How to Publish Your First Coloring Book in 7 Simple Steps
This article explains how to successfully publish your first coloring book with no out-of-pocket expenses, using software and tools you probably already have (like MS Word or its equivalent).
The information is arranged in seven simple steps that include everything from gathering your images to actually uploading your files to the CreateSpace website, a softcover print division of Amazon.
CreateSpace does not charge anything when you sign up. The only costs are when you place an order for your book, which you buy at a greatly reduced rate, plus shipping charges.
Step 1. Gather Your Images
The first thing to do is gather your images. Keep in mind that coloring book pictures, or “line art,” should meet the following format and resolution criteria in order to qualify as ready-to-print:
- Resolution: 300 dots per inch (dpi) and 8″ x 10″ or 8.5″ x 11″ in size to conform to standard coloring book page sizing
- Format: .jpg or .tiff or .png ( a “.png” image is most likely to maintain sharp, clean edges)
Doing a search for “adult coloring books” on the http://amazon.com website shows you the wide range of image types used for adult coloring books; mandalas, geometric shapes, representational figures, general designs and grayscale pictures. Some are hand-drawn and some are digitally filtered.
There are several ways to produce the images for your book. They include:
- digitally scanned
You may hire someone to create your line drawings for you or you may produce them yourself.
Step 2. Set Up Your Free Account at Amazon’s CreateSpace
Go to https://www.createspace.com/Signup.jsp and set up a free account from CreateSpace.
Once you are logged in, navigate to this page, https://www.createspace.com/Products/Book/InteriorPDF.jsp, scroll to the bottom and download the interior MS Word template files for the 8.5 x 11 inches template, using the option marked, “Download blank template with sample formatted content.”
The template is version MS Word 97-2003.
Using this template with “sample formatted content” gives you all the formatting you need, with margins and page numbers pre-set. Your template includes:
- book title page
- copyright page
- dedication page*
- table of contents page*
- chapter 1, 2, 3, etc.*
- about the author
* these pages are optional for a coloring book
Page numbering is no longer required for coloring books, but there may be an occasion where you want to use them.
Step 3. Update The MS Word Template
Go through the MS Word template, replacing what is provided in the template with your book’s information.
The template is ready-to-go, with margins and gutters pre-set. When each image is inserted, MS Word automatically adjusts the image size to recognize the margins, and page headers and footers.
Step 4. Insert Your Images and Adjust Compression
Insert each image picture on a separate page in the document.
After inserting an image, click on “Format” on the main menu bar.
Select “Compress Pictures” at the upper right.
MS Word 97-2003 Image Compression Screenshot
In the original MS Word 97-2003 template, the following box appears:
Be sure to check the radial box, “No Change” under “Change resolution.”
MS Word 2016 Image Compression Screenshot
In MS Word 2016, the following box appears:
Choosing “HD 330 ppi” ensures your images do not lose resolution quality when they are inserted into Word, then converted to PDF.
“PPI” and “DPI” basically refer to the same thing. One means “pixels per inch” and the other “dots per inch.”
Leave a blank page in between each image, to allow for bleed-through that users might experience when coloring.
Add your “About the Author” page to finish out your book.
Step 5. Upload Your Book to CreateSpace
Log in to your CreateSpace account and navigate to “Add New Title.”
The New Project dialogue box appears:
The project name does not have to be the name of your book. It is for your reference.
Select the “Guided” setup process until you are more familiar with the process.
Click “Get Started.”
The “Title Information” screen appears:
Fill in the information and proceed to assigning a free ISBN number to your book.
Click the “Assign Free ISBN” button in the lower right-hand corner.
The “ISBN Display” screen shows your assigned ISBN numbers from CreateSpace.
Highlight and copy these numbers from your screen and paste them into your MS Word document at the bottom of your copyright page as shown in the image of a sample copyright page below:
Step 6. Convert to PDF, Review and Submit
When all the images, ISBN numbers, and information are added to your book, convert it from an MS Word document to a PDF file. If you use Adobe Acrobat to create your PDF, select “Press Quality” as your option for printing the PDF.
If you need a program to convert your file from MS Word to a PDF, check out this free one called, Zamzar, http://www.zamzar.com/.
Thoroughly check your PDF copy for grammar, spelling and punctuation mistakes. Make sure pages break where you want them to.
This is your final review before uploading to CreateSpace for submission.
Step 7. Use The CreateSpace Cover Creator
The fastest way to get your cover created is to use the built-in cover creator, accessible through your CreateSpace dashboard. The cover creator is only accessible once you have uploaded your document and have gone through the steps leading up to uploading the cover.
If you choose to use the cover creator tool, you will have the opportunity to add your own image to the cover. There are two dozen template styles to choose from.
CreateSpace reviews all covers for submission. You’ll receive an email when it is accepted.
Congratulations! You have successfully published your first coloring book.