There are a lot of opportunities to go to a self-publishing site and have your books published and distributed for you.

One of the most popular publishing places to choose is CreateSpace, owned by the bookseller Amazon, and they will print and distribute your book for you.  Part of what makes them a popular company is that you can do it all yourself… or they can help you — the best part of self-publishing.

Either way, there are a few things that you should be aware of before you begin the publishing process with them.

1) Hire an editor

CreateSpace does not do your editing.  You can pay them to hire an editor for you, but they do not edit or proofread anything for you.

You can even choose to disregard what the editor suggests and go with what you wrote. They will print exactly what you give them, nothing else.  This can be well written or it can be poorly written and your readers will see it as is, so make certain all parts of your book are there.

Hiring an editor will save you time and money in the long run.Your future readers will not purchase a book if you have a poorly written product to start with.  If this means that you have to send the proof back with requests for fixes, then do this.

2) If you do not understand formatting, then pay for both the cover art and the interior formatting:

Simply put, what you do not understand, pay for.  I still am not sure how to properly format the interior of a book the way I want it to look.  I know enough to make it look okay, but people prefer to read a professionally styled book, and so I chose to hire someone to do the interior design.

Similarly, CreateSpace does offer templates for cover art, but I was more comfortable having someone else do it for me.

3) What you see is what you get

CreateSpace only does the printing.  You send them the information; they print it.  It is not their job to edit it, to add the copyright page, or the blank front page. That is your job, you are the publisher.  You can tell them to add it afterwards, but it will cost you money.

You want your book to sell, and you want to make money with it.  Remember this:  With CreateSpace what you see is what you get.  There is no middle ground with them unless you choose to purchase an interior design for your book, but again, the content will be yours.  So remember to publish it as a traditional publisher would.

4) Although CreateSpace will give you the opportunity to have your book listed on Amazon, that does not guarantee it will sell.

The best thing about this company is that everything, other than printing and shipping your book, is up to you.  You can create an e-book, you can market your book, you can do whatever you like, but it is your job and not theirs.  You can control your own destiny, but take some time to understand this process if you want to see more sales.

5) Have a marketing plan before you publish your book.

This goes back to point four, but from a different angle. You want success?

Plan for it, that is why people, bloggers and writers, talk about a marketing plan!

You can spend a lot of money marketing your book, but if you do not get the sales, it was your plan in the first place.  Keep writing and marketing your book and you will see success.