Self-Publishing with CreateSpace

Self-Publishing with CreateSpace

Today’s Ask Dr. Diane:  I am interested in self-publishing a book.  Can you tell me about your experience with self-publishing and things you have done to market your books?

That is a good question and one that I often receive.  Check out my previous posting:  How to Publish or Self-Publish Your Book.  I used Createspace for self-publishing.  I had a great experience with them. They are affiliated with Amazon.  The site offers different options based on authors’ needs.  Some of those options included:

  • Do-it-yourself tools to design interiors and covers
  • Comprehensive design and editing
  • Expanded distribution options

I found that the company was very responsive to my questions.  They took my design ideas and gave me a couple of covers to choose from based on my input.

Createspace is not limited to book publishing. They also work with musicians and filmmakers.

Once your book is published, and available on Amazon, you will then have the ability to create an Amazon author page.  That author page can incorporate links from your blog. Authors also have the option of making their books available on Amazon’s Europe-based site.

There are plenty of books that can help increase your sales on Amazon’s site.  One book that I thought was pretty useful was: Aiming at Amazon.

Related Articles:

Inspired by One Tweet: Quakebook’s Creation is Helping Japan Raise Money

An expatriate in Japan, Our Man in Abiko, sent out a call with a single Tweet to social media contributors that eventually led to the creation of an e-book called Quakebook.  “The idea was to share the stories and experiences of people actually on the ground during the earthquake,” claims Quakebook.org. “In just four weeks, the 2:46 Quakebook project has turned an idea first voiced in a single tweet, into a rich collection of essays, artwork and photographs submitted by individuals around the world, including people who endured the disaster and journalists who covered it.”

Quakebook is available on Amazon for $9.99.  Amazon stated the intentions of the editor who created the book, “is to record the moment, and in doing so raise money for the Japanese Red Cross Society to help the thousands of homeless, hungry and cold survivors of the earthquake and tsunami. ONE HUNDRED PERCENT of the price you pay (net of VAT, sales and other taxes) goes to the Japanese Red Cross Society to aid the victims of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. ”

The book has the title 2:46 Quakebook because it begins by showing the effects at 2 minutes and 46 seconds after the quake hit.  There are over 30,000 words of accounts and over 200 people who have chipped in for this project.  This whole project was completely volunteer-oriented and the e-book became available in only one month after the disaster.  Quakebookorg stated, “The contributions in 2:46 Aftershocks have come from a wide variety of sources, and include photographs, personal accounts, drawings; each telling their own tale.”

Click here to read some excerpts from 2:46 Quakebook:  Aftershocks Stories from the Japan Earthquake. To follow on Twitter, check out #Quakebook.

How to Get Free e-Books

Are you considering buying an e-reader but don’t have the money to pay for a lot of e-books?  You might consider going to the library.  Libraries are offering more and more electronic titles.  Keep in mind that certain libraries may not have the ability to download files into specific readers.  I am in Arizona, and the local library here cannot download files for the Kindle or the iPad.  They do offer titles for other readers such as Nook, Sony Reader, and Libre.  Even if your local library doesn’t support certain readers, you can still find sites on the Internet that do.

How do you get the titles onto your reader?   You will first need to download the Adobe Digital Editions software.  You can obtain this by Downloading the Adobe Products Digital Editions Software.    One that is downloaded you can then connect your e-reader through a USB connection to your computer and transfer the book to your e-reader.  Adobe’s site also allows you to download free sample e-books.

If you are looking for more free e-books, check out:

Free-ebooks.net  

Guttenberg.org has over 33,000 books that you can read on your computer or many other devices including iPad, Kindle, Nook, Sony Reader, iPhone, iTouch, Android and more.

Barnes and Noble offers a free trial membership   

For a more complete list, read the following article: 20 Best Websites to Download Free Books

Suggested reading about e-books/e-readers:

Using e-calibre for Your e-Books Conversion Needs

What Kind of e-Reader are You?

Top 15 Articles to Help with Confusion about How to Choose an e-Reader and Application

e-Texbooks and iPad

e-Books vs. Traditional Books

Colleges to Offer More e-Books

5 Ways that e-Books are Better than Paper Books

Using Calibre for Your e-Books Conversion Needs

On their site, Calibre states that their product is a one stop solution to all of your e-book needs.  I have used Calibre to convert my books and PDF files for use on my iTouch and iPad.  I like their product.  It is a free open-source program that is used in over 160 countries.

