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Self Publishing a Book for Almost Free

Updated on May 17, 2016
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Heidi Thorne is a self publishing expert, author of 21 (and counting!) business books and eBooks, and a former trade newspaper editor.

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A post by writer Bill Holland (goes by billybuc on HubPages.com), How Hard Is It to Get Published in the Real World, started some lively comments and discussion on today's publishing possibilities for writers. The article inspired me to share my experience of self publishing a book and ebook... and how to do it for almost free using the Amazon Createspace platform.

I remember the bad old days of self publishing: vanity presses, homemade print jobs, paying for advertising... Glad we now have so many resources to help get our message published to the world.

Self Publishing a Book for Almost Free

Amazon Createspace Tips

Amazon Createspace allows self publishers the opportunity to publish physical print-on-demand trade paperback books, ebooks (for Amazon Kindle and mobile devices with the free Kindle app) and audio books or music. This helps publishers reach wider audiences with both books and multimedia offerings.

Here are several tips for saving aggravation, time and money when using this publishing platform:

  • Use Provided Word Templates, then Create Your Own. Download the free template for print books for Microsoft Word from Createspace. As of this writing, it is in an old MS Word 1997-2003 format which may cause some issues for those working with later versions of Word. Watch formatting of section breaks, page numbers and headers. If not correct, your final manuscript will experience problems such as skipped page numbers and headers appearing where they should not. Turn on the formatting view in Word to see where problems may be occurring with paragraph or section breaks. Also watch the headers and footers carefully when proofing, especially for page breaks, section breaks and page numbers. Those can be very trick at times! Once you've published your first book in this manner, and all the formatting works to your satisfaction, make a copy of that Word document and use it as a template for future books, simply copying and pasting your new text into your template document.
  • Use the Free Createspace Tools to Create Your Cover. Createspace has several cover layouts to choose from for your cover that will automatically be sized to accommodate the number of pages and trim size of your book. These are professionally designed and allow you to customize the colors, fonts, cover photos and text. Why would you want to go through the frustration of creating a super custom cover and getting it to print ready specs if Createspace will do it for you... for free? Be careful with your back cover copy! On some layouts, the system will hyphenate words in the worst possible places. Carefully proof the cover and edit the text to work around the hyphenating if needed before you go final.
  • Let Createspace Create Your Amazon Kindle Ebook. Previously, authors would have to create the physical version of their books on Createspace and then go through the process all over again on Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). Now, as you create your printed book, there is an option to create your Kindle version. Do it! The system will automatically create it for you and link it up with your Kindle publishing account and reporting. When you log in to KDP, you'll see the Createspace icon next to the books you've created there. An added bonus is that it creates a cover image for your Kindle book from your cover created in Createspace.

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The Business of Being a Self Publisher

Many wannabe authors are shocked to find out that even if a mainstream publisher gives them a contract to write a book, they still have to do a lot of their own marketing to get copies sold. Other authors are shocked or frustrated when mainstream editors slice and dice their manuscripts or ask for never ending rewrites. That's the business of publishing.

Do not be disillusioned! Self publishing is a business, too! Books and other information products do not sell themselves.

  • Offer Your Book on Amazon. When you publish your book on Createspace, a special webpage to sell your book will be created. You'll gain the highest royalties from selling through this page. That's all good and you can use the link to that page for your promotions and on your website. But it does not offer the Kindle ebook version for sale on that page. So you'll have to provide a second link to the sales page on Amazon for the Kindle version. This frustrates customers! Plus, at this point in time, most people are accustomed to buying everything and anything on Amazon. Make sure your book and Kindle book are there for them. So when the Createspace system asks if you want to offer it on Amazon, saying yes is recommended and doesn't cost you any more money.
  • Select Expanded Distribution Channels. During the Createspace publishing process, the system will ask if you want Expanded Distribution in addition to the Standard Distribution on Amazon and Createspace. Again, selecting Yes is recommended. This makes your books available to other online bookstores through the retail book buying channels, schools and libraries. The more places that can access your books, the more chances for you to makes sales.
  • Talk it Up! Use your social media and offline networks to get the word out about your book. Send email notices to your most supportive folks. They may not buy directly, but they may pass the word on to those who will.
  • Use Your Book as a Business Card. If you are writing a book to build your professional reputation, send information about it to your best prospects. Instant credibility! Also send it to local business groups who might want you to speak to their members about your book's topic. Because you can buy physical copies of the print book very cheaply through Createspace, this can be a very effective sales tool.
  • Connect with Book Clubs. If your book is fiction, send information to book clubs and other organizations interested in the types of stories you're spinning. Tell them that you are available to discuss the book at a club meeting (in person or via online broadcast). Who knows? They might even choose your book as one of their club selections, which means more sales for you.

