Self-publishing and selling your book on CreateSpace is very easy, just like self-publishing on amazon kdp setup process. But it might be a little bit confusing if you don't know some vital tips to follow. In this tutorial article, I will walk you through the various stages of setting up, self-publishing and selling on createspace platform with some book sales promotion and boosting strategies. Every book publishing platform has some advantages, pros and cons, with CreateSpace platform not excluded. But the difference is that amazon and createspace publishing platform advantages outweighed their disadvantages. Many self publishers and authors are yet to discover how powerful CreateSpace Print On Demand (POD) platform is. I discovered these awesome features long ago after checking out some other publishing platforms. This has made me to stick to amazon and createspace KDP. CreateSpace self-publishing platform is not as strict as that of amazon in the sense that you are freely allowed to also publish your book on other platforms after publishing on this POD platform.
For those who have not heard about CreateSpace Self Publishing book platform, it is a subsidiary of Amazon, the largest book publishing and marketing company worldwide. CreateSpace operates on Print On Demand (POD) system, which means, you just have to publish your book on this platform and anytime a buyer demands a copy of your book, CreateSpace prints and delivers your book to your customer even in your absence and also helps you to receive payment from the customer from which they pay you a certain percentage as your book royalty. CreateSpace accepts and markets various categories of books be it fiction or non fiction books, novels, textbooks, etc. CreateSpace does not only market books only, they can also help you to market and distribute your Audio CD, DVD and Video download. But I will only show you how to setup and publish a paperback book on CreateSpace.
What category of book do you want to publish?
CreateSpace will help you publish, market and distribute your book worldwide through its various distribution channels like: amazon.com, Amazon Europe You can also publish the kindle version of your book on amazon through CreateSpace.
Some CreateSpace Pre-Publishing Requirement & Tips
In addition to the general pre-publishing tips I explained in the Amazon Self-Publishing Guide, here are some that are very specific to CreateSpace that you should know before you continue with the publishing process.
Advice: This tutorial article is a bit lengthy because I explained every step bit by bit to make sure you self- published your books easily. It will guide you through your book setup and publishing Process. So prepare and relax your mind and then keep a cup of coffee or tea beside you!
The first thing is your book manuscript. Make sure you have properly formatted and converted it to the format and file extensions that amazon recommends and accepts. The only format that CreateSpace accepts for book interior and cover files is Adobe print ready PDF (.pdf).
PDF Interior and Cover General Specifications
- Supported PDF version: v1.4 and lower.
- Embed all fonts and images in your PDF file prior to submission.
- Submitted PDF files should not contain bookmarks, comments, invisible objects, or metadata.
- PDFs should be optimized. Optimization is useful to reduce your files size, allowing for higher performance when transferring, uploading, viewing and printing the files.
Here are Some Common Points of Failure:
- Layers and transparencies should be flattened in the PDF file.
- CreateSpace does not accept Open Prepress Interface (OPI) code in the PDF file.
- They do not accept any locked or encrypted PDFs.
- Crop marks or other printer’s marks should not be used on any files.
- Submitted PDF files should not contain bookmarks, comments, invisible objects, or metadata.
- The book description should be in compliance with the rules listed here.
- Missing Pages
- Title missing on the front cover
- Missing bar-code
- Incorrect pagination
- Books with upside down pages
You can use MS Word to edit, format, generate table of content and convert your manuscript from .docx format to .htm format by clicking to File tab > Save As > Select Web Page, Filtered in the Save As Type and then clicking on Save as shown below. When you upload it on amazon kdp, it will be converted to the required format automatically. Note that you will need MS Word version 2007 and later to achieve this.
Remember, book formatting and editing needs professionalism!. If you can not do it yourself, hire an expert.
Book Cover Design:
Another important thing is your book cover. Your book cover is the first to speak about your book when ever a potential buyer comes across your book. Always use professional book cover designs for your books. You can use software like Adobe Photoshop, Indesign, Illustrator, Spark and Canva, among others to design your book cover both for kindle and paperback formats.
Step by Step Guide to Set Up and Self-Publish Your Book on CreateSpace
Are You ready to publish your books on CreateSpace? Then follow this simplified guide. The procedure for setting up and self-publishing a book on CreateSpace is very similar to self publishing a paperback on Amazon, with just few differences which I will also point out in this tutorial.
Having shown you some reasons why you should publish on createspace and some pre-publishing tips, let me now walk you through the entire process of signing up or creating a CreateSpace account, how to set up the account and then how to self publish your books on this awesome platform step by step.
