Indie Book Collective discussion

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Robert Tabb (Robert_C_Tabb) | 43 comments I have published my latest Middle Grade Fiction novel, The Glass Collectors, through Pubit! and Kindle Direct but would love to get it out as a trade book in time for Thanksgiving (since it is a great Christmas read).

I was wondering if anyone had any feedback on working with Createspace. Can you actually create a book for free? Are the books of good quality? Can I keep selling my work through Pubit! and KD as is?


Jenelle I have published my book through Createspace and am very happy with the experience.

Yes, you can create your book for free. You have to be willing to take the time to format your interior according to their standards, and create your own cover. You can pay them to create a cover for you... but if you have the ability (or a friend with the ability) to create/paint a cover for you, I recommend doing that. The only cost to you is buying a proof copy (if you want, you can skip that step... but I recommend buying the proof copy, just to make sure everything turns out the way you want it to).

The books are of very good quality, seem like any other "traditionally published" book on my shelves. (I only wish they had a "mass market" paperback size option in addition to their "trade paperback" size (the difference is that mass market is 4x6 while trade paperback is 8.25x5, though trade is becoming a more popular size even with traditional publishers, particularly in the YA genres).


Denise Baer | 34 comments Hi Robert,

I published my book on Createspace and I'm satisfied with the quality. As the author, you will do the formatting and uploading of files, which gives you control of your book.

One thing I highly advise is that you order a proof copy. It's very important to go through a book in print as opposed to editing it online. You're better off going through it page by page fixing formatting and editing before making it available. I paid for 2 proof copies.

Good Luck!


Robert Tabb (Robert_C_Tabb) | 43 comments Jenelle and Denise, thanks for the feedback.


Iain Coggins (IainMavroCoggins) | 16 comments I'm considering Creatspace for my recently published ebook. I don't know much about it, however. How much do they charge for proof copies?


Robert Tabb (Robert_C_Tabb) | 43 comments Iain,

I think it is the cost of a book and shipping.


Caron Rider | 38 comments I think they email you coupon for your proof so it ends up being free or just the cost of shipping. I like my book through createspace.


Cassandra Giovanni | 18 comments I used createspace to print my book, and I actually found the quality to be even better then the quality of some major published paperbacks I have bought recently. You do have to do all the formatting and if you want it to work properly for the manuscript change it from a .doc or .docx into a PDF. You can upload as a .doc or .docx, but when you do the formatting doesn't necessarily fit, therefore one can end up with blank pages. You can avoid this by converting the file into PDF. The cover formatting was a pain for me. They have a "cover creator" and I advise you use this instead of using the downloadable templates. When I used the downloadable template for size, they still told me it was the wrong size etc. The good thing is they review your files to ensure best print quality.
As for price, when you order your own copies either proof or otherwise you pay a cost depending on size, and how many pages, plus 3.95 shipping for the 1st book and .50 per each book after this. As for message 7 and the coupon, I never received one, but found the pricing to be very reasonable for my novel. I can order around 10 copies for 52 dollars, and then I sell them for 10.00 signed with a bookmark. Good luck! If you begin and have more questions, feel free to message me!


Iain Coggins (IainMavroCoggins) | 16 comments Thanks Robert, Caron & Cassandra! Another question: how do they handle volume printing? Do you order as many books as you think you'll need, or are there set runs that you are held to?


message 10: by Dennis (last edited Jul 01, 2012 08:01AM) (new)

Dennis Maley | 11 comments The CreateSpace paperbacks are POD - print on demand - so there's no volume discount to the author.

I'm chiming in here a little late, but I figger I spent $800 or so with CreateSpace and another $700 or so along the way. I found my own editor (CreateSpace will edit for a fee, I declined), I paid to license some photos (CreateSpace gives you an allowance and uses royalty-free art... didn't like it) but they did design the cover. I got a POD paperback and Kindle. I would use CreateSpace again.


Cassandra Giovanni | 18 comments I order what I think I will need. I've placed 3 orders thus far, and keep having to order more. I place it on my credit card, and then pay it off once the books are sold. You save by buying more because then you pay less in shipping in the long run, but for me it's what I think I will need. They ship the books very quickly,and I have them in less than 5 days depending on what day during the week I place the order. I've ordered upwards of 15 without a problem, and I am sure you could order more than that if you wanted.
Oh, and I meant to mention when you asked about KD (I am assuming you are talking about Kindle Direct, if I am wrong ignore this), createspace is actually a part of Amazon, and puts your book on Amazon. The thing that is not so great about that is when someone orders you're book from Amazon instead of you're createspace e-store Amazon really cuts into royalties. I sell my book for 9.99, if someone buys it from my e-store I make about 3ish in royalties. If someone buys it from Amazon I only get 1ish. It does allow visibility to permeate more and offers the customer free shipping. If they order from your e-store they have to pay about 3.50 shipping or so. I am running an offer that if a customer orders from createspace instead of Amazon I will ship them a signed bookmark. I'm fairly new to this though, and haven't had any bites.