You can download it for Windows, OS X or Linux by clicking here.   

I like that they have some easy tutorials that can show you how to convert your files. 

Features of their program include:

  • Library Management
  • e-Book conversion
  • Synching e-Books to Reader Devices
  • Downloading News from the Web and Converting to e-Book Format
  • Comprehensive e-Book Viewer
  • Content Server for Online Access to Your Book Collection

E-Textbooks and Ipad

In a previous blog, I wrote about e-books vs. traditional books. I personally have been happy with using an Ipad to view books and texts.  I guess I am not the only one.  Cost is still going to be an issue though for many. Check out the following from an NPR.org article:

For a few years now, people have been expecting electronic textbooks to take off in a big way: They’re cheaper than traditional textbooks, easier to carry around in a backpack, and seem like a natural progression for students who have grown up playing and working with digital devices.

Despite all that, traditional textbooks have prevailed — until now. The game changer, according to Matt MacInnis, may be a little thing called the iPad.

MacInnis is the founder and CEO of Inkling, a company that designs textbook software for the iPad. He says the iPad has allowed for the reinvention of the textbook.

to read the rest of the article click here:  npr.org

E-Books vs. Traditional Books

 

Ask Dr. Diane:  Which do you like better .  .  . e-books or traditional books? 

I am often asked about my preferences for e-books vs. the traditional book for use in the classroom setting.  I teach for many different online universities.  Some of these universities use e-books and others do not.  Initially I was leery about using them because I am a page bender, a highlighter and basic destroyer of books, in order for me to get the most out of them.  Technology has improved though and you can now do more to the e-book to mark things of interest.  Also there is the option of printing out a few pages here and there if you really want a hard copy. 

When I wrote the book The Online Student’s User Manual, I had no intention of offering it as an e-book.  However, within weeks of its publication, one of the universities where I teach asked for it in that format so that they could make it required reading for all new students. Needless to say, I got over my reluctance quickly and made it available.  I also made it available on Kindle: http://amzn.to/aCvMI1

Through time and experience using them, I realized that e-books are a great option for many students.  A typical example is the student who attends a regular university and doesn’t want to lug a ton of books all over campus.  However, my students are online students.  Many may tend to have an ease with technology which is why they chose online learning in the first place.  Some of my older students may have more of an issue with it than the younger ones.  However, the portability and ability to read at work online or print things has made them accept the transition and appreciate it more.

Colleges to Offer More E-Books

Insidehighered reported today that Daytona State will be using e-books to save their students as much as 80% on supplies required for courses.

Other universities have been going that route for some time now.  The University of Phoenix has had a lot of success with their e-book program.  Insidehighered reported “Phoenix actually mandates that instructors assign digital materials “whenever feasible” — a strategic turn the company started to take back in 2003, but which has come to fruition more recently, with so many more materials now available in digital format. At this point, roughly 90 percent of Phoenix’s course content is delivered via e-books or other electronic means — the only exceptions coming in courses such as art history, where copyright issues surrounding digital renderings of images such as paintings remain a hurdle for e-book publishers, says David Bickford, the vice president of academic affairs at Phoenix.”

I work for several online universities that are utilizing e-books.  In fact, I have made my most recent book, The Online Student’s User Manual, available to a university where it will be delivered in an e-book format.  I have also made it available on Kindle because I believe that many do prefer to have quick access to resources like these rather than have to lug a bunch of books around with them.

Convenience of access is a big plus for e-books.  Cost is also a very important consideration. Toccon.com claims, “The spiraling cost of textbooks is rendering higher education unaffordable to many students, particularly in community colleges, where textbook costs often exceed tuition. While some may think of a digital textbook merely an electronic image of a paper product, others have employed the electronic format in broadening the spectrum of learning. This session examines the emerging future of digital textbooks, including open access; subscriptions; texts bundled with online study resources; innovative texts that include multimedia, simulation models, automated assessments; and business models that will allow publishers to survive and thrive in the future.” 

A recent ezine article gave 7 reasons why students should be offered e-books as a choice.  To read that article, click here.