The YouTube Video that Got Me Using Createspace

When I was searching for a self publishing platform to use, the following video showed up on a "Recommended for You" list I saw while watching a friend's video. After I viewed it, everything just clicked!

The video is a few years old and the information about Createspace has changed in terms of formatting for upload (PDFs not required). But the ideas about creating a book by recording your ideas, using books as lead generators, choosing a title and domain name are interesting ideas.

Though Mike in the video used a private individual for transcribing his audio, I have had great success using Speechpad.com (non-affiliate link) for audio transcription at very reasonable rates.

Disclaimer: Any examples used are for illustrative purposes only and do not suggest affiliation or endorsement. The author/publisher has used best efforts in preparation of this article. No representations or warranties for its contents, either expressed or implied, are offered or allowed and all parties disclaim any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for your particular purpose. The advice, strategies and recommendations presented herein may not be suitable for you, your situation or business. Consult with a professional adviser where and when appropriate. The author/publisher shall not be liable for any loss of profit or any other damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages. So by reading and using this information, you accept this risk.

© 2013 Heidi Thorne

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    • Kalmiya profile image

      Kalmiya 3 years ago from North America

      Thanks for your notes on Createspace Heidithorne! I didn't know they offered a book cover creation option but then I don't know very much about them yet. I've published a first short story on Amazon Kindle via their e-book route and found it fairly easy and completely free (The Everlasting Spell by Kristin Ravelle) but it seems like there are endless things to learn while getting going in this process. Voted up!

    • heidithorne profile image
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      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      Thanks, Kalmiya, for weighing in on Createspace/Kindle! You are soooo right about endless things to learn. I seem to have to learn something new about publishing and marketing online every day. Hope your ebook is going well. Keep us posted on your self publishing adventure!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great information, Heidi, and thanks for the mention and link. I will actually look into createspace thanks to you.

      Love the video. I wish more writers would give videos a try. I think it adds a great deal to the article. Nicely done!

    • heidithorne profile image
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      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      Thanks, billybuc, for checking it out. I hope you like using Createspace. I'll be anxious to hear about your experience with it.

      I totally agree that more writers (and small business folks!) should give video a shot. I know, it's pretty scary getting started. But once they get over the grade school-ish "Everyone will laugh at me" stage, then it gets easier.

      Thanks, as always, for your kind support and input!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you so much for this hub, Heidi. This is exactly the sort of information that I need as I investigate self publishing. Amazon Createspace sounds very useful.

    • heidithorne profile image
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      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      Thanks, AliciaC, for checking out the hub. Do check out Amazon Createspace. I'll be anxious to hear about your self publishing experience. Good luck with your book!

    • Rose Anne Karesh profile image

      Rose Anne Karesh 3 years ago from Virginia

      Thank you so much heidithorne! I have been kicking around the idea of self-publishing a book and this is really helpful. I can see I have a lot of work to do before I am ready, but it is so good to know the tools are out there.

    • heidithorne profile image
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      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      Yes, Rose Anne, self publishing does seem like a huge task in the beginning! Luckily, I had a good friend who encouraged me to get started. I hope that I can give the same type of encouragement to my HP pals. Let us know when you get yourself published!

    • lindacee profile image

      lindacee 3 years ago from Southern Arizona

      One of these days I would like to do a book about home décor -- maybe a compilation of some of my Hubs and other articles. I'll definitely check out Createspace in the meantime. Thanks for sharing info about these self publishing resources. BTW your video is great. :)

    • KawikaChann profile image

      KawikaChann 3 years ago from Northwest, Hawaii, Anykine place

      I appreciate this hub, very interesting and useful information that I will have to come back to when I'm ready. Nicely done, and it's good to know that you're in the field, or have experience in what you're hubbing about. Upvoted/useful/following. Thanks heidi for a great hub of reference. Peace. Kawi.

    • heidithorne profile image
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      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      Hi lindacee! Actually, compiling blog posts into a book is how I developed some of my books. At least that way you're not starting from scratch and it's a good way to repurpose your content. Keep us posted on your book adventures!

    • heidithorne profile image
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      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      Hello KawikaChann! Glad you found the information helpful. We have so many wonderful tools to help us get our message out there these days. Keep us updated on your book endeavors!

    • Stacie L profile image

      Stacie L 3 years ago

      I thought this was easy to understand and explained well. I am going to look into this create space for sure!

    • heidithorne profile image
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      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      Thanks, Stacie L, for reading, following and your comments! Do check out Createspace. It's been a great platform for me. And keep us posted on your publishing adventures!

    • profile image

      mjkearn 3 years ago

      Hi Heidi

      Great advice and encouragement for those wishing to try publishing their own works.

      I have thought about it but then I thought the obvious lawsuits that would follow would make it a financial nightmare.

      If I knew anything about anything I'd try some of those "How To" guides but anyone I've mentioned that to has replied "On your bike mate", so I've done just that, LOL.