Iain Coggins (IainMavroCoggins) | 16 comments Thanks again to you all!


Robert Tabb (Robert_C_Tabb) | 43 comments Dennis, thanks for the feedback. Cassandra, I appreciate your extensive replies. I definitely have some more questions I will message you about.


Cassandra Giovanni | 18 comments Excellent, I'm glad I could help!


Florence Osmund | 60 comments I share my experience publishing with CreateSpace on my website. http://www.florenceosmund.com I hope that helps.


message 16: by Sherri (last edited Jul 13, 2012 07:26PM) (new)

Sherri Moorer (SherritheWriter) | 26 comments Have those of you that used CreateSpace found an increase in your book sales since you have a "physical copy" of the book to offer? I'm wondering because I have my novella, "Quarantine" on KindleDirect and if the only cost is the proof copy then I might consider this - but I'd like to know if it boosted your sales before I invest that kind of time into doing it. Thanks!

Sherri Fulmer Moorer Anywhere But Here by Sherri Fulmer Moorer Blurry by Sherri Fulmer Moorer Quarantine by Sherri Fulmer Moorer


Sandra Almazan | 14 comments Sheri, while the physical book doesn't seem to help me much with online sales (probably because I can't figure out how to get Amazon to link the e-book and and p-book), it's useful if you have venues where you can sell in person. I write science fiction and fantasy, so I bring physical copies of my book and sell them at conventions. I also gave a copy to my local library in hopes of gaining readers and building a fanbase.


Sherri Moorer (SherritheWriter) | 26 comments Thanks. I wondered because people ask if there are physical copies of my books, and there isn't one for "Quarantine." I am still considering it, though. Like you said, there are advantages to having a print copy available.


message 19: by Rebecca (last edited Jul 16, 2012 11:06AM) (new)

Rebecca Douglass (RDouglass) | 120 comments I'm not sure there's a connection between sales of my book in print and the ebook, but it's nice to have both--maximize your audience. Also, like Sandra, I hand-sell copies of my book whenever I have the chance. At this time, my book is also in libraries in two jurisdictions on opposite sides of the country, which is pretty cool!


Rebekah Martin (martinbeks) | 16 comments I'm glad I found this thread before I posted my own. Answered all my questions! Thanks, everyone! :-)


Robert Tabb (Robert_C_Tabb) | 43 comments Thanks to everyone for all their contributions to this thread. I am excited to get a couple of books switched over to Createspace in the coming months. I'll update everyone with my experience.


Uke Jackson (UkeJackson) | 78 comments Good luck, Robert! I'm late to the conversation but have had great experience with them. My only quibble is that they need to offer the option of a better quality coverstock.

Maybe if a number of people requested it they would accommodate us. The quality of the current coverstock they use is what it is. Leave a copy of a book laying around and of its own volition the cover will rise and curl slightly.

They are cheap paperbacks, but still. It would be nice to have the option of cover that would give the books the look and feel of trade paperbacks.
Uke Jackson


message 23: by Cassandra (last edited Jul 18, 2012 02:43PM) (new)

Cassandra Giovanni | 18 comments Uke wrote: "Good luck, Robert! I'm late to the conversation but have had great experience with them. My only quibble is that they need to offer the option of a better quality coverstock.

Maybe if a number of ..."


Interesting, I have not had this problem.


Rebecca Douglass (RDouglass) | 120 comments I may have to leave a book out flat and see. I bet it has to do with humidity, though.


Jack Sakalauskas (delta61) | 51 comments I agree with Denise. You have to order a proof and go over it page by page. They are doing my second book right now and there is one issue with the cover which doesn't matter with an ebook.
As far as sales are concerned, they are almost equal.
I did it the first time so I would have a copy for myself and some to hand out.
Pleased with the results.


Susan Hayes My first book was published through createspace and kindle and I've been very pleased so far. Sales are surprisingly equal between the two, which I wasn't expecting.

Do order the proof and go over it with a fine toothed comb. I found that things like spacing and widows/orphans/runts showed up far better on paper than they did in Word.

The templates createspace offers are great, but be aware that despite what they claim about being able to upload your 5X8 (or whatever size you choose) formatted book to kindle, you won't want to do it. Kindle requires very different formatting.

I spent $25 dollars to have my book sold in the "expanded channels" but that and the cost of the proofs/shipping is all I spent to have my book published. I liked them enough the proofs of my second book are in transit. (I can't wait to see it!)


Cassandra Giovanni | 18 comments Do you think the expanded channels helps you reach more readers?


