About the time I was ready to publish on Kindle, I found Amazon’s Create.Space.com and discovered that I could create an on-demand, hard copy version of my book with much less difficulty than I had experienced using KDP. The process essentially involved converting the word text file of the book to pdf and uploading it onto the site, where I could view it and see what changes needed to be made. As was true of KDP, all editing is done in the original file and uploaded after each edit. I worked through the CreateSpace procedures with little effort and got my draft ready for publication. I chose the minimum list price allowed, which is $11.90, and receive a 35% royalty, retaining all rights to the book.
The site offers free resources for self-publishing, as well as professional services in editