Why Use CreateSpace to Self-Publish Your Book?
by Lois Hoffman
You’ve spent months or years poring over your manuscript. Each comma is carefully placed. Each character is perfectly developed. You’re ready to tackle this publishing beast, but with so many choices, it’s hard to know where to start and who to trust with your precious words.
While the self-publishing industry experienced seismic changes in the last decade, one company remains on top. CreateSpace is an Amazon company that facilitates the preparation of your paperback book for sale and distribution. On the site, you register the title, subtitle, and author name, get an ISBN (or register your own), upload your book contents, upload or create your cover design, designate the sale price for your book, and choose your desired channels of distribution. Backed by the power of Amazon, CreateSpace authors are positioned to reach readers worldwide.
Historically, self-publishing meant purchasing thousands of books that languished alongside half-empty paint cans and a broken croquet set and relegating the car to the driveway. Conversely, CreateSpace is a print-on-demand publisher. When someone buys your book on Amazon or other online outlets, one is printed and shipped to the customer. Print-on-demand carries low upfront costs. If you format the interior of the book, design the cover, and upload it yourself, Amazon lists it on their website at no cost to you.
Free? No. There is a fee, of course. Amazon takes their cut whenever a reader clicks “Buy Now.” The author receives the difference between the price set for the book and Amazon or other online retailers’ fee. The royalty varies depending on a few different factors. You can estimate the royalty for a book at on CreateSpace here. Here’s an example: A book with 150-pages, white paper and black and white interior sold on Amazon at $10 yields a royalty of around $3.25. No inventory (unless you want to buy copies). No paperwork. No trips to the post office with all the requisite packing materials. Easy, for sure.
CreateSpace has a user-friendly, step-by-step interface. It’s written for the non-technical publishing neophyte. If you have questions, there’s a robust community forum to help navigate through the information.
How does CreateSpace stack up against the competition? There’s a plethora of alternate publishing options. IngramSpark, backed by the largest worldwide distribution network, is worthy of consideration. Although reputable and powerful, upfront fees for setup and ISBN purchase plus smaller Amazon royalties give enough reason for pause. There are exceptions. If your book sports a color interior or you prefer a hardcover option, IngramSpark leads the pack.
Vanity presses touting “the best of both traditional and self-publishing” really means the best of both worlds for them and not the author. High upfront fees and royalty sharing on the back end declare them the winner. Other publishing options abound, but often with higher fees and/or lower royalties. Amazon charges higher fees to publishers outside of the CreateSpace universe leading to lower royalties for books sold on Amazon.
While not good for every book or every author, CreateSpace offers a variety of options, ease of use, and direct access to the world’s largest book retailer.
Go to CreateSpace and register by clicking “Start a title for free.”
© Lois Hoffman 2017
Lois Hoffman is the owner of The Happy Self-Publisher and author of The Self-Publishing Roadmap and Write a Book Grow Your Business. She is a writer, speaker, workshop facilitator, and brings the joy of authorship to writers through personalized writing and publishing services. She also elicits countless smiles as a professional juggler along with her husband, Michael, who perform as The Juggling Hoffmans. Lois lives with her family in Newark, DE where she juggles her creative pursuits with enthusiasm and joy. You can find her playing with words online at The Happy Self-Publisher website.