      Great job and voted up.

      MJ.

    • heidithorne profile image
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      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      Thanks, mjkearn, for stopping by, voting & kind comments! We'll be looking for your "How To" guides or "kiss and tell" works soon. BTW, hope you're enjoying your 12 bikes. Hubby now has a new goal to aspire to... but we'll need to by another house. :)

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Good morning, Heidi!

      I'm about to go on my walk this morning, but I first wanted to tell you how very much I appreciated reading this wonderful and informative hub. You certainly have enlightened and inspired me to look into this further. Congratulations on your beautiful, prolific, and now PUBLISHED writing! Awesome, my new friend! Blessings and aloha from SE Washington state!

      Joe

    • heidithorne profile image
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      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      Thanks, Joe/hawaiianodysseus! Glad you found the hub helpful. Thankfully, we have all these great new (and free!) tools to help us get our message to the world. Keep us posted on your publishing adventures!

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 3 years ago from australia

      Thank you for this and explaining it so well - I mean to study it more but can see this is the way to go even though my technological skills are base! You hub is informative and inspiring.

    • heidithorne profile image
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      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      Thanks, travmaj, for stopping by! Glad you found the hub helpful. Such great new tools we have these days. If you ever decide to publish a book through this route, let your HP pals know!

    • epbooks profile image

      Elizabeth Parker 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Great hub and I think it'll help people when they are trying to publish. I've gone the self-publishing realm with createspace and Kindle for the past 3 years and I love it. It's a lot of work, but well worth it.

    • heidithorne profile image
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      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      Thanks, epbooks, for stopping by! Totally think that Createspace/Amazon is the way to go. You're right, it is work. But then I'd rather have control over my work than having to deal with traditional publishing. Cheers!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

      Hi, I have a book on Amazon, but the createspace has confused me because over here we have to send a document to America and I am just confused about it, but I will look into it now, great info, and given a great push to make me try again, thanks!

    • epbooks profile image

      Elizabeth Parker 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      I agree- I like owning the rights to my own books as well!

    • heidithorne profile image
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      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      Hi Nell Rose! Wow, that's a bummer if you have to send a doc to America. Glad you can at least get things going on Amazon/Kindle. Do check Createspace out again and hope the system now is easier for you. If you get more info on Createspace issues for our UK friends, don't hesitate to share with us here. Thanks again for stopping by & following! Cheers!

    • heidithorne profile image
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      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      Hi epbooks! Maybe we're control freaks. :-D But I like running my publishing show, too. Thanks for stopping by!

    • collegedad profile image

      collegedad 3 years ago from The Upper Peninsula

      My wife and I sat in a publishing seminar and listen to a local publishing company bash createspace for 20 minutes. When we got home we signed up with createspace. We figured that if a publisher was that intimidated by the site then it must be worth while. Great hub!

    • heidithorne profile image
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      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      Hi collegedad! Glad you didn't take the seminar advice. :) But in all honesty, quite a while back, Createspace was a bit intimidating. But now it is an amazing publishing platform that just keeps getting better. Keep us posted on your publishing adventures!

    • epbooks profile image

      Elizabeth Parker 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      You are too funny. I think that you may be right though!! :)

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Very helpful as I am still learning all this stuff. Thanks, thanks and double thanks!

    • heidithorne profile image
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      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      Hi Rebecca! You're very welcome. It takes a while to figure it all out for sure. Took me at least a year. BTW, the little beach desserts are soooo incredibly cute!

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 3 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Great information. I will definitely be looking into createspace. Up. interesting, and useful.

    • heidithorne profile image
      Author

      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      Hi KoffeeKlatch Gals! (I thought I was the only one who used the term "klatch." Had to explain it to a friend of mine.) Do check out Createspace. I think you'll enjoy using it. And definitely keep us informed about your publishing adventures!

    • livewithrichard profile image

      Richard Bivins 3 years ago from Charleston, SC

      Hi Heidi... fellow Chicagoan here... You have provided great information here on CreateSpace. Currently, I have been using Lulu for my publishing needs and have been satisfied with the results, but my books have mostly been family histories made available privately to the family. I have been writing some children stories and my awesome niece is set to illustrate them and I have been looking into other self publishing routes. I think I'm going to give Amazon a try especially since I have the option of making it available on Kindle as well as print. Voting UP and Interesting...

    • heidithorne profile image
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      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      Thanks for stopping by livewithrichard! I've heard of several people who have used Lulu and have been satisfied with their service. Give Createspace a try to see how it goes. You might want to do a smaller book just as a test run so you can get familiar with the tools and resources. That's what I did and have been tweaking the process with each succeeding publication. Looking forward to seeing what you publish!

