If you’ve been considering getting Alex, but didn’t want to read it on a screen, you can now pick it up in paperback! I’ve got a copy myself, and it has a very nice binding and is a very professional product. There are a couple things I wish I could do differently, but let me get back to that.
First, let me just say that Amazon never ceases to amaze me.
I didn’t think, going into this self-publishing plan, that any kind of print media was really in the cards for Alex. All my research into the process had indicated that in order to print a self-published book, you had to lay down a significant amount of cash up front to print off thousands of books, then basically store them in your basement and try to sell them through whatever means you could scrounge up. This summoned images of me on the street, whipping my trench coat open at random people to reveal lines of novels stuffed into pockets sewn in the inner lining. Not unlike the creepy merchant guy from Resident Evil 4, I would then accost them with my signature line, “Whaddya buyin’?“
While this method worked out pretty well for the RE4 merchant guy, I suspect it would’ve ended in something less profitable for me; probably something involving a jail cell. Oh, and have I mentioned that I hate sales?
More than once I said to myself, wistfully, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if I could just upload all the data for my book, and work with a company that would basically list my book for sale in print, and just print and bind copies on demand for anyone who was interested? If there was such a service, surely I would utilize it.”
What I described above is precisely what they do. Their tools are amazing:
- You can preview an exact replica of the way the book will look online (the pages even animate when they turn).
- You can upload your own cover or use your own image to design one using their Cover Creator tool.
- You pay nothing up front (unless you choose to) and in fact earn royalties on each book sold. That sentence is so amazing, it deserves to be read again. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
- Just as with e-book publishing, you set the price yourself and receive your payments directly deposited into your bank account.
- Finally, you can have your paperback automatically listed on Amazon.com, or sold directly through Createspace’s e-store (which you have to link to yourself).
It truly seemed too good to be true, but I gave it a shot, and I’ve already started selling paperbacks. Even greater than that, I have a copy of Alex sitting on my bookshelf upstairs now. (My five-year-old grabbed it and started reading. “In the hallway,” he began, before I yanked it out of his hands. “This book is for adults,” I informed him sternly. Damn kid is too smart for his own good. Though I did let him read the dedication. : )
There are a few things I wish Createspace would do a little better. I’d love to be able to alter the font size in the book, and have a different font color on the back cover than on the front while still using Cover Creator. But overall, this thing is a dream come true.
I gotta run, but one more thing I want to mention: I’ll be doing my first guest interview on the blog early next year with Tara Maya. She has a new book coming out soon, the fourth in her fantasy series The Unfinished Song. You can check out the first novel in the series for free, which is most gracious of her. I’ll be grilling her mainly on her experience with self-publishing. Honestly I just wanted to ask her a bunch of questions, and I figured it would be more useful for everyone involved if the process was public.