but in October 2014 we registered The Greystones Press with Companies House. It was on a Sunday and took less than an hour. Setting up a business bank account with HSBC, however, took MUCH longer.

By then I was writing Shakespeare’s Ghost, a YA historical novel with a paranormal twist and it was an obvious candidate for our first list. We had decided to publish YA and adult fiction and adult NF “in areas that interest us” and no illustrated books.

My agent had sent a synopsis and some sample chapters to the main publishers the year before but had replies like “we already have a book on Shakespeare” or “we’ll need to see the whole text.” For someone who had been accustomed to sell a book on a paragraph or two of an idea, this could have been a bitter blow. But I determined that this was just the way things were now and wrote a different novel – of which more anon.

But having missed the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth in 2014, I suddenly realised that I had to get a move on if I wanted to make this year’s 400th anniversary of the playwright’s death.

I finished the first draft on January 22nd 2015, aware that no conventional publisher would be likely to get the book out in time, allowing for revisions, submission and then my agent sending it round all the publishers. So we said, “October then”, to get it out at the same time as the other Shakespeare titles.

Reasons of family illness set us back six months. By July last year we realised that October was an unrealistic aim so opted for 23rd April 2016, a good date for my book at least.

By then we had asked Katherine Langrish if she would expand her marvellous essays on her blog, Seven Miles of Steel Thistles, into a book of the same name. And we’d been asked by a dear friend if we’d consider re-issuing a book of hers. It was just the sort of book we love but highly illustrated. What to do?
Also I had written an adult novel that had been much admired by agents but not published so we decided to bring that out too, under a pseudonym. Because I was working on an App about Michelangelo in Florence  for Time Traveller Tours and Tales, we also wanted to make sure my book David would be available again in time for summer 2016, this time in an adult edition.

So we had some books. But what next? We had initially decided to do a small print run of paperbacks for review copies and author copies and then do Print on Demand (POD). And we would do ebooks too.

What we had to find was editors, designers and other team members. So we joined the Independent Publishers Group (IPG), got their book and started trawling the Net for likely people. Then we had a piece of good fortune – we found Talya Baker, who not only is a superb copy-editor but took on the role of Project Manager for fiction for us.

Talya, with whom I’d worked briefly at Bloomsbury, introduced us to the other rock of our enterprise, Nigel Hazle, Text Designer. We didn’t know that these last two roles existed when we started. But Talya and Nigel have been the Godmother and Godfather of our project, putting us in touch with proofreaders and a non-fiction copy editor.

To stop this post from being too long, I’ll whizz through some of the stages: we had to discover about writing Advance Information sheets (AIs), Press Releases, buying ISBNs and tangling with Nielsen’s Title Editor online.

We had to commission and provide material for a website, write contracts, decide what to do about PR, choose covers for five books, work out how on earth we were going to publish the illustrated book (of the kind we positive were not going to do, remember), re-think the whole POD and ebook model, have stationery designed, etc. etc.

One shock was discovering that the Bookseller and Nielsen’s want the AIs five or six months before publication! So you have to know the extent (number of printed not typed pages), price you’ll be charging etc. perhaps before the book has been finished. That definitely didn’t happen this time around but we’ll know better next time.

Paper books

Another piece of luck, after  finding Talya and Nigel, was a telephone conversation with Diana Kimpton, who had self-published some titles. We had been agonising about POD and whether to use CreateSpace or IngramSpark and then Diana told us about Clay’s.

We had been veering towards Ingrams (Lightning Source) because of the shipping costs from America of using CreateSpace but as we were going to be a small independent publishing house rather than a self-publisher, we were fearful that bookshops would not only not stock but also not order our titles if they were POD only. A brutally frank email from a US publisher we were talking to made us think again about our publishing model.

And then we talked to the wonderful Rebecca Souster at Clay’s. Yes, they could do short print runs, from as little as 50 copies, they would store copies at a small charge and the books would be distributed through Gardner’s. It wouldn’t be POD but they could print from files in 10-15 working days and reprint in 10.

We had found our paperback solution.


I’m afraid this was a bit of a no-brainer. Kindle accounts for 85% of ebook sales so we have gone for the KDP Kindle Select option, which brings in 70% of the price, in return for exclusivity.

