Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

CreateSpacing Books

WARNING: This will be incredibly boring if you aren't interested in self-publishing.

If you're considering self-publishing a book, probably the easiest and cheapest way is CreateSpace. Here are some of the CreateSpace books I own.

Two of the above books are my own novels:


Patches on the Same Quilt was a 2013 reissue of my 2001 novel, and Them That Go was a brand new  2016 Appalachian coming-of-age novel. To create the finished books, I downloaded a pre-formatted template and filled it in with my Microsoft Word text. However, I know other self-pubbers who have used Word without a template or who have used Adobe InDesign.

I will use CreateSpace again. A collection of my short stories will go that route in a few months. I also might do another novel one of these days—or one of these years.

If you're young and picture yourself becoming a well-known author, self-publishing (whether via CreateSpace or another self-pubbing source) isn't the way to go. Self-published books are not legit publishing credits, they won't be in chain bookstores, and you will sell most of your books yourself at readings or appearances. You want to go to conferences, perfect your craft, and find an agent who can  submit your work to commercial publishers.

But—if you're older and/or have unsuccessfully pursued commercial publishing but have a book that you really, really want to get "out there," self-pubbing might work for you. It helps if you already have a readership in place (blog, column for local paper, previously published work, etc.) It helps if you have connections to a lot of readers. It helps if you have a marketing plan in mind. The "If you build it, they will come" does not apply to self-pubbed books. CreateSpace will get your book listed on Amazon, but you'll be the one to let folks know it's there.

Sometimes your friends or pets can help you promote.

Before you jump into self-pubbing, do some research. There are many, many online resources to check. Here are a few:

A bit of Googling will turn up lots more. Besides online articles, many YouTube videos exist about using CreateSpace. I recommend you watch a bunch, but these will get you started:

In other words, know what you're getting into and learn what you need to know about formatting and uploading your book. If you're determined to do everything yourself, I really recommend you use a formatted template—doing so will avoid much anguish and gnashing of teeth. After you've created an account with CreateSpace and uploaded your book and cover, don't use the publish button just yet. Order a proof copy (yes, you have to pay for that), so you can see exactly how your book will look. When your proof arrives, read it several times, marking any errors. Then correct your manuscript and upload the corrected version. 

Doing a CreateSpace book isn't terribly difficult, but it is tedious. 

Did I mention I just happen to have two CreateSpace books for sale? You can find them here and here on Amazon.


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