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December 10, 2008

Comments

That is very interesting. I will come back to read it for more of the fine points later. I have written a lot of fiction books of lengths from 80,000 to 145,000 words and historical or modern in setting (all romantic adventure or supernatural). O None have been accepted by publishers although not all have I tried to submit. Sometimes I would get close but always something wasn't what they wanted and it would be an element I couldn't change and keep the story true to what I saw as its reason for being.

I have thought about the publish on demand system, bbought one (how to promote and sell your paintings book that way), but my concern has been an experience I had trying to market a cookbook for our local church some years back. It was before the internet though. It required my constantly visiting bookstores to keep up interest and resupply, also getting a local newspaper interested in doing a feature on the elder ladies who wrote the cookbook. Kind of fun but it gave me a taste of what the problem was for self-publishing. Although that is bound to be different in today's internet, paypal era.

An acquaintance of mine did self-publish (can't remember the deal she had) her astrology book and I don't know how that went as I lost touch with her after that. I know even for those published in mainstream houses, the going around to do signings, places like Jackson Books which is now history in so many areas, those were the vehicle to increase interest and sales for the small, unknown writer.

I am a big fan of the publish by need system as it will allow writers and readers who don't want the same old same old to have a way to go around publishers whose main goal has to be making money-- not taking risks on something different. Not that a self-published writer doesn't want that also but I think there is also the element of just wanting others to read it.

Good luck with your books through this system. I think it could work quite well with the communications that are possible today. Just your blog alone should generate some interest as you have a large readership.

Rain, moving to Create Space shouldn't make much difference to my book, since it already was being published in a print on demand (POD) fashion.

It's interesting how differently writing is viewed from, say, painting or earring making. If an artist sets up a booth at an art fair and sells his or her work directly, he or she is a free-spirited outside the mainstream artist.

But it used to be that if a writer self-published a book, he or she was a loser who had to resort to "vanity press" tactics. Why don't we call someone who has a booth at an art fair a "vanity earring maker" who couldn't get their stuff accepted for sale in a chain department store?

I think the attitude has changed since the Internet with so many ways to do it. Now with Google corralling all those old books to publish on demand, this is just a further step. One thing you learn when you try to get published is that it's all about them thinking it will work and that usually means something else is out there like it. They are taking a lot of financial risk and many the publishing house that has disappeared when they didn't guess right. I didn't blame them but saw it limited new ideas. Self publishing and especially on demand through internet gets away from that. Some have self published, even years ago before the internet, and sold enough books that finally the big companies got interested but it took tremendous dedication to marketing, something many creative people hate at best.

Have you had any further experience with this? Anything people need to be aware of or watch out for? Thanks.

Laura, my book is up and running nicely with Create Space. I haven't had a single significant problem. My only mild gripe, which I've related to CS, is that when an author orders a book(s), the estimated shipping timeline is way off.

CS says it will take three or four weeks to get the book(s), and it actually is much quicker -- like a week, which it should be. I paid extra for my proof copy shipping because I was worried it would take a long time to arrive by regular shipping. But I didn't need to do that.

My book designer, who has a lot of experience with print on demand publishing, told me that the CS book looks very good -- better than the Lightning Source copies. He felt that the color of the cover was a bit off, but not by a whole lot.

Getting the Amazon listing updated has been my main concern, since this is the second edition of my book. It was only today, 21 days after the second edition was published, that the (positive) reader reviews were copied over to the second edition listing.

However, in defense of Amazon I waited a couple of weeks before contacting their support staff, since I thought the reviews might transfer over automatically. They could have, but I ended up asking both CS and Amazon to attend to this, and both organizations promptly responded with an email to my request.

So I'm a happy Create Space camper. I like being able to log on to my CS account and easily see how many books have been sold to date, and what my royalties are.

As noted previously, my smooth publishing road is due in large part to the book files (cover and interior) being set up perfectly by my book designer. I suspect that someone trying to do this on his or her own would have some challenges, but I could be wrong about that.

who is your book designer?

claire, it is Charles King of Cox-King Multimedia. See:
http://www.ckmm.com/

You can also ask CS for a custom design. I do book designs for CS on contract.

Create Space provides me with a great way to get my book up for sale on Amazon; and very low wholesale cost to purchase my book myself. That alone will keep me as a Create Space customer.

Be aware, however, that when you purchase 'helpful' services from Create Space, you may find yourself locked into a computer-generated system that can take a protracted time to get anything done.

Example: I asked for help centering my cover art, & was quoted $50 to do that. That happened pretty quickly; but without asking or even mentioning it Create Space gave me a 'complimentary interior review' that I did not ask for or need. this added 10 days for the review plus 5 more to get a proof to me, during which time my book was not available for sale on Amazon. No explanations or requests for assistance were meaningfully answered by Create Space project team leaders. They simply shrugged it off as 'that's how our system works."

So, Create Space, in my experience, has a great service at a great price, and a lousy customer interface if you need anything else from them.

Thanks for the comments on self-publishing. I'm just now trying to figure out the choices.

You might want to check the link to your most recent book. It says, I think, that your $19.99 price has been marked UP instead of down to $89.00.

Christine, a belated response. I couldn't find any sign that Create Space or Amazon has my most recent book, "Return to the One," improperly priced. Sometimes used copies are priced strangely by booksellers -- someone wants over $3,000 for a copy of my first book, which goes to show "buyer beware" is good advice.

I've been happy with Create Space and Amazon. This is the way to go for self-publishers, in my opinion. Best of luck with your own writing efforts.

I was hoping that CS will not use Lightning Source as they are expensive. But Booksurge has no POD machine so its probably LS anyway.
The bksellers may order a few copies on approval from LS then POD themselves thus bypassing the royalty.
Amazon should buy printer themselves

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