If you want your books available for other platforms, the royalty drops to 35%. Our margins are so tight on the paperbacks (see, I even talk like a publisher now) that it will be n Kindle if anywhere that we make some money, enough to enable us to publish more books.

For we have taken the expensive route of separate freelancers, cover designers and artists etc. A package like Draft2Digital or the new self-publishing one offered by Amazon or Ingrams would have been much cheaper.

But we are now a bit addicted to the skills of our team and the way they make our books look:

We hope to publish three more books in October, one of them the YA novel I wrote before Shakespeare’s Ghost. It’s called The Ravenmaster’s Boy and is sort of “Wolf Hall for kids,” being set in the Tower of London January to May 1536. And four more next April.

But for now we are feeling pleased that we made the publication date of 23rd April with our first five titles:

Shakespeare’s Ghost by Mary Hoffman, YA fiction
Seven Miles of Steel Thistles by Katherine Langrish, Adult Non-fiction
David: the unauthorised autobiography by Mary Hoffman, Adult fiction
The Moon: Symbol of Transformation by Jules Cashford, Adult Non-fiction
The Italian for Love by Kate Snow, Adult fiction

It’s been a nest of clich├ęs: steep learning curve, roller-coaster ride etc etc. But actually huge fun. It would be nice to have some money coming in as well as the huge sums going out. And we have already reprinted three of the titles before publication.

It’s not going to be for everyone but being a small independent publisher seems to suit us.

Twitter: @GreystonesPress
Facebook page: The Greystones Press

Friday, 29 April 2016

Illogical Positivism: N M Browne

A J Ayer ( I think) made the point that there is nothing you can say that would disprove the existence of God to a person who believes in him: belief is unverifiable. (It’s a long time since I read his Language Truth and Logic but bear
with me on this.) Along the same lines there is nothing you can say to a writer that will make us satisfied: satisfaction is unattainable. Yeah, I know these two statements are only stylistically related, but in both cases there are no objective facts that can change the opinion of the believer or the writer. I’ll explain.
 If you write a book and you can’t sell either directly or to an agent/publisher then you are sad and believe you have no talent. Even your mother and best friend saying how much they love it is unlikely to change your mind. If you sell the book to the agent/publisher, but not to the top selling retail outlets you are still be sad and believe you have no talent. You tell yourself that your work is too classy to be commercial, but you don’t really believe it. If you sell the book to the agent/publisher, the top selling retail outlets and very few readers buy it then – yes, you can see where I’m going here – you are sad and believe you have no talent. You can blame the promotion, the cover design, the unfortunate release date and the declining attention spans of the populace who can’t take in anything longer than 140 characters but methinks you doth protest too much. Even writers who sell books by the shed-load to readers the world over are sad and believe they have no talent because they fail to gain literary prizes. Then the ones whose books have achieved everything, like the famous, castle-inhabiting writer of a mega selling children's series, think it’s all probably a bit of a fluke and try to write something else under an assumed name so that those books will fail to sell and then they can be sad and believe they have no talent. We are as a body a tragic, if self selecting, group.
Occasionally you meet arrogant writers who believe the opposite, but as a rule of thumb (in my humble opinion etc) pretty well everyone who does this is either American (and constitutionally obliged to be excessively confident,) a certain type of privileged male, and/or quasi illiterate. They are rarely right. Most writers who are any good, recognise all the ways they could be better and those who think they are brilliant, don’t really grasp what it is to be good. There will be exceptions and if you are an American, a certain type of man or quasi illiterate (and managing somehow to make it through this contorted prose) don’t have a go at me, I am already sad and know I have no talent. 
I am impressed by illogical positivism (You go girl! Yay!) but don't try to cheer me up. Once you have accepted the logic of negativity, it frees up a lot of time for writing.

Thursday, 28 April 2016


Because it was on display for such a short time, on a picture-postcard Spring day I went to Trafalgar Square to see the Palmyra arch. I haven't posted an image, partly because there are so many online, but also because it would have been spoilt by so many people posing for selfies. The replica looked so startlingly new, but then as a colleague on Facebook so  wisely pointed out, that's how it would have looked when it was first built, only then it wouldn't have had the small missing bit at the top. I was surprised to find it so apparently, unprotected and open to the public, although there were one or two 'heavies' walking around.

