There is a publishing option that won't put you out thousands of dollars or leave you with hundreds of copies collecting dust in your basement.
It's called Print-On-Demand, and it is changing publishing forever.
Amazon.com offers one of the best print-on-demand options available, called CreateSpace. Pull up www.createspace.com and you will notice three categories: authors, musicians and filmmakers. If wanting to publish a paperback book, click on the author section, then browse the options to learn about choosing the trim size for your book, download a template for the interior and cover of your book, and even calculate your royalty share based on the book price you choose.
As it can feel overwhelming to be responsible for so much, let’s take a tour through the process, as if you were using CreateSpace to publish your book.
1. Create an account on www.CreateSpace.com (see the long blue bar near the top of the website).
2. Next, click “Create a book.”
3. When the options appear, choose “Paperback book,” then click the “Get Started” button under the guided setup option, rather than the expert.
4. The site will give you easy-to-follow instructions, asking for information such as your book title, price, size, etc. Whenever it seems confusing, look for blue underlined phrases—usually those will give you helpful information about what they are asking.
5. You will need an ISBN number. CreateSpace will provide a free ISBN for your book unless you want to purchase your own.
6. When you get to the interior book section, download the template based on your chosen book size. Then copy and paste sections of your book into the template. It will look off kilter, but that is so it will look right when bound into a book.
7. Next is the cover. CreateSpace offers pre-designed templates to choose from, or you can download a blank template and create your own design.
8. Once your interior and cover are ready, they need to be saved as a PDF file. If you have an advanced version of Word, just go under “Save As” and it will give you the option of saving it into a PDF file. If you do not have that ability, you may have to pay to have someone else do it for you. (CreateSpace offers services for nearly every stage in the process.)
9. Now you’re ready! The website will lead you step-by-step to upload your interior and cover according to their specifications. Once done, you can order a proof of your book, and it will likely be in your hands within a week.
10. After thoroughly checking your new book, you either approve of it, or send a corrected version. Once it is approved, it is available for sale on your personal CreateSpace store page, and will be up on Amazon.com within fifteen days.
Whether you have a collection of family stories you want to give as unique Christmas gifts to twenty or thirty people, or you're hoping for a world-wide bestseller, print-on-demand is a great new way to get work in print without high up-front costs. If you’re a writer who wants to be in charge of your next book, marketing it yourself and seeing how well it is received, again, print-on-demand provides what you need at very little risk or cost.