Paperback Publish

The last couple days I’ve been talking about the process I went through to get my paperback book published. The last two days were talking about the overall process I took, from copy editing, writing front and back matter, and hiring someone to do the formatting. Today I want to talk about Createspace specifically.

Before I start, I should mention that KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) now has a beta paperback line attached to it. Once you publish your Kindle book, you can then add on a paperback. I haven’t used it myself, so I can’t really talk about it, but I will once I’ve actually used it.

So…Createspace. You need to create an account on their site. It’s not the same as your Amazon or KDP account, even though CS is owned by Amazon.

You can then start creating your book with a series of steps:

  1. Setup
  2. Review
  3. Distribute

Each of these has some internal steps

Setup:

  1. Title Information – input your books title, subtitle, author name, blurb, etc.
  2. ISBN – I purchased 100 ISBN’s from Bowker (the official ISBN issuer for USA) so I put my own here. You can get a free one from CS that will come in play later on.
  3. Interior – I uploaded the pdf file that I received from my formatter. I could have done this myself, but since this was my first book, I chose to hire a professional to handle it, and for consistency, I will most likely want to keep the rest of the series coherent.
  4. Cover – upload the file given to me by my cover designer.

CS then processes these files, chugging for a while till you can then review. However I jumped to the next step:

Distribute

This allows you choose where you want your paperback available. These fall under two main categories, standard and expanded distribution:

Standard:

  • Amazon.com
  • Amazon.co.uk
  • Createspace bookstore (who knew this existed?)

Expanded

  • Bookstores and Online Retailers (So that B&N can order your book)
  • Createspace Direct (smaller retailers and indie bookstores can order from this)
  • Libraries – this one you HAVE to have a CS-assigned ISBN in order to be in. Since I have my own ISBN’s, I can’t select this.

You also setup your pricing, descriptions, and cover details like matte or glossy. From what I’ve read, glossy looks better, feels better, and matte has had issues with the covering peeling off, so I chose glossy.

Finally we have review, which is where this entire story started:

Review

CS gives you two options to proof your book: digitally and physically.

Since I used a professional formatter, I wasn’t very worried about the interior of the book looking strange. If I had been doing this myself, I would have spent more time pouring over the digital and physical proofs to make sure that my formatting turned out okay.

Side note: I know a lot of newbie authors don’t have a lot of money, but I’m SO glad I didn’t have to stress about formatting for this book. I had enough learning to do on this that I was happy to not have the stress. If you’re already spending money on a quality copy edit and a cover, I highly recommend having someone handle formatting so you don’t have to stress about it. Instead, I spent that mental energy on learning how to market and setup email lists…but that’s a story for another day.

So, to the meat of the three-day long story:

Once I approved the digital proof, it locked me out of any changes, and chugged for about 24 hours to look through all the submission.

The next day, when I woke up, my paperback book was live on Amazon!

GAHHH!!!

Yup, so my Kindle book was still on pre-order and now my paperback is available for purchase. Createspace doesn’t have the ability to handle pre-orders at this time.

So lessons? I honestly don’t know. I don’t know how to handle this. I’ll be sure to do some research next time for my paperback release. I might also just wait until the book itself goes live before approving the proof so that the paperback is live about the time that the kindle book comes off of pre-order.

Anyway, this rambling story is now at an end.

Till tomorrow,

Tom

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