Curious about Digital Archeology, I walked over to the information centres and had a look around. Apart from the technical stuff (which was fascinating - the amount of work that went into this project was phenomenal), there were two stacks of cards. On one, you could write a general message of peace etc in Syria; on the other, you could write messages that would be conveyed directly to the Syrian archeologists who'd been involved in this project. I did both. It was so moving, especially knowing what had been done to the elderly curator by Isis. If, ten or fifteen years ago, anyone had suggested the world might be involved in a major war based on religion and ancient gods, I think most people would have felt that this was the stuff of fantasy fiction. Now it's actually happening.

Last night, I watched the big Shakespeare bash from Stratford on Avon, on the bard's birthday. It was enjoyable, in spite of the fact that I dislike compilations and variety shows. The extract from MACBETH has been haunting me - it's the fact that, in spite of the fact that he's just committed bloody murder, he has a conscience, which is why he's suffering and will continue to suffer, as will Lady M eventually, and this got me wondering... if your culture allows, and even glories in, advocates, sadism and murder, might any literature at all come out of this (again thinking of Isis with its ghastly beheadings...) We're deeply involved with Macbeth because he's so human, so like us; without his ambition-driven actions and consequent remorse, there'd be no story. Did Hitler feel remorse? Did Stalin? Pol Pot? Many of the Roman emperors, and, more currently, Isis? It was Macbeth's immediate  horror at what he'd been forced to do which moved me last night.

I've very recently completed editing and revising a novel: 'COUNTERPOINT', which I first began writing twenty five years ago. It's been a very strange, and often painful, journey, communing with the writer I was then, so much fuller of passion and energy than the person writing this blog, and for the first time ever, I had the manuscript read, edited and criticised by a professional colleague who was interested enough, and kind enough, to offer. It was an enlightening experience. She picked up oddities I hadn't even noticed, and gave me a perspective which I could never have achieved for myself, however much I assumed I was doing so.  Her name is Rosalie Warren, and she's a very interesting, talented and unusual writer - do Google her latest book: LENA'S NEST, imagining a future in which the science of robotics has advanced beyond anything we have today (and we're certainly going that way).

'COUNTERPOINT' was accepted for publication back then, but for personal reasons I withdrew it. The prospective publisher had even sketched out a possible cover image, and written a publicity blurb, which I meant to post here but Blogger won't recognise it as an image. I'd decided to publish under a different name - Sian Lewis, which I may well still do. On the other hand, I have quite a track record as a children's author. Thoughts on this dilemma are most welcome.  And as there's no relevant image available, I'm posting one of my daughter aged around three and looking very thoughtful - not at all relevant, but rather nice (as it's black and white, you have to imagine her ginger hair). She is now one of the shakers and movers of Pipeline Theatre, based in Cornwall, which has just received yet another Arts Council grant. look out for these people in Edinburgh this year - they are seriously good.



Wednesday, 27 April 2016

A Small Memory of Victoria Wood - Andrew Crofts

Towards the end of the seventies I received a call from a publicity lady at the ICA, a small, artsy theatre venue in the Mall.

“We’re putting on a play called ‘Talent’ by a young writer called Victoria Wood and we wondered if you would like to interview her. You may have seen her singing funny songs on ‘New Faces’ or ‘That’s Life’. She’s playing one of the lead roles as well. Believe me, she’s going to be a huge star.”

Publicists always tell you that people who aren’t yet stars are going to be very soon, that’s their job, but it was a free ticket and seemed like a good contact, so I happily went along.

Needless to say the play was a gentle revelation and although the young Miss Wood was painfully shy and modest she managed to be a joy to interview. Hearing or seeing someone who is genuinely honest and funny is always life-enhancing. 

Playing back the interview afterwards, and then reading through her words once I had typed them up into an article for a women’s magazine, I actually found myself laughing out loud again; a pretty fair indicator that the publicity lady’s predictions were going to come true.

If Victoria Wood was the only thing that ever came out of the hundreds of thousands of hours of talent show television that the world has endured, it would still all have been worthwhile. 

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

How Do You Measure Time? by Ruby Barnes

How does your garden grow?

