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Philip - I've just put my two novellas together in a CS paperback called The Artist's Double and got the proof copy back yesterday. It looks so good that I could eat it. Good luck with yours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Thank you all once again for the great input.  I have decided to go with 6X9 which reduces the page count significantly over 5.5X8.5.  the extra page costs were a killer and I would have to charge something like $20 to even get a royalty in Extended Distribution. 

The margins I used were 1" top, 1" bottom and 0.75 on each side.  Is that O.K.?
 

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I love how careful you are being. I just banged it off any old how. Admittedly my first proof came back deranged, but at least then I could actually see what I was dealing with, and my second proof is just as I wanted. Perhaps your approach is wisest.
 

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kcmay said:
I used to use Lulu.com, now I use CreateSpace and I'm happy with it. I can price my books more cheaply AND offer discount codes.

1. The best one to go with is the one that suits your requirements the best. :) I happen to like CS. It's easy to use and understand.
2. They do paperbacks. Their prices are among the best. What on earth were you looking at?! :)
3. CS will help you decide how to price the book based on whether you choose the Pro plan, want the distribution pkg, etc. Because other retailers want to make money on your book, that will influence the price if you choose the distribution option.
4. Here's my experience. I've only sold 2 paperbacks so far, both through Amazon, both earning me $3 each on a $13.99 list price. However, B&N is selling TKL for almost 4 bucks cheaper than Amazon is right now... and I get a mere $0.21 per sale regardless of B&N's price because of the greater cut CS takes on non-Amazon sales due to having to pay B&N their share. If I lowered the price to $11.99, I'd make a buck each from Amazon sales and MAYBE attract more buyers, but I wouldn't be able to sell through B&N. I've not seen my book listed at Borders yet.

Because of the cut other retailers want to take, I probably won't offer my next book through the expanded distribution, at least not right away. I'd prefer to keep the price under $10 if I can.
All the above and then some. I have nineteen paperbacks through Createspace and they are the best. No initial cost at all and all you ever have to pay for is the proof each time you make changes and final edits. Their prices are good and their $39 upgrade is well worth the cost. I love making my own book covers with their book cover device. Try it. You don't even have to buy if you don't like the outcome. All you have to do is purchase a proof which is priced much lower for the author. Take the plunge, my friend. I don't think you will regret and then I can get a signed copy of "Falling Star". :)
 

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Philip Chen said:
I think the proper term for me is "anal retentive." ;)
I think the proper term for me is "Impressionist" - "You get the impression she was trying to.....(fill in as applicable)"
 

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Philip Chen said:
Thank you all once again for the great input. I have decided to go with 6X9 which reduces the page count significantly over 5.5X8.5. the extra page costs were a killer and I would have to charge something like $20 to even get a royalty in Extended Distribution.

The margins I used were 1" top, 1" bottom and 0.75 on each side. Is that O.K.?
You have to do it differently for a paper book because of the gluing.

Mirrored Margins
Top .25
Bottom .25
Inside .75
Outside .25
Footer .2
Gutter 0"

Don't forget to put in page numbers.
 

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Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' said:
Your publisher would get a new ISBN. This happens all the time. It's not a problem. Your publisher would have you withdraw the book from Amazon and Create Space and then reissue it with their ISBN.
I'm referring to something else. Sales are tracked via ISBNs. If it turns out that your last book sold 40 copies, then major bookstore chains will be a lot less inclined to stock your book, if you get published traditionally in the future.

But is that an issue when you use CS's ISBNs?
 

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Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' said:
The last time I checked, CS wouldn't pay until you reached $150 and that was just in the last couple of weeks. I have yet to receive a check or a direct deposit and I've definitely made more than $20.
From CreateSpace:

Minimum Payment Amounts

Your royalties must meet a minimum payment amount before we'll send your earnings. If they don't, we'll keep a running total and once the amount exceeds the threshold, we'll make a payment at the end of that month:
If you're paid by direct deposit, your minimum payment amount is $20.
If you live in the U.S. and you're paid by check, your minimum payment amount is $28.
If you live outside the U.S. and you're paid by check, your minimum payment amount is $20.
https://www.createspace.com/Help/Index.jsp?cid=02n70000000DfLw&orgId=00D300000001Sh9

Click on "Royalties" and then "Getting Paid."

