A New Model For Publishing Your Dream
the Only Ones Who Can Publish
Publishing a book is the stuff dreams are made
Readers everywhere talk about the book inside
them. Grandmothers would like to give every single
grandchild a Creative Memories scrapbook, but,
oh the expense! Grandfathers have grandkids nudging
them to publish their memoirs. Most of us wrote
poems when we were children and many quit before
their poems could mature. Books—half-written
books, fully written books and book ideas—are
cozied in the corners of drawers all over the
world. Many of them have been forgotten and regrets
hang heavy over many others.
I'm here to tell you it's time to get off your
dime and just do it!
For several years now we've had digital presses
that look like big Xerox machines you see in your
local Kinko's. Publishers put a CD into a slot
on one side and a book comes out the other. A
book complete with a cover. Each book can cost
about $5 to $10, depending upon how fat it is.
The trick is in getting that disc to tell the
machine how to do its thing. It's called by many
"POD printing" (Print on Demand). Many consider
this the wrong terminology, but that's what most
call it, so for our purposes we needn't even go
To get that disc just right, small businesses
have sprung up to help. We can call them subsidy
publishers or partner publishers and they do the
work for a writer (or a granny with a dream) for
a fee. (Check out places like iUniverse.com
for some different models.)
Some of these publishers will want you to be
a true author, others not. It's the ones who don't
care that you will need to find if you just want
to publish for personal reasons. I came across
one of those recently, sort of accidentally.
I've published almost every which way. I have
books published traditionally, that is to say
the old-fashioned way where a publisher takes
a manuscript and does everything for a writer
and even gives them an advance (meaning money!).
I've published the subsidy route. I've self-published.
I've published e-books and paperbacks. I have
books available on Kindle (that's Amazon's neat
new reader). And recently I came across
I was immediately in love.
CreateSpace is made for what we're going to call
"personal publishing." That is, anyone can do
it for any reason. They can do it super professionally
or just do it with whatever they have lying around
that they want to disseminate as holiday gifts
to their relatives this December. I published
a memory book for those who attended my mother's
funeral. The cover took more tech expertise than
I had (because I'm a writer I really felt it needed
to look pretty darn good) so I had Mindy Phillips
help me with it for a small fee. But I could have
done it myself. Then I collaborated on a chapbook
(for the uninitiated, that's a small book of poetry)
with my fellow poet Magdalena Ball and we used
CreateSpace for that, too. When the books come
to me to sell at a poetry reading, I tie a sweet
little pastel-colored satin ribbon into the book
as a book mark. It's a personal touch!
And then I got a big bee in my bonnet about a
new book I wanted to self publish. But I was worried
about expenses because it targeted a niche (meaning
a smaller group of people than would interest
most publishers who want—indeed need—to
make money on their books). It is
A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions:
How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of
Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales
Techniques and CreateSpace did it for
me fast enough to launch it under deadline at
National Stationery Show at Javits Center
in New York. A book aimed only at retailers means
that its audience will be small, compared, say,
to a book on marketing in general. Further, I
had never had a book targeted to that group before,
so my list of possible readers was almost nonexistent.
CreateSpace to the rescue! It did the publishing
for me absolutely free (it will for you, too!).
Some may want to have help with cover design and
formatting; others may be able to find friends
or relatives to help them with that gratis or
they may prefer to publish it in whatever form
they have their books. Call it primitive publishing—sort
of like Grandma Moses and her primitive painting.
I call this new kind of publishing "my new model,"
though, of course it isn't mine. There are many
using it already. Here are the essentials. You
can fill in details for whatever project you have
in mind by going to the site yourself and nosing
around. Or you can hire Mindy (see her email) at a fee
to coach you through it. But if you go it on your
own . . . well, here it is:
- You upload the cover of your book and its
innards on CreateSpace yourself. There is
even a template for creating a cover. None
of this will cost you anything. Nada.
But you won't get personal coaching or information.
You'll need to figure it out.
- CreateSpace automatically lets you know
if your upload will print clearly. If they
say it's a go, you order a proof copy.
- You decide if you want CreateSpace to assign
an ISBN number to the book so it can sell
on Amazon. Most personal publishers won't
want them to do this. Those who do will click
"yes" and CreateSpace will automatically install
the book for sale on the online bookseller
- If the book is to be sold, you'll need to
fill out some other information.
- If the book is not to be sold because you
plan to give copies to friends and relatives,
you order the number you need. You'll have
to pay for these plus shipping, but you'll
be surprised at how little you will have to
pay per book. Your book will likely be cheaper
than some holiday cards you've sent.
Voilá. This is your introduction to the publishing
world. You've achieved a lifetime dream. Or you've
gotten the grandkids satisfied so they aren't
nagging you anymore. You can sit back and rest
on your laurels or you'll have the writing and
publishing bug. If you decide to go professional,
it's a long, hard but fun learning curve. If you
just plan to do more personal publishing, get
ready for the time of your life!
(Each month in this box, Carolyn lists
a Tidbit that will help authors write or
promote better. She will also include a
Tip to help readers find a treasure among
long-neglected books or a sapphire among
Personal Publisher's Tidbit:
If you would like to publish only a few
of your personal books, contact Creative
Memories representative Debra Synott
and she'll coach you through a CM publishing
service that is more expensive per book
but ideally suited to reproducing tons of
photos on colorful and creative pages complete
with your poems and/or your descriptions
(called cutlines) of each photograph.
Tip: If you are a retailer (online
or brick and mortar) you will not want to
miss A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store
Promotions: How To Increase Profits and
Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with
Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques.
You may also be interested in seeing how
a book published on this model comes out.
Find it on
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