    • younghopes profile image

      Shadaan Alam 3 years ago from India

      Thanks Heidi for such an informative article, this is what i was about to search today only. I have recently got a book published at lulu and it reached me in 30 days but haven't tried CS yet. Since i live in India. there is a certain form which needs to be filled in which i have found to be quite technical thus, i am quite unsure how will i be able to get royalties if i publish a book there. DO you have any idea? Would be thankful if you could help

    • heidithorne profile image
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      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      You might want to test the waters with Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing for an ebook. When you set up your ebooks on KDP, you set pricing for US, CAN UK, Europe and other regions. I've gotten royalties from all around the world and they adjust the currency before they pay royalties into your bank account. Maybe try a short ebook on a niche topic with Amazon KDP. (It's free!) That would be the easiest way to publish in India I can think of at the moment. Do wander over to Createspace.com Help files. There are several discussion threads on publishing in India. Also connect with the Createspace customer support team to ask specific questions. Do ask them about the availability of Print On Demand physical books in India. With Amazon's empire continually expanding, it wouldn't surprise me if the capability already exists there. Keep us posted on your publishing adventures!

    • younghopes profile image

      Shadaan Alam 3 years ago from India

      thanks for your response, i would surely be asking the customer support team at CS, perhaps you are right i need to try a short ebook with KDP. Would surely look up to your advices.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      This is good information for anyone who is thinking of self-publishing. Thanks for sharing your experiences and perspective. I hope that one day I will be in a position to publish a book. That's always been my dream.

    • heidithorne profile image
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      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      Hello and Happy July 4th weekend, FlourishAnyway! I hope you can fulfill your dream of writing a book. And these days it's so much easier than it was in the past. Keep working towards it and keep us posted on your publishing adventures!

    • healthylife2 profile image

      Healthy Life 3 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      Thanks for the useful information. My husband is in the process of writing a book so I definitely show it to him. I may also write a book one day so this will help me also. He is getting a relative to do the book cover but I didn't realize it was that easy with createspace. I'm going to attempt the marketing part so your tips are useful and we will see what happens. Either way it's an adventure.

    • heidithorne profile image
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      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      You're very welcome, healthylife2! With your health experiences, I'd surprised if you don't write a book! Createspace has been a huge help to me. Good luck and keep us posted on your publishing adventures!

    • Elias Zanetti profile image

      Elias Zanetti 3 years ago from Athens, Greece

      Useful tips, well presented and quite an interesting hub. Thanks for the advice on self publishing, Heidi!

    • heidithorne profile image
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      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      Hello and thanks for stopping by, Elias Zanetti! Glad you found it interesting. Keep us posted about any self publishing ventures you're pursuing!

    • Careermommy profile image

      Tirralan Watkins 3 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Heidi, this is the hub that might convince me to self-publish my book. I've been vacillating for some time now. I even have these self-publishing houses offering to do it for me for like $1,200, but I've never heard of going this route. I always thought it easier to have an agent do it for me, but after no many agent passes I will seriously consider what you've offered. Well-written and thorough hub!

    • heidithorne profile image
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      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      Careermommy, I hope you do give Createspace a try! I've saved a lot of $$$ going this route and have control of the publishing side while Amazon handles all the sales. Gotta love that! Try it with maybe a short specialty topic. That's what I did just to experiment. And, of course, let us know when you publish something. Good luck with your publishing adventures!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

      What a great hub and one for me to vote up and save for future reference. Here's wishing you a great weekend and I look forward to reading many more by you.

      Eddy.

    • heidithorne profile image
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      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      Hello Eddy/Eiddwen! Glad you found it helpful. Keep us posted your future publishing adventures!

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina

      What a useful and helpful hub, Heidi. I would like to publish my children's books. I have yet to take this step. I'm not sure if I need to find an editor for a review of this book. Any suggestions. ?

    • my_girl_sara profile image

      Cynthia Lyerly 3 years ago from Georgia

      I've set up my book on Createspace but have been afraid to pull the trigger. This blog has eased my fears. One question you didn't answer though--what about ISBNs? With a traditional book you have to purchase one. Do you need one with the e-book? If so, is there an inexpensive place to get one?

      Nice hub!

    • heidithorne profile image
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      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      Hello again, Denise! I haven't hired an editor for my books, although it's typically recommended. It depends on what type of feedback you'd like to get. Is it for content? Then probably having a second set of eyes on it is good. For proofreading, you might be able to do that yourself, giving some time between readings. I've seen recommendations of reading 3 times. Makes sense. Good luck with the kids' book & keep us posted on developments!

    • heidithorne profile image
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      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      Hi my_girl_sara! Glad you found it helpful. On Createspace, they can provide an ISBN for you if you do no have one. You request it as you go through the uploading process. Plus, they create the barcode that goes on the book. Best way to get that done is to let them handle all this. :) Good luck with your book and do let us know when you've taken the plunge!

    • chicagoguy profile image

      Raj Lally Batala 3 years ago from Chicago ,USA

      liked it !! may use in future ! thanks a lot ! heidithrone !

