1. I’m slogging through this process right now too. I noticed that on your estore, it only sells the print edition. Can you make it have your ebook as well? And did you have to do anything special to link up your print and ebook through Amazon, since to do it free, I had to do CreateSpace for my print edition and kdp.amazon for my e-edition? I’m still waiting for my proof book to get here. Mine, unfortunately is on the 4th day (and I’m dying to get it).

    • Hi Char – Thanks for stopping by. I don’t believe the eStore can be changed to sell the ebook…Amazon and CreateSpace are integrated, but only to a certain extent and it doesn’t seem to include this.

      Regarding linking the two: as I mention in the post, it’s strange that Amazon doesn’t give you the ability to manually link your ebook with the print version so that there’s less chance of error as well as getting it done quicker. But they handle the whole thing. In my case, it only took a few days and was accurate. CS for print, KDP/Author Central for ebook is the norm.

      The system is open to abuse, however; see David Gaughran’s recent run-in with a scammer who scraped his ebook and began selling a print version without Dave’s consent. The “print version” was automatically linked to Dave’s legit ebook, which had many high-starred reviews, thereby leeching the integrity of the ebook. This could not/would not have happened if auto-linking weren’t the norm.

      Best of luck with your print version! It shoudn’t be long now and is worth the wait!

      • Thanks for the tips, Matthew. I had seen a spot where you could pay Createspace to make an ebook out of your print book and have them automatically linked, but I had already done everything needed for formatting an ebook, and didn’t want to pay. I’m glad to know that they linked the two for you. Hopefully they’ll do the same to mine (I hate when print and ebooks aren’t linked together–which I find a lot). Oh, and I forgot to tell you before, but your description of your short story book is amazing. I loved it. When I get through a few of my other books, I’m definitely going to have to give yours a try (and I’ll try not to write a infuriating review about how I don’t like suspense crime stories).

    • Thanks, so much, Char! I’m glad you like ONE BAD’s blurb…I find them difficult to write, actually. Please let me know how your CS adventure goes…I’ll be printing all of my future book-length projects and the more information, the better.

    • Hi Jake – Thanks for hanging out. I’m glad you liked the series…I hope they help you when you decide to go to print! Feel free to drop me a line here or matt.iden AT matthew-iden.com if you have any questions. Can’t guarantee answers, but I can try.

  2. matthew, what an extremely useful series, esp for me, ubber printed-copy beginner 😉

    i have a couple of questions, you may have answered them already, but am dazed-brained i think 😉

    anyways, one, i have a generated toc file in my original file, plus one i created myself, with links to each chapter & heading (each of my poems is a heading within a topic chapter, ie, baseball / pitching

    for the createspace pdf, do i delete the app generated toc? and just keep my own created one?

    and two, i have only a couple of pictures in this particular book, and i can easily convert them to b&w (not worth paying for a color book for just these two images) but will they convert to pdf, or am i better off without the pic?

    the pic are “useful” but not essential

    thanks again matt; if you wish to email me, please send to yoga dot adan at gmail dot com

    thanks 😉


    • Hi Adan – Thanks for coming by! To answer your questions:

      1. Unless it’s a huge pain, if you’re making a print copy from your existing e-copy, I would do some things manually. For a TOC, for instance, I would not use the software-generated TOC and instead do it myself so that I could control exactly how it looked (you can design the TOC to be any way you want it to, then). Obviously, you’ll have to add page numbers back into the book, as well. In your case, just use the TOC you created yourself.

      2. I think the pictures should be fine (and you’re right about B&W). It depends on what software you use to convert your document to .pdf, but you *should* have explicit control on how it looks in the final .pdf before you send it to CreateSpace. Just review how they come out; if you use a sophisticated .pdf converter like Acrobat Pro, dig into the Image Properties and see how it compresses/converts the files. Try a few different conversions to see, but then be sure to check out CreateSpace’s own .pdf previewer once you upload as your final check.

      Good luck!

