I recently ran a test of all publishing services for one of my classes as we are publishing a book together. After evaluating all options, we decided to publish with Amazon. So before I published that book with my class I wanted to see what the tool was really like, so I published another book. Here is my experience:
I formatted my book into PDF format and then I signed into createspace. Overall, it was very easy to use. I created a book title, entered author information, and then had to choose payment information. I then selected if my book would be color or black and white and what size it would be. At first I chose 6×9 but realized that I created my book in word and it was 8.5×11 so I had to choose 8.5×11. Otherwise there were no formatting issues. Then I created a cover. Amazon has a great cover creator template that was very easy to use. It does not allow much customization and I think it can be improved tremendously however it was good enough. I have a feeling they will not improve it as they want you to purchase the design services they offer. Once my book was created I had to choose a price. The cheapest my book could be sold for was $2.65. That means that I can sell for 2.65 or higher. At $2.65 I collect no royalty. I chose $4.99. This means that for every copy sold I get $0.84 from Amazon. Not too great but honestly my book is on amazon.com and they are doing all of the work. I am still waiting for the book to be listed on Amazon, they say it take 5-7 business days and today is day 1:) I will post the book to the blog once it is posted to Amazon. Also, you can order copies for yourself as author for $2.15 a copy and provide discount codes to family/friends.
Here is what my book looks like in the createspace store. It should be uploaded to Amazon in the next 5-7 business days: https://www.createspace.com/3864560
Now onto Kindle publishing. Well this was a bit more complicated and I will need to continue this post when it works because right now my book is in limbo with Kindle. Publishing was just as easy as Amazon’s createspace. The only difference was that I needed to reformat my text. Kindle recognized certain symbols but not others. For instance, a lot of my text, such as the beginning and end of each chapter was smashed together. Thus I had to use page breaks. It took me about and hour to reformat, so be prepared for that. Then I submitted my text for review. My book is currently in limbo because I have two websites that offer sections of the book for free on the sites. So Amazon is currently making sure I actually own those sites because they did an online content check. I am glad they are checking for copyright and people scamming the system however this is taking longer and I am now waiting two days for a response. I am hoping this issue is cleared up asap. I also hope that I do not have to take the content down from the sites before publishing with Kindle.