I've definitely been paid regularly in increments under $150. I use direct deposit. If you're set up to get payments by check, you might have to request a payment (and pay the $8 check fee). Hope this helps.
 

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David Derrico said:
From CreateSpace:

https://www.createspace.com/Help/Index.jsp?cid=02n70000000DfLw&orgId=00D300000001Sh9

Click on "Royalties" and then "Getting Paid."

I've definitely been paid regularly in increments under $150. I use direct deposit. If you're set up to get payments by check, you might have to request a payment (and pay the $8 check fee). Hope this helps.
Thanks, David. I definitely have royalties coming in that case. I'll contact CS to find out what's happening.
 

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MosesSiregarIII said:
I'm referring to something else. Sales are tracked via ISBNs. If it turns out that your last book sold 40 copies, then major bookstore chains will be a lot less inclined to stock your book, if you get published traditionally in the future.

But is that an issue when you use CS's ISBNs?
I guess I'm not understanding your question. If you're going through a trad pub, it's their job to get you into bookstores. Their isbn is going to be different than Create Space's isbn and you won't be allowed to sell through Amazon or Create Space, probably several months before they republish you.

Boyd Morrison (The Ark (now The Rogue Wave), The Palmyra Impact, The Adamas Blueprint) was picked up by Simon and Schuster after selling through Amazon and a POD, probably Create Space. There never seemed to be any difficulty with the switchover.
 

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Phil, I tried to post something here earlier, but had to run out and it looks as if it did not post.  So I sent you a PDF of my latest Create Space work, so you could see how it looks.  I use Adobe Garamond Pro, 12.5 with 15 leading.  11 is a bit small, and the unusual fonts are not that eye pleasing to read lengthy (which Falling Star certainly is) books.  Have a look and if I can help, I certainly will.  I use Adobe InDesign, CS 4, to typeset.  Very professional look and in the hands of someone more creative than me, even better.

Forgot to mention I have all ten of my novels republished on CS.  It is working just fine.  Not excellent sales, and they do not compare with Kindle, but worth having.  If I lived in the US, I would order some to sell at book signings, etc., but not here in New Zealand.

Cheers,

Gordon Ryan
 

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Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' said:
I guess I'm not understanding your question. If you're going through a trad pub, it's their job to get you into bookstores. Their isbn is going to be different than Create Space's isbn and you won't be allowed to sell through Amazon or Create Space, probably several months before they republish you.

Boyd Morrison (The Ark (now The Rogue Wave), The Palmyra Impact, The Adamas Blueprint) was picked up by Simon and Schuster after selling through Amazon and a POD, probably Create Space. There never seemed to be any difficulty with the switchover.
This blog post from Kristen Nelson, a literary agent, explains the issue:

An ISBN That Could Hurt

Here's the most relevant part:

Here's something to keep in mind though (besides the fact that self published books need solid marketing efforts to succeed). Self-published books (through Lulu or similar) are assigned an ISBN-a sales identifier for that work. And here's where the ISBN could hurt you. Once a book has an ISBN, then sales of that book can be tracked on Bookscan. If the books sell thousands and thousands of copies, not a problem but if the book sells only 20 copies, this could potentially make the road to traditional publishing more difficult. Editors often check Bookscan when considering previously published writers. Book Buyers at the major chains are looking at these numbers as well.

If the sales record is strong, no big deal; if it's not, those low sales could create a roadblock unless the writer is willing to change his/her name to start with a clean slate.

I'm putting this out there because I imagine a lot of writers contemplating this route might not have considered the potential ISBN trap.
I'm wondering if using an ISBN generated by CreateSpace could have this same sort of problem. I'm guessing so, but I don't know. That's why I was thinking of not even selling my CreateSpace novella on Amazon or in the CS store.
 

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MosesSiregarIII said:
This blog post from Kristen Nelson, a literary agent, explains the issue:

An ISBN That Could Hurt

Here's the most relevant part:

I'm wondering if using an ISBN generated by CreateSpace could have this same sort of problem. I'm guessing so, but I don't know. That's why I was thinking of not even selling my CreateSpace novella on Amazon or in the CS store.
If it's tracked by ISBN, there shouldn't be a problem. The publisher has to have a new ISBN for your work. They can't use the Create Space ISBN. Plus, you can change the name of your book which Boyd Morrison did with The Ark when he was picked up by S&S. It's now Rogue Wave.

