The ever-changing world of publishing offers a buffet of options for the writer who wants to hold an actual book with his or her name on that front cover. It’s a wonderful feeling, I must say and many readers prefer a paperback over an e-book even in this day of the tablet. So if you’ve decided to go indie and publish on your own, allow me to share my five-year experience with Create Space (CS) which is a division of Amazon.
Before taking the plunge with CS, I did my homework—reading blogs, talking with experienced independent authors, researching writer forums, and exploring several printing/publishing options. I took a year to study because the opportunities were overwhelming and a little scary.
There were plenty of vanity presses which would charge me several thousand dollars for the privilege of holding my book. In fact, I would be holding onto several hundred books for that matter. Packages ran from $1,000 to over $5,000 for printing, and then I was also required to purchase usually a minimum of 500 books on top of that. There were also hybrid presses—a little bit vanity and a little bit print-on-demand. There were still plenty of costs, which was what I was trying to avoid. When I checked out Create Space, everything fell into place. It easily met my goals which were pretty basic.
1. No cartons of books to be stored somewhere and sold out of the trunk of my car.
2. I could purchase books at cost and in any number from one to hundreds.
3. My book would be immediately available on Amazon.com.
4. The account was free. No payment from my savings required.
5. Royalties were generous.
6. I had control over everything—cover, book design, description.
7. A quality product.
8. Revised book files could be uploaded for free after the book was published. (Typos happen.)
If your goals are along the same lines, the POD option in my opinion is the only way to go. I like the ability to order a few books for gifts or for a special event. I have no storage angst. If I find a typo in my file even after the book is published, I can upload a corrected file for FREE! Access to Amazon’s storefront as well as setting up my own CS store gives the book excellent exposure. Depending on the type of ISBN used, books can be available through the big distributors like Ingram and Baker & Taylor. If I’ve pressed the wrong button in my book setup, a CS customer rep has the magical powers to undo whatever I did wrong.
Now, if you have an aversion to the ginormous Amazon, you can find a reliable alternative. I’ve also used Snowfall Press, another POD company. They have many of the same features as CS. I’ve found them to be excellent as well.
So if you’re ready to test the POD waters, do your research and take the time to understand Create Space’s process. They have plenty of instructions, forums, and other guidance to help beginners, as does Snowfall. Here are some helpful links for further study: Create Space and Snowfall Press.
With over 30 years in administration as a manager, paralegal, and administrative professional, my experience runs the gamut from finances, policy, contracts, and human resources. My goal is to help writers navigate the business side of writing with understandable and practical advice.