    • heidithorne profile image
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      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      Hi chicagoguy! Hope you'll be able to use the tips for your book. Thanks for stopping by & keep us posted on your publishing adventures!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Vicki L Hodges 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      This is very helpful. I eventually want to self-publish. I'm pinning this for future reference. Thanks for spelling things out so clearly.

    • heidithorne profile image
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      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      Hi Victoria Lynn! I hope you do decide to take the next step toward self-publishing. It can be a very interesting adventure that can lead to other opportunities. In the meantime, have a terrific week!

    • profile image

      Mklow1 3 years ago

      I am so glad I stumbled across this Hub. I look forward to giving this a try.

    • heidithorne profile image
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      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      Thanks, Mklow1 for stopping by! Keep us posted on your self publishing adventures!

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 3 years ago from North Carolina

      You have a wealth of information here in your hubs! I have considered self publishing and this is some great advice. I look forward to reading more of your hubs.

    • heidithorne profile image
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      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      Hello tammyswallow! Thanks for your kind comments. Glad you've found the info helpful. Keep up posted on your self-publishing adventures & Happy Holidays!

    • profile image

      Alise- Evon 3 years ago

      Very helpful, thanks a bunch, heidithome! I have a goal of converting a class I teach into an e-book, and this is very timely information.

      Voted useful and interesting.

    • heidithorne profile image
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      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      Glad you found it helpful, Alise-Evon! Good luck with your ebook and keep us posted on your publishing adventures!

    • Tolovaj profile image

      Tolovaj 3 years ago

      I have heard many amazing things about Kindle and I already have two books ready to publish, but I decided to postpone them because in my opinion the main trick is in promotion. I have spent almost a year learning how to do it on-line with very limited budget and it is not easy but it is possible. Thanks for the tips, I completely forgot the book clubs...

    • heidithorne profile image
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      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      Hello Tolovaj! You're absolutely right. The biggest hurdle is promotion. Hope your book launches are a great success!

    • profile image

      Ben Blackwell 3 years ago

      There are some useful tips here. When I finally decide to start writing a book (which probably won't be for a few years), I'll definitely refer back to this.

    • heidithorne profile image
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      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      Hello Ben! Glad you found it useful. Keep us posted on your publishing adventures!

    • stuff4kids profile image

      Amanda Littlejohn 3 years ago

      That was a very interesting, informative and useful hub indeed.

      Just recently, I have begun to mull over the idea of self-publishing a book about home education - a kind of synthesis of practical and legal advice and personal stories and reflections.

      I have to write the book first, of course, but this hub has helped me consolidate the idea and see it as a practical possibility.

      Thank you. :)

    • heidithorne profile image
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      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      Hi stuff4kids! Glad you found it helpful. Probably the biggest cost for you will be getting an attorney to review for the legal aspects of home education you include. Otherwise, it's really inexpensive to go the self-publishing route and you keep control over the book. Keep us posted on your publishing adventures!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

      Most definitely one for me Heidi and thank you for sharing. Very interesting and well informed.

      Enjoy your day.

      Eddy.

    • heidithorne profile image
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      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      Hello Eiddwen! Glad you found it interesting. If you decide to self-publish, please keep your HubPages friends posted. Cheers!

    • cygnetbrown profile image

      Donna Brown 3 years ago from Alton, Missouri

      Great article! Lulu.com is another site (the one that I use) to create your own book for free. I have been looking at using Dragon software to help me increase writing productivity as well. Its wonderful that we can share with others what we have learned so that all of us can become more productive! Maybe we can actually make a living doing this!

    • heidithorne profile image
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      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      Hello cygnetbrown! Yes, I have heard of others who use Lulu.com and like it. It also is a great system to consider. My husband and a disabled friend of mine have found the Dragon software to be very valuable in getting thoughts on paper. Keep us in the loop on your self-publishing adventures!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Great article, very helpful! I may just look into Createspace. Thank you for providing all of this insight and great information.

      Up and more and sharing.

      Have a great weekend,

      Faith Reaper

    • heidithorne profile image
      Author

      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      Hi Faith Reaper! There are some great self-publishing platforms out there, but Createspace has been getting better and better over time. It's also very reasonably cost-wise. Do check it out and keep us informed about your publishing adventures!

    • justmesuzanne profile image

      justmesuzanne 3 years ago from Texas

      Excellent practical advice! It's great that it is so easy to publish these days! Voted up, useful and interesting! :)

    • heidithorne profile image
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      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      Thanks, justmesuzanne, for reading! Agreed, we're living in a great time to be writers. Have a wonderful day!

    • kerlund74 profile image

      kerlund74 3 years ago from Sweden

      Thank you, voted useful! This is a great hub with useful help:)

    • heidithorne profile image
      Author

      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      Thanks, kerlund74, for reading! Glad you found it helpful!

