Overall Ease of Use – Meets Expectations
Member Dashboard – Exceeds Expectations
Revenue Reporting – Exceeds Expectations
Ease of Novel Formatting and Instructions – Meets Expectations
Free Cover Formats – Acceptable
Paid Services Available – Wide Range, Meets Expectations, Moderately Expensive
Distribution Avenues – Exceeds Expectations
Free: CreateSpace estore, Amazon, Amazon Europe
Paid: Expanded Distribution: CreateSpace Direct, Libraries, Physical Book Stores (Cost: $25)
File Reviewing – Acceptable
Online platform is adequate, if a bit slow. Downloaded review is simply PDF
Review Turn-Around Time – Exceeds Expectations
Says within 48 hours; I have found normal turnaround to be 12 hours or less
Proof Costs –
Depends on novel length. My first publication with CreateSpace came in at 440 pages and cost under 7$ with 2.5$ shipping.
My Overall Costs –
$25 (Expanded Distribution) + ~$9.5 (Proof)
Revenue Since December –
58 sales (Nook, Kindle, Paperback), ~$248 (-$35 overhead). Obviously I’m hoping this number will keep rising, but I’m happy regardless. The best thing I can say about CreateSpace is the little overhead one must put forth to finish a put-together, ready-to-sell product.
Amazon’s CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform is very approachable. The layout of the website is welcoming and gives the sense of ‘ease of use’ before actually using. The publishing process was a bit of a journey, but more so in the formatting editing sense on my personal end. CreateSpace provides empty word templates for every standard book size. You can choose to use a non-standard book size, but then you must ensure that the document is formatted to avoid bleeding into the interior/exterior margins. The file check process will pinpoint if there is a formatting issue and will not allow you to proceed until you have re-checked your file for errors. Once you approve the format, it will be submitted to the CreateSpace team and returned to you after being reviewed once again. Warning- the CreateSpace team does not look for content errors/ word misues/ etc. This would fall under paid services. You will then have the opportunity to order a physical proof or do a last check of the proof online.
Designing the cover:
I will say, I was non-too-thrilled with the available templates on CreateSpace, finding the majority of them are barebones. If you have access to a decent photo shop, you can design a loadable PDF file that is from scratch, but you have to do the math – page number, fold allowance, size of spine. It all was too complicated for me (at least for the first book). Thankfully, I had access to a great photographer who went around South Carolina snapping photos of dead pecan groves, inverted the photo, and ta-da. Once I decided on one of the basic formats and loaded the custom photography, I found that the result was pleasing and professional-looking (enough). I’ve followed this for all my up-coming books, but do hope to understand the customized cover process eventually.
My biggest disappointment with CreateSpace is the lack of a hardcover (case-wrapped or dust-covered) option. I had to use another platform, http://www.lulu.com to format and produce the hardcover version. Having already paid for CreateSpace expanded distribution, I opted to only sell the hardcover on LuLu.
Createspace also facilitates the start of Kindle formatting for Amazon. Unfortunately, it doesn’t facilitate it very well – it’s much easier to go to Kindle Direct Publishing (https://kdp.amazon.com/) separately and follow their directions.
This is just my experience and I’m sure others will find different pros/cons with CreateSpace.