How to Self-Publish #3 - CreateSpace

By now, you should have all of your book's information (title, description, etc) pretty well document through KDP so much of this will be as simple as copy/paste, but I will clarify the differences when dealing with an actual print-on-demand product. At www.createspace.com, you must set up a new account as it is a separate company from (though affiliated with) Amazon. Also, you must use a new ISBN, separate from the one you used for your Kindle version which you can input at www.myidentifiers.com. As ISBNs are unique identifiers, you must use separate ones for paperback, Kindle, Barnes & Noble, iBookstore, etc, wherever else you publish so you can track them separately. COVER

Having already published on KDP, you should have a full resolution cover at 300 dpi (print size), now all you need to do is create the spine and back of the book where you can add pictures and other information about the book. CreateSpace simplifies this step immensely by generating a PDF/PSD file that you can download and then simply design on top of. All you need to do is input the dimensions of you book (they will tell you what is a standard size, I chose 5"x8") and the number of pages and it will automatically scale the spine appropriately. The file will look something like this:

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Once you have this file, open it in Photoshop or another image editor and design directly into it making sure you cover the entire bleed area while not obstructing the barcode. CreateSpace clearly labels all the pieces of the cover so follow their directions both on their site and in the PDF itself so as to get everything correct. Also, make sure you save the full resolution file, do not crop the image down to the size of the book, as the printer needs the full size to cut everything properly. Once you're happy with the cover, upload it to CreateSpace and they will show you a preview of all your hard work.

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Interior

This is the trickiest step of the entire process as you must properly format your book to fit within correct specifications or else it will not print properly. For this I highly recommend using a dedicated writing program like Scrivener as it automates several of the processes for you. Word, I feel, would be an absolute nightmare. Definitely look at all of your favorite books, or books in a similar style to what you're writing, and see how they tackled issues like: font, font size, line spacing, page number placement, author/book title in header, margins, etc. Scrivener allows you to change all of these variables dynamically and automatically creates proper margins/gutters depending on the size you specify (Amazon's specifications are listed here).

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I did not fully appreciate the complexity of book formatting until I had to do it myself. This stage took me hours to get right, but it is imperative that you consider all of your options carefully to make your book look just the way you want. In Scrivener, however, most of these decisions are dynamically changeable and will save you hours of work.

REVIEW

"The Success of Suexliegh" had several tricky formatting issues so it took a few passes to get everything correct. After your interior and cover have been uploaded to CreateSpace they will create an online, "digital proof" version of your book to view (complete with 3D view of the cover) so you can check to make sure everything is working properly.

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Pay close attention at this stage and click through every page to make sure nothing went awry. If something does go wrong, simple revise your interior or cover and re-upload. It will take another several hours for them to compile this new version but it is well worth the wait to make sure everything is to your liking. The final step of review is a physical proof of your book. Once you're happy with the digital version, for only a few dollars CreateSpace will send you a physical copy, identical to the one that will be sold online. Here is where I found out some of my formatting was off-center and the cover was far too dark when printed prompting me to make another round of revisions. I did so, submitted, got another proof, and then finally clicked "Approve" to officially release the book on Amazon.com.

CHANNELS & PRICING

Congratulations (again) your book is now ready for P.O.D. orders... almost. The final step is figuring out where you want your book distributed from which you have the following options: Amazon (US), Amazon (Europe), CreateSpace eStore, including paid options for Bookstores, Online Retailers, Libraries and Academic Institutions. To start, I only chose to use Amazon and the CreateSpace store as I supplied my own ISBN, but it's definitely worth researching the other options to see if they are right for you.

And finally, pricing. Amazon mandates a minimum list price for your book but besides that you can really set it at whatever price you want and they will automatically display what your royalties will be. For my book, I decided to sell the Kindle version for $4.99 and the paperback for $14.99 which seems to be very standard and leaves room for dropping both down to sales prices without taking a royalty hit (dropping below 2.99 for an eBook lowers you from 70% to 35% royalty).

Phew, I know, this step is even more difficult than the last. However, once you've gotten here, the rest is smooth sailing. Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, and the iBookstore have very similar requirements for what needs to be delivered so using the full resolution master files you created for KDP and CreateSpace it should be easy to prepare them for additional publishing options. At this stage you have both an eBook and print version of your novel available to the masses and you deserve a hearty pat on the back for your accomplishment.

Next up, I'll go over how to maximize the effectiveness of your KDP and CreateSpace accounts including using KDP Select to offer your book for free to drive up sales.

But for now, well done. You are a (self) published author. A rare feat indeed.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]