Writing ebooks for Amazon Kindle is a popular way for writers to get their work published and earn money. Many people are already familiar with this popular money making method, after all, ebooks are very popular and easy to create. Have you however, ever wondered how to publish physical books? Not only do some of us prefer buying a book we can hold but many types of genres work better in physical book format. Puzzle books and colouring books for example, don’t really work as ebooks. The good news is that not only does Amazon offer their kindle self publishing programme (KDP) but they also offer print on demand self publishing using CreateSpace. Like KDP, CreateSpace is free to use and is a way to sell books you have created, for sale on Amazon. I’m going to discuss the process of publishing using CreateSpace, using my very own example of a book I have published on Amazon!
What is CreateSpace?
CreateSpace is a company which is a part of Amazon. In a nutshell, users upload a file copy of their book which, if approved, is listed for sale on Amazon. When a person buys your book then Amazon print your book and post it to the customer. You then receive your royalty. It is completely free to publish a book with CreateSpace however they do of course take a percentage of your sale. How much royalty you will receive depends on whether your book is printed in black or white or colour, the size and number of pages. The royalty you receive from publishing on Createspace is much lower than it is with KDP as it is typically around 30% or less whereas with KDP it is 70% (for a book priced at 2.99 or higher). That is down to the fact that physically printing books obviously costs money. You can calculate exactly how much you would receive if your book sells by using CreateSpace’s Royalty Calculator.
How do I make money with CreateSpace?
You may already have an idea for a book that you just want to get published or you may be interested in creating and selling a book using CreateSpace purely for the purpose of making money. I was in the second group and thought about earning from publishing my own books. The big question is what niches sell? Not only can you sell physical copies of fiction books but there is a wide range of non fiction genres to consider doing. Because writing really isn’t my best skill, I opted for an idea which required little writing and eventually came up with…… Sudoku books! So I published a Sudoku book using an online puzzle generator and lots of editing. HOWEVER, my book was a failure because I hadn’t done one crucial thing – RESEARCH! Sudoku books were most popular about 10 years ago so I should have known there isn’t as much demand for them anymore. If I had done my research beforehand then I would have seen that are loads of sudoku books on Amazon already. If you come up with a potential idea then make sure to spend some time searching on Amazon first. How much competition is there already? How can your book stand out from the others? If you’re stuck for ideas then have a look at Amazon’s BestSellers category which can be broken down by niche. Whilst research is definitely important sometimes you just don’t know how well a book will sell until its published.
How do I publish a book using CreateSpace?
First thing to do is to sign up to CreateSpace. Once you have done that then it’s time to get back to the actual creating of your book! Most people will use Microsoft Word or Open Office but the most important thing to remember is that it needs to be in the right format, keeping content between the margins. If your book is not correctly formatted then it may not pass the CreateSpace upload process or it may be approved but with errors. Luckily you can find templates to work with or create your own if you make sure to follow CreateSpace’s guidelines.
Templates for Word users can be found here. You will need to decide on your book size if you are using a template, there are various sizes to choose from – I would probably go for 6×9 for a novel type book or 8×10 for a text or puzzle type book.
You will notice that the margins on one side are slightly bigger to take into account losing page space when it is printed and bound together.
If you are using any images in your book then make sure they are in JPG format and Amazon requires that they are 300dpi in order to keep the quality during the printing process.
If you need to edit your images then I highly recommend using Paint.net if you don’t already have it which is free to download. If your images aren’t originally JPG then you should be able to find a file converter online.
When it comes to putting your book together then make sure chapters on the book start on separate pages. You may want to have a blank page before each chapter starts. You usually just need to hold ‘ctrl’ and ‘return’ to add a new blank page. Consider whether you need a contents page and leave at least one page at the beginning for noting the ISBN/publishing info (Note: You will be given an ISBN no. from CreateSpace at the beginning of the process so will need to go back and add it before you get to the upload stage).
Now I should mention the Book Cover – There are several options to choose when creating a book cover. The first option is to create your own cover. You can either create a cover yourself using photoshop if you have it or Canva. (If using Canva you need to use custom dimensions that you will be given when you get to the book cover part of the upload process). You could also pay somebody on Fiverr.com to create one for you. Don’t forget that as well as a book cover, because you are creating a physical book you also need a back cover. It’s probably a good idea to add a short description of the book on your back cover. If have gone down the DIY/pay somebody route then you should have two files – One for the front cover and one for the back cover.
If that all sounds too complicated for you then fear not – the other option for creating a book cover is by using CreateSpace’s very own cover creator! This is a free tool that creates a front/back cover for you and is a much easier option. The only downside is it is only customisable to a certain point so you might not be able to achieve your desired look.
If you are going to be using the CreateSpace cover creator then you don’t need to do anything about the cover at this point
So let’s say your book is ready is ready and currently in word/odt format. Now its time to get it login to CreateSpace and get your book published on Amazon!…
Please head to Part 2 for help on uploading your book using CreateSpace!