So I recently found out that you can set up the print book with createspace while your book is up for preorder. My question is: When it's time to pick the publication date do you do it as soon as possible (that very day) or do you set it as the preorder date?
It depends on what you want -- but, as far as I know, the "publication date" in CreateSpace is informational only. If you want it to have a specific date, I believe you can set that date regardless of when the print edition is actually available for sale (and it doesn't affect the availability of the print edition). If you don't care how that field reads, you can leave it blank and let them fill it. Others may correct me, but this is my understanding from my recent experience, and it's what I'm going forward with for my next print release this month.
The turn-around time from when you accept the proof to when the book is available for sale seems very fast to me. I believe mine was well under a day. If you specifically don't want the print edition available for purchase until the Kindle edition is ready, I recommend waiting on proof approval until shortly before the Kindle edition is released. (Don't forget that there is a delay between submitting your materials and when it's even possible to accept the proof.)
Using my next release and my own preferences as an example, the Kindle edition is set up for pre-orders with the 27th being the release date. I will set the date in CreateSpace to the 27th, but I plan to accept the digital (online) proof next week, basically as early as I can, so I can order copies and hopefully have them in hand in time for the launch party.
When you approve the proof, the book will go live at CreateSpace.com immediately. What I find is it takes about half a day for the book to be live in Amazon, but I would not worry about your print book being linked to your pre-order Kindle book at all. They really serve different markets for the most part.
That's a good point, the CreateSpace eStore activation is immediate upon proof approval. I never really think about that because I've never made a sale directly on CreateSpace (but I make so few sales in general, this isn't statistically significant). Since Amazon.com and Amazon Europe are just two of the Standard Distribution channels, I assume that someone wanting to order print copies in advance but not have the print edition available on Amazon much earlier than the Kindle edition could just enable the CreateSpace eStore channel at first and then enable the other channels when it's closer to the Kindle release date. I might do this for my release this month.
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