Publish on Createspace they said. It'll be fun they said. Createspace is a great tool for self publishing, once the user figures out how to use it. So there are instructions. Great instructions. Until you get to creating the cover.
A word from the wise - If you haven't used Createspace cover creator before, give yourself at least three days.
Now, I had a cover. A very tasty morsel of artwork by the very talented Tamra Westberry. But I had to add a back. You see, I didn't realize I had to sell hard copies as well. I had no intention of selling hard copies...Anyway, I'm lucky I have very basic Photoshop skills. Very basic, let me tell you.
So, my first attempt, I used the dimensions and tried to calculate it myself. I Googled. I calculated. I expletive-d. A LOT. I left it for a while. I had other pressing engagements - like coffee and chocolate cake. I returned revitalized - and made the cover to what I thought the dimensions should be. Then I waited. Twenty-four hours I waited for the email to tell me that my files needed reviewing. Not just my cover file, but my internal file as well. OMG!
I fixed the internal file. Remember to use your "show formatting" and get rid of all those nasty returns. Instead of returning between chapters, insert a page break.
Nearly every self publishing tool requires page breaks instead of returns. (INSERT - PAGE BREAK). It makes a very clean manuscript.
Well, after more coffee...and a bit more...I actually READ the cover instructions on Createspace. Yes, I know, my husband fell over, too. The instructions told me to upload the template onto Photoshop - because the dimensions I'd been trying to calculate were from that template. I know...Don't say it...I've always been one to make life so much more difficult for myself. OMG!
I upload the template and slide everything into place. Gee it looked pretty. So, so pretty. I was happy so I sent the cover to Createspace. Twenty four hours later I got another email. My cover file needs reviewing but my internal files are good. OMG! What had I done wrong this time? Some vital information had bled into the red section (which was actually orange but who's splitting hairs?). I
thought "OK. I'll just use the cover I created yesterday." However, I'd flattened all the layers and not saved the original. Anyone with Photoshop experience will be laughing at me. Once you save a flattened image in Photoshop, you can't unflatten. So I had to start again.
Third time was a charm. By now I knew the template and I understood what Createspace asked of me. In the end the task wasn't quite as difficult as I made it out to be. I did it, but it took me three days, and a lot of over thought.
Moral of the story - Read instructions!