1. Sign Up To Create CreateSpace Publishing Account
Open your browser and go to www.kdp.amazon.com. Click on Sign Up at the top left corner to register.
Note that you personal information will be required like name, address, country, active email address (will be used for account verification), etc. as shown below and you will also be required to provide additional information, including your banking information, etc. And you will also fill a tax form as an individual or as a corporate body.
After the sign up process, a verification email will be sent to the email you specified during the registration process. Log into the email account and follow the specified instruction to verify your CreateSpace account.
2. Add New Title
After successfully creating an account and signing in, CreateSpace takes you to the Member Dashboard from where you can publish new books, edit and manage previously published book. You can also access book sales report through this dashboard. Click on the Add New Title link as shown below.
This takes you to the stage one of your book setup process page where you start your new project. Stage One has 3 Steps:
1. Tell us the name of your project (required)
Here you specify the title of book. Note that you have to carryout extensive keyword and market research in order to discover the best caption for your book which will help in its ranking and as a result yield more sales. Some of the tools you can use are merchant words, amz.one, KDP Rocket, KW Finder, etc.
2. Choose which type of project you want to start (required)
Here you specify the type of project you wish to carry out. You have four options:
- Audio CD
- Video Download
So choose option 1 (paperback) if you want to publish a book or choose any other option that suites you. But in this tutorial, I will choose option 1.
3. Choose a setup process (required)
You have two options here:
Guided: A step-by-step process with help along the way. As a beginner, choose this option because it gives you a step by step guide and explanation.
Expert: A streamlined single-page experience for those familiar with the process. This option makes the setup process very fast. This resembles more of Amazon's KDP book setup platform.
Choose any option that suites you by clicking on Get Started as shown below. You can also check out both options. Both options are very similar. The Screenshot below illustrates steps 1 to 3.
But in this tutorial, I will guide on how to setup and publish your book using the expert mode or option. You have two ways to navigate through the different sections of the book setup. You either scroll down the page or navigate through the different section by clicking the links in the left side par of the book setup page as shown below.
CreateSpace Books Publishing process has two main sections as specified in the screenshot above: Section 1 (Setup), Section 2 (Distribute) and Section 3 (Complete). Let me now walk you through each of the steps!
Section 1: SetUp
Section 1 helps you setup your book contents and has five sub-sections or steps:
- Title Information
- Physical Properties
Step 1: Title Information:
This sub-section contains eight steps:
1. Title (Required): This is your book's caption and is one of the places you can add some of your book's main keyword. Ensure you carried out extensive keyword and marketing research so as to find the most fitting key phrase to use as your book's keyword.
2. Subtitle (Optional): Although this field is termed optional but it is also necessary that you include it because it elaborates more about your book and provides another strategic position to insert some of your book's main and minor keywords.
If your book has a subtitle, it will display in your eStore and on your book's Amazon detail page, and may be used in other sales channels you choose. Your subtitle can have up to 255 characters, including spaces, which is about 48 words.
If your title will be available in other formats, such as Kindle, please make sure the Title and Subtitle information matches exactly. If you use other websites which have only one field for the Title, we recommend including both Title and Subtitle, separated by a colon (Title: Subtitle), to allow the Amazon detail pages to link automatically.
3. Primary Author (Required): This is the main author of the book. You can include the author's prefix or title, First name or initial, middle name or initial, last name which is required and then suffice.
4. Add Contributors (Optional): If there are other contributor(s) to the book such as illustrators, editors, and translators, etc. apart from the main author, you can include their name(s), specify their function or duty and then click the Add button as shown in the screenshot below, otherwise leave this field empty. These contributors will be listed on your product's eStore and Amazon product page, with their role.
Do not use all capital letters when entering additional contributors. For example, use Kelly Joseph and not KELLY JOSEPH.
For contributors with only a single name, use the last name field. But if you want to enter names with multiple initials, make sure to use both the first and middle name fields. For example, N.K. Joseph should be entered as:
First Name: N.
Middle Name: K.
Last Name: Joseph
5. Series Title and Volume (Optional): A series is a connected set of books. If your book is part of a series, check the box: This book is part of a series and identify where the book exists in the sequence with a volume number. Amazon and CreateSpace only accept volume numbers in numerical format ("1", "2", or "3"). Magazines and journals are also often grouped as a series. Identifying the series helps customers find other books in the series. Type the series name and the volume number. Most fiction novels use this.
6. Edition Number (Optional): This is the version of the edition of your book. Identifying the version number helps readers know whether the book is the original edition, or if it contains updated content. If this is the first time you have published this book, enter the numeral 1. If the book was previously published and the version you are publishing contains significant changes, enter the numeral 2, etc.