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 3 years ago from USA

      Very useful hub. I have been planning writing a book for some time, but have been discouraged by the process and little time on hand. Voted up!

    • heidithorne profile image
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      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      Hello alexadry! You have such great information to share. I do hope you consider doing a book one day. Keep us posted on your publishing adventures and have a great week ahead!

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 2 years ago from Philippines

      Thanks for teaching me about Createspace. This is very helpful indeed. This may be the first software I will fall genuinely in love with.

    • heidithorne profile image
      Author

      Heidi Thorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

      Hello grand old lady! I feel the same way about Createspace. It has been such an amazing tool for me. Keep us posted on your publishing adventures!

    • ologsinquito profile image

      ologsinquito 2 years ago from USA

      This is excellent information. Voted up and shared.

    • heidithorne profile image
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      Heidi Thorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

      Hello ologsinquito! Thanks for your kind comments, voting and sharing. Have a great day!

    • blueheron profile image

      Sharon Vile 2 years ago from Odessa, MO

      Yes, I think Createspace is a great option for self-publishing! Honestly, if you have children or grandchildren who like to write stories, why not use Createspace to create their very own printed book? This is a good way to create a cookbook of family recipes to share, too.

    • heidithorne profile image
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      Heidi Thorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

      Totally agree, blueheron, that Createspace is an awesome way to get print editions of short run or personal subject books. One of the greatest things about them is that you can have as many or few distribution channels as you want... and it's all under the author/publisher control. Thanks for stopping by and commenting! Have a great day!

    • profile image

      markcrosby 2 years ago from United States

      Thank you for posting this article! I am interested in self-publishing.

    • heidithorne profile image
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      Heidi Thorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

      Hello, markcrosby! Glad you found the article and that you're considering self-publishing. Keep us posted on your publishing adventures!

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 2 years ago from Philippines

      This is wonderful and helpful information, very complementary to the kind of pieces that Bill Holland writes. I've added this to my Pinterest account.

    • heidithorne profile image
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      Heidi Thorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

      Thanks, grand old lady! Glad you found it helpful. Yes, our friend billybuc and I have similar goals in trying to help people (especially writers) get their information out there. Appreciate the sharing and support! Have a beautiful weekend!

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      I had never heard of Create Space prior to this. As usual I learn something exploring other writer's hubs here. This was a very useful article and I thank you very much. I'm going to bookmark it.

    • heidithorne profile image
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      Heidi Thorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

      Hi Mel Carriere! Glad you were able to discover Createspace here! It is a really wonderful platform. All the best with your self publishing adventures and have a great weekend!

    • ologsinquito profile image

      ologsinquito 2 years ago from USA

      Heidi, this is excellent information. Voted up and shared.

    • Torrs13 profile image

      Tori Canonge 2 years ago from California

      Thank you so much for posting this informative hub! I have been tossing the idea of writing a book around but wasn't sure how to go about making it and publishing it. This hub is just what I needed!

    • heidithorne profile image
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      Heidi Thorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

      Glad you found it useful, ologsinquito! Thank you so much for your support and sharing. Have a beautiful day!

    • heidithorne profile image
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      Heidi Thorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

      Hello Torrs13! So glad you found it helpful. Createspace is an amazing platform. Good luck and keep us posted on your publishing adventures!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      I want to publish a small poetry book--maybe I can do this on Amazon! Thank you!

    • chef-de-jour profile image

      Andrew Spacey 2 years ago from Near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire,UK

      I will bookmark this hub. Thank you for sharing such useful information for would be self publishers. Well done with your own publications.

    • heidithorne profile image
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      Heidi Thorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

      Hi AudreyHowitt! It's worth looking into! Amazon Createspace/KDP for Kindle can be very cost-effective. Good luck with your publishing adventures!

    • heidithorne profile image
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      Heidi Thorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

      Hi Chef-de-jour! Glad you found the information helpful. Thanks for stopping by and best of luck with your own self-publishing adventures!

    • mdscoggins profile image

      Michelle Scoggins 2 years ago from Fresno, CA

      Thank Heidi for the information. Currently, I am looking at my options for publishing and as you explained it does not seem so scary or difficult.

    • heidithorne profile image
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      Heidi Thorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

      Hi mdscoggins! I certainly have enjoyed using the Amazon Createspace/KDP platform. Do check it out and good luck with your publishing adventures!

    • DealForALiving profile image

      Sam Deal 2 years ago from Earth

      One of my long-term goals is to write a book, so I'll file this hub away for another time. So glad to have found this~

    • heidithorne profile image
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      Heidi Thorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

      Hi DealForALiving! Now that we have all these fabulous publishing tools at our disposal, realizing our dreams of writing a book is much more possible. Glad you found the information helpful. Keep us posted on your publishing adventures!

