Once upon a time it used to be difficult to publish books. So they say. I personally, don’t really remember these times.
Well, let me be honest, I can recall some thoughts and feelings of mine that were not pleasant at all. But why would I want to do that?
I’ll do it for the sake of those among you, who still believe that it has to be hard to be successful as writer.
„You need to find a publishing house that accepts you and your book.“ „You need an agent to help you promote your book and to negotiate your contracts.“ „And, if you know nobody and nobody knows you, you have no chance at all.“ “And even, if you succeed in publishing a book – you won’t make any money from it.“
When I had enough of hearing such bullshit, I started to look and find out how things work in the book market in the 21st century, that’s when the fun part started.
I spent time on writing my first book and in many forums and facebook groups, where I learned with the help of other independent authors, how to create my first ebook.
I turned that story into the blog post „How hard is it to be an independent writer?“
Now I have published 4 ebooks – three in German, and one in English and let me tell you, that I love my new sport: bestseller-watching on Amazon and the monthly mails from Amazon, telling me how much money they are sending me this month. 🙂
When I realized some time this summer, I think it was in August – I was in France on the shores of Lake Geneva, finishing be wonderful! How to be emotionally successful with applied NLP, that Amazon opened its Createspace program to authors based in Europe, I liked the new perspective!
I immediately registered for it (very easy, by the way) at and had a look at it.
I saw the different options for the size of my book in hard-copy, the word templates being provided and the cover generator.
And, to be honest it didn’t look easy in this moment, which didn’t bother me, since I had other plans at the time.
I simply opened a new project with the first ebook I had published and began to have a look at different book-sizes.
Now in October I came back to Createspace, determined to get my first book published in hard-copy NOW.
It took me two days. And I show you how I did it, so you can do it even faster. 🙂
Yes, you can hit me up for a writing coaching, I am a writer’s coach and good at it – then I explain everything to you in more detail and help to get into the right mindset to it quick and easy.
I started by choosing a trim size for my book, by comparing the different sizes of books in the same category like mine that I like.
Then I downloaded the respective word template, choosing the blank one, because I already had my book written and saved as doc-file.
Then I inserted the text – I had already removed any formatting during the creation of the ebook with SIGIL and CALIBRE, which is described step-by-step in my translation of Barbara Krauß detailed walkthrough – you want to do that, because otherwise your pre-formated stuff might kill the template.
The I started the formatting process in the provided template, by assigning the formats paragraph, heading 1, 2, 3 and inserting the pictures – please note that for the printed version of your book you need a resolution of at least 300 dpi for your pictures to be accepted by the automated check, made by Createspace.
Next I saved my file and uploaded it to Createspace, which then produces a pdf-file that you can check online, to see how the page breaks work, to find how much you like to look at your new book.
You can save yourself lots of time by being generous while working on the template. I tried to squeeze in some lines in (the less pages, the cheaper it is), only to find out that what I saw in my file, was not the same in the pdf, which added some pages and did not look good.
For me this meant back to start and leave some space on the bottom of the last page of each chapter.
Then I focused on the cover. I head already done my cover with Photoshop for the ebook edition, so all I had to do was to change it to the size, Createspace’s cover generator asked for. It was important to keep the edges free. Once again: be generous with yourself! Leave a bit more space at the edges than you think you will need.
I first uploaded the front cover and then the back cover, where I included an intro, presenting my book and what it’s all about.
I also put a picture of myself on the back cover, because I like that 🙂
Then I chose one of the prepared spine formats. During this process I came to realize (Createspace told me) that my book needs to have more than 131 pages in order to get my name and the title printed on the spine of the book. You can do spineless books as hard-copy with Createspace, too, if your book is very short.
For me, this meant to go back and insert some more page breaks, which was very easy, since it was a close call in my case. If you opted for a large trim size, switching to a smaller one may solve this for you, but keep in mind that this would mean you have to work with a new template!
To give you a guide line: my original doc file (without formatting, in Verdana 12 pt had 49 pages, which converted to 138 pages in Georgia 12 pt for the paragraphs in the trim size 5 x 8)
If you have less text, you might want to choose a smaller trim size.
This is it. You have done it.
Now you get different options to check and proofread your book again. You can do it online (I chose that one, because it was the easy and fast way, and me and other people had been through my text very often by the time) or you can have a proof copy send to you (in my case for $ 2.50/copy) which I did not do.
If you live in the USA maybe that’s an option, here in Europe you get to deal with customs and it seems like to much a hassle. I rather hit the publish button right away (I love this feeling!!!) and ordered a book myself directly via Amazon.
That way I know, how long it takes for the delivery and get the full customer’s experience. I ordered in on Thursday afternoon and it arrived next Monday morning. 🙂 By the way, Amazon lists your book as „in stock“, when you publish with Createspace – I like that.
That’s a decision you have to make anyway, if you want to get hold of some copies of your new book in hard-copy. This opens up new marketing strategies for you and your book as well. There’s nothing like organizing an event, where you read from your book and sell your signed hard-copies.
And here I am, now I have it! My first book in hard-copy. I love it and I definitely recommend you to do it! It feels great to hold it in hand! 😀
By the way, I chose the free ISBN Createspace offers, because it gives me the option to opt in for distribution to the large book selling chains, like Barnes & Nobles, for a one-time fee of $ 25.-. This option is available inside the USA only so far – and that will change for sure 🙂 – If your located outside the USA and want to make the books available to local bookshops, you can order more „proof“ copies and deliver them directly.
As you are used to with KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) for your ebooks, you are free to set the price of the book, with Createspace giving you a minimum price. In my case, I chose a price of €7.99, which leads to royalties of € 2,22. A very fair bargain – to be honest, I think its a wonderful offer!
And Createspace also offers a simple affiliate program, so when somebody follows your links and register with Createspace to get their own book published in hard-copy, You receive a referral fee. I like that.
Another great tool by Amazon that makes life very easy for us independent authors.
And for your convenience, Amazon automatically links your already existing ebook to the the hard-copy (you have to use the same title), so when people browse to your ebook, they see the link to the hard-copy and the other way round.
Have I mentioned, yet that Print on Demand is economically and ecologically the best way to go?
Did I tell you that YOU keep all the rights to your book?
Once again, living and writing the wonderful way is really easy nowadays!
So go on, write, publish, be successful and have fun!
I am sure, you want to see Createspace for yourself now.
Check out my other posts!