I did it. I published my book, The Project-Driven Life: How To Figure Out What You Want To Be When You Grow Up. It’s available now on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle edition now.
I am so happy.
If you’ve ever thought about self-publishing through Amazon’s CreateSpace, here’s what I did, and why, and what my experience was like.
But first, a little backstory.
I really resisted publishing this. Getting my work out there was a big, fat, scary, hairy deal for me. I didn’t want to risk criticism, or people hating it, or even worse, ignoring it.
So when I was finally ready to pull the trigger, I had to make some decisions.
I knew I was going to go with CreateSpace because I had worked with them before, back when they were called Booksurge.
I had a good experience with them back in 2008 when I helped a friend, who had no computer skills, publish his book with them, and it was easy.
Sadly, he died before he saw his book in print, but his widow told me to spare no expense and just get it out there so all his friends could buy it on Amazon.
So she paid for copy editing and marketing, and a whole bunch of other stuff I don’t even remember now.
But you don’t have to pay at all with CreateSpace. You can totally publish your book for free.
You can do your own formatting, your own copy editing. You can upload your own cover art and write your own marketing copy.
But I hate all that. I hate Word and if I had to eff around with it to get my formatting all neat and clean, my stupid little book would be still sitting in Scrivener.
I’m not a bad writer, but even I knew my copy wasn’t squeeky clean.
And as for cover art? Jesus. No way.
Marketing copy and SEO and all that stuff? I wish I was good at it, but I’m not.
I went in and calculated how much I would have to pay CreateSpace to do all that stuff and make my scary hairy project something that didn’t look like a dog’s dinner, which it most certainly would have if I was in charge of all that stuff.
If I was ready to do this, and if this might be the very last thing I would have the nads to put out there, what was it worth to me to have it done all spiffy and pro?
You can go in and calculate all their pro services on the site. One round of copy editing, Pro formatting, 2 Pro covers to pick from, marketing and Kindle conversion totalled a grand.
I sat on it.
I could do my own copy editing. I could dink around in Word and format. I could take a photo for the cover and overlay the right font onto it and pick fonts for front and back and inside, and write the back cover and the Amazon description and tag it all up on my own.
I could. I really could. I could spend another 6 months to a year learning new skills, but the question was: Would I?
And the answer was a resounding, no.
I would not. I had not the time, nor, more importantly, the interest, in doing any of those things. It took all I could do to finish the damn thing and I really didn’t want to deal with it any more.
So I paid. And I am so happy I did.
The whole process was a dream. I got an editorial letter telling me where my tone went off the rails, and I got to fix it. I had so many copy editing mistakes it was embarrassing , frankly.
I got to fix them all.
The pro formatting turned out so nice.
I was initially going to go with just one cover concept but was urged to go for the Premium package where they design 2 and you get to pick the one you like best, and I was SO HAPPY I did that because one of the covers was not what I was going for at all.
But I think the very best money I spent was on the Marketing. Marketing is such a skilled art, and their writers totally nailed it.
Yeah, I paid, but I got way more than I ever hoped for. And it was a pleasure to deal with them.
So if you have some money to throw at your book project, I would say: go for it. Definitely get the copy editing and definitely get the Marketing. Best money I ever spent.