Quick Overview of Printing with CreateSpace


While eBooks and Audio-Books are very popular, offering print books is almost a must!  Beside larger quantities at traditional printing and digital printing, Print-on-Demand is the most economically way of creating print titles. For self-publishers and small imprint, CreateSpace is a popular supplier and distributor.

CreateSpace is Amazon’s POD subsidiary and provides the most competitively priced Print-on-Demand service: If an author-publisher delivers a perfectly prepared PDF manuscript it is almost free to set-up the print book. Just the proof copy has to be purchased, and the postage.  So, for less than $10 the book production can start – a very tiny investment.

Reasons for Print Books:

  • The majority of book buyers still chooses printed books
  • You can offer review copies to newspaper/magazine or book reviewers
  • To be hosted at local media / TV – interviewers who want to show a copy of your book
  • To sell your book easier to libraries
  • To participate in a Goodreads Giveaway
  • To sell your book to those who love paper books
  • If you write non-fiction – it is almost a must to offer it in paper as well
  • With an ISBN number you can get listed with Bowker at worldwide bookstores
  • Physical books are just nicer to give on Christmas or birthdays

Benefits of Print-on-Demand with CreateSpace 
Your book remains in-stock, without inventory, made on-demand when customers order. Other advantages are:

  • Fast and reliable distribution to Amazon.
  • Fast and affordable shipping to US customers.
  • Shipping “review copies” to bloggers and/or for giveaways such as on Goodreads.
  • This do-it-yourself option for authors charges no setup fee and proofs cost only the print price for an individual book.

A video and calculator let you figure out how much you will make every time your book is manufactured.  Decide the size, color(s) and numbers of pages to learn how much revenue you will earn.  CreateSpace takes 40% when you sell on Amazon, and 60% for expanded distribution (other online stores, libraries or bookstores).

Book Description
Each book will have its own page on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr, Amazon.es and Amazon.it.  Your book description can have up to 4,000 characters or about 760 words.
After you have approved your proof copy and made your book available for sale, you may change only your book’s description, keywords, BISAC category, and list price.  You can update this information through your CreateSpace account; please allow up to five to seven business days for this information to update on your book’s Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, and Amazon Europe detail pages.

No Advertising Whatsoever
You won’t find a phone number, email or social media address, or website of an author in a trade-published book.  The same is true for books produced and distributed by CreateSpace.  You won’t get the same promotion benefits in print that you get in eBooks.  Details what else to consider can be found on CreateSpace website:

  • Phone numbers, physical mail addresses, e-mail addresses, or website URLs.
  • Availability, price, condition, alternative ordering information (such as links to other websites for placing orders), or alternative shipping offers (such as free shipping).
  • Spoilers (information that reveals plot elements crucial to the suspense, mystery, or surprise ending of a story).
  • Reviews, quotes, or testimonials.(Editorial Review section excluded)
  • Solicitations for positive customer reviews.
  • Pornographic, obscene, or offensive content.
  • Advertisements, promotional material, or watermarks on images, photos, or videos.
  • Time-sensitive information (i.e., dates of promotional tours, seminars, lectures, etc.).

Two Book Distribution Options:

  • Standard Distribution
  • Delivers to Amazon.com, as well as Amazon.ca.
  • Amazon’s European websites including Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.es, Amazon.fr, Amazon.it. Customers ordering from Amazon’s European websites can take advantage of Free Super Saver Shipping, One-Day-Shipping, and Prime savings.
  • CreateSpace eStore
    CreateSpace handles the cart, credit card processing, and fulfillment of your customer’s orders.
  • Expanded Distribution
    These additional sales channels make your book available for order to online retailers, bookstores, libraries, academic institutions, and distributors within the United States.

Submission Rules for Your Book to CreateSpace:
To upload your book to CreateSpace you will enter most of your book’s metadata directly within your account on your Project Homepage:

  • title and subtitle,
  • author name,
  • book description,
  • trim size,
  • paper color, etc.
  • Some of your book’s metadata, like page count, will auto-populate when your files are submitted.
  • Color Images: Resolution: 300 DPI or higher
  • Format: JPEG (JPEG Photoshop compression level with quality 10 or higher), or TIFF
  • Spine Text and Barcodes: CreateSpace only prints spine text on books with more than 130 pages. Text on larger spines must be sized to fit the spine, with at least 0.0625″ of space between the text and the edge of the spine.
  • All covers must have a 300 DPI barcode on the back cover, and the barcode must be at least 1.5″ wide and .9″ high.

More Tips:
To get help with submissions, use their online chat system. If you make an error, simply upload a new file at no charge. There are also several YouTube videos that show you exactly how to upload your PDF file to CreateSpace.

Do use your own ISBN – do not buy it from CS.
Bowker is the official distributor and only when you buy it there, you will be the publisher!
CS offers to sell you an ISBN for $99 that you can put your own imprint on. If you spend another $196 you can buy 10 of them from Bowker!

Order at least two proof copies of your book – things never look the same on screen as they do in print.  You don’t have to read the whole book word for word, but thumb through all the pages to make sure the interior of your print book looks professional.  Have another person (or several) carefully look trough your proof copy as well. The cost for a proof copy is the same as the cost of a single book, plus shipping and handling.

Ordering Print Copies of Your Own Book
Orders you place for your title are “Member Orders.”  When you order copies of your own book, you pay just the fixed and per-page charges plus shipping and handling.  Use their calculator to see your per-book, proof order cost, and shipping and handling costs. How revenues (wrongly called “royalties) are calculated can be found in detail at this CreateSpace page: https://www.createspace.com/Products/Book/Royalties.jsp



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