Certified Life Coach Elitas Chirwa, a new friend I met at a Sacramento DowntownArena.org event, just completed a book for teens that she wants to publish in paperback form. Elitas asked how I published my books (released by Gorilla Girl Ink), so I’m going to post some key steps here in case others might find them useful, too.

Save your manuscript as a .doc file and know how to save as a .pdf file, too.

Engage at least two editors: one to go over your manuscript and look for overall issues like organization, flow, etc., and the other to line edit for punctuation/spelling, etc. You may have to pay for this unless you have a friend or relative with these skills who owes you big time.

Think of what size book you want: 6×9 seemed the easiest for CreateSpace to handle, so I used that for my poetry book. It was a bit tricky getting my manuscript pages into the 6×9 template, so plan to spend some time on that.

25 pages is the minimum number of pages for a CreateSpace book, so make sure you have 25 or more.

CreateSpace has a pretty good free cover creator tool, which I used for So Sweet Against Your Teeth, but I paid a graphic artist for the cover of House of Cuts. It is worth it and fun to play around with the free CreateSpace cover creator tool, imho.

It is not free to get copies of your own paperback. Depending on the number of pages, there is a cost for the author to buy copies, plus required CA sales tax and shipping costs. Authors can save money on this if they have time to shop around for a printer but CreateSpace is so accessible and easy, in my view.

CreateSpace will supply a (required) ISBN or you can buy your own from Bowker.com. I bought ten for $250.00, which seemed like the best deal.

After you are ready to take the plunge, then, step one is to go to CreateSpace.com.

You can sign up with your Amazon account, no need to use new information. When you want to do an eBook on Kindle or an Audiobook on ACX you use that same account, so it is all pretty simple for authors, thanks to Amazon, for better or for worse.

When you are in, and see My Projects, click on Add New Title

When you see “Start your new project”

Type in the Name of your project (give the title–you can change it later)

Click on “paperback”

Click on Get Started (use “guided” for your first book or two)

Keep filling in the pages as they come up, click on Save & Continue when done with each page.

Keep going until you are happy with your result. It takes a lot of work to proofread the pages and cover, etc., so that can be a most time-consuming part.

There are loads of publishing services Amazon is glad to get authors to pay for, but it’s fun to see how much you can do yourself, imho.

They do send you a print “draft” copy of your paperback book (for a fee) to hold in your hands and read to see if changes are needed, before you give the final go-ahead. Don’t give the green light for your book to be published until it is REALLY just the way you want it.

Then, the marketing fun starts—woo hoo!

–June Gillam, owner
Gorilla Girl Ink

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