Saturday, October 20, 2012

Amazon's CreateSpace: A Flexible Self-Publishing Solution

When I self-published Wings of the Dawn Book 1, I worked with Xulon Press, a Christian Self-Publishing Company. If you're considering self-publishing for the first time, I would recommend including Xulon in your list of publishing options. Xulon provides clearly defined services (based on your budget and expectations) and structures the process for you from beginning to end.

As I finalized my second book, I considered publishing with Xulon again but decided to try something different. With the experience of my first book in my back pocket, I wanted to see if I could self-publish at a reduced cost and with greater flexibility.
By flexibility, I mean more control – and ultimately, more responsibility – for my interior and cover design. With Xulon, I purchased their plan, shared some design ideas, and their graphic artists created my cover for me. Granted, I've received some great feedback on my first cover but knew that my second was going to require a great deal more customization.
A friend of mine is a graphic artist, and the two of us worked together to make my cover vision a reality. Yes, there is a story behind my second book’s cover, which I’ll share with you another time.
I heard about Amazon’s CreateSpace publishing services through a Facebook friend and started researching it in detail after she shared her positive experience.  CreateSpace offers a variety of self-publishing options (which at first can seem overwhelming but ultimately lets you pick and choose exactly what you want).
For example, CreateSpace offers the following options for self-publishing books. (Note that they also have resources for musicians and other artists as well.)
·         Publishing Solutions (packaged plans)
·         Editing (if you need professional proofreading services)
·         Layout & Design (for interior and cover services)
·         Marketing
The Layout & Design option essentially lets you create your own custom plan, which is what I wanted. For my interior, I selected the Author’s Advantage Book Interior, which involved uploading my manuscript and selecting basic formatting preferences. Then, with the help of my graphic artist, I submitted my cover PDF.

Last weekend, I uploaded some edits and as of today, am waiting to receive my second hard copy proof in the mail. Once approved, Wings of the Dawn Book 2, Secrets Beyond Lake Winona’s Shore will become available on (likely later this month or next).

What about you? Have you self-published in the past, and if so, what programs have you used? Or, if you’re looking to self-publish for the first time, what is most important to you as you look for the right program?

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