One of the new more powerful ways to self-publish is using CreateSpace to distribute your book.  It is powerful because its parent company is Amazon.  Since CreateSpace was acquired by Amazon,  more people have used CreateSpace to self-publish their writing.  This in and of itself is nothing new.

Writers want to get the word out on their books, but like anything you will have to earn it.  For some this is more about who is listening and engaging to your new books- The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users says it best.  It’s the book and the people.

Before you being publishing with CreateSpace it’s good to note that the company has a few hard and fast rules about what they will publish, but, they like any other distributor, will not help a new writer with anything more than printing. If you want marketing done, you will have to purchase services either through CreateSpace.  For business cards or other printed material via Vistaprint.  I personally have used Vistaprint and I’m happy with the results, and they are a much better price.

It is best to be comfortable with working with interior design and covers or editing so that you can get the best out of a book. They also only do paperback formats for books, but will covert your paper copy to Kindle ready for a fee.

However, when I did publish a paperback copy of my book, it took about two weeks longer to convert the paperback to ‘kindle ready’ edition.  This meant that there was a bit of a time lag between when people could buy an e-book version versus the paperback.

In this case, as my audience was older and wanted the paperback version, it was a better idea.  The time lag didn’t hurt book sales, but I understood my audience enough to focus on the right timing.  If my target audience was younger, and the time of printing was later, waiting two weeks might have challenged my in terms of sales, especially with the advent of social media and personal tablets.  Kindle and Kobo are big things for the younger consumer and it’s important to know the audience when you self-publish a book.

CreateSpace will offer small pieces of services, business cards and the like, but unlike Author Solutions (the parent company of iUniverse, Xlibris, AuthorHouse and others) they do not offer packages, so it is up to you as a writer to choose what will work for you.  This includes marketing and social media.

The other key thing about marketing is your presence on social media, also known by some as social networking.  Whatever you’d like to call it, you will still need it.   In terms of cost, it is free to go on to Twitter, and free to create and Author Page on Facebook.  It is also free to join Google+ and LinkedIn.  However, market to the wrong network and you will still face challenges to sell more of your book, so it’s important to know a bit about networking.

What is social networking?

Social networking is by definition: the use of dedicated websites and applications to interact with other users, or to find people with similar interests to oneself. If social networking is about interaction, then it’s very similar to a marketing plan, only with relationships and relationship building with people who have a similar interest.

To have a book on CreateSpace is one thing, to sell your book to a larger audience is vital to building the chance to create more books, and more exposure.  The traditional methods of selling are important, but as a self-published book social media and social networking is a must, if you want to see the big picture. The big pictures and the details are both important, but you first need to have the big picture.

One final note: it’s a good idea to have a solid foundation and readers on social media before you publish your book.