I’ve been making videos and blog posts about writing and self-publishing for a long time now, yet I’ve never made a video to address how to self-publish a book on Amazon. For today’s blog post and video, I’m going to teach you how to publish a paperback novel using Createspace, upload your manuscript, format your manuscript and make your novel available for purchase on Amazon. As a bonus to those who stick around until the end, I’ll also show you how to make your novel available on Kindle! Let’s keep in mind that before you do any of these steps your novel should be completed, edited and good to go. While you can make changes and to your manuscript after it’s uploaded to Createspace, it’s more of a hassle.
The first order of business is creating a Createspace account. Createspace is free to use and yes, it is free to publish your book. The only fee you get from Createspace is the small percentage they take out of your royalties when a book is sold. Other than that, the only other time you’ll be giving Createspace money is when you order a physical copy of your book or if you chose to use one of their service fees such as cover design, interior design, and marketing packages.
Uploading Your Manuscript
Before you can upload your manuscript, you’re going to need to format your manuscript. This means downloading a template that Createspace provides after you’ve chosen the trim size of your book. Find the templates here. Once you have the template, you will need to copy and paste your manuscript into the formatted template. For more details on this, watch my video on formatting our novel.
Once you have your formatted manuscript ready, you’ll add it to Createspace by clicking the “Add New Title” button. You’ll be asked to add in information about your book such as title, genre, ISBN, etc.
Createspace provides you with a free ISBN. There’s a bit of a debate going on in the community as to whether you should use that ISBN or not, but if you want to purchase your own ISBN, go to myidentifiers.com.
Uploading Your Cover
Once you get to the step of uploading your book cover, it’s as simple as uploading the PDF of the cover your graphic designer has come up with. Createspace has a cover-maker, but I don’t recommend using it because the quality isn’t there and we all know people judge a book by its cover.
I designed my book covers myself, so if you design your own covers as well, be sure to download the cover template Createspace provides. Keep in mind that your book needs a title, the author’s name, and space for a barcode. See how I made the cover of Essence.
Submitting for Review
Once you have all the information of your novel uploaded, your book will be submitted to review. Createspace is checking that your book cover has everything it needs and that the inside of your book has the 10-digit and 13-digit ISBN and copyright page. You usually hear back within 48 hours.
Publishing Your Novel
Your book isn’t published on Amazon until you hit APPROVE. Until then, your novel will not be on Amazon. Keep in mind you’ll also need to go to the channel distribution area and check off those boxes as well. (See photo below) I was told that once you hit the approve button, it would take days for my book to show up on Amazon, but in my experience, it only took a few hours.
Publish on Kindle
Once you have your paperback ready, you can automatically publish your book on Kindle as well. It’s as simple as hitting a button. When you’re in Createspace, go to “Distribute” then “Publish on Kindle” and follow the directions! As simple as that and your ebook will be created!
Want to learn more about self-publishing? Check out my How to Self-Publish Book playlist on YouTube!
Are you planning on self-publishing a novel this year? If so, let me know in the comments down below! If you’re confused or have questions about Createspace, feel free to reach out!