Uke Jackson (UkeJackson) | 78 comments Rebecca wrote: "I may have to leave a book out flat and see. I bet it has to do with humidity, though."

You know, Rebecca, I thought that too. But it happened here and in Ireland -- quite different climes.

I now have 5 books published through CreateSpace and overall I am very pleased. But that coverstock screams, "Cheap. Cheap. Cheap." Just stop in any bookstore and compare.

I also think they do themselves and their authors a disservice by not having a unified listing of all an author's titles, like Amazon does. Since they don't have that, I only link the Amazon page in messages etc.

As to sales, I sell the most paperback at gigs. I put the books right out there with the CDs. I'd have to sift through a lot of emails and reports to compare ebook to physical sales. So, no idea there.


Susan Hayes Cassandra wrote: "Do you think the expanded channels helps you reach more readers?"

It's only been a week so far so it's much too soon to be able to tell, but for $25 dollars I considered it a good investment "just in case" things go very well and book sales take off. *crosses fingers*


Robert Tabb (Robert_C_Tabb) | 43 comments Uke, Jack, and Susan. Thanks for your contributions. I have finally gotten the formatting set for the inside of the books and now have to tackle getting my cover image into a high enough resolution and small enough size.


Robert Tabb (Robert_C_Tabb) | 43 comments There was definitely a learning curve to setting the interior of book as well as working on the cover. I almost forgot to add page numbers (my wife caught it) and I just noticed I had two Chapter 26s. I've order a couple of review copies to help me catch anything else, but I'm pleased with what Createspace has enabled me to make.


Rebecca Douglass (RDouglass) | 120 comments Robert, do your best to bribe someone who hasn't yet read your MS at all to read that proof--nothing like fresh eyes (even at that, it wasn't until a friend was looking more closely for some "favorite paragraphs" for a promotion that she found the word I left out of a sentence).


Robert Tabb (Robert_C_Tabb) | 43 comments Rebecca, I have lent a proof copy to a friend to read. Speaking of the proof copies, I was glad I ordered some as the top margins were too short and a lack of a copyright page was a glaring omission in print. I also received feedback on improving the cover which I believe was a huge leap in the correct direction. The Glass Collectors by Robert C. Tabb I will definitely be ordering another proof copy before distribution.


Richard Hackett Jr (rhack) | 14 comments I've now used Createspace for two of my books The Black Dragons by Richard A Hackett Jr. and The Eyes of the Heart by Richard A Hackett Jr.. I agree that you want to order a few proofs (I found a few errors in layout once I held the book in my hand that I missed in the pdf proof). I was very impressed with the quality of the books. I've found that shipping takes a little longer to receive than they claim, so if you are in a crunch, give yourself a extra day or two for wiggle room.


message 35: by Richard (last edited Jul 29, 2012 09:44AM) (new)

Richard Sutton (RichardSutton) | 131 comments Proofs are cheap insurance! I had a huge problem with my first book that proofing and careful file-naming could have solved. I ordered proofs and found errors twice in succession, so I edited and uploaded what I thought was the edited document. I also ordered several review copies without first proofing the results. You can imagine the outcome, of course, which still lives in the Amazon review postings. I've now gotten in the habit of renaming my titles filenames numerically with each edit or rewrite, and deleting the previous copies. I also really carefully check the file dating before I upload anything. For me the learning curve was a long one, but eventually I got it. By the way, those first reviewers liked my book despite the stupid grammatical and punctuation errors. Much better, now.


Michael Brookes (Technohippy) | 489 comments The Cult of Me

I've just ordered the first proofs for my e-book. Exciting :-)


Robert Tabb (Robert_C_Tabb) | 43 comments I am in the process of awaiting my second proof to arrive. It was helpful to hold an actual copy and notice the need for a title page, more margins, page numbers, more interesting chapter numbers, and yet a different cover.

I also went through and reread The Glass Collectors, but instead of going from the first page to the last I employed the Slaughter House 5 method of skipping around to random chapters. Doing this allowed me to focus on the actual writing as opposed to the plot. I made right around a hundred revisions. Some were just word changes or deletions, but I came across a spot where I spelled reading without an a and used the word respectfully when I meant to write respectively.

Anyway, I won't know how I like the sales portion of Createspace until October, but for under $20 to create a professional looking paperback I can make a decent profit off of I'm pretty pleased. Now, I did spend many hours working with the cover creator and designing the interior so if anyone needs help in the future, drop me a message.

Thanks for the feedback. I'll repost when The Glass Collectors is released.


Tom Barry | 2 comments One consideration is that if you are using createspace you are flagging up that your book is self-published, which some believe will stop national press etc reviewing it. A well produced book with a self-publishing partner like Matador (Uk), may help overcome this.


