If there’s a book in you, congratulations! You’ve done the hard part – writing the book!
Self-publishing might be the best way to get it out into the world.
Unlike the old vanity presses you might have heard of, self-publishing is often a great deal for beginning authors, or authors who only expect to publish a few books. Vanity presses charge authors to design the cover, layout the book, and take care of all the printing details. They will require the author to purchase a minimum number of books, and they will retain ownership of the ISBN (international standard book number). These services used to be the only option for authors who were not picked up by traditional publishers. And authors paid handsomely for the thrill of seeing their words in print. Hence the name – vanity presses.
Today, we have a better option. Amazon affiliate CreateSpace – and other similar services – offer authors a way to publish their book “on demand” and without paying these charges to the publisher. Authors upload their text file and cover art, and fill out relatively simple online forms. The book will be listed on Amazon (the world’s largest bookstore) for anyone to order (in the U.S., Canada and Europe, if you select those distribution channels). When the order comes in, CreateSpace prints the book and ships it directly to the buyer. The author is not responsible for buying any copies of the book (although they can, at a discount, if they choose). Authors also don’t need to manage shipping, sales taxes, or any other fulfillment issues. The author can set their own price (as long as it’s high enough to cover the printing cost). The author can also make the book available for Kindle, by either submitting their own e-book file or using CreateSpace’s or Kindle Direct Publishing’s automatic utility.
If the author wishes, they can work with an editor, proofreader, and a designer for the cover and the interior layout. I have worked with several authors in this capacity. I’ve also worked on getting the books submitted and live on Amazon. But none of this is required. You could submit your own document in Word or PDF.
With today’s tools, anyone who has succeeded in writing a book (a very impressive accomplishment!) can now easily take the next step and get it into print.
Please let me know if you would like my help with editing, proofreading, designing the cover, laying out the interior, creating the e-book version, or navigating the CreateSpace process. And even if you don’t want my help, please let me know when your book is available – I’d love to see it!
If you intend to sell your book in bookstores, as well as on Amazon, I recommend this article by “skywriter” about the benefits of publishing with CreateSpace for Amazon distribution and IngramSpark/Lightning Source so it can be ordered by any bookstore. This way you can reach the largest possible audience. Self-publishing 101: Why Indy Publishers are Smart to Use Two Printers and Not Just One
For more detail on how to self-publish:
I don’t know if this is the specific technology that CreateSpace uses, but this will give you a quick overview of what book production looks like:
I wrote this article because I’ve had excellent results with CreateSpace for my clients. I’m not getting any benefits from CreateSpace or Amazon for writing it.