    • Trisha Roberts profile image

      Trisha Roberts 2 years ago from Rensselaer, New York

      Absolutely great information and thank you so much for sharing. I definitely need to keep this hub for when I am ready to bring myself up into self publishing!

    • heidithorne profile image
      Author

      Heidi Thorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

      Hi Trisha Roberts! Glad you found the information helpful. Keep us posted on your publishing adventures!

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 2 years ago from USA

      Heidi this is so great. I'm glad I found your site for this. Giving it another look-see and saving this for hubby to view. So appreciative!

    • heidithorne profile image
      Author

      Heidi Thorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

      Hi favored! Glad you found the info helpful. I've found the Amazon Createspace platform to be very easy to use. Good luck with your publishing adventures!

    • Joyette  Fabien profile image

      Joyette Fabien 2 years ago from Dominica

      heidithorne, I just want to endorse all that you have said. I have used Createspace publishing and I think it absolutely fantastic that a total novice can use the DIY guidelines and end up with a superior quality paperback or eBook.

      You have taken us through the steps beautifully. Great hub!

    • heidithorne profile image
      Author

      Heidi Thorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

      Hi Joyette! Glad to see you've also found Createspace to be helpful. It completely changed my publishing opportunities. Thanks so much for stopping by and have a great week!

    • anglnwu profile image

      anglnwu 2 years ago

      Great information. I've a book of poems I'm contemplating publishing. I should seriously look into this. Thanks for sharing.

    • heidithorne profile image
      Author

      Heidi Thorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

      Hi anglnwu! We hope you do. Good luck with your publishing adventures. Merry Christmas!

    • Pawpawwrites profile image

      Jim 2 years ago from Kansas

      I found this information to be helpful. I'm getting close to self publishing, but still have a little work to do.

    • heidithorne profile image
      Author

      Heidi Thorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

      Hi Pawpawwrites! Glad you found this hub useful. When you do head down the self publishing route, do check out the Amazon Createspace platform. Keep us posted on your publishing adventures! Happy Weekend!

    • RonElFran profile image

      Ronald E. Franklin 2 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Heidi. I'm just at the thinking-about-it stage in terms of publishing a book, and this kind of info is both informative and inspirational.

    • heidithorne profile image
      Author

      Heidi Thorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

      Happy New Year Ron! That thinking-about-it stage can take a while. Better to think it through now than have to change it all later. Keep us posted on your publishing adventures!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Informative and very interesting about your books I had a look and would like to exchange reviews, please. My email dprimc@gmail.com

    • heidithorne profile image
      Author

      Heidi Thorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

      Hi DDE! Thanks for your comments and connecting. I'll email you. Have a great weekend!

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 2 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      Does Amazon Createspace have Open Office Writer templates?

      I'm daydreaming about making a booklet from a selection of my online posts -- a one year journal of experiences and reflections. Would Createspace let me create it as only an ebook? Would that be a sensible choice?

      The price that comes to mind is 25c. Does that sound okay or too low or too high re getting readers?

      Re dictating an audio recording of a book and paying to get that transcribed, could the transcribing be skipped by using a voice recognition program like Nuance Dragon NaturallySpeaking or like Google Voice Recognition?

    • heidithorne profile image
      Author

      Heidi Thorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

      Hi B. Leekley!

      I don't think Amazon Createspace has Open Office Writer templates, but they do have them for MS Word. But I think Open can read and save MS word docs, right?

      Createspace can create both a print and ebook for Kindle. However, if you're just looking to do an ebook to sell on Amazon, then you'll want to go direct to Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). Remember that you are only getting paid royalties by publishing with KDP (they need to be paid for hosting your book!). If you want to sell it on your own, you'll keep all the sales, but you'll have to set up and manage the entire sales process. That can be challenging.

      $0.25 is an unusual price on KDP or anywhere for that matter. Many of the books on KDP are offered for $0.99, $1.99 or $2.99. I think $0.99 is the minimum on KDP. Also, if you sell it on your own, the payment platform you choose may have a minimum amount they are willing to process and will charge a fee for processing; $0.25 may not cover it.

      You can try the voice-to-text software to get your ideas out of your head and onto your PC. Be aware, though, that you'll have to really be careful and read what is transcribed. While they have an amazing level of recognition, words such as homonyms can be incorrectly transcribed. But it's better than typing if that's an issue.

      Thanks for asking some great questions that I'm sure lots of our hubber friends are asking, too. (You might have even inspired another hub for me!) Keep us posted on your publishing adventures and have a great day!

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 2 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      Thanks, heidithorne, for your helpful answers to my questions. I hope it is OK to ask one more. If a website is a free self-publishing platform and if it has a no duplicate content rule, must I delete a post from that site before I can include it, intact with no change of wording, in an ebook and/or in a print on demand paperback book?

