Sunday, September 1, 2013

My Journey with Self-Publishing, Part 2 – CreateSpace


After I finished self-publishing my books on KDP, I learned about CreateSpace.  This is an Amazon company that allows indie authors to self-publish their books in paper form.  I decided this would be a good idea so I set out to complete the process.

For me, this was much harder than publishing on KDP.  The website is very good about walking you through the process, but I did have several issues.  The first issue was the setup of the title information.  It should have been easy.  It was definitely my mistake, but I listed the book as volume one.  My book is part of a series so when there was a space for a volume, I put one in.  So on the Amazon site the paperback version of my book is listed as Convince Me: Holton Series #1 (Volume 1), and I cannot change it myself.  I might be able to get CreateSpace to change it for me, but I haven’t looked into that.

The second issue was formatting the interior of the book.  You have to choose the book size before you can upload the document.  I had no idea what size would be best.  They do give you several options and even recommend certain sizes.  I made a choice and then had to format my word document to match.  It wasn’t difficult but it was time consuming.  They give you a template so I was able to cut and paste, but I had already formatted my book for the kindle version so it was annoying to have to reformat it to work for a paperback.  I know now that you can have CreateSpace upload your book to kindle, but I didn’t know that at the time so I did it backwards.

The third issue was the cover.  I mentioned on my last entry that I have created the covers for the books in my Holton series.  The cover I used for the kindle version was the one I had planned to use for the paperback version as well.  Unfortunately, that did not work out.  The sizing was all wrong and once, I did manage to get the size to fit, the pixels were off.  The cover from the kindle version was just the front so I also had to match the back cover.  The color options on CreateSpace are limited so I could not match the green which was what I wanted.  I used a color that was close to the color of my title font.  After working on it for several days, I was fairly pleased with the cover.  They suggest that you get a proof copy of your book which I did.  You don’t have to do this step but I definitely recommend it.  It does cost, but it is not much-less than $7.00 for me, shipping included.  A few days later the book arrived.  The cover just didn’t look right.  The issue with the pixels made the picture a little blurry, and the back cover color didn’t look as good in the physical form as it did on screen.

So it was back to the drawing board.  CreateSpace has cover templates available so I used one of those.  When I uploaded my cover picture into this, it worked better.  The picture is only on part of the cover so the space was smaller.  I didn’t have the pixels issue.  I was able to adjust the color to work with the picture, and this printed version looked much better.  The only problem was the kindle version of my book has a different cover from my paperback version. 

The next issue I had was getting the paperback and the kindle version linked on Amazon.  The help section said that it sometimes takes awhile.  So I waited and waited.  I had the kindle version listed and the paperback version listed, but they weren’t both listed together.  I contacted CreateSpace, and they resolved the issue.

Finally, I recently found some errors in my book and wanted to upload a new document.  It is easy to do on KDP and fairly quick.  However, I once again had to reformat the document before uploading it on CreateSpace.  Also, they remove your book from Amazon while they are approving the changes.  That was annoying.  Luckily, the approval did not take long.

Reading this, it appears that I have a very negative opinion of CreateSpace, and that is actually not true.  I believe CreateSpace is wonderful option for indie authors to get their book into paperback.  I could not have done so without this website.  The site provides step by step instructions and templates for formatting of the documents as well as the cover formats.  The one time I needed assistance, they responded very quickly.  It is a good option.  I just had a lot of issues that made it a little difficult.  When processing my second book, I found it much easier.  

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