1. teralea

    teralea New Member

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    Self Publishing Homework

    Discussion in 'Self-Publishing' started by teralea, Jul 23, 2018.

    Help!!!
    I am trying to do my homework. I’ve published 3 novels on CreateSpace, but now that it is changing, I am looking for a new self publishing company. I don’t have a lot of money and I am terrible at marketing. I’ve been all over, looking at reviews and can’t decide who has the best distribution for the best price. I would like to design my own cover and keep as much creative freedom as I can.
    Due to serious changes in my life over the last two years I am switching genres and building a new author platform and I feel like I am drowning here.
    Any help I can get would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
     
  2. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    What services are you expecting the company to provide?

    Are you looking for e-book only or print as well?
     
  3. teralea

    teralea New Member

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    E-book and print both. I’m going to do as much marketing on my own as I can since I just can’t afford it.
    Mostly print and distribution.
     
  4. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    I think you're still able to upload files to CreateSpace for them to print and distribute for you, aren't you? They're not doing the more editorial/design/layout stuff, but if you're not looking for that, I think they'll still work.

    Alternatively, you could go straight to Amazon/KDP, but I don't think they have the same distribution CreateSpace does.

    I've used Smashwords for print books and they've been fine... it's a bit of a pain to have my e-books with one company and my print books elsewhere, but it's not that big of a deal.

    Or you could probably upload books directly to the booksellers (iBooks, B&N, Kobo, etc.)... I've never done that. Has anyone else?
     
  5. teralea

    teralea New Member

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    That’s one of the big questions: what DOES CreateSpace now offer as far as distribution? I’ve heard varying stories on that and even the information on their site is vague.
    I tried Smashwords, but that was a very long time ago. It’s worth checking out again. Thanks for that.
     
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  6. Lew

    Lew Contributor Contributor

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    CS still offers the same distribution as before, their standard, and extended distribution which includes B&N, Ingram (almost a requirement for indie book stores as they offer returns) and libraries. I have not used extended distribution as it raises the minimum price of the paperback, and I find marketing on B & N to be almost impenetrable, though someone else my have better info... i simply didn't try very hard. I dropped extended distro, as I sell about 10 Kindles per paperback.

    I contacted CS directly regarding their future, and they will eventually merge with KDP, and as of now, it is some time in the future, but not imminent. I hope they will keep the features I found very desirable, like the templates that make uploading the manuscript a snap. The biggest change is that, as @BayView said, they are dropping support for interior and cover formatting, both the free tech support I used when I first published, and the paid support to do it for you. Certainly the $200 for doing interior formatting was to me too high for something whichI found very easy, and their cover support was also expensive, about twice what @K McIntyre and I pay for our covers through FionaJaydeMedia.com. So i didn't miss much. I am annoyed that their tech support, which I thought was their best discriminator over others, won't apparently even talk to you about interior formatting, even when the problem is in one of their templates (header size)\. But I fixed it myself after only an hour so of salty sailor talk to the computer.... I think that serious cussing is what is meant by "programming in machine language"

    I also found their direct upload to Kindle format a breeze and a valuable tool, especially when listening to others on this site spend weeks with HTML and Mobi formatting for e-book when they already have a print-ready paperback master in Word.

    @teralea, I would be happy to talk to you about self-marketing, as I seem to be somewhat good at it, though as I have to @BayView many times, I am still not breaking even. But I am selling books, and about to hit the streets with one more, that one probably through the US Naval Institute Press.
     
  7. teralea

    teralea New Member

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    Thank you for the help!
    I’ve always used CS’s free services and extended distribution (like I said, not a lot of money.) I might be able to work my way through formatting and cover design, but that’s a big MIGHT.
    If that’s in the future, though, I feel fairly secure adding this new book to the site.
    When did you contact CS? The last rumor I heard was that the merger was this month. But it’s all so vague...
    ANY marketing advice you have would be bright spot in my day!
    ANY advice at all would be helpful.
    I know some of these questions may seem dumb, but I am starting over from scratch here.
     
  8. Lew

    Lew Contributor Contributor

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    I know the feeling, was there myself in December 2016. I will call CS and see what gives. I am hoping this will just consolidate a lot of redundant services, like royalties, account management, etc. So it might not even be visible to us the users. They were both subsidiaries of Amazon. KDP tried, I think unsuccessfully, to provide a Kindle to paperback route. I always saw that as a beta product, so I didn't try it. CS upload to Kindle has been very easy and reliable.

    Marketing is a challenge. Self-publishing means self-marketing. PM with your e-mail and I will give you some tips. FB is my favorite venue for that, check out my author's page https://www.facebook.com/LewisMcIntyreAuthor/, with links to my two books, and @K McIntyre 's page https://www.facebook.com/KarenDMcIntyreAuthor/ with link to her one (Ruby still pending cover tweaks). See oooh and aahh over the covers, and I will tell you where to get yours!
     
  9. teralea

    teralea New Member

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    Thank you!!
     
  10. XX10

    XX10 New Member

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    Hi & thanks. My Kindle Add-in is set on a very small font - size 8. Any idea how changing the font manually to 12 will impact my e-book and paper publication or should I trust Kindle and assume that the current setting is the right one???
     
  11. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Don't use your kindle ad in to format a print book
     
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  12. Mckk

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    You might want to research into what the standard-sized font is generally used for books (yes, it's gonna be 12). Never trust a robot more than your own instincts. The human brain is still smarter than the computer.
     
  13. XX10

    XX10 New Member

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    Okay, thanks. It looks fine when on the Preview scroll which is how it'll look on an e-reader... So what App/program is best to use for a print on demand book? Mine is a poetry book and I didn't get anywhere using a Createspace template.
     
  14. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    I use vellum but its expensive (£180) for a book which isn't going to sell much (nothing personal poetry just doesn't) - if you only want to create a PDF I'd say use something like Scribus (which is free). If you want to produce ebooks beyond just mobi then probably Jutoh which is £49 - also a guy called Joel Freidlander has downloadable templates on his site which are better than the bog standard ones

    Incidentally createspace is dead - you need to be using KDP print for amazon these days. (and/or ingram spark)
     
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  15. Lew

    Lew Contributor Contributor

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    Use the Word templates in Createspace (free) for your paperback. There is a lot of detail in paperback layout that was new to me. For example, the interior margin (either side of spine) is wider than the exterior margin, so you have odd and even page layout.

    Pick the book size you want (5x8 for small books, 6x9 for big ones) and paper color (I recommend cream), and download the template. Then just copy your manuscript (whatever format it is in) and paste it into the text section, match destination formatting. It will pretty much come out right the first time, nice font, indented paragraphs, even right hand margins, etc. After that, you will work on the front part ahead of text, copyright page and acknowledgments, etc. Use any professionally published book for layout guidance. I always have more problem with that than any other section Don't use paragraph breaks, or you will screw up odd and even pagination, use section breaks next page, or section break next odd or even page. Then spend some time tweaking the text layout, your name on one header, title on the other, page number on the bottom. This can all be aggravating, and expect to spend about a week getting everything just right, but you will be working in the familiar Word environment, and it is not hard, just, as I said, aggravating in spots. Feel free to call CS for tech support on this, and anyone who is a master at Word formatting and layout can help.

    At the end, CS will generate a cover and word document for Kindle, I recommend you use theirs with light editing (eliminate copyright page) etc, to ensure that you have just one master document to change.
     
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