Dandelions are a curse for gardeners and right here, right now in Ireland, those yellow flowers are popping up all over my lawn. They elbow their way to the surface and push away the grass. Even if you dig them out they leave a muddy patch for the grass to re-colonise and Alfie the dog is likely to dig a fresh hole there as he loves the smell of dandelion roots. Yet, when Alfie and I take a stroll over the field across from our house, those same dandelions are delightful to look at, showing their sunny faces as a reminder that the long wet winter has passed. But can it already be a whole year since the last time they rose up, flowered and shook their seeds into the wind?

Perennial pests are a good reminder of our planet completing another solar orbit. I count car and house insurance policies in this category. The annual slap around the head of increasing car insurance premiums, which should surely be falling as I get older, can be mitigated by spreading them out monthly. Other anniversaries are less avoidable. Birthdays and feast days are there to let us know that we’ve put another ring on our trunk. As we age, we perversely seem to be sprinting around the sun compared to the way we drifted aimlessly through our early years as children. When the admin office at work calls to let me know my Easter egg from the social club is awaiting collection, I feel a twinge of sadness. One small chocolate egg closer to recycling. Two fun-sized Crunchie bars nearer to composting. Then I eat the chocolate and feel okay again.

We thought we'd never get there!

In our youth we wished our lives away. Days were counted down to mid-term break like a prisoner marking the wall of a cell. Alice Cooper delighted us with School’s Out for Summer, because to us it meant that school really was out for ever. The next school year was so far away, a whole summer distant. By that time life would be different, we might grow inches in height. People became distorted versions of their younger selves, things were changing so fast. We couldn’t wait ‘til the holidays, we couldn’t wait until some event or other. Sometimes we couldn’t wait until something had passed as the apprehension of an upcoming test or dentist appointment was too much to bear. Treasured toys, a favourite bicycle, those really cool jeans, all thrown away as we left them behind in our rush to grow up.

Today I pop a tablet out of the blister pack of thirty allergy pills and count another day. It shocks me when the blister pack is empty and another month has passed. I go to the box and pull out another packet, thinking it might be time to place my annual order. I could try and stretch them out, to go without for a few days – the worst that would happen is a sinus infection. But planet Earth would continue to spin at a thousand miles an hour, orbiting the Sun at 70,000 miles per hour. The meter of Life’s taxi would continue to run.
I've perfected reading the time backwards

Somewhere between today and youth there must have been a point of equilibrium, a point where the passage of time felt bearable. A day in passing felt like a day’s worth of Life. But, like the highest point of a hill, it’s often difficult to tell when you’re on the spot unless you have the benefit of a view from a distance. I accept that I can’t slow the passage of time. The impression that time is speeding up is purely an illusion, perhaps caused by increasing familiarity of events. So I try to pack my life with new and different things, to dilute the familiarity. Each passage of a year makes me groan, but recollection of the things done and said in that same 365 days makes me smile. 

How is time passing for you? Do you feel each grain of sand or is it all a blur?

Monday, 25 April 2016

Publishing with CreateSpace by Susan Price

Every Electric Author should be publishing paperbacks with Createspace. I know a lot of us already are - and although they won't need this blog, they might chip in, correct me where I'm wrong, add a few hints and wrinkles of their own.
          I don't claim any great expertise - what I know I've learned by having a go, failing and failing better. I wouldn't be at all surprised to learn that I am making some very obvious mistakes. My hope for this post is simply that it will make the process seem more familiar for those who haven't used Createspace before and so take some of the fear out of it.

          Why should we all be publishing with Createspace?

Well, I'll take last month, March, as an example. It wasn't my best sales month. During March, I sold 6 Kindle books in total, in all markets, though several more of my books were read for free (with Amazon making a small payment to me from a central fund, rather as PLR works.)

