As an indie author there are many websites out there willing to help us with our self-publication journey. Some at a cost, others with no cost and let’s not forget the ones that are to steal your work/profit! It’s all just a matter of finding the right one that suits your cause. For me it came down to two sites.
One of the sites had tons and tons of templates that we indie authors can use called BookDesignTemplates.com, that uses word. The beautiful thing about templates is that you can just strip out the sample text that’s in the file and replace it with your own manuscript, a few minutes later you have an authentic looking book to send off to a print.
This site has many great things to offer but it comes at a cost. Their sister company, The Book Makers, will take your finished manuscript and format your book into a ready to publish print or eBook file. The Book Makers claim to take all of the stress out of creating your book. I mean, yeah when you hand it over like that for someone else to do you’re going to save time, and have the assurance of knowing that it's styled and formatted properly right from the beginning, but those of us who can’t afford it… we need other options.
The other choice was createspace.com, and that has been my budget friendly saving grace. Unlike Book Design Templates, CreateSpace is free! They offer templates for free, covers templates for free, converts your book to a kindle format … all for free. However, there are packages for those who need some more help and are willing to pay.
CreateSpace is a DBA of On-Demand Publishing LLC, part of the Amazon group of companies. Using their services, you can sell books, CDs, and DVDs for a fraction of the cost of traditional manufacturing, while maintaining the most control over your materials. Publishing with them has been super easy and super simple and in my opinion the best way to distribute my book.
If you want to sell your book outside of CreateSpace.com and Amazon.com, in addition to creating all new files, you’ll need to purchase your own ISBN. CreateSpace owns the ISBN it offers with printing, (free as well) and its contract states that you can only sell books imprinted with its ISBN on Amazon.com affiliated sites. Not a problem for me since this seems to generally be working out for me. I haven’t explored selling them elsewhere yet, but that’s another blog.
CreateSpace allows their authors to set the price for their books, with the caveat that authors may not sell books on CreateSpace.com or Amazon.com for more than they charge elsewhere. It’s really not that big a deal. What could be a big deal is that CreateSpace has a clause in its contract that prohibits you from setting your list price on your own website or at other retailers lower than the list price on CreateSpace or its affiliates’ sites
CreateSpace is very much, at least how I see it and from the research I’ve done, a lot of others, primarily geared towards authors who are bringing a completed cover and interior to the table. But, the company does offer reasonably priced packages for those who aren’t.
For me … I love it.