Publishing best practices series {Megaphone Society}We are honored to have today’s publishing post from best–selling author and Megaphone Member Laura Miller! Be sure to stop by Laura’s website, Facebook and Twitter.

A Guide to Self-publishing through CreateSpace.com

Twelve easy steps to getting your book out there!

Laura Miller Butterfly Weeds lauramillerbooks.com {Megaphone Society}

My name is Laura Miller, and I self-published my first novel in June 2012 through two self-publishing avenues: Lulu.com and CreateSpace.com. Self-publishing sites such as these allow you, through an easy step-by-step process, to publish your work for the world to see.

Unlike publishing completely on your own, these companies take care of most of the legwork for you, so there is no need to buy your own international standard book number (ISBN) or establish your own publishing company. And best of all, you can publish your work with little to no cost to you and still maintain your work’s rights!

Through my personal experience, I have found CreateSpace to be the more helpful self-publishing resource of the two. Because of this, I only publish through CreateSpace now and will focus on that avenue in this article.

Why did I choose CreateSpace over other self-publishing sites? For starters, CreateSpace is owned by Amazon. So, once you release your publication, it is almost immediately available on Amazon.com in several major countries (U.S., Canada, U.K., India and more), which is huge! Most all of my sales come through Amazon.com! But CreateSpace also allows you to publish on Barnesandnoble.com and several other sites as well. And lastly, CreateSpace makes it easy to upload a Kindle version of your work, which will also be available on Amazon.com.

So, drumroll please…Here are the

12 basic steps to publishing through CreateSpace

1. Create a CreateSpace login

Go to CreateSpace.com and create a log in. It’s free. Easy enough!

2. Guided Setup Process 

Next, go to My Account at the top right of the page and click on Create a Title in the drop-down menu. Then, add your title, choose paperback and then the Guided Setup Process. Unfortunately, CreateSpace doesn’t allow you to create a hardback book. If you really want a hardback of your book, Lulu.com does offer this option.

3. Add your book’s information 

On the next page, add your book’s information (author, series, etc.).

4. ISBN

Then, if you haven’t already purchased an ISBN somewhere else, choose the Free CreateSpace-Assigned ISBN option. It’s free and easy. Here, CreateSpace assigns your book its unique number. Every title must have its own ISBN. This number is like the book’s social security number.

5. Interior Type

Next, choose your Interior Type. I chose black and white print and cream paper. This is a matter of preference. White tends to be a little harder on the eyes than cream.

6. Format your Interior Files

It’s much easier if you’ve written the book in the formatted style, but chances are and if you’re like me with my first book, you didn’t. But that’s okay! To the right of the page, you’ll find a place to download a word template. This is what you’ll use to format your book after you have chosen a size. I used 5×8, but it’s really a matter of preference and of how you want your book to look. And don’t forget to add a copyright page! Additionally, editing services can be purchased through CreateSpace as well. My advice is to find someone you trust to help you edit!

7. Upload 

Now, upload your formatted file!

Laura Miller Butterfly Weeds lauramillerbooks.com {Megaphone Society}8. Designing the Cover

Here, you can use the pre-designed templates that CreateSpace offers, design your own or, of course, have it professionally designed either through CreateSpace (for a fee) or through someone else of your choice.

9. Submit

Once you have uploaded both your cover and interior, you will submit your entire work to CreateSpace for review. They’ll make sure your work is within printing thresholds and all that jazz. It takes about 12 hours for them to do this but can take up to 24 hours.

10. Distribution

In the meantime, CreateSpace will ask you about distribution. Here, you will opt in to Amazon.com, but you can also purchase Expanded Distribution. Expanded distribution will up your paperback costs a little but not much, and it’s worth it. It’s only $25 to have your book not only available on Amazon.com, but also available on BarnesandNoble.com and to libraries. And once you have chosen your distribution avenues, you can set your book’s price. There’s a minimum price you must meet, but after that, it’s up to you.

11. Proof your Work

Then, after your work has been approved by CreateSpace, you can proof it online right there or order a proof copy. And once you have proofed your work, you can then release your paperback to the world! Happy dance! It will normally take a day or two for you to see it up and available on Amazon.com. And other sites, such as BarnesandNnoble.com, usually take about a week to list it. And thereafter, you can order copies of your work straight through CreateSpace. You simply order as many as you want and pay CreateSpace’s cost to print plus shipping.

12. Create an Ebook

 Once you have released your paperback, a prompt will pop up urging you to upload a Kindle version for your publication. I recommend that you do this! Most of my sales today come from ebooks on Amazon.com! I used Smashwords.com first, which proved very helpful with formatting. Smashwords.com has a whole guide to ebook formatting. Follow it carefully! Upload your book to Smashwords, which will allow your ebook to also be available on Barnesandnoble.com and iTunes, among others. But then, don’t forget to go back to Amazon’s Kindle site and upload the formatted version there too!

And if you have any further questions, feel free to ask me or visit me at LauraMillerBooks.com. Happy writing!

LAURA MILLER is author of the national bestselling novel, “Butterfly Weeds.” She grew up in eastern Missouri and spent years as a newspaper reporter before starting a career in fiction. Miller currently lives in Columbia, Mo. Visit her at LauraMillerBooks.com and look for her latest novel, “My Butterfly,” due out Summer 2013!


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