This is an ongoing series looking at websites that can be of help to fiction writers with their craft and career.
So you’ve been writing for a while, and maybe you think it’s time you had a book published. You’ve considered going the traditional route by sending query letters to publishers and editors and literary agents, but for reasons of your own you have decided to publish your own books.
How do you go about this?
One of the most common ways today is to utilize a site such as CreateSpace, by Amazon. At CreateSpace, you can upload the file for your book, do some formatting and soon your book will be available for readers to purchase it online at Amazon.com. How does the site work so fast, through print-on-demand technology.
Sounds simple. Truth to tell, there’s more to it than that, but you can find out the specific details at the Book section of CreateSpace. Here you can find out about royalties and more technical issues such as tools for creating your book cover.
If you feel you need some help with your book, you can always find it at the Services section of the CreateSpace site. There you can find information and potentially help with editing, layout and even marketing of your book. These services are not free, however, and can cost as much as $299, but it might be worth it to you.
Keep in mind, the basics of CreateSpace will not cost you a dime. You can even get a free ISBN for your book, and that will be necessary for selling.
So how does CreateSpace make money from all us? Several ways. For instance, there are the services I mentioned above. Most noticeably, CreateSpace (Amazon) takes a little money from each of your books they have to print out. There are also a handful of other ways they make money, one being a special distribution program writers can pay to join, such a program promising better distribution for your books and a slightly larger percentage of money from the sales of your books.
There are those who prefer working with print-on-demand companies like Lightning Source, and I won’t argue one way or the other, though I will say it is good to have options. When it comes to printing, you need to be aware of your options. Some sites might offer only certain types of paper for printing, or perhaps offer only certain types of books (hardback vs. trade paperback, etc.) So before you spend time and money on a site such as CreateSpace, or any other publishing site, make sure you learn what’s what. You’ll be better for it in the long run.