Now, before you do anything else, I need you to ask yourself a few questions.
- Are you legally cleared to use the cover you’re going to use? Are all the images properly licensed and acquired? Grabbing an image from google image search and slapping your title on top of it does not a legal cover make. You can check out my post here for some tips on cover making: https://t.co/TrZK0BYrMV
- Do you have time for the proofing process? This can take anywhere from days to weeks (depending on how you proof).
Okay, got the legalities cleared? You’re ready to start?
The first step is simply to fill in all the information. You can have Createspace automate an ISBN, if your book is already on Amazon you just tell Createspace as much. My biggest advice for this part of the process is just READ EVERYTHING. It’s pretty self-explanatory.
There are 12 steps to completing the publishing process on Createspace.
- Enter your Title information. PLEASE NOTE, your title needs to match your KDP (e-edition) perfectly. Subtitle would be the series title and title is the title of that individual novel. For example my series is Children of Dreki and the novel is TYR. I SHOULD have placed TYR in the title section and Children of Dreki in the subtitle but I was stupid and didn’t. This is also where you enter author info (also must match your KDP profile) and etc.
- ISBN. This is where you can have Createspace automate an ISBN.
- Interior. This is where you upload the file for your novel. If you are using special fonts I would suggest creating a pdf file of the document, this will ’embed’ the fonts and force them into the document. Otherwise you can upload your Word doc or whichever other format they allow (I’m not sure. I only use Word). Please note, there IS an interior reviewer. USE IT. It’s fairly accurate. You can check to make sure paragraph indents and page layouts are correct. It will take time, but it will SAVE you time and money if you go through this process.
- Cover. I have more notes on the cover process below, but this is simple. Just upload your cover. If you have your own cover just go into the Cover Creator and click on the appropriate layout for a self-made cover (I forget what it’s called but search through the templates and you’ll find it!). Then upload your cover. I would suggest testing the cover by adding the spine elements (IE: Tell it to add the name and title to the spine and make sure YOUR name and title on your cover match, then make sure you remove those elements before continuing).
- Complete Setup. Just what it says. 😛
- File Review. This is the process where Createspace reviews everything and make sure it meets their standards. Once they’re done reviewing it moves on to…
- Proof Your Book. On this page you can choose to order a proof copy of the novel. The first time you use Createspace I STRONGLY suggest ordering a physical copy. You can use this copy to ensure the cover worked out correctly but also to search for any editorial mistakes that were missed previously.
- Channels. This is where you choose where you want to make the novel available. Just click the channels you want to be part of. This is where you determine if you want your book to be available to bookstores and libraries or not.
- Pricing. Just what it sounds like! Choose a price! Createspace will give you the minimum and then you decide from there what you want to charge. I suggest doing some research. See what books in your genre generally sell for in paperback form. Don’t price too high or you won’t get ANY sales…
- Cover Finish. Matte or Glossy. I personally used glossy. My cover is dark and it looked HORRIBLE on the matte finish. The matte finish is REALLY soft though. It makes me sad I couldn’t use it.
- Description. This is the blurb of the novel! Remember to enter keywords so people searching for your genre can find your book.
- Publish on Kindle. THIS might be where I went wrong. I filled this page out thinking it wasn’t a big deal. I’m not sure… but I think if you fill this section out then approve your proof it’s automatically published. So don’t even TOUCH this page until you’re ready to publish. And don’t approve that proof until you’re ready to publish, just to be safe. If you’ve already published the ebook on Amazon, let Createspace know this. It WILL link the two novels together, if you titled them properly.
A couple of notes:
- You cannot set a paperback to pre-order unless/until you join this special doodle club thinger. I know nothing about it so I can’t help you with setting a paperback to pre-order. Sorry. ):
- Your cover is going to be tricky, especially if you’re doing it yourself. If you’re not doing it yourself your cover artist just needs to know the page numbers and book size (I used 5.5×8.5 personally). If you ARE creating your own cover, you can download a handy dandy template here: https://www.createspace.com/Help/Book/Artwork.do. I used the template as a layer over everything so I could make sure it all lined up. There is a bleeding edge. Make sure NO writing, or important elements (logos, etc) fall into those red edges.
- If your paperback and ebook editions don’t link up on Amazon (meaning, they don’t show up on the same page) just contact Amazon. Give them the ISBN of each novel and the rest of your novel information and they will link it up for you.
See how easy that all was! SUPER EASY!
This part isn’t the hard part. The hard part is making SURE your novel is ready for public viewing. Edit. edit. Edit. EDIT. Get people to advance read. Get as many opinions as you can. Hopefully people will be honest and tell you if it’s not ready for publishing. Hopefully they’ll be equally honest if it IS ready for publishing.
As a self-publisher it is our duty to do our due-diligence. We don’t have a publishing team to be our quality control so we have to figure out how to be our OWN quality control.
Take pride in your work and do what needs to be done to make it SHINE.