7. Language (Required): Choose the language with which you wrote your book by click the drop down menu. To help categorize and group your book effectively, provide the primary language of your book.
The primary language displays in your eStore and on your book's Amazon.com detail page, and may be used in other sales channels you choose.
8. Publication Date (Optional): Your publication date is the day you approve your book for publishing. Specify your book's publication date from the calendar. By leaving this field blank, CreateSpace will automatically assign the publication date for your book.
If you are re-publishing a book, you can enter the date the book was originally published here.
Note that publication date cannot be changed after you submit this book for publishing.
The screenshot below illustrates the procedures involved in setting up your book's title information.
Now let's go over to the next step!
Step 2: Generate or Submit Your Book's ISBN
This means International Serial Book Number. CreateSpace gives you to option here. You either use CreateSpace Assigned ISBN which is free or you Enter your own ISBN for the book. You can buy an ISBN for your book from bowker.com. consider buying your own ISBN if you are planning to publish your book on other platforms apart from Amazon and CreateSpace. Note that you can use CreateSpace Assigned ISBN on Amazon platform if you wish to also publish your book's paperback there. So make your choice as shown below.
Step 3: Setup Your Book Physical Property
Here, yo specify the physical properties of your book such as the Paper Interior Type, Paper Colour and the Trim Size.
Trim size is the final size of your book after it is printed, bound, and trimmed is called the. Trim sizes are always indicated as width by height, and are measured in inches, unless noted otherwise. For example, a trim size of 6 x 9 means the printed book will be six inches wide and nine inches tall.
Industry standard trim sizes such as the 6" x 9" and the 5" x 8" can be sold on Amazon.com and your eStore, and are eligible for all distribution outlets within the Expanded Distribution Channel (EDC).
Custom trim sizes can be sold on Amazon.com and your eStore, but are ineligible for the Bookstores and Online Retailers distribution outlet within the EDC.
NOTE: The options you specify here will also determine how high or low your book's printing cost will be. Book's with full interior colour, cream paper colour and small trim size have higher printing cost than those with Black and white interior colour, white paper colour and large trim size. Click Here to calculate your book's estimated printing cost and shipping order cost for different countries or manufacturing cost.
The screenshot below illustrates how to setup your book's physical properties.
Step 4: Upload Your Book Interior
The only interior book file format that CreateSpace accepts is pdf. Ensure that you have converted your interior book file to Print ready PDF format.
Also specify a bleed option for your book interior. Bleed refers to how images are positioned within your book.
If you do not want a margin around the outside edge of each page with an image, you'll need to format your images with extra variance and select the bleed option.
- Ensure that all images extend at least 0.125" from each top, bottom, and outer edge beyond the final trim size.
- Submit your PDF 0.25" higher and 0.125" wider than your selected trim size to accommodate the full bleed area.
- Account for variance by keeping all live elements (essential text and images that should not be trimmed) at least 0.25" away from the trim lines.
- Images cannot bleed across the middle of the book without a small white line in the book's gutter.
- If all your images are placed within a margin of at least 0.25" on every page, do not select the bleed option.
Upload your book interior from its save location as shown in the screenshot below.
Step 5: Upload Your Book Cover
Also CreateSpace only accepts PDF file format for your paperback book cover. You can either use the online cover creator by clicking the Launch Cover Creator or you upload your book cover from its save location as shown in the screenshot below.
I can also help you design a professional book cover! Email me if you need my service.
Here is a sample of a completed paperback cover in photoshop.
CreateSpace will preview your book before you can go the next step. Correct any error detected for your book interior and cover and re-upload them again.
Congrats! you just finished section one of your book setup process on CreateSpace. Now let me walk you through section 2.
Section 2: Distribute
Section 2 allows you to specify distribution channels where your books will be made available, your book's price and other Additional information about the Author and the book such as keywords, Authors biography, etc. This section has has five sub-sections or steps:
- Cover Finish
- Complete Setup
Step 6: Select a Cover Finish:
You have two options available: Matte and Glossy. Glossy has a smooth shiny surface and is mainly used for textbook. But you can choose any option of your choice as shown in the screenshot below since none of the options will increase or decrease your book's printing cost. I always choose Glossy for most of my books!
Step 7: Write Your Book's Description and Category:
This step requires three categories of information about the book and the Author. These information categories are:
1. Book's Description
2. BISAC category
3. Additional Information.
a. Your Book's description is another point that determines how your book will rank or sale because it what convinces a potential buyer if written well. It can also discourage a potential buyer if not written carefully. Your book's title should be enticing enough to convert potential buyers to your customer. It should also contain both your book's major and minor keyword. Therefore you should carry out a proper keyword research before you write your book's description.
