For the last several months, I’ve been discussing my eBook progress with anyone who would listen, and I know people might be wondering when I’m going to stop yakking about the masterpiece and just upload it. Soon, very soon. What I’ve learned from this process is amazing, and I feel inclined to share it with anyone who just might be considering publishing a book, a short story, a collection of poems, or anything thing else written.
Daunted by the formatting and guidelines for uploading the material, I’d been investigating various options for uploading the book and had pretty much decided on a “company.” That is, until I went to the SC Writers Conference a couple of week ago, and a trustworthy and reputable person advised not to do that. “Try CreateSpace at Amazon,” she said. “Or maybe you’d like Smashwords better. Take a look at both before you decide.”
Then, as luck would have it, I began a conversation with another writer, Trilby Plants, who has published with CreateSpace. To hear her talk, the process was easy. After the conference, I got an email from David Maring, a retired judge from Georgetown, letting me know that one of his books was free that day on Kindle. Of course, I ordered it (who can refuse a free book?) and have enjoyed skimming through it. Both of these authors published using CreateSpace, and their work looks superb. They also used Kindle Direct Publishing, but I didn’t know that at the time.
“So,” I thought, “If they can do it, so can I!” Feeling confident, I ordered a book for my Kindle on how to use CreateSpace, and in no time at all, I was feeling more than a little overwhelmed. That’s when I discovered that CreateSpace is for paperback books and that I was studying the wrong material! Just to make sure that I wasn’t missing some important piece of the puzzle, I called Amazon customer service, and the kind, patient woman I talked with assured me that my mistake was a common one.
“What you need is Kindle Direct Publishing for your eBook,” she explained and then patiently answered all of my other questions. Here’s the scoop. Some people publish an eBook first and then decide they want to produce a paperback too. In that case, they start with KDP and then go to CreateSpace. Others start with CreateSpace and then opt to create an eBook as well. Still others choose to publish in only one way, either electronically or hard copy.
The above might have been more information than you bargained for, but then maybe there’s someone out there who is considering self-publishing but doesn’t know where to start. I wish I’d known the difference between these two options earlier in the week before I spent so much time trying to understand CreateSpace. I don’t see that time as being wasted, however, because as soon as the eBook is “live,” then I’m going to start working on the CreateSpace paperback edition.
Just curious, does anyone have any experiences to add? Or some advice?
Well done and folks need this explanation, for sure! Most of our clients have gone the CreateSpace way and then created Kindle editions, but today’s wisdom does speak to testing the waters with KDP first…
Thanks Shari. That advice means a lot coming from you! So does your comment. Since my original intention was for the eBook, I’m going that route first and will then tackle the paperback.
P.S. You’re theone who steered me in the do-it-yourself direction.