For writers who have not yet opted to create a paperback, I thought my experience with the process might be helpful-- as it benefited me to hear from others what they had learned. I am a huge believer in writers encouraging each other. The pie is not a small one; and if one piece is taken, somebody gets left out. It's a big world; and the more people read, the more they may choose to read-- hence encouraging each other is not diminishing our chances in the writing world-- it is increasing them.
CreateSpace is where we opted to create Arizona Sunset as
it's an easy adjunct to Amazon who will then list the book (in our case) along with
its Kindle twin. CreateSpace
makes it easy to submit a book; and if the writer is not handy with
tech issues, they will do the work for a range of prices from $247 for a
basic book on up for more complex books. They also offer free templates
to create covers if someone isn't into that (That's my department and I
am into doing those).
When they get your book, they even look for mistakes. How much better can that get? On the technical end, it's not that difficult to maneuver through their instructions-- or so the more techie savvy
Farm Boss assures me... Even though it took him hours and three proofs
to get it all figured out (they promptly mail you finished (so you think) proofs for which you pay a
reasonable price for the book and shipping).
of this approach to self-publishing is you aren't stuck, as some of my
self-publishing friends have been, with a garage or attic full of books
that you cannot sell. CreateSpace doesn't require any outlay or purchase
of your own work. Books are only created as they are sold. You set a
price for the book that you agree they will be in stores or through
Amazon to avoid unfair competition. Your price has to cover CreateSpace
charges, Amazon's percentage or the store's if you opt to sell books on consignment-- as well as leaving the writer something.
have the choice of letting them purchase (and own) your ISBN or doing
it yourself and they will use it. For someone like me with a lot of
books, the logical approach was buying my own and getting the package of
ten because we do plan to bring many of the other books out as paperbacks now
that we have figured out the process.
As you look through the options, one will be the size of the book. The length of your book is one factor in that cost. Since my historical is a fairly long book at 128,587 words, we opted for the 5.5"x8.5" which is standard in bookstores but not the smaller and thicker size of many romance covers. Some of these choices will impact the cost of printing your book. We were aiming for something that looked reasonable for books in bookstores.
For those wishing to do a photo book or maybe art, with a lot of interior images and maybe wanting them to be in color, the cost would go up and accordingly make your book have to cost more to the buyers. But even then, your original cost would only be proofs and any copies you wished to purchase for gifts or to sell on consignment. Some writers take to shows or stores where they can do book signings and potentially get more sales. I haven't decided yet on consignment sales but definitely do not plan signings or going to shows. I think that works better for a different sort of book than mine.
The beauty if it is, and I know I am repeating it, these books are published on demand; so there is no cost to the creator other than their proofs-- unless they need help putting together that proof.
To me, seeing the proof is essential. Yes, you can see it online without a purchase but it shows up better when it's in paper and you can more easily evaluate how it worked out. If it
doesn't look professional, only family or close friends will be buying
it and even they won't be happy.
My plan now is that in late November Tucson Moon will come out in
Kindle and paperback. It stands alone as a romance but, set three years
later, carries forth some of the characters from Arizona Sunset (and
yes, whenever I finish the fourth Oregon historical, it's possible there
will yet be a further historical about the O'Brian family as there were a couple of possible characters I could see carrying forward.
With nine more ISBN numbers, we plan to bring out some of my contemporaries in paperback. The first of those will be Desert Inferno because its heroine is an O'Brian and the ranch on which she lives gets its start in Tucson Moon. O'Brians are also in the contemporaries Evening Star and Bannister's Way. They were an interesting family with an Oregon branch (all from my imagination, of course).
Finally, I want to add on a
personal note that I have so appreciated the help and encouragement
from friends in all that has happened since I began bringing out my
eBooks but nobody has contributed as much as my publisher, editor and
partner in the whole operation. It takes that kind of support, I think,
in any creative endeavor; and I sure appreciate his particularly in
dealing with the techie end of all this. :)