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Publishing Your Own Book with Amazon CreateSpace

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Want to publish your own book, but can’t find a publisher? Don’t fret, you can self-publish your books through Amazon’s CreateSpace service. While big publishers still exist, they’re no longer the only option. If you’re an author today, you can self-publish your book — and bypass the entire publisher system. CreateSpace turns your manuscript into a printed or digital book, and then offers that book for sale on the Amazon.com website. In this article, author Michael Miller helps you understand how CreateSpace works, and how you can use this service to get your own book published and available for sale online.
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You’ve written a book, and want to get it published. In the old days, that meant finding a literary agent, having the agent submit the manuscript to various publishers, and hoping a publisher would sign your book. Of course, if you did sign with a big publisher, they took the lion’s share of the money your book generated, leaving you with only a small royalty on each copy sold.

Things are different today. While big publishers still exist, they’re no longer the only option. If you’re an author today, you can self-publish your book—and bypass the entire publisher system. (That also means keeping more of the profit for yourself.)

How do you self-publish your book? The easiest approach is to use a service designed specifically for that purposed. One of the largest and most versatile self-publishing services is run by one of the world’s largest book retailers—Amazon.com. Amazon’s CreateSpace service takes your raw manuscript and turns it into printed and digital books, and then offers those books for sale on its own website. You receive all the help you need to get your book published—for a relatively small upfront fee.

Getting to Know Amazon CreateSpace

Amazon is the largest online bookseller, and one of the largest book retailers of any type in the world. It goes without saying that if you write a book, you want Amazon to sell it.

Knowing the value of its retail services, and recognizing the growing interest in self publishing, Amazon launched the CreateSpace service. CreateSpace enables you to self-publish your book without going through traditional publishers; Amazon handles the production, printing, and distribution of these books, for a fee.

In short, CreateSpace is a one-stop service for authors who want to publish their own books. You submit a manuscript to Amazon, and you end up with a printed book for sale. All you have to do is pay a fee up front for Amazon’s services, as well as a percentage of the price of each book sold, and you’re a published author!

That simplifies the process, of course. We’ll get into the entire process a little later in this article, but suffice to say you don’t need much more than a finished manuscript (and a credit card) to have Amazon publish your book.

But that’s not all CreateSpace does. In addition to publishing your book, Amazon helps you design your book’s cover and interior – and, if you’ve written a children’s book, can even provide your own unique illustrations. Amazon also offers optional marketing services, in case you need a press release distributed or promotional copy written.

Amazon then offers your book for sale on its own Amazon.com website, as well as in eBook format in its Kindle Store. When someone buys a printed copy, Amazon uses its print-on-demand (POD) service to print a copy for that customer, and ships it out within 24 hours. (Naturally, if someone orders an electronic copy, there’s no printing involved; Amazon simply provides the eBook file for downloading.)

While CreateSpace’s focus is on books, it also offers similar distribution services for musicians and filmmakers. If you’re a musician, Amazon can press your CD and offer it for sale on Amazon.com, or make your MP3 files available for digital download. If you’ve produced a film or video, Amazon can press your movie to DVD or offer digital video downloads, both available for sale from the Amazon.com website.

With CreateSpace, it’s all about enabling individuals to distribute their works without having to partner (and share profits) with the big publishing and media companies. You get your work in front of the public—and, by cutting out the middlemen, keep more of the profits for yourself.

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