Musings on Photography

CreateSpace – Another On Demand Publisher

Posted in books by Paul Butzi on January 23, 2008

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I can no longer figure out how I found it, but I’ve learned of another POD publisher, CreateSpace, which is an Amazon.com company. I’ve not yet figured out entirely how this differs from BookSurge, partly because I’ve taken steps to stem the tide of non-stop email I was getting from BookSurge after filling in a web form asking for more info on BookSurge. My first impression is that BookSurge really, really wants to be involved in the book production process, and CreateSpace is pretty much all about “you upload the PDF, we do the printing”.
One of the interesting things about CreateSpace is that they offer a size I find interesting – 8.25″ x 8.25″ – in color.

Note that I haven’t actually done business with them. I’m still struggling with getting some decent sample of a book laid out and ready to upload. But the costs appear to be low. And although I have no idea of the quality, the fact that it’s aligned with what is right now my preferred process (I generate a PDF, which I give to the printer. They print it and send it to me, and at my option, will take orders and ship to customers) makes them seem interesting. In addition, since they’re an Amazon.com company, they’re tightly integrated with Amazon.com for sales, including the ‘look inside the book’ feature, etc.

Anyone have an experiences with CreateSpace, good or bad? Upsides? Downsides?

3 Responses

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  1. Gordon McGregor said, on January 24, 2008 at 8:43 am

    The one downside I’ve heard about that ‘upload a PDF’ get the results back process is to do with the resolution of the fonts that you can then print.

    This is rumor currently as I haven’t been able to confirm it, but at least with the blurb.com, if you use their book generation engine, the fonts get rendered at a much higher resolution (the native for their print process) than is possible if you are providing print ready PDFs.

    Images seem to get printed at a lower resolution than the fonts are rendered, so if you provide print ready PDFs, then fonts will in general be softer.

  2. Paul Butzi said, on January 24, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    It seems to me that there are a couple of issues getting rolled together, here, and it will take some careful work with tweezers to separate them.

    I’ve also heard reports that in some cases, uploading PDF files results in soft text.

    But I’ve also read instructions that, when generating the PDF to upload, you should make sure to embed the fonts. The only reason to embed the font is so that the machine generating the font can rasterize the font itself rather than rely on some rasterization in the PDF (which could well be at the wrong resolution).

    So the question I have is this: when people get soft text from an uploaded PDF, have they embedded the font in the PDF, or not?

  3. Martin Doonan said, on January 24, 2008 at 10:08 pm

    Could this be the text equivalent of the colour space issue? Looks like yet another function of publishing software to look out for.


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