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Some Notes On Createspace Publishing

October 19, 2013

I’ve self-published a stack of books in between my commercial biogs. With my first few POD books (All Pens Blazing volumes I and II and the duel collection, Rock N Roll Mercenaries) I paid to have them published via a print on demand company in the UK called Authors Online. I produced four books with them, and they were very good to work with, but only just about made my money back. The trouble was I had to pay them a yearly fee of twenty quid for each book to be kept in print, so I started to lose money (£80 a year) as sales declined so I moved over to Createspace which is totally free.

I republished All Pens Blazing as Rock ‘N’ Roll Sinners and Rock ‘N’ Roll Mercenaries as Hard Rock Rebels. It doesn’t cost you a penny with Createspace, though you do have to buy your own author copies. So if you want your book to be reviewed you’ll have to buy the copies and send them out but I see little point these days as reviews don’t seem to do a damn thing, and many “real” publishers are not exactly bending over backwards for publicity. The only upfront fee is for their “expanded distribution” which gets your book into other non Amazon retailers, shops and online. I don’t know how it would impact on your sales, though, as I’ve yet to try it. One day, maybe. I think it costs $25.00 so it isn’t too expensive.

Basically, you create an account, upload your MS doc or PDF and design your cover using Createspace’s variety of templates. It’s a step by step procedure which they guide you through. You can pay Createspace to typeset the book and design your cover but I don’t know how much it is. I’ve done eight of these Createspace books now with more to come throughout next year. It’s a lot of fun. Hard work too, but it’s good to do these types of books in between the commercial biogs. I recommend anyone with a niche idea or a collection of their features/articles/reviews to create a book through Createspace.

It is time consuming. It takes a lot of uploading, checking the proofs, uploading again, but you have so many page size possibilities to play with that you’ll eventually get a nice looking book produced in the end. It’s easier to stick with the simple formats – font Times New Roman, size 10 or 11 and 6×9 trim. The more you do, the more you’ll experiment with fonts and trim sizes etc. If you use pictures keep them on separate pages with no captions as the pics and text are likely to drop when the text gets converted to Createspace’s interior design converter. Everything should be kept as simple as possible in your book.

Also, one click and your book can be converted to Kindle. They take a decent sized chunk out of the retail price but you get a good royalty. Most “proper” publishers hardly give authors anything these days anyway. I guess the key to making money is having a good idea and promoting the hell out of it in an attempt to get people to buy it. I get told that Amazon reviews help far more than the media in terms of a book’s promotion and sales.

Hope this helps. There’s nothing to lose! (Except time, energy and sleep!)


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