Honestly, I don't see a problem. If you're selling thousands of books without a trad publisher, why do you need one? If you've only sold 20 books, no publisher is going to pick you up.

Your print book has a limited shelf life with a trad pub. On Amazon and Create Space, it's there forever.
 

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Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' said:
If it's tracked by ISBN, there shouldn't be a problem. The publisher has to have a new ISBN for your work. They can't use the Create Space ISBN. Plus, you can change the name of your book which Boyd Morrison did with The Ark when he was picked up by S&S. It's now Rogue Wave.

Honestly, I don't see a problem. If you're selling thousands of books without a trad publisher, why do you need one? If you've only sold 20 books, no publisher is going to pick you up.

Your print book has a limited shelf life with a trad pub. On Amazon and Create Space, it's there forever.
There is a potential problem here if you want to keep your options open for traditional publishing. I don't know if I want to be traditionally published, but I do like keeping that option open.

In my case, let's say I put my novella up for sale as a CreateSpace book. Maybe I buy 50 copies by myself to give out to reviewers and beta readers, and for hand-selling. Then maybe another 50 random people buy it off Amazon. Note: the hypothetical 100 sales would be on the novella that I have out there, not the full novel, but it could certainly be confusing because the title starts with the same words: The Black God's War.

According to that post from Kristen Nelson, editors considering buying my novel might look up me and the book's title via Bookscan and see those 100 sales for the novella, then reject my novel.

Or, if I were to have a publisher someday, even for another book, the major bookstore chains could do the same thing. They might see those 100 sales to my name and then decide not to carry my novel, or not carry enough copies in their stores.

The fact that they use a new ISBN when they publish the book doesn't change any of this. Nor does changing the title of the book do the trick if you use the same name as an author (you can still be looked up by author name). The issue is having people look up the sales numbers you had while the work was self-published.

"If you've only sold 20 books, no publisher is going to pick you up." Right, and that's the problem. When I publish my novel next year (Universe willing), I'll use either CreateSpace or LSI and just accept the consequences of the sales record on the ISBN. But for this novella, I would only expect to sell a small number of copies anyway, and I wouldn't want to hurt my chances with traditional publishing. And I do not want to have to use a pen name later on just because I self-published a novella and the sales weren't in the thousands.
 

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So here are two questions I have about this:

1) If I buy copies of my novella directly from CreateSpace, and the work isn't ever for sale on Amazon or the CS store, are those sales still trackable via the ISBN? I guess I need to call CS and ask them that.

2) When using a CreateSpace-generated ISBN, do the sales stick to the ISBN just the same as if I had supplied my own ISBN? I think the answer to this is yes, but I'm not 100% sure. I'll probably call CS and ask them that, too.

The work-around for this, then, (I think) would be to only order proof copies for yourself. You can buy those proof copies 5 at a time, then change something about the interior file, then order 5 more proof copies, rinse, repeat. Then I would think you either wouldn't show up via Bookscan, or you'd show up with 0 sales and that would have to look fishy enough that no one would really care about it.
 

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Hey Phil,

Just wanted to chime in on two points.

1) I, too, am a bit long-winded, er, very thorough (and anal-retentive, but that's a topic for another thread :)). My book is 180K words; the first pass at the paper version with page titles & numbers and full justification was over 500 pages. Way too long & expensive. I used a smaller font and narrower margins, but stuck to the 8.5 x 5.5 size. That got me down to 367 pages, much more reasonable and manageable. Yes, the page would be more inviting if the font were bigger, and there was more blank space, but IMHO, it looks pretty darn spiffy.

2) The cover file creator on their site enables you to use ordinary graphics files, like jpg's. I used the template that allows you to upload one image for the front and another for the back. It was a piece of cake to use. I did not have a full 300 DPI image for the front as recommended, however, and it came out looking crummy, but the back, which was 300 DPI, looks great. Needless to say, I redid the front and sent off for a new proof.

I think the higher prices certainly put people off buying them, but when you actually see the books, you understand the price. The paper and covers are thick and sharp-looking, not like the newsprint of a mass market paperback, and the type, even at my dinky 9.5 pt size, is still bigger than those Wal-Mart bestsellers.

--Maria
 
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