Test Driving Createspace

It was a simple question posted on a Facebook author’s page.  Has anyone used Createspace to publish their books?  I never heard of Createspace before.  I was immensely curious about what it could do. 

Since 2011, I’ve published three novels under the Kyle Taylor name and several other works under another name.  Of the half dozen titles, two were published via a boutique publishing company.  I’m ambivalent over my experience with the publishing house.  They’re a mom and pop sort of operation. They provided me with cover design and editorial services all free of change.  The contract I signed basically splits half of my profits from ebook sales compared if I self-published.
What didn’t I like about the arrangement?  I had a lousy time with the art directors, for one.  I never felt they understood what I was looking to portray even with a lot of communication.  While I enjoyed working with one of their editors immensely – he was very instructive and made me a better writer -- the other editor was extremely difficult and did a poor job. I also didn’t feel they did any sort of promotion for my books. I shouldered it all.  Finally, there was always that gnawing question in the back of my mind, were the publisher’s sales figures accurate – or was I getting scammed? 

So Createspace seemed like a great idea.  It could potentially give the small-time author just what we’re looking for – control. I could design the complete book just the way I wanted while not getting ripped off in the process!

Createspace will let you upload completed manuscripts that if you follow their guidelines, will look wonderful.  For my latest book, Wildflower, I used Art Deco style fonts for titles, subtitles and chapter headings – and the font came out lovely.  Their online previewer for the book’s contents is very accurate and true-to-life.

Uploading the covers was a bit trickier.  If you’re a really good art director, you can layout your book in advance. If you follow the guidelines, you can upload the cover, spine and back all in one stroke.  Createspace also offers generic templates for you to use.  If you want to blow a lot of money, you can access their in-house art directors.

I decided to design my own covers and backs. I uploaded them piece by piece.  The most significant problem I had was adjusting the front cover to sit just right on their template.  It was always just a little off even with their aligning tools, which are unsophisticated. Tweaking the layout just a bit sometimes meant reworking the original artwork instead of just playing with it a bit once it was uploaded.

Createspace will allow you to select a glossy or matte finish to your book. You can choose white or cream paper.  You get to price your book as you want. There are informative FAQ’s and the help staff actually answer your email.
I found the royalties for the print version of the book were about double that from the publisher I worked with. Ebooks have the usual Kindle royalty structure. Seventy percent of the sale goes to me.

It’s thrilling once you put all the elements into place on Createspace, and get a very reasonably priced proof a week later in your mailbox.  The quality of the printed books is quite nice, even better than the quality from the publisher of my two previous books. 

Createspace gives you the peace of mind that you are in control.  You aren’t going to get ripped off by a publisher. You can see your book sales daily. It’s all upfront.

Createspace works the best for small-potatoes writers like me who are capable enough to design their own books.  If you’re a decent editor and know how to format and art direct your work, Createspace can be a really fun part of the publishing process. It could allow you to earn more money per book too.  
On the other hand, if you’re shaky with these things and start hiring the Createspace design team, you could quickly blow through a lot of cash, which may not be worth it.

If you’d like to check out my latest book published using Createspace, here is a link:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/1494839598/ref=rdr_ext_tmb

Kyle Taylor is the author of three novels: Wildflower: The Dramatic Life of Barbette, Round Rock’s First and Greatest Drag Queen, Exposition and Billion Dollar Dreamer. To learn more about Kyle you can check out his web page: http://www.billiondollardreamer.com/


The author will be giving a $25 Amazon gift card to the commenter who leaves the best question or comment. I encourage you to follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:  http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2014/04/virtual-book-tour-wildflower-by-alan.html


  1. Good Morning! Thank you so much for hosting today! I really like your blog and I hope people find my information helpful. Fans -- Feel free to ask me anything about Wildflower or Barbette or any of my other books. I will be awarding an Amazon gift card of $25 for the best question. Have a great day!

  2. How do you come up with the names of characters?They are so interesting and different!

  3. I'm always amazed at how much promo indie authors have to do now! I appreciate all the candid info...

    Trix, vitajex(at)Aol(Dot)com

  4. Great question Amy! For Wildflower, almost all of the names are historic. Barbette's real name was awesome - Vander Clyde Broadway. How can you go wrong with that name?! Haha! Barbette said he chose his stage name because it sounded exotic and French. When Barbette is in Paris, he and Jean Cocteau, the surrealist artist and writer, were lovers. Cocteau also had two more lovers who were named Jean! (Marais, Bourgoint) (Jean Bourgoint's sister's name was Jeanne!) Needless to say, I had to switch to last names a lot to make it coherent! Haha!

  5. Thanks Trix! You have no idea!

    What I noticed is that in order to do these historic novels, like Wildflower and Exposition, I had to do a ton of research to try to make the stories come off. I like blog tours because it gives me a chance to explain some of the research or parts of the process -- even if y'all are just playing for money! Haha! (which I totally respect, btw.)

    I enjoy the whole process of putting a quality book together. In the end, it's fun to write about the work and it's good therapy!


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