Wednesday, June 18, 2014

How to Create a Createspace Book in Four Easy Steps—Sort Of

Step One - write a great book.
Step Two - get a cover.
Step Three - have it formatted.
Step Four - combine the book and the cover and then go to the handy Createspace form and start inputting. VoilĂ !

Easy Peasy. Yeah. Well.

In the particular case of Strange Faces, I didn't write a book so much as compile a book—six short stories and one novelette under one cover. That completed, I went on to Step Two. 

One of my favorite evening zone-out pastimes is lounging on the couch, laptop on my lap, television on, and strolling through online pre-made book covers. There are plenty of cover artists who are doing this. Just do a Google search for "pre-made eBook covers" and you’ll see what I mean. Another pleasure of mine is ambling through Amazon and simply looking at book covers. (Go ahead, say it—I lead a boring life.)

In my case, I kept going back to Bookgraphics. I had already used her for a pre-made cover for Steal Away. I liked her work, and so I hired her to do up a "custom cover" for Strange Faces.

Oh, and another thing of note. You need a radically different cover for a print book than you do for an eBook. I kept wondering why, until I slapped the flat of my hand against my temple and thought, "Oh yeah, you got the whole back of the book to think about! And the spine!"

When you go to CreateSpace you have two options. You can pay or not pay. Quick, which would you choose? 

I guess it’s not that simple, though.  If you don’t have a cleanly edited copy (and more about that in a future blog, I promise), or if you don’t have a cover, you might want to try it. But I have no experience with it, and I don’t know anyone who’s done this. My advice on this score is to ask Dr. Google.

But since we already had a cover and a cleanly edited manuscript, we clicked on "start a title for free." When I use the royal "we," I’m referring to my husband, my book formatter, Rik.

With me looking over his shoulder, we opened an account and started the step by step procedure. Even though he has formatted almost 500 books, this is the first time he himself has "uploaded" anything to Createspace. He has formatted hundreds of Createspace books, but that’s where his job ends. Amazon’s guidelines suggest that the author/publisher put up the book herself. And you probably don't want Rik to know your bank account numbers.

Yesterday, after four days of back and forth (there’s always
something isn’t there??) our formatted manuscript finally met with Createspace’s final approval. We did a few high-fives, and then ordered our proof copy which should be in our hot little hands in a week or so.

So, no, right now, it’s not quite ready yet for general consumption, and unlike writers who traditionally publish with the Big Five - oops, I mean Medium Sized Five, us Indies don’t get to put "pre-order" buttons on our Amazon pages. But ya know? Maybe that’s somewhere down in the pipeline, too. 

For latest on the Amazon/Hachette dispute, Jim Bell, a Hachette author and an Indie author and a buddy of mine has written an excellent blog post about it. If you are really geeking into this, scroll down and read all the comments underneath. Very insightful!


  1. Great blog Linda! I've had a hard working day. You are always so interesting and informative. I love it that you share so much about writing. I'll look this over more on the weekend.

  2. Op's, I love you in your chair!

  3. Great blog on indie publishing,Linda. All I wanted to know.
    Gail MacMillan

  4. Thanks Gail! I'm glad you found it helpful! Half the time I don't think I know what I'm talking about :) I'm just sharing my experience.