         In the same month, through Createspace, I sold 21 paperback books - that's three and a half times as many, in a poor month, as on Kindle. I made a greater profit on each book too.
         In November 2015, I published a picture book with my brother, The Runaway Chapatti.  It has been selling at a rate, roughly, of one a day since publication. In March, not its best month, it still sold 15 copies. This may be far from putting us both on Easy Street, but no e-book of mine has sold as well. (These 15 copies are not included in the 21 mentioned above, since the Chapatti is sold from my brother's account, not mine.)
The Wolf's Footprint, by Susan Price
          My paperback of The Wolf's Footprint, is selling steadily and well. One day last month, I happened to be logging into Createspace every hour or so, because I was road-testing a new picture book on the C/S virtual book.
     At 11am my dashboard showed that I'd sold one copy of Footprint.
     At 5pm that one copy had become eleven copies. Somewhere in Britain, someone had bought ten copies at once. Who knows why? - someone with a large extended family of children, stocking up for birthdays? A schoolteacher spending her own money on books for her class (I've been told that most schools aren't 'allowed' to buy from Amazon.) A bookshop? It's impossible to know, but it's not the first time that Footprint has sold several copies at a time like this.
          We forget, in all the excitement of e-books, that the majority of books sold are still paper books - and some people buy both paper and e-copies.

The Basics

          Here are the basics I've learned about putting a book on Createspace, as a POD (Print On Demand) paperback. If my instructions sometimes seem too obvious, then it's because I'm deliberately being as obvious as possible. Sometimes it's a tiny detail that it's assumed you'll figure out for yourself which, in fact, frustrates you until you give up.
          I've made the illustrations very large, so they're easy to see. This will make them overlap the blog's sidebar. Apologies for that.

         Although Createspace is 'Amazon' it operates as a separate company, so you have to go to the site and open a free account with them, just as you did with Kindle.
         Once your account is open, you have your 'Member Dashboard.' At the top left corner of your screen, under 'Amazon company' it says 'Member Dashboard' and under that, 'Add New Title.' I've circled it in red. Click 'Add New Title' to start your new book.
   This brings you to this screen, the 'Project Homepage':-

 Be calm. All those columns full of writing may seem confusing. Worry not. You need only be concerned, for now, with the highlighted column second from the left.
     Click on the first line in the column, 'Title Information.' That will open a form to fill in. Enter your book's title, your name, and so on.

          If your book is part of a series, or a projected series, tick the box 'This book is part of series.' Insert the volume number (is it book 1, 2, 3 or higher?) If you do this, then Amazon will flag up the other books in your series when it's published.

          When you've completed the form, look at the column on the left. It remains the same all through the process of setting up your 'project' or book.

          You can deal with the items in the column now - or you can tackle them later. As long as you complete them all before you submit your book for pre-publication review, that's okay.

           Click on 'ISBN,' and it takes you to a page where you can either enter your own ISBN number, or accept a free one from Createspace. If you accept Createspace's ISBN, it simplifies matters, and it's free. It also makes your books available for sale to libraries in the USA, if that prospect interests you.
          However, it also means that Createspace become your publishers and you can only obtain copies of your books through Createspace. Copyright still remains with you, and you can 'retire' your book whenever you want. (You have to contact Createspace to do this.) If you're happy with this, click the button for a C/S ISBN.

           If you choose to have your own ISBN, you will have to pay for a block of them. It will be more expensive, but you will be free to have your books printed by any local printer. You buy them from Nielsen, in the UK.  If you do this, then you enter your ISBN on this page.

          Click on 'Interior' and it takes you to this page:-

     Here is where you choose whether your book will be black and white or full colour and what kind of paper it will be printed on - cream or white. Just click in the circles beside your choice.
     You also choose your 'trim size' or what size your book will be. Amazon recommends 6 inches by 9 inches or 'trade paperback.' (Amazon deals in inches.) This, according to Ammie is the most popular size with 'the widest distribution options' which is good enough for me. However if you dislike that size - and I know that some people do - click the 'Choose a Different Size' button and you will be offered several others.
      This is the screen you get when you 'Choose A Different Size.'

          Have a tape-measure on stand-by! Look at all the different sizes and decide which you want. For our picture books, the brothers and me chose the largest size Amazon offers, the 8-5 inches by 11 inches. (Always remember that Amazon uses inches, not the centimetres we've become used to.)
          There are a couple of useful buttons at the bottom of the lit square. The dark blue button at bottom right, 'More Sizes' takes you to some square options, though they're all around 8 inches square, give or take.
          The Compare all sizes [click here to be taken to it] link takes you to a visual comparison of the different sizes and also gives the measurements in centimetres.

        When you've decided which size you want, click on it and you will be taken back to the Interior page, with your choice of trim size in place.