The description tells potential customers about your title. The description displays in your eStore and on your book's Amazon.com detail page, and may be used as your book's description in other sales channels you choose. Your description can have up to 4,000 characters, or about 760 words.
Your book's description can be compared with the description at the back of a book and should keep the potential buyer to make the next positive decision (that is to buy the book). Also, try to focus on the book itself, but you may also include references to other comparable books or authors.
I wrote a tutorial article on How to Optimize Your Book's Rank for Amazon and Google Search engines.
b. Specify a BISAC Category for your book. BISAC means Book Industry Standards and Communications (BISAC) categories are used by the book-selling industry to help identify and group books by their subject matter. Choose the BISAC category that best fits your book.
c. Provide some Additional Information like:
Author biography: It tell potential customers about your book's author. You can include information about the author's background and qualifications, previous works, or personal interests. It displays in your eStore and on your book's Amazon.com detail page. The author biography can have up to 2,500 characters, including spaces, which is about 475 words on the average.
Book language: Provide the primary language of your book. This helps Createspace to categorize and group your book effectively and also to reach your book's real potential buyers. This is the language that is displayed in your eStore and on your book's Amazon.com detail page, and may be used in other sales channels you choose.
Country of Publication: Your book's country of publication should match the information associated with your ISBN.
If you are using a CreateSpace ISBN, simply choose the United States as your country of publication. Otherwise, choose the country that matches the information you provided when you purchased your ISBN if you provided the ISBN for your book
Search Keywords: Search keywords can help your title show up on both Amazon.com and other search engines. CreateSpace allows you to add up to five keyword phrases separated by commas. Insert phrases that you think customers are likely to use when either searching for your title specifically, or when shopping for products that may be similar in subject matter.
Specify whether your book contains some adult contents and also if you want a large print for your book by checking the boxes as shown in the screenshot below.
Step 8: Select Distribution Channels for Your Book:
There are about six distribution channels for your book in CreateSpace. They include:
- Amazon Europe
- CreateSpace eStore
- Bookstores and Online Retailers
- Libraries & Academic Institutions
- CreateSpace Direct
The first three are the Standard distribution channels. While the last three are the Expanded distribution channels.
Choose the sales channels to make your book available through as shown inthe screenshot below. To get the most exposure for your book, we recommend distributing your book through all eligible sales channels. You can modify your distribution options at any time. But note that if your book is already available for sale and you remove a sales channel, it can take some time for that sales channel to change the availability of your book. Some channels, such as Amazon.com and Amazon Europe, will continue to have details on your title and sell used copies.
Eligible channels are selected by default. Select Remove from the arrow for the channels you don't want before saving this page. Then click on Save or Save & Continue as shown below.
Step 9: Set a Price for Your Book:
Here CreateSpace allows you to set your book list price and calculate your royalties for each sales channel. You can also update your pricing at any time. But note that changes to your book's list price can take 3-5 business days to appear on Amazon sites and 6-8 weeks to take effect through Expanded Distribution.
The list price you set is your suggested retail price and is the basis for the royalty you earn when units are manufactured to fulfill a sale.
The easiest and best way to set a price for your book is to only type the price in USD and then check the box which will allow CreateSpace to suggest a price for other currencies based on the price you set in USD as shown in the screenshot below. This way, the accurate price will be calculated and displayed every time based on the current currency conversion rates. Then click on Save & Continue.
The list price you provide represents the full (non-discounted) retail price that will be listed for the book. Retailers may discount your book at their discretion, but your royalty rate will still be based on the list price that you set for the book. You can also set a separate list price for each currency.
Check the prices of similar paperback books published on Amazon and CreateSpace so that you don't set a very high price that buyers may find it difficult to pay. Try to find the optimum price for book.
Step 10: Complete Your Book Setup & submit for Review:
Here you review your title setup summary. If all of your information is correct, then submit your files for review by clicking the Submit for Review button. If you still want to make some changes later before you submit it for review, click the Save Progress button as shown in the screenshot below. You can edit your book's information before completing the setup of your project. Your book will be printed files exactly as submitted.
If you need to make any changes to the setup of your book, please note that your book will not be available for sale during that time and you will need to complete the review process again. You can still make changes to your cover finish, description or list price at any time.
Congrats! You have just completed your book's setup on CreateSpace.
After the review process,if no errors were detected in your book, CreateSpace will email you with a link to proof read and approve your book so that it can be made available for sale. You can either download a pdf copy of your book or use their online preview tool to proof read and then approve your book.