Wednesday, June 19, 2013

HER SISTER In Print Through #CreateSpace, The Process and cost

I ventured into CreateSpace.  Believe it or not, I have readers--many on my snail-mail mailing list--who don't have e-readers.  But they want my e-books.  So Print On Demand seemed a good way to go.  I can buy books to sell at book signings, but my readers can also buy directly from CreateSpace, Amazon, and through extended distribution at Barnes and Noble.

I listened to other authors' comments on my professional links and loops and most were pleased with the quality of the CreateSpace books.  The process of formatting the book myself, however, would be time-consuming.  Fortunately my husband has formatted all of my e-books for Smashwords, Kindle and Nook.  But my writing schedule is tight right now, and he also helps to enter editing corrections from hard copy onto the computer. (If you haven't guessed, he's my virtual assistant since he retired!)  My deadline work always takes precedence over my indie novels and promotion.  So I asked for a recommendation for a formatter from my cover artist who put out the word for me.  I also explored a few others on my own.  I settled on Go Published which another of her clients suggested, as well as another formatter who was reasonable. (Since I don't have that finished product yet, I won't comment until I do.)

For HER SISTER, I chose a custom look ($100 with Go Published).  Custom for me meant a dropped letter at the beginning of each chapter, pretty scrolls between scenes, picking from more than one template for diversity in chapter headings.  I chose 12 point Garamond on the recommendation of a friend.  When choosing a font, keep in mind the size of book you will need to make your spine large enough for your name and title to be read easily.  I'll be asking for 14 point Garamond in my next project because it is a shorter book.  We took our time with this first book.  The formatter sent me templates to choose from as well as a list of fonts, designs for scene breaks, etc. 

Time span?  This took a month from the start to receiving the PDF to upload to CreateSpace.  I approved a sample two weeks after submitting my Word file to my formatter, asked for adjustments, then received and approved the PDF two weeks later.  HER SISTER was available on CreateSpace immediately and went for sale on Amazon four days later.

Something else you need for a CreateSpace book is an ISBN.  I purchased 10 from Bowker to use on several projects.  I'll be charging $9.99 for the book which I hope will keep it affordable. 

So what is the cost for putting a book on CreateSpace?   I will be paying $80-$100 per book for the formatter.  Since I'm using my usual cover artist, she gives me a reduced fee on the new cover which includes spine width and back cover copy.  If  I already have an ISBN on my ebook, I need a different one for my print book. The cost all depends on the service providers you use.

My books arrived today and I am excited.  The covers are gorgeous.  The print is indeed readable.  I'll be attending a conference for the New Jersey Romance Writers and I'll be able to take the books along for their literacy signing.  If any of you attend, please stop by and say Hi!  I'll blog after I have a few more books available through Print On Demand for a while to share my experience.  Knowledge in this changing publishing field can make or break success.

But no matter how much time I put into the process, including marketing and promotion, I know my focus must remain on my day to day writing--the quality and quantity of it.

©2013 Karen Rose Smith

Karen Rose Smith's romance website 
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Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Thanks for sharing your experience, Karen! I'll definitely bookmark this for when/if I decide to foray into self-pub print. :)

Delynn Royer said...

Thanks for sharing your experience, Karen. It's great information. And that cover really is gorgeous. I have Her Sister on my Kindle and I'm looking forward to having a look at the CreateSpace version at NJRW. :)

KRS said...

I'm hoping other authors who do Print On Demand will share their experiences and professionals who help them. That could be a workshop!