      • great info! matt, thank you!

        definitely will go with my own toc then; i guess i’ll need to see how the pages play, then add back the page numbers, but that’s ok

        at least i’m making progress 😉

        thanks again matt

  3. thinkaboutit

    I’d think twice about using CreateSpace. Several of the paperback books I’d ordered fell a part. Some after a signing and customers complained to me. Beyond 60 days and the retailer refuses to replace these damaged books. I think it’s poor quality. New books shouldn’t fall apart. For the money and time I’ve put in to this company, they should work harder for me. Looks like I need another (better) publishing agent.

    • Hi Think – thanks for stopping by. Sorry to hear about your experiences with CS. I’ve ordered two sets of books so far and they’ve been okay, but of course your’re talking about longevity, so we’ll see if they last down the road.

      If you do find another company with better production values (Lulu, Lightning Source, etc.) please let me know. I imagine everyone’s cutting costs to remain competitive with large publishers that run off 50,000 paperbacks and retail them for $7.99. It’ll be interesting to see how POD can keep pace with mainstream publishers as move forward.

  4. Great bit of Information, Matthew. My concerns are around the quality of CS’s softcovers. Inside and out, do they look and feel ‘professional’?

    • Hi Heron – Thanks for stopping by. My experience has been good. The covers (which I do myself) are true to the graphic files I’ve sent, the interior layout and print seems spot on. The paper quality is fine (certainly better than pulpy paperbacks by far) and the covers are glossy.

      My only gripe so far might be that the “cut” is a little off…if you buy 10 copies of your book and stack them together, there is a slight variation in their trim size (like, by millimeters), so they aren’t perfectly uniform. But this is a concession I can live with for all the other great services.

      As for longevity (as thinkaboutit points out, above, in his comments), I can’t really say. My “oldest” print is of my short story collection ONE BAD TWELVE, and that’s only a few months old. They’ve held up fine over 4-5 months, but I can’t speak to 1 year+. CS also offers a hardback service, but I didn’t look into that…not sure demand will prove sufficient.

      Hope that helps! Please keep up the dialogue as you try CS yourself and/or have information!

  5. Hi. Quick question. Is is possible for me to have my first few proofs sent to me through my regular Amazon account, which is ‘Prime,’ meaning I’d get free shipping? Or do I have to do it through CreateSpace and pay for shipping?

    • Hi Chicky – Unfortunately, although owned by Amazon, Createspace does its own shipping separately, so you can’t use Prime. Proofs seem to run about $3-4 for me (the printer is in South Carolina, I’m in Virginia, so may vary for you). Don’t let that stop you, though: there’s no substitute for physical proofs (the PDF proof they provide is a nice-to-have, but doesn’t come close to revealing errors and the overall feel of your book, like type size, gutters, etc.)

      The no-Prime also applies to readers who buy your books through CS–you get a higher royalty, but your readers can’t apply Prime to their shipping, so it can be challenging to get them there. One way to sweeten the deal: CS allows authors to create coupons codes that you could hand out as a subsidy to help with shipping and, with the higher royalty, still make more per book than if they bought it on Amazon directly.

  6. Mari

    This was really useful. Thanks for sharing your experience! I have a question. If I use CS, will my books qualify to be offered to Amazon Prime subscribers? I see that your listing is prime, but want to make sure I can target that audience if CS publishes my books.

    • Matthew Iden

      Hi Mari – TBH, I’m not entirely sure how Prime works for CS titles. Most of my books are now published by Thomas & Mercer, Amazon’s mystery imprint, so that’s why they are Prime eligible, i.e., they’re coming from the source.

      ON the other hand, I have a self-published novel, Stealing Sweetwater (www.amazon.com/Stealing-Sweetwater-Matthew-Iden/dp/1515390500/), with paperback through CS and that listing says:

      “This item is eligible for free Prime shipping but requires additional processing time.”

      So that seems like good news…the additional processing time is, I’m sure, just the time need to print it, since CS is a Print On Demand shop. I hope that helps and sorry for the delayed reply!

      ~matt i.

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