Amazon CreateSpace Indie Publishing Platform ~ A Review

createspace logoAmazon CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform – A Review

http://www.createspace.com

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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.

Comments:
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.

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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.
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Cheers,
EliC

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