My Journey to self-publishing: what is CreateSpace and why I chose it.

I didn't know CreateSpace. One day I decided to look for some tips about self-publishing on the internet and found the name of an editor that seemed open to questions from authors and I decided to write her to ask her about the best way to publish my book. She mentioned CreateSpace and explained to me the advantages. CreateSpace is an affiliated of Amazon and it's a print on demand service. Two big advantages:

  • CreateSpace is affiliated of Amazon so it publishes directly on Amazon worldwide.
  • Many people already have an Amazon account so they don't need to subscribe to another service in order to purchase your book.

How does it work? It's easy. You prepare your project (read all the requirements on the website) and you upload it as a simple file (clearly you need to have it ready with cover, back and interior designed). CreateSpace will check the layout to make sure you respected all the rules and they will send you an email to confirm that your project is ready to be published (or they will tell you if you need to edit it). You decide the sale price (CreateSpace will convert it in all the other currencies) and the channels to sell it (you can make it available on Amazon worldwide, and also for bookstores to purchase). You don't have to invest money. The service is free. Every time someone orders your book you will get a royalty based on the sale price and CreateSpace gets the rest. If you want to sell your book as kindle you can pay $79 to CreateSpace and they will do the conversion for you. The kindle version will be available on the KDP website (CreateSpace doesn't control KDP, they just collaborate). If you want your kindle version to appear on Amazon next to the paperback just call CreateSpace phone number and they will do it for you.

My personal observations about CreateSpace:

Ups:

  • Free
  • Easy
  • Good customer service

Downs:

  • If you want to modify your published project (ex. edit mistakes) you can do it but once you submit the new version CreateSpace will need 24h to approve it and for that period of time your book will not be available for sale (the previous version will be deleted in the moment you submit the new one).
  • If you want to modify the sale price for a promotion it takes from 3 to 5 business days to be live on Amazon.
  • CreateSpace gives you the chance to sell your book to bookstores but the problem is that they give bookstores a discount of 25% and bookstores (I discovered) buy books that offer %50 discount or more. You can not modify the discount, plus many bookstores are against self-publishers and will not be open to purchase your book through CreateSpace. Your only choice if you want to sell your book to bookstores is through consignment. Consignment means that you can go talk to local bookstores and, if they are open to self-publishers, you can purchase a certain amount of your books, agree on a sale price and royalty for the bookstore in case of sale. In my opinion is a risky method because you have to invest money purchasing the books from CreateSpace and if they don't sell you lose money.

These are all my thoughts and tips about CreateSpace. Stay tuned for more about self-publishing!