The Create Space Experience

Many people gaze at online publishing as settlers must have viewed the wild, wild, west – with fear and awe. However, life on this frontier is not as lawless as one might think. It can be a useful accelerator on your path of obtaining or supplementing traditional publishing efforts. Take Create Space, for instance. Well-organized and structured, this tool can provide the positioning and leverage you need to take your creative efforts to the next level. Where you go from there is entirely up to you, and there are a myriad of options for you to ornament your work with whatever bells and whistles you want.

Even before you receive what is called an advanced reader copy (ARC) or a gallery (similar to an ARC), you can print out books for your readers and reviewers. In turn, they can begin your marketing buzz by word of mouth. With Create Space’s step-by-step application, the author is guided through all the necessary steps to correctly setting up their book. Setting up the title, creating the interior, and selecting cover art are parts of the process. You can upload interior files as a PDF to ensure formatting will not change. You can either create a cover with the website’s cover creator wizard or upload your own. In this case, be sure to follow their directions to the letter to ensure you don’t frustrate yourself by having the wrong size spine or files with poor resolution that will look shabby.  If you aren’t the type that can sustain the trial and error it will take to get this right, then recruit a patient friend to help you with the details.

Even before your book is actually for sale, you can choose to have sample chapters viewable to your social media networks through Create Space / Amazon, even if you don’t have your own website. You will have a way for people all over the world to familiarize themselves with your book. Create Space also has very good deals and is a low cost vehicle for having copies on hand for your book signings and giveaways.

The flexibility for authors is also remarkable. There are no minimum print runs with Create Space. You can order as few as one at a time. For perfectionists who want to make sure everything is just right before committing to a large press run, this is an unprecedented luxury. I ask readers to write Amazon book reviews, which are better than gold, and send out those links via Twitter. Perhaps best of all, actual customer service people answer the phones and they do so 24 hours a day.

Thanks to Create Space and other emerging platforms, there are more options than ever for authors to distribute their work. Technology has opened up an ocean of opportunity, and the new world looks brighter than ever.

Have you ever utilized non-traditional publishing methods to support your traditional publishing dreams? If so, how? How might a tool like Create Space help your marketing platform?

11 Replies to “The Create Space Experience”

  1. I used CreateSpace to self-pub my book, “So You are a Believer…Who has been through Divorce…”

    It was a very user-friendly low-cost introduction to the publishing world, with lots of author control.

    I’ve still got a ways to go on the marketing end, but I’ve been very pleased with the publishing.

    1. Which, by the way, is ranked number 27 on Amazon for books on divorce. Great job, Joe! Are you eventually going to try pitching to an agent (I am assuming you won’t for this book since you are doing well on your own), but perhaps for another book?

  2. Would an agent or publisher actually support the distribution of a self-created version of a book planned for traditional publishing, before the latter’s ARC is produced and approved, or am I misunderstanding what you’re suggesting?

    1. Hi Carol,

      Good question–you can see the response I wrote below to Sharon as it answers your question as well. It is not something that I would suggest for every author, but it is a tool that one can use. As with any tool, it has its benefits and drawbacks. Right now, we are mainly using this tool for people to offer reviews on Amazon. Kimberly doesn’t keep the book available at all times, just when she is doing a promotion or a give away.

  3. I am a bit confused by this post as well. Can you clarify that you are taking a book that a traditional publisher has agreed to publish and making your own copies?

    1. Once a traditional publisher has agreed to print copies of a manuscript, it would be unwise to self-publish a manuscript. Kimberly mainly uses the copies for people to review the book on Amazon and for give aways/marketing. This is NOT something that every author should do, but it is a TOOL to use for marketing. Also, we are focusing on more literary publishing houses for Kimberly which makes it more acceptable. There is definitely a fine line. As with any thing, use wisdom.

  4. Create Space can be used either specifically for self publishing, or during the time before a traditional book deal has been established, to create a buzz and build a platform. Although it may not be the best vehicle for everyone, it is a great way to get started.

  5. I compared several POD publishing houses and the more I look, the more confused I am. Cost is defintely a factor but good marketing and distrbution is what I’m looking for. Please advise if Creat a space would be a better choice than First Edition Publishers?


    Ed Shafik

    1. I am not familiar with First Edition Publishers, and am not sure about that. I can tell you, though, that Amazon distribution seems to be just getting started and it’s moving fast.

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