My book is published using CreateSpace, which is owned by Amazon. For informational purposes, I found this blog post from SellBox.com to be very helpful to me. Simply put, I loved using CS. I found it super easy to use, and there is no cost – i.e., it is absolutely free it pretty much every stage. Literally the only thing I paid for was the proof copy of my book (which was all of six bucks and change with shipping).
It was also super fast. I downloaded a copy of their spec and was pretty picky about making sure my manuscript complied before I uploaded it. I think that made the review process go much more smoothly – it was done in less than a day. Then when I ordered my proof copy it literally shipped within eight hours. I don’t think I could ask for much more than that.
I’m not going to walk you through how setup works here. One thing I’ll note is that I had my own ISBN, because I had bought a block of ten from Bowker when I wrote my first book (you can get them for $125 each, or a block of ten for $250 – the buy-2-get-8-free deal seemed like a no-brainer to me), but if you don’t want to do that, CS will give you one for free. I assume if you use that option CS will show up as the “publisher” instead of you, but you might not care much about that.
CS gives you basically three “channels” out of the gate – and again, this is all free. One is your eStore, which will be the most profitable for you. Basically if someone buys the book through your CS eStore, it will be because you have driven the traffic there. A second channel is Amazon itself. The royalty is a little less, but presumably you haven’t had to spend any effort driving the traffic to the Amazon link (since you’ll drive traffic to your eStore instead), which means these purchases occur because someone found you on Amazon on his own. The third channel is “Expanded Distribution”, which has a much smaller royalty, but this is for large orders made by stores – over which you have virtually no control anyway.
CS also lets you order your own copies at a “member” price, which I found to be pretty cheap. This is useful for me because I intend to give copies of my book away to my clients as a parting gift.
Once the book was available on CS, I went back to the “Buy” page on the book site and replaced the placeholder “coming soon” message with the following code:
If you aren’t redirected to the eStore within three seconds, please click <a href=”https://www.createspace.com/5884653″>here</a>.
setTimeout(“location.href = ‘https://www.createspace.com/5884653’;”,3000);
This simple scrap of code redirects the user to the eStore after a three-second delay. It was that simple – I didn’t have to configure a thing.
In short, I highly recommend CreateSpace if you are looking for a print-on-demand publisher. I think there are other choices that have lower costs (i.e., your royalty per book will be higher, i.e., you’ll make more money), but I’m willing to settle for the higher costs to get (a) such an easy experience, and (b) access to Amazon with pretty much no work on my part.