The adventure and learning process into DIY book publishing continues…here is some learning and information to share. Whether you are interested in getting the paperback version of “How To Be a Rocket Scientist” or writing and publishing your own paperback book someday, this should be good info for you.
I’m using Amazon as my primary publishing and distribution channel for both the eBook and paperback. Physical printing and distribution is handled by CreateSpace, a wholly-owned Amazon company. The services and value from this company are truly remarkable and fantastic. Zero up-front costs or fees to get your book through their system (assuming you do it all yourself, or outsource elsewhere for writing, graphics, editing, etc.).
I discovered some unexpected steps and delays in their process however. For the first book they make with an author, they require that a physical proof copy be sent out for your review before they will make it available on Amazon. They also have digital/online proof copies and review tools, which I used. With those, the book looks fantastic and ready to go IMO. But that wasn’t enough for me to say “Make it so!” (cue the Jean-Luc Picard soundbite) I am stuck waiting for the physical proof copy to be send out to me. More frustrating, I don’t have a definitive date from CreateSpace for this shipping date.
I contacted their Help Desk to ask how to shortcut or abort this process. I got a very polite reply that explained this more rigorous process for first time authors (which was not apparent from their online information–thus you’re getting another bit of inside information from me here.) They wouldn’t let me proceed without it.
I will also admit that I used more time to outsource for formatting of the book. I used someone on fiverr.com for that. $5 for the formatting into camera-ready PDF and $5 more to get the final MS Word file back so I could continue to make tweaks myself with that. And the Christmas holiday has created some delays too.
Not to worry or quit! I can’t be as certain now that the paperback will be available on Amazon before the end of the month and year, I regret and apologize for everyone. I hope you keep some money on your gift cards for it if that was your intention. ($9.99, and still the best deal against comparable books on the topic.)
Thanks for your patience and support. I hope you have many other fun gifts and company to enjoy in the meantime. And remember, subscribers to this blog will get a free bonus gift to their email account when the paperback is available.
Happy holidays, and Happy New Year! Brett