          The next thing to do, if you're going it alone, is to download a template. I've outlined in red where you click to do this:

          Download a FORMATTED template. It will be already formatted to your book's trim size. It has pages for a list of contents, acknowledgements and copyright.
          As you add chapters, the template will automatically add page numbers.
          Once you have the template downloaded, you can treat it much as you would any Word document you've created yourself. Rename the file with the title of your book, so you can find it easily.
          Here's what it looks like. I've turned on the 'pilcrow' so you can see the 'end page' and 'end section' formatting. I've also circled the pilcrow so you can find it easily - it's that backwards 'P' character on your toolbar. It's useful to have it turned on at least some of the time while you're formatting. Then you can see where the format codes are.

     Those big pilcrows after 'Book' and 'Title' are formatting marks - as is the trail after 'Author Name' and at the bottom of the copyright page. Turn off the pilcrow (circled in red on the toolbar above) and they will disappear. They won't appear in the final published book either, but they control the book's spacing.
        I also have Word's 'Navigation' pane turned on, to the left. I've found this very useful for keeping track of where I am in a book. For instance, it helps me find the start of each chapter or story, so I can add the correct page number to the Contents page, without having to constantly scroll through the book or type words into the search engine.

         To add your book's title, treat this template as you would any Word document. Put your cursor at the start of 'Book' and type in your own title. Either use 'insert' to overwrite, or delete 'Book' afterwards. If you want your title on one line, then delete 'Title.'
          Follow the same procedure to turn 'Author Name' into your name.
          For the copyright page, copy your copyright information from another book and insert in place of Amazon's copyright. To change font-size and line spacing, highlight and use your Word toolbar as you would in your own Word documents.

          There is a space for an ISBN. Write in your own, if you have one, or the one Amazon has provided. If you forget, Amazon will insert a 'courtesy ISBN' when you send your book off in the 'complete set-up' stage. This is fine if you always wanted a free Amazon ISBN. If you didn't, you have to delete Amazon's and type in your own before publication, or you'll be stuck with Amazon as your publisher.

          Below, this is what the chapters look like in your template:

         The template comes with ten of these chapters, and then some pages formatted for 'back matter' such as 'About the Author.'
          What if your book has more than 10 chapters? Our own Chris Longmuir passed on a useful tip - before you start inserting chapters, work out how many formatted chapters you need. Then copy extra chapters FROM THE MIDDLE of the template.
          For instance, if your book has 21 chapters, then copy the formatted chapters 3-9. Insert the copies at the end of the Amazon-supplied Chapter 10. You now have 17 formatted chapters, with some of them duplicated.
          Add the copied chapters again. Now you have 24 formatted chapters. Go through and change the chapter numbering so they read 1-24, and you don't get confused. This gives you enough formatting to include all your chapters, plus a few spares.

          If you're using Word's Navigation Pane, highlight your chapter headings and click HEADER 1. The chapters will all appear down the left hand side, in Navigation Pane and you'll be able to click on any one of them and jump straight to that place in your file. (Doing this will make each chapter title huge, initially, and they will all jump to the left - but you can change their size, font and position using your usual Word tools. The Nav-Pane hyperlink will remain and it's very useful.)

          Each chapter is headed
[Number] [Chapter Name]
 You don't have to stick with this if you don't like it. If you just want a number, then delete Chapter Name.
          If you want 'Chapter 1' and then the name on a separate line, go ahead and alter it in Word, then save.
          If your book is a collection of short stories and you just want the story's title and no chapter heading, then alter it. Whatever changes you make, make sure that each chapter/story heading is in the same style.

          Each chapter or story is then inserted separately. You can't enter an entire book in one go, because of the formatting for each chapter break.
          So go to your proof-read, finished master document.  Highlight and copy the entirety of chapter one or the first story - without its chapter heading. Place your cursor in your formatted template, on the first line of 'Insert chapter one text here...'  Paste.
          The whole of your first chapter or story will appear.
          Delete all of the 'Insert chapter one text here...' filler - being careful not to overrun and delete part of Chapter Two.
          If you wish, you can now use Word tools to highlight the whole of your chapter and change the font and font-size. You can also fully justify the text.
          You may have to insert paragraph indents. Don't use 'Tab.' Copy five spaces and paste them in where necessary. If you have the Pilcrow turned on, you can more easily see where your paragraphs end.
          Repeat for every chapter or story. It's less tedious to do this in bursts of one or two chapters and take a break before you tackle the next few.
          When all your chapters are in the book, delete any spares, and add your 'back matter,' which probably means 'About the Author.'
          Now to go back to the front of the book and tackle the 'Contents' page. It will look like this:

