Since I am close to publishing my book I want to point out a few things that can make or break a book. We all at some point want to have our names on a byline, but we also want to be proud that we wrote what we did after many years.
So here are a few points:
1) Always justify your work. This means that you have your titles centered and your text (what you write) is justified, not centered or aligned right or left, justified. Take out any book and you will find that all of the professional writers justify their work.
2) Do not use a vanity press: The list is long, but really if you are not allowed to use your own ISBN, or need to pay for a lot of things that you do not need, you are working with a vanity press. Also this means knowing who actually has the copyrights, which means reading the contract.
3) Editing: This means going beyond spell check. I recently received an email to review work by a reader of my blog. Now, I do book reviews, and I am happy to review them, but this book, well it is best to suggest that editing even a bit was a good idea. It was self-published, and when I asked why it was, they emailed back saying that the queries were always no, or they suggested that they spend time and money on editing— which would have been a good idea. The plot was good, but the editing… well it was in need of it.
4) Ask for help: The one thing I like about CreateSpace is that you can ask people to preview your work, as in your cover design or back page, and this is important as you want to have the best book out there.
5) Spines are there for a reason, make sure your title is found on the spine: Most of your readers will put their books on a bookshelf spines facing out, makes sense to have your title and author name there.
6) ISBN, barcodes and other matters: It is important to check on the small details, while you do not need “about the author” ten times on your book, you do need a few details, a barcode, an ISBN (your own if you can) the option of e-book formats and large print formats. You should plan to have no blank pages on the right side of your book.
7) Buy some bookstore books: This way you can see what the traditional publishers do and you can mimic them in terms of interior design and font sizing.