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Creating Space

Well, I suppose that is what Sci-Fi writers do, create space, but that is not what I am talking about.  No, I am talking about the possibly wonderful Amazon spin-off service called Create Space.

Once you have your novel written, you can upload it to Create Space and turn it into a book.  Yes, a real, live, hold-it-in-your-hands book!  Then, when you actually sell a book – directly or through Amazon – the book is printed as a one-off (or two or twenty or a hundred) and shipped to the customer.  The wonders of computerized, robotized printing being made to serve you.

Yes, it is exactly what it sounds like: vanity press.  But there are crucial differences.  First off, the service is free, more or less.  Money doesn’t change hands unless a book is sold.  You do not have to pay the publisher for a thousand copies and hope you can sell them all at flea markets or something.  There is, again, no inventory, just print on demand.  It is the publishing equivalent of both having and eating your cake.

They have paid services too, naturally.  Need help designing a cover?  They can do that.  Want a copy editor?  They can do that too.  Different levels of services at varying prices, but all up front.

They also, to get to the point, will convert it to Kindle format for you, again for a fee.  The wonder of this, I suppose, is that your print book and your ebook will be as identical as the electronic format allows.  It also relieves you of all the tedium of the conversion process and that guy named Moby.  They don’t mention Nook conversions, but I am sure that is right around the corner (hahahahahahahahaha!).

So it seems like a great idea.  But I won’t be doing it.  Not now, at least.  Why?  Because I am starting with short stories.  Can’t imagine selling one or three short stories in a book – too much overhead!  People would end up paying ten bucks at least.  I want to sell my gems at 99 cents each, so people won’t feel they are taking a big risk.

Some day, I will publish a novel and, unless some publisher comes begging me to let them print it (again, hahahahaha), I expect to go with Create Space, or some similar competitor.  Admittedly, I would like to have a hard-copy of my book in my hands, despite the rapid shift to electronic media.  Also, some day, I would like to print a collection or two of short stories (having first written them, of course) and that would also make a book or two.

All that, of course, is down the road.  So, I guess I had better start reading about Moby.


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