How I published my first CreateSpace book
Many authors have used CreateSpace with great success and I've happily suggested it to clients. But just how easy is it to turn a manuscript into a perfectly produced paperback?


What about e-books? I hear you shout.

Well, after recovering from the excitement of seeing My Roman Holiday in print, I had to go for the e-book version.

From the CreateSpace pages I followed the links and instructions and uploaded a Word document version of my manuscript. Even the inclusion of photos wasn't a problem. 

I had read that it’s necessary to format all the non-standard content, i.e. italics. However, my document uploaded with them and they appeared in the finished version. I didn’t worry about adding links from a contents page to each separate chapter. But I did ensure each chapter began at the top of a page.

The end result? Well, for anyone scared of the technicalities and worried about the merest suggestion of choosing from ‘upload’ and ‘edit’, it’s ideal.

Yes, you can format your e-book to have links to this and that. You can do lots of whizzy things. But if you found this site because it’s all about being jargon-free, going for basics is within your reach.

Now, the downside to using Amazon’s Kindle-document-creating-software is that you can only sell your e-book on Amazon. You can’t have an e-version to email off to friends and family. You can’t sell it on sites such as Smashwords. If you have to google ‘smashwords’ then it’s possibly not for you.

Does that matter? It will to some writers who want their work available on as many platforms as possible. There are many blogs and websites available that will take you to that level. But if your goal is to have your work available as a paperback and e-book (and without the need of a budget*), this could be sufficient for your needs.

Remember, if you do consider widening your market, you will have to widen your marketing. Why? There's little point in popping your book on those virtual shelves if you don't promote it.

If you do decide to go down the whizzy route of formatting your document, I can recommend Jessica Bell's book, Self-publish Your Book. Jessica's handy guide will ease you through every stage of the process – for paperbacks and e-readers.

Also, perhaps look at Calibre's free software. This allows you to upload a formatted document and produce an electronic file that you can share on other retail platforms. Click here for more information.