           It is formatted as columns so, as you alter it, place your cursor on each separate column - that is, click in the far left column to change the chapter number, click in the central column to change the chapter name (or story name) and click in the right-hand column to change the page number.
           If you don't want an 'Acknowledgement' then change it to 'Introduction' or 'Foreword' - or delete it.
          It's when adding the page numbers that Navigation Pane becomes useful.
          The screenshot below shows my computer, with the Word programme open. I have my book, Overheard In A Graveyard up on screen. This is a file formatted in one of Createspace's formatted templates. It's a Word file, and I'm treating it exactly like any other Word file.
          Word's 'Navigation Pane' is turned on at the left. (To find Navigation Pane, AKA Document Map, look in Word's 'View' menu.

          You can see that I inserted my own fonts for the title - Vivaldi for the capitals and Times Roman Italic for the rest. I've since decreased the spacing between the lines. (This works with Createspace, but won't translate to Kindle - unless, perhaps, you inserted the title as a graphic.)

          To the left, in Navigation Pane, all the headings are the title of the stories in the book. They are also hyperlinks which, when clicked on, jump straight to that place in the file. So it's easy for me to jump from the Contents page to, say, the first page of the fourth story, Mow Top, and find out what page it starts on. Then I click on 'Contents' to return to that page and insert the page-number against the story. This saves a lot of time in scrolling up and down, or in typing words into 'search.'

          When you have your book's interior as you want it, you return to Createspace and your Member Dashboard, click on your book's 'Project Homepage' and then the 'Interior' page. This time, you're looking to upload your file.

          Above, I've outlined in blue where you do this. Click in the circle and a 'browse' box appears.

Click on 'browse' and a window opens showing the contents of your computer. Locate the file you want to upload, click on it, and then click 'Open.'
          It may not be immediately obvious what to do next, especially if you're working with a small screen, such as a laptop or tablet. What you do is, scroll down the page until you see a SAVE button on the right. Click on 'Save.' Createspace will then start uploading and converting your file. It may take several minutes.
          Once it's saved, you get to play with the 'book reviewer.' You'll see the screen below:-

This is offering to proof my book, The Drover's Dogs. Click on the large blue button 'Launch Interior Reviewer.' You will see something like this screen:-

          Click on the pale blue button at the bottom of the square card: 'Get Started.'
          Then you get this:-

          See the arrow at the right-hand side of the 'book'? Click on that with your mouse and you turn the book's pages. You can see how your book will look when published. You can catch out lines and pages that end before they should. You can see that the title-pages/ copyright-page/ contents page fall where you want them. If they don't, go back to your master-file on your computer and make changes.
          Delete extra pages that you don't want, add blank pages, if needed. Correct typos.
          If you can't see why, for instance, a page ends in mid-sentence, turn on the pilcrow so that you can see the formatting. There may be an 'end page' or 'end section' formatting which you need to delete.
          When you've done your corrections, load the book up and check it again. You can upload your book as many times as you like, and play with the virtual book as many times as you like. Amazon takes its cut from the money you earn when your book is sold. (And their cut is tiny.)
          If you look in the top right hand corner of the screen above, you'll see this:-

The familiar magnifying glass symbols, if clicked on, allow you to reduce or enlarge your view of your book. If you click on the grid of squares, you get this view, displaying your book as a gallery:-

          This is useful in the later stages of proofing, when you want to skip quickly to a particular page to check on something or, perhaps, check the appearance of each chapter heading. Click on any page in the gallery and that page will load in 'book' view.
          When you've uploaded your book a few times, and you're happy with it, click 'save and continue' at the bottom of the page.

          After that, all you have to worry about is designing the cover. Here's a rough for a new cover design for my ghost-story collection, Overheard In A Graveyard.

          That is, of course, a whole new set of problems.

Susan Price is the Carnegie Medal winning author of The Ghost Drum and the Guardian Prize winning The Sterkarm Handshake (which is to be republished this summer.)