UPDATE: Just read an excellent post on DL Morrese’s blog about formatting your manuscript for printing on CreateSpace. Check it out here!
In case you’re not aware, CreateSpace is Amazon’s print on demand service. It’s a convenient and affordable way to have your book available in print without a lot of upfront costs. It’s relatively easy to use, but there are things you should be aware of before you publish your book through them.
- You’ll have to pay for your proof copies. When you get your book all ready to print, CreateSpace will ship a proof copy to you for approval. You’ll have to pay for the copy and the shipping costs. I’ve found that this usually costs less than $10 per proof, but if you end up needing to make changes and order proofs repeatedly, it starts to add up. Take care to go over your first proof carefully.
- You’ll have to pay shipping when you order copies for your own use. The costs of the books themselves is just a fraction of what others will pay to get a hard copy of your book, but keep in mind that you’ll also have to pay shipping on any copies you order for your own use (book signings, for sale at local book stores, etc.). If you want more than a handful, your shipping costs could cross the $100 mark. You can get a rough idea of your costs by using their calculator.
- It’ll cost you $25 to make your book available to other retailers and libraries. It’s not a lot of money, but in order to have your book available to distributors, retailers besides Amazon and your CreateSpace eStore, and libraries, you’ll need to pay a fee of $25 per CreateSpace title. You can read more about it here. (I definitely recommend signing up for Expanded Distribution, by the way.) Also, if you need to change your cover or interior files, you’ll have to pay the $25 fee again.
- There are two ways for you to receive your royalty payments from CreateSpace. You can receive your royalty payments by check or direct deposit. If you choose to receive a check, you have to accrue a minimum of $28 in earnings, and they charge an $8 fee every time they mail you a check. Alternately, you can choose to have your royalties direct deposited into your bank account. With this option you only need to accrue $20, and there’s no fee.
- You don’t have to purchase an ISBN. You may be familiar with the fact that getting a book printed at your local (or not-so-local) printer means you have to fork out cash for an ISBN. With CreateSpace, you can choose to have them assign an ISBN. This means that CreateSpace will show up as the publisher on your book’s Amazon listing (see the image below).