Createspace Report Card: Part 1

In a previous post, I told how I came to my decision to self-publish.  After having my manuscript professionally edited by one self-publisher, I learned of and moved to Createspace for everything else.  For the most part, I was very satisfied with their service.

 Services Offered and Negotiations

When I started my on-line research, Createspace had a six-column matrix of all the services they offered in the book department.  These, in turn, were divided into Standard Value Solutions (where I shopped) and Total Design Freedom Solutions.  (On a recent short visit there, it looks like they now have the Interor and Cover options split into two matrices.)

Aligned down the left column were eight general categories that, as you might expect, became more complex as you moved right into the more  expensive columns.  The general categories were: Price, Interior Images, Cover Design, Interior Formatting, Promotional Text Creation, Kirkus Discoveries Review, Editing Services, LCCN Assignment, and Press Release with Distribution.

Deciding what services you wish to buy is sort of like ordering from a Chinese menu: this-and-that from Column A but only such-and-such from Column B.

By the way, the prices may have changed since 2009 when I first printed out my matrix, but back then they started at $299 and went up to $4346.

If you choose to go with Createspace, you will need to contact them and they will assign a Publishing Consultant to your project.  One nice thing is you don’t get bounced around to a lot of different people.  I got Lynn Eang and she is still my consultant.  (She just worked with me to get by book ready for Kindle.)  The thing I really liked about Lynn and the Createspace set-up is they are willing to work with you and do it without any high pressure sale pitches.  Because my book had already been edited, I didn’t need that service which was part of a package I wanted to buy.  I explained this to Lynn, and instead asked her to  give, instead, me something else I needed from a different row.  No problem.

Next, you will need to sign a straight forward, plain English contract.  Remember, whatever self-publisher you go with, you are only hiring them to prepare and print your books and, in the case of Createspace, which is part of Amazon, agreeing to a distribution arrangement in which they will help sell your books for a cut of the profit.  You are retaining ALL other rights, e.g., foreign editions, movies rights, the ability to move to a different print-on-demand company, etc.

After that, you open a Createspace account on-line, you get an account number, and a design team will be assigned to work on your book.  In my case, the cover, the interior, and promotional text creation.  The whole idea of self-publishing and print-on-demand is computerization.  Everything you send to them and they to you will be done electronically.

Next time I will explain about working with the design teams.

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