Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Self-publishing - the pleasure and the pain
After the e-book success of my Coronation Street companion book "Norman Bates with a Briefcase: The story of Richard Hillman" I decided I'd self-publish it in paperback.
I investigated Lulu.com and spoke to Sunderland author Alan Parkinson who had good things to say about it. However, as I'd already invested in Amazon with the e-book for Kindle and felt I knew what I was doing, I decided to go with CreateSpace, which is also run by Amazon.
Here's what I did:
1. Set up a CreateSpace account. Simple.
2. Decided on the size I'd like my book to be. I chose 8" x 5" and downloaded the 8" x 5" template. I uploaded all of my text into the 8" x 5" template.
3. Downloaded the correct size template for the front, back and spine.
4. Emailed my author friend John Beresford in Manchester for help with the cover as I'm no good with graphics.
5. John filled in the template for the front, back and spine and sent it back to me with a nice chatty email. He's a lovely bloke and so is his wife. Smashing couple.
6. I uploaded the text and the cover to CreateSpace.
7. I received a message from CreateSpace to say that although I'd chosen the 8" x 5" size for my book I had downloaded the wrong size template.
8. I double checked the size of the template I'd downloaded. It was 8" x 5".
9. Thinking that CreateSpace must be right as this was my first time doing this and therefore I must be wrong, I downloaded the 8" x 5" template again and repeated step number 2 above and step number 6.
10. Step number 7 happened again. Actually, it happened three times. I doubted myself twice even though I knew I was right.
11. This time, CreateSpace kindly told me that as I'd downlaoded the wrong size template, (even though I hadn't) it had reformatted all of my text to fit an 8" x 5" template.
12. I had to go through all of my text again. CreateSpace had reformatted it and I had to make a lot of tweaks.
13. CreateSpace emailed me to say the cover and spine template wasn't in the highest resolution they'd asked for. This was my fault for not checking.
14. I emailed my friend John in Manchester again nd he changed it for me, emailing it back with another chatty email.
15. I resubmitted amended text and cover to CreateSpace.
16. They sent me a PDF proof, it looked good.
17. I ordered a sample of my book from the USA choosing the fastest delivery method possible. It arrived in a few days. It cost about a tenner all in for the proof book and postage.
18. A few days later, I leapt about the living room with joy and my book in my hand. It looked fantastic. I was over the moon.
19. Approved the proof copy online.
20. Ordered 15 copies of my new book to give away to people including John in Manchester, the lady who designed the cover, Pickled Jo and various other people I've offered a freebie too.
21. My book doesn't appear on Amazon.co.uk after a few days. I email CreateSpace suppot.
22. CreateSpace support tell me it'll take 2-3 days to have my book listed on Amazon.co.uk
23. When it's not there after 10 days I contact CreateSpace support who send me a link to Amazon.co.uk saying 'Look, there it is'.
24. I look. It's still not there. Not in the format they promised. What is there is my book being offered by three different third-party sellers, offering the book - my book - for sale at ridiculously inflated prices around £60. The lowest price currently on offer is £2 more than I choose the book to sell for.
25. I get annoyed with CreateSpace support, my frustration evident as I want to find out what's going on.
26. I write this blog post.
27. I think again about banging my head off the wall.
28. Stop banging my head when I receive an email from CreateSpace acknowledging (finally! finally!) that there's a technical problem with linking between themselves and Amazon.co.uk. They are investigating, they tell me. I'll wait and see what happens.
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