You can be self-published!
After self-publishing Re: create and making it available to purchase online, I am often asked how I did it. So here is a basic how to guide. This is only one way to self-publish, there are other ways but this is the third printed book I have published online and it has been my favourite way so far. Post contains affiliate links.
Not that complicated but not always easy
Be aware that it might not be as easy as you may think and I am sure you will have questions but this is a basic guide. Before you even start the process of self-publishing it is worth giving some thought to who your reader is and how you are going to reach them, as a basic start to marketing your book.
Disclaimer: just “putting your book out there” will not guarantee sales, that anyone will
just “stumble” across it online or that JK Rowling will be your new best friend!
Here’s what I did, scroll down to get emailed a pdf of this guide to keep.
I am a book designer by trade so I designed my layout in Indesign using a blurb magazine template. The blurb templates for Indesign are great for non-designers as they have ready marked margins and bleed. If you don’t have Indesign, blurb have a free to download book design software called Bookwright. At first I was going to print it with blurb as a magazine as the print quality is good, but eventually chose Createspace as the cost of a copy is lower. (There are potentially other advantages to using an Amazon company for a book available on Amazon) I copied a couple of page layout designs that I liked from magazines that gave the feel I wanted for my pages.
I took all the photos for the book using my iphone 6. I edited them with snapseed on my phone and used the same filters on them from the A color story app. I then converted them in Photoshop on my Mac. Please note that for print your photos will need to be 300 dpi and CMYK. I also used Illustrator for creating some of the project templates. Obviously your book does not need to be in colour or have photos.
When I was happy with the finished book I uploaded two high-res print pdfs to Createspace. One of the interior pages and one of the cover. Createspace is an online publishing company owned by Amazon. This is (nearly) free to do, all you need to pay for is a proof copy. You don’t need to purchase vast amounts of books to keep the book in stock. Createspace is a print on demand publisher, so copies will be printed as and when bought. Createspace also has a variety of paid for services to help you design your book for print.
When going through the process with Createspace you can get a free ISBN number, have the book listed on Amazon international sites, have the book available with bookshops and libraries, choose different paper and colour options and have a glossy or matt cover. After publishing a print book you also have to option to make it into a kindle version with Createspace.
Once your files are uploaded, you wait 24 hours to be able to check your proof, which you can do online and sign off or you can order printed copies. Once you have proofed your book, you sign in again to publish it and make it available for sale. It will take up to 5 days for your book to appear on Amazon.
You may want to create an author page on Amazon, to upload a photo and a little blurb about yourself and claim your book title as your own.
Since writing this I received this question:
I enjoyed reading about your process. I’m curious as to your opinion on this: Is Createspace intuitive? Do you think folks without a design background would need a how-to tutorial? (I don’t mean you should create it! Just wondering what you think of its ease of use.)
Thanks for reading and for your reply! I think that Createspace is fairly intuitive. But I wouldn’t think of Createspace as a place to create your book, if you know what I mean. Createspace is a fulfilment service to upload your designed pdfs to. That’s why I’d suggest using free templates to layout the book with first such as those from Blurb.com. In order for your pdfs to pass the Createspace proofing service it is worth knowing basic design terms but the on-screen proofing through Createspace will pull up any issues and tells you what they are.
If you have any further questions or would like to talk to me about your self-publishing project do email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
To get this guide in a handy pdf version emailed to you:
get your self-publishing guide