Recently I’ve had some friends message me asking, “Hey, how doth one createth a book on yonder Createspace?”
Never fear, fellow writers! A guide is within your sights!
So without further ado, here’s a step-by-step guide to making a book on Createspace!
Before starting this guide, make a Createspace account, which is very simple and easy!!
Step 1: Add New Title
This blue button will be on your member dashboard after creating an account. Click the button!
This page will come up. Apparently Createspace lets you make Audio CDs, DVDs, and Video Downloads. I literally never noticed because I was too busy clicking on Paperback.
Insert a title. Click whichever type of product you’re making, I assume its paperback, and then click the Guided process.
So now you’re on the Title Information page. Add the title, who wrote it (I assume its YOU), and if you had any contributors like an illustrator or someone else who wrote it with you. The subtitle is for a phrase to go along with your book, like “Winter is coming” but its not necessary unless you want to. If you’re not interested, leave it blank.
If your book is part of a series, mark that too!
Edition number will probably be at 1, so leave that at 1.
Publication date. No, Createspace does not allow pre-orders on their products, so you will be unable to put a future date up for your book. KNOW THIS IN ADVANCE. Ebooks can be put up for pre-order, whether they be on KDP or Pronoun, or any other site, but Createspace products cannot.
For now, we’re leaving the publication date blank. Leaving it blank means this book will not be published until I go back to this page and click the publication date and hit SAVE.
Dear Createspace, please allow pre-orders. Please and thank you.
Next up is the ISBN. Every paperback book needs one.
Now, this step can seem a bit confusing, so I’ll explain. If Createspace, or any other company, provides you with a free ISBN, that means that they own the rights to that particular ISBN. Not the rights to the book, just the ISBN. You can’t use that ISBN on any other publishing site.
Createspace offers a personal ISBN that means you can use it on other sites, however it costs $99 bucks. (Ouch!)
Or, alternatively, you can provide your own.
I’ve done research over this, and buying your own ISBN can be risky, because a lot of sites buy official ISBNs in bulk and then sell them for less so that they own the rights to your ISBN.
Lots of sites claim that they’re the only “Official sourse” of ISBNs, and if I’m being 100% honest, I’m not sure where the “real” ISBNs are sold. That just goes to show you how bogus this part of your publishing process can be.
Never fear! The FREE Createspace ISBN, or the $99 one they provide will work for you, so you don’t need to go anywhere else! I chose the free one, but you are free to do whichever one works for you!
Now comes the nitty gritty. Uploading your interior, which in laymen’s terms means your manuscript.
Is your book illustrated? Choose the color option. No? Black and white will do.
Paper color? I chose cream. I like the look of it better than white pages, because white pages look more like a textbook rather than a fiction novel. Don’t agree? Pick white, son.
Book size. When I first made my novel Knight of the Hunted on here, I didn’t understand the book size thing. Maybe I didn’t see that there were other size, or maybe I saw the words “6×9 offers the widest distribution options”, but I chose the standard 6×9 option. Funny story, regular “buy at a bookstore” books are never 6×9. My book is taller than the other books on my shelves.
These are all the size Createspace offers. Feel free to pick whichever one you want! Measure your favorite books and see what size they are. If they’re smaller than 6×9, then choose the size closest to what you want. You don’t have to go with 6×9, its just a suggestion.
(P.S. Mass Market Paperbacks are 5×8, in case you’re wondering)
After choosing a size, you upload your manuscript.
I cannot stress this enough, DO NOT FORGET PAGE NUMBERS. I did that with my first proof and I had to order a second one because there were no page numbers!!
Before uploading, try to fix the size of your manuscript to the size of the book. I made mine 6×9, and it gives me a better idea of if there will be blank pages or a lot of empty space on a page. If you don’t do this step, Createspace will complain at you for not doing it and say, “hey there were errors in your manuscript and we had to reformat it”. That might freak some people out, so just take care of it before hand.
If your book is a pdf, pretty sure it will have to be the right size, so don’t forget to do that!
You will need to add the standard Copyright page and Title page, Createspace will not do it for you. Upload it, and go!
Once its uploaded, you can view the interior and see if everything looks right. The shadow over the center is normal, just to show you where the binding will be.
Pretty cool to see it all laid out, right? Well we’re not finished yet!
It’s time for the cover! You can choose between Matte and Glossy. I have tried both, and I prefer Matte. Both show more fingerprints than a crime scene, but the Glossy option is waaay more obvious that its dirty. Again, go with what you want! Glossy, Matte, they’re both nice.
After you’ve chosen what type of material you want your cover to be made from, its time to make or upload your cover!!
And look, Createspace offers a $400 option to make a cover for you, isn’t that adorable! They think we’re made of money, its so cute.
Forget that option, you can do this on the cheap!
Fiverr.com is an amazing cheap option for cover making. The most I’ve ever paid for a cover was $25 for a paperback cover, and it was amazing quality! Navigate the site, find the best artist for you, and get that cover made!
Only, what if you want to make your own? Createspace offers that too! I don’t recommend it because it looks unprofessional, but hey, this is about your book!
They offer a variety of layouts, and this is only page one! They have full layout options, or even if you have just the front, or just the back. You can fiddle with it all you like.
I won’t go into details about making your own cover, because its a different topic altogether, but whether you make your own, or pay someone else to do it, get that cover done!
Once your cover is uploaded, you click to the next page, where you’ll submit your files for review! That takes a few days, so wait patiently for that email to say its finished!
When the review is done, you can do one of two things. Order a proof copy, or proof it digitally online. Pick one, and continue on to the Sales Channels.
I had a lot of issues with this part early on, but I’ve worked out how to do it properly.
This is step one, the easy bit. Do you want your book on Amazon in Europe and Createspace estore? Great! (P.S. You get more royalties if people order from the Createspace store!)
This is where it gets hinky. Now, offering your book to bookstores and online retailers sounds amazing right? Omg, my friends in other states will be able to see my book in their local bookstore! Nope. That’s not what that means. Sure, bookstores will have the option of putting it in their store, but the downside is horrible.
Making your book available for online retailers means that other stores on Amazon/ebay/etc. can sell your book in their stores. Sounds fine? They can also put it cheaper than your official copy, and in my instance, I get $2.14 for every official paperback sold on Amazon. When online retailers sold a copy, I got $.14 cents. I was so disappointed, and I immediately took that option off on my sale channels.
The library option is fine, good even, because it means libraries can buy your book to put on their shelves.
The third option is also unchecked, but I’m not entirely sure what that one would mean for my book. It basically means bookstores can order your book in bulk to sell on their shelves. I’m not sure how much royalties you would get for that, but if you want that to happen, hey, you do you!
Now we’re at pricing! Createspace makes a minimum price estimate for you, based on book size and page count. I chose a price very close to my minimum because I didn’t want to charge too much. You don’t have to do that! If you think your book is worth more than $10, then put it on there!
Cover finish will ask one more time if you want glossy or matte. But I thought I already specified? Too bad.
Its the last step! Put in your description, the category, your author bio, language, country, keywords (Omg those are so hard to pick), indicate if it has sexy times, or if its large print!
Now, even though that’s the final step, you still have to go back and choose the publication date, and publish it. Is there a page for that? Yes. I can’t get a screenshot of it right now, I apologize for that, but now that you’ve got the basics of Createspace, you should be able to find it!
I know, dropping the ball on you guys at the last second. I’m sorry!
I hope this helped you learn how to put your book on Createspace! If you have any questions, hit me up with a comment!
P.S. Createspace does offer a way to publish your book on kindle, but I wouldn’t recommend it because ebooks are formatted differently than paperbacks.