We’ve been busy setting up business systems and filling book orders this past month. S o-o-o-o the internet tasks, like updating this blog, fell between the cracks for a while. Between the two of us, we only have four hands, after all, and my daughter’s hands are not only incredibly talented but also the hands of a mother of two and step-mother of three. I am in awe of all she gets done. (Yay, Robin!)
One of the things Robin took on, besides doing Curious Carmelita’s gorgeous illustrations, was formatting the book on Photoshop. This saved us a ton of money since we didn’t have to pay a third party to do the set-up. I’m not going to go into the technical aspects here because, hey, I don’t know them. I do the writing and handle the business stuff, she’s in charge of the creative and technical end of things. Between us, we cover all the bases. This division of labor is what makes our fledgling enterprise possible. That, and CreateSpace.
CreateSpace is the print-on-demand program owned by Amazon. I love, love, LOVE CreateSpace. If, like us, you can do your own file set up and have your own ISBN number(s) (I had a bunch left over from my first, less-than-successful, attempt at indy publishing in 2002), you can upload your book file onto the site for free and start ordering books as soon as you’ve approved the proof. For us, that meant that all we paid for Curious Carmelita to be a reality was $7.00 for the printing and shipping of the proof–plus what it cost to set up the business, of course, but that’s another blog topic.
We pay a very reasonable price per book and can order as many or as few at a time as we need. Even selling them wholesale, we make as much per copy as we’d earn in royalties from a traditional publisher. When we sell them direct, we make much more. AND everything CreateSpace prints is automatically listed on Amazon. AND we retain all our rights. AND it took three weeks from when we sent the file in to when we had books to sell. THREE WEEKS. Considering that it takes anywhere from about eighteen months to three or four YEARS for a traditional publisher to print a book after they acquire it, this is up there with the parting of the Red Sea in terms of miraculous.
Self-publishing is still a risky venture. But, with CreateSpace, that risk is reduced, and that can make all the difference between success and failure.