Imagine having free access to the largest publishing network and distribution system in the world. Imagine $0 upfront setup fees for creating your demand print products. Imagine being able to promote your book alongside the most famous authors in the world. Imagine quality demand printing products that are typically delivered in two days. Amazon CreateSpace is a really big deal. It has totally blown open the gates for the print-oriented self-publisher.
As with any print job that has images bleeding off the page, we need to work with an over-sized page so that the page can be trimmed down and the edge of the page has a clean appearance.
For CreateSpace, it is no different. All files throughout the process need to have over-sized page spreads that measure .250 inches larger than the actual finished book size.
General process overview: We begin with page layout in a program like Adobe InDesign. The file type is indd (newBook1.indd). CreateSpace does not use the InDesign file. We use the export feature in InDesign to make a PDF file and upload the PDF into CreateSpace. CreateSpace will process the PDF file, and make it print ready.
Here's how we set up our original template correctly.
InDesign file set up. To bleed images off the edge, we add .250" to both the width and height of our page spread (facing pages).
The illustration to the left shows the most popular publishing size and format: 6x9 inches. It is natural to assume that you would set up your InDesign page to be 6x9. Wrong assumption.
Okay. Correct assumption ...for a non-bleed design. For a non-bleed design, we make our InDesign file page size correspond to the overall book format size. When we set up the file as facing pages, our example book format will measure 12"x9".
For picture books, usually, we bleed backgrounds off the edges of the page. We need to make the size of the page larger so all the edges can be trimmed.
We set up our InDesign file with over-sized interior spread dimensions. As pictured here, the example book format of 6x9 translates to an interior page spread size of 12.250x9.250 inches.
CreateSpace will make available a downloadable PDF proof that contains crop marks or trim-out marks. These marks indicate the full extent of the oversized page. Be sure to order a physical proof of your book before you publish.
One idea for viewing the actual page size is to make a top layer window mat. Cut the window to the finished size of the book and center it over the page spreads.