Currently I do not have a print edition of This Broken Earth out there, and the reason was simple: I didn't feel the need to publish in print because of the lack of interest from most readers. Most of my readers are digital, and I sell around 10-15 books a month on Amazon as Kindle editions. However, I would like to be able to have a print edition of my books, so I decided to go ahead and fork over the dough. I have a spare $200, however, and I have decided to share with all of you indie publishers how I'm about to turn that $200 investment into two published books using CreateSpace.
I have worked out that I can publish to CreateSpace using Scrivener to format the text into a PDF that CreateSpace will like. If you want to know how to do that, check out my blog post where I go step by step here. I can publish to Kindle for free, of course, and so I will produce print editions of This Broken Earth and Come Apart while saving a ton of money in the process.
It works out like this:
$50 - Paid an artist friend to do the cover for Come Apart. She has a fantastic cover idea and I'm letting her run with it. I'm using the cover I created for the Kindle edition for This Broken Earth
$35 - I copyright Come Apart through the digital arm of the U.S. Copyright Office.
$30 - Pay various Twitter advertising people to tweet about the new book. Most of them are free, but some of them ask for a small pittance ($5-$10) to utilize their massive Twitter following. I will give away This Broken Earth and Come Apart for the first 5 days after the launch of the print editions, and list them on as many free e-book sites as possible. After said time the Kindle editions will be $2.99. If you want a list of these e-book listing sites, check out this link.
$85 - CreateSpace's process is for the author to order at least one copy of their print edition in order to proof it and start the process of publication. I set aside at least this much in order to re-order a copy in case there is a mistake or a formatting problem. Any left over money is used for author copies of the book so that you can show it off to friends or to local book stores to stock on consignment.
I also recommend that you go ahead and throw down the cash ($250) for 10 ISBN numbers. Listing a book under your name is much more powerful than using the free ISBN that CreateSpace gives you. CreateSpace will list it under Amazon's name.
If you did not become an editor with an English degree, you might also throw down the cash to hire an editor you trust. I have several friends who help me out, and I bribe them with dinner or pay them what they are worth (which is a lot), but a well edited and critiqued work will save the author much embarrassment later. I offer these services at a very reasonable $1 per page, so if you are in the market, drop me a line.