I got a lot of this information from James Altucher, who encourages people to share it freely (it’s a blog post he wrote two years ago), and a friend, Dwight Clough, who has written a bunch of books, including one that he wrote and published in 24 hours. I’m not kidding.
This is what I’m doing right now. I have my account set up, ISBN assigned to my business (Big Ideas Publishing, LLC), title and sub-title, and a lot of the text. ISBN’s are free if you want the publisher listed as “CreateSpace,” or you can pay $10 like I did to have you or your business listed as the publisher.
Here are the steps:
1. Create an account at CreateSpace.com. They’re owned by Amazon. Go to https://www.createspace.com/Signup.jsp
2. Choose a trim size. Most paperback books work well at 6″ x 9″.
3. Download the Microsoft Word template they provide. You can also compose your books in LibreOffice which has a seamless, one-click pdf conversion utility (and LibreOffice is free).
You need to format your page size to match your trim size. Study book interiors to make good judgments on margins, font size, spacing, and so on. Also study what most people are putting on the front page of their books.
4. Create a cover. CreateSpace has a ton of options when you combine their templates with images and fonts. You can also outsource this to a graphic designer for a few hundred bucks (probably not a bad idea), or create your own cover using something called GIMP, a free, open-source graphics program.
Best option is either pay someone to do this, use CreateSpace’s Cover Creator, or use their cover design services (for a fee). Save the cover and interior as a pdf and upload it.
5. Set up your title in CreateSpace. Self-explanatory at CreateSpace.com.
6. Pick a price. I recommend $7.95 or $9.95 for a paperback. You can set it up later for Kindle, and those are priced best at $2.99 or $4.99.
7. Order and approve proofs. CreateSpace only takes a day or two to review your files. You review a proof online or order a physical proof. Once you’ve approved a proof, your book is available to purchase.
The best part? It costs next to nothing!
$10 if you use your name as the publisher, otherwise $0.00, plus a small fee for cost of the proof, and the cost of any copies you want to order right away so you can have some physical books (to sign to all your fans, of course).
Do you have 40 days, some writing skills, and a big idea? You can get your book published by the end of October, in plenty of time for the holiday season.
Stay tuned for details on my upcoming book, “7 Bright Strategies for Overcoming the Dark Side of Freelancing: Insider Tips You Won’t Hear Anywhere Else.”