Monday, October 14, 2013


When I published my first little book of stories and poems with CreateSpace two years ago, I wasn't sure what to expect. I was totally new to the idea of self-publishing. My goal was to put together a little collection of stories and poems, mostly for family and friends. I thought it would be as simple as uploading a Word file and a cover photo and the company would do the rest. I heard horror stories about authors who paid companies thousands of dollars got a handful of books in return.
Now I understand why.

Yes, CreateSpace is a great deal. If you are willing to do everything, and I mean EVERYTHING for yourself, you can get a paperback book, up to 180 pages long with a full color glossy cover for about 3.00, including shipping. The best part? There is no minimal order. If you only want one book, you only have to buy one book!

They also list your book on Amazon for anyone to see and buy, and you have the option to also publish your book to Kindle.

The downside? To produce an all-around excellent book, you must be excellent at many skills. You must do your own editing, formatting, and cover design. You must write your own back cover blurb (harder than you might think) and do your own Amazon description and listing.

It took me a very, very long time to figure it all out. I think my first book took at least two weeks to upload.

This time was much easier. They now have a proof reader and review so you can view your book online, page by page, to make sure the format is correct. Very helpful. They also have a template you can download that already has an embedded table of contents, headers and footers.

Here are some CreateSpace suggestions by one who has dared and lived.

1. If you mess up the template, don't try to fix it. Just download the template and start over.

2. Start the process at least a month before you want to release the book. This will give you time to order proofs and check them over for errors.

3. Don't try anything too fancy unless you are an expert. Fancy fonts and styles only give you headaches and mess up your Kindle book. If you have your heart set on fanciness, pay someone else to do it for you.

4. Keep your cover simple. Us bright fonts that are simple to read against dark pictures or backgrounds, or vise-versa. Run your covers past several people, ideally past other authors, to find out if your cover is appealing. Remember, your cover is one of your best selling tools.

5. Order a proof every single time. I don't care how good it looks online, there's a lot you won't notice until you have the copy in your hand.

6. Don't splurge on expensive shipping. Standard, in my experience, has always been lightning fast.

7. Expect quality. I have always been very impressed with my finished product.

Any questions or comments about your experience with CreateSpace? Please feel free to share!

1 comment:

  1. I've used Lulu for a small project but I'm considering CreateSpace for my next one. I found this article very helpful.