Laura Howard: Publishing with Createspace


Publishing with Createspace

 Print On Demand (POD) saves us from having to spend a fortune up front, but make sure you pay attention to these tips from YA/NA author Bethany Lopez so that your proofs come back great the first time!

The first time I used Createspace, I was amazed at how user friendly it was. I uploaded my book, followed all of the steps, and poof, my book was ready. When I received my first proof in the mail I realized how wrong I was, after a lot of jumping up and down, of course.

Createspace is user friendly, but if you’ve never done it before, there can be steps that you miss or don’t fully understand. I’ve uploaded five books so far, using createspace, and although I’m not an expert, I’ll share what I do know with you now. Hopefully this will make your process a little easier.

  1. Start by going to your Member Dashboard and clicking Add a New Title

  1. You will input the name of your book, select paperback, and then choose either Guided or Expert (For the purpose of this post, we’ll choose Guided)

  1. The first screen is the Title Information

    1. The title you inputted on the first page will already be there, but you can add a Subtitle if you have one
    2. Add yourself as the Author and add any contributors that helped you with the book, if applicable (Cover Design, Editor, etc…)
    3. If the book is part of a series, add the series title and which volume in the series you are uploading (1, 2, 3, etc…)
    4. Add the language your book is written in, and if you are releasing the book immediately you can add the publishing date. You cannot forecast the date for some time in the future, so if you are still in the beginning stages and just want the proof, leave this blank for now.

  1. The next screen will be the isbn information. It’s pretty self-explanatory. Most people just click the free isbn and let createspace assign one to them.

  1. Next is where you upload your book. You will choose whether you want your print in black & white or color, your pages in white or cream, and what size you want your book to be.  (I always pick b&w, white, and 5.25X8)

  1. Next you pick your cover. I have used three different options:

    1. When I started out, I used their cover creator. You can choose the layout, font, and photo that you want to use. It is a great program and you have no money to spend on a professional cover, or don’t know how to create a cover for yourself.
    2. I have also used the cover creator, but used a picture that I took and added the Title and Author to myself. They have a shell that you can upload your own photos too, but still use the formatting that they provide.
    3. Finally, I have recently started using professional cover designers. You tell them the book size, number of pages, and what information you want on the front and back of the book and they will send you the completed book cover. All you have to do then is select Print Ready Cover, and your cover is uploaded.

  1. Once you have completed the above, you will be ready to submit your book for review. Createspace will make sure that the files meet their standards, but that is all. They are not reviewing for content or anything else.

  1. Once they have approved your file, you will be able to either order a paperback proof of your book, or view your book online with the Digital Proofer. I do both. (There is nothing like receiving that first paperback copy of your book in the mail and being able to hold it in your hands.)

    1. Note – This is a great tool. This was the point with my first book when I realized I had no idea what I was doing. I took a book down from my shelf and compared it with mine. I realized that I needed to add page numbers, a header with the title and my name, start new chapters on odd pages,  add a title page, dedication page, copyright page, acknowledgement page, and about the author page. As I started putting out more books, I included a page that listed my books, as well as an excerpt for my upcoming book in the back.
    2. If you make any changes due to the proof, you will have to go back to step 7, resubmit, wait for their approval, and review the proof again. Once your book is perfect, you will click the button saying you approve the proof.

  1. When picking Distribution Channels, I always pick the Standard Distribution. I paid for the Expanded Distribution before, but didn’t notice a change in my sales.
    1. *Note – Paperbacks are wonderful, because you get to see tangible proof that your book is ready. You can put it on your shelf, send copies to people, do giveaways of it, and sign them at book fairs, but this is not where you are going to make your money. Self-Published Authors are going to make their money on ebooks. My advice is to pick the 70% Royalties on Kindle, and the 65% on Barnes and Noble, as well as uploading to Smashwords to get your book on Kobo, Apple, etc… For me, the Kindle has been my biggest selling distributor, but I do love my paperbacks!
  1. Next you will pick the price of your book. This is totally up to you. I would base it on the number of pages and content, and createspace will give you a minimum price point based on the same information, but this is your choice.

  1. On the Description page you will input your book blurb, choose your category (Adult Contemporary Romance, YA Fantasy, etc…), put your keywords for search engines (love, Young Adult, heartbreak, fantasy, elves, etc… Whatever content you have in your book that will help interested readers find your book.)

  1. They also offer to publish your file on Kindle, but I always go to Kindle Direct Publishing, and do it myself there. I have not tried doing it through createspace, so I’m not sure how it works.

  1. When everything is completed and your book has been submitted, it will immediately be live for purchase through createspace. There will be a link to the createspace page, and you can send it to potential buyers. It takes about a week for the paperback to be available on Amazon.

    1. *Note - It will not show up under your Author Page automatically. You will have to go to your Amazon Author Central Account, click books, then click add more books and find your book. Then you will click this is my book in order to get it added under you. It will take a few days to go live. You will have to do the same with the Kindle version. Amazon will not automatically link the paperback and Kindle versions together. You have to go to Help on your Author Central page, then click linking multiple editions on the left side of the page, and follow the instructions.

As I said, it’s not as simple as I first thought, but it is extremely user friendly and a wonderful option that’s available to Self-Published Authors!


What has your experience been like with CreateSpace?


  1. For those who aren't Word Savvy (like myself) you can download interior templates from the Createspace Community (which is FABULOUS, BTW)

    Once your book is in you can play around with font and size all while knowing your margins and header/footers will be right!

    The most helpful part about the template is that all the front pages are formatted (copyright, title page, table of contents) so you literally just have to plug in the info!

  2. This is very useful information. It really helps knowing what to expect. Thank you for sharing!

  3. I'm lucky I can pass all the formatting off to my tech savvy husband for digital and Createspace copies of my books. Even though you can proof the paperback copy of your book online at Createspace, I always order a proof copy just to be sure everything looks good before OK'ing it to be published on Amazon.

  4. Just like Allie I would absolutely recommend using the CreateSpace templates.

  5. What a wonderful run-down of the process ... thanks!

  6. CreateSpace is a good place to go if you want to try self-publishing. It's like a one-stop shop. Just to add that you can also purchase ISBN for POD..

  7. CreateSpace is a good place to go if you want to try self-publishing. It's like a one-stop shop. Just to add that you can also purchase ISBN for POD..

  8. Great article, thank you! I'm curious, let's say that I evaluate and approve a proof and then I print out a handful of copies. At this point, if I find an error that must be fixed, may I resubmit it? I assume that this would halt distribution util the fix goes through the system but would there be a fee associated? Also, would I resubmit it as a revision to the original project or cancel the old and resubmit it as new project? Please let me know if you have any advice on this matter. Thank you!


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