Richard Sutton (RichardSutton) | 131 comments It's always helpful, to have a professional help with your work, but none of them work for nothing. If you have shallow pockets, and can do your own design work competently, then it's hard to beat CS. Once it's reviewed, it is then distributed worldwide through Baker and Ingram as well as within the Amazon network. I just published my third book through CS.


Robert Tabb (Robert_C_Tabb) | 43 comments Richard, I agree. Too many of the self-publishing companies business models are to make money of selling services, not books. My friends and the students at schools I do author visits at don't care who the publisher is.


Richard Sutton (RichardSutton) | 131 comments At one time, not so long ago, POD publishers were actively labeled "Vanity Presses" and authors who resorted to their use always lived under the derision that resulted. Not any more. The industry-promulgated and reinforced role as gatekeepers is slipping fast, and soon, the market will be the primary arbiter of quality and substance. This puts more pressure on authors than ever before, to hone and polish their work, but it also means that the aspersions are being forgotten by readers.


Cassandra Giovanni | 18 comments I might add that there also seems to be a readership that is gearing towards reading mostly indie authors. I think that readers like the idea that they and not the powers that be, can make the decision of who is good and who is not. I think it also speaks highly of supporting another person's dreams.


Michael Brookes (Technohippy) | 489 comments I've approved my proof, so just waiting for it to appear in the Amazon stores.

I have to say the process was quite straight forward. I had some trouble with margins, but switching from Word to PDF fixed that.


Richard Sutton (RichardSutton) | 131 comments One of the things that has helped me producing books with Createspace is, when you're sure you're not going to be pitching the book anymore for agents, etc., to change the page size in MSWord to the CreateSpace trim size and revise the margins to the book page margins you want to use. That way, you'll eliminate lots of the extra spacing between chapters, paragraphs, etc., that can crop up as your pages re-wrap themselves to the new size during rewrites, etc. I also have learned to begin from the end, and work my way forward through the manuscript removing all dead space, extra returns, etc. Finally after the line editing is done, I then add page numbers and the header with title and my name. Of course, all headers and footers will have to come off for eBook production as eBooks number themselves depending upon size, etc. One more tip. I use twelve point fonts, minimum. It may take a few extra pages, but it means no one will have an issue reading your work.


Michael Brookes (Technohippy) | 489 comments In fairness I used the template they provided. I'll be a bit more adventurous next time :-)


Uke Jackson (UkeJackson) | 78 comments Tom wrote: "One consideration is that if you are using createspace you are flagging up that your book is self-published, which some believe will stop national press etc reviewing it. A well produced book with ..." Tom, I must disagree. First, with a house like you're talking about the author has to buy an immense number of copies from the start, then arrange distribution. With Createspace, it's POD and you can order as many copies as you like, when you need them.
Likewise, instead of sitting with boxes full of books in your garage, trying to figure a way to get them out there in front of the public, with CreateSpace you have immediate distribution in many parts of the world. And mainstream reviewers will recognize books from the old time vanity presses just as quickly as they do with CreateSpace books.
The only problem I have with CreateSpace is their refusal to offer options on the cover stock. Maybe that has to do with the POD machines.
And believe me, the old school vanity presses, like Matador, are no great shakes at design etc, from the couple examples I've seen.
Admittedly, I'm very fortunate in that my neighbor across the street is a graphic artist who designs magazines and so forth. He's great with InDesign, and we've been able to put out some handsome books, imo. They also happen to be good reading, if I do say so myself.
Uke Jackson


Richard Sutton (RichardSutton) | 131 comments Here! Here! Uke knows that of which he writes!


Uke Jackson (UkeJackson) | 78 comments Thanks, Richard. Actually, CreateSpace is a quite different animal from vanity presses. The mainstream elites are resistant to that mindset as it threatens their exclusiveness and control (power). But really, the term vanity came from the idea of people being willing to expend lots of money to print their books. The $20 or $30 one spends on CreateSpace is hardly indicative of vanity. More like an opportunity.
Uke Jackson


Robert Tabb (Robert_C_Tabb) | 43 comments I agree with Richard and Uke on many points. If a book doesn't sell well with Createspace, you might have lost hours of work, but not tons of cash. One of the other things I liked about CS was the multitude of trim options. Even though it cost a little more in terms of pages, I felt the 5.06 x 7.81 trim has a better feel for middle grade fiction then the 6 x 9.


Richard Sutton (RichardSutton) | 131 comments ... and I like the 5 x 8 trim -- I'm just glad that there is still a choice at all!


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Books mentioned in this topic

Anywhere But Here (other topics)
Blurry (other topics)
Quarantine (other topics)
The Glass Collectors (other topics)
The Black Dragons (other topics)
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Sherri Fulmer Moorer (other topics)