      Months ago I wrote the hub "Customer Review of Nuance Dragon Naturally Speaking Voice Recognition Software". I am still happily using version 12 because my computer is not powerful enough for version 13.

    • heidithorne profile image
      Author

      Heidi Thorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

      Thanks for checking in again, B.Leekley!

      The duplicate content issue is actually two issues.

      First of all, a "self publishing platform" such as Createspace, Xlibris, etc. is NOT the same as an online writing site like HP. Self publishing platforms are for the creation and sale of true books (print or electronic), not search indexed articles.

      I will also say that is not unusual for bloggers to compile or include their own articles and posts into book form. However, it does depend on the rules for the site on which it was originally posted. So you need to check that out and contact that site's support team to verify what is allowed and what rights you have given up to post there. But I'm also going to defer to our HP friend, billybuc, who has some additional insight into the issue in two posts from his Writer's Mailbag series here on HP: https://hubpages.com/literature/The-Writers-Mailba... (see segment on "Duplications") and https://hubpages.com/literature/The-Writers-Mailba... (see segment on Poetry books). And here's HP's FAQ on ownership: http://hubpages.com/faq/#whoownscontent

      And I hear ya on the software issue. We've all clung to various versions of our favorite software either due to lack of PC power or not wanting to learn how to use ANOTHER software program update.

      Hope that helps. Good luck with your self publishing adventure!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Very informative article about self publishing books for little cost. I have several friends who may be interested so will forward this to them. Pinning to my Do You Know This? board and will also share with my HP followers.

    • heidithorne profile image
      Author

      Heidi Thorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

      Peggy, thank you so much for sharing this with your tribe! Appreciate your support and glad you found it helpful. Have a lovely day!

    • Blackspaniel1 profile image

      Blackspaniel1 2 years ago

      I like Create Space. First, it is easier if the book has images than Kindle, and you can publish in both, but do publish in Create Space first. They assign an ISBN number, Kindle does not. In my case the only money would be the copyright, inexpensive, and a copy to proofread at the author price, which you can later sell if you do not, as most people would, keep a copy for yourself.

    • heidithorne profile image
      Author

      Heidi Thorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

      Hi Blackspaniel1! Indeed, if a book is image-intensive, Createspace and a physical book is usually the better choice. I've also appreciated that Createspace assigns the ISBN number; save an extra step and hassle. I, too, keep a copy for myself... just because. :) Thanks so much for stopping by, the additional insight and for connecting here on HP! Have a wonderful day!

    • profile image

      tiffanyrose2015 23 months ago

      Very useful information, thank you!

    • heidithorne profile image
      Author

      Heidi Thorne 23 months ago from Chicago Area

      Hi tiffanyrose2015! Glad you found it helpful. Thanks for stopping by and have a great week ahead!

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 21 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Heidi, this was an awesome hub with interesting tips on how to get started, if you want to go that method. Very incentive for us fellow hubbers and writers. Voted up!

    • heidithorne profile image
      Author

      Heidi Thorne 21 months ago from Chicago Area

      Hi Kristen! Glad you found it helpful. We'll look forward to hearing about your self publishing adventures. Thanks for stopping and have a great weekend!

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 21 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Hi Heidi. You're very welcome. Self-publishing is a last resort for me, if all else fails with my traditional publishing routine with a hopeful agent. You too!

    • heidithorne profile image
      Author

      Heidi Thorne 21 months ago from Chicago Area

      Hi Pjgermain! Glad you found it helpful. Createspace is an awesome platform. Keep up posted on your publishing adventures!

    • the rawspirit profile image

      Robert Morgan 20 months ago from Hutchinson Island, FL - Myrtle Beach, SC - Scottsdale AZ

      Wow.... You are amazing.I can't tell you how much this hub has helped me. Thank you, Heidi.

      Voting up... Way up

    • heidithorne profile image
      Author

      Heidi Thorne 20 months ago from Chicago Area

      You're welcome, the rawspirit! Glad you discovered the hub and how Createspace can help you with your publishing adventures. Have a beautiful weekend!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 16 months ago from The Caribbean

      I'm late, but I am bookmarking this valuable article. Thank you so much for the information and the video which I intend to watch later this evening.

    • heidithorne profile image
      Author

      Heidi Thorne 16 months ago from Chicago Area

      Hi MsDora! Glad you found the tips helpful. Thanks for your kind comments and have a Happy Thanksgiving Weekend!

    • Dreamlin profile image

      Dreamlin 15 months ago from New Jersey, USA

      Hi Heidi,

      I'm just about to self-publish my first YA Fantasy Adventure novel next month. Your tips are very useful. The information saves me lots of headache. Thank you very much.

    • heidithorne profile image
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      Heidi Thorne 15 months ago from Chicago Area

      Hi Dreamlin! Glad you found the info helpful. Good luck with your new novel and Happy Holidays!

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