“Why I Chose Create Space to Publish My First Book”

Written by Emily Harstone | July 2, 2013

My book, “Words to Thrive By: Powerful Stories of Courage and Hope” was published with Create Space. I had a great experience with all aspects of the Create Space process: writing, editing, audience demographic analysis, printing, shipping, online website support and the overall Create Space Community.

The service is extremely personalized at Create Space

I chose to have Create Space do an edit on my book before it was published, even though it had already been through another paid edit from a different independent editor. I wanted to compare my editing experiences.

The editor at Create Space was incredibly thorough, gave me great edits and corrections the other editor had missed. She also gave me tremendous encouragement, “I’m already using some of the suggestions you made in your book and they have really helped me in my life. Thank you!”

After the editing process, I received an email from the Head Editor from Create Space. She congratulated me on my book and let me know that her editors have “rarely, if ever, been so positive about a book in the Inspiration, Motivation and Self Help Genre.”

She then suggested that I might be “thinking too narrow in my demographic analysis” of my book’s potential audience.  She said she had discussed my book at length with her editor after reading her review notes and they had agreed that my book would “appeal to both men and women, which is extremely rare.”

When I wrote back and said, “But my audience demographic research revealed that women 30-70 read the majority of the self help books and men, rarely if ever, read self help books,” She replied, “Normally that is correct. But we feel yours is the rare book that will cross both male and female as well as Christian and secular audiences. So don’t think too narrow or sell your book short.”

And she was right. The majority of the 26 five star reviews currently on Amazon are from men. And I have sold thousands of books to both Christian and secular audiences, including hospitals and churches.

How Create Space Handles Challenges

I was also extremely happy with the quality of not only the editing, printing, training and website for Create Space, but also their handling of a print challenge I encountered in the first print run. When I complained that there was a problem with the interior photo quality of an initial print run of 200 books, Create Space sent me replacement books, completely free of charge, a $1000.00 cost to them. They really stand behind their commitment to unparalleled service.

Online Support

Their online support was and continues to be fabulous. Each author who publishes with Create Space has their own personal online “Dashboard.” On your Dashboard, you can do everything from monitor your books progress, get your ISBN numbers, establish your distribution channels and order books.

There are also many free resources available on the Create Space Member Dasboard such as advice on creating content, formatting files and marketing your book. You can also get other valuable training and helpful articles and also connect with other fellow Create Space authors. I reached out multiple times and received instant feedback and support from a nurturing group of writers.

Why I chose Create Space to Publish My Book

I chose to publish my book, “Words to Thrive By: Powerful Stories of Courage and Hope” with Create Space after considering and researching Lulu and also even after being offered a contract to publish through a successful NY publisher.

One of the prime reasons I did not go with a successful NY Publisher was I would receive about $.20 (yes, twenty cents) per book sold and I had to agree to be tied in with quarterly journals that would cost me around $450.00 per quarter to be listed with them as a publisher. The NY Publisher also would have charged me $150.00 for my ISBN number.

What It Costs

With Create Space, in what is now known as the “Author Express” program, it cost me $248.00 to upload my custom cover and supported interior book PDF files. My ISBN number was free. This program walked me through every step of the process. There are other more involved programs available where you can have them help you design a cover or become more involved with the interior layout and content. I didn’t need that as I did that myself.

What is “Print on Demand”

 At Create Space my book is considered a “Print on Demand” book. This means that every time someone orders a copy from Amazon or for a library or a bookstore, it triggers a print order. My book is printed and then shipped out at the speed designated by the buyer.

Out of the $14.95 list price, the breakdown is as follows: I pay $3.97 per book for the printing of each book. I get paid $5.00 ($2.64 for GBP) per book as my royalty per book. Amazon gets paid $5.98 per book as their profit. This royalty is then deposited in my bank account every month. It could not be easier and I have never had a problem getting paid.

With Create Space you also receive an “Author Central” page at no charge. There at my personalized web page, I can uploaded everything I wanted people to know about me as an author/speaker, including videos, photos, reviews, a synopsis of my book, a bio, my book tour schedule and even the blog roll from my private blog roll was linked and is updated in real time. My Author Central page has a direct link under my book page on Amazon.

I think all of the above is an amazing value for $247.00 to upoad a book for Print on Demand, a printing cost of $3.97 per book, Amazon’s profit of $5.98 per book and a royalty of $5.00 per book. This sure beats $.20 per book!

(Note: the editing package I purchased and outlined above cost an additional $850.00. It was totally worth it to me.)

Create Space 2.0 Event

I participated in their first Create Space 2.0 event in Seattle where we were able to present our “book pitch” to several publishers, editors and our writing peers. I received invaluable feedback on my “book pitch” which I have used many times since.

At the event, I met and talked with several of the Create Space management staff. I asked them why they were doing all this for authors and they replied, “Because we believe everyone should have free speech. The traditional publishers have controlled the system and taken advantage of authors for far too long.”

I would highly recommend Create Space to any author who is considering self publishing their book.

Mary Anne Dorward is CEO of My Real Voice and the author of the Words To Thrive By Book Series: www.WordsToThriveBy.com. Follow Mary Anne Twitter for Daily Inspiration: http://www.twitter.com/#!/wordstothriveby or like her on Facebook for Motivational Tips + Stories: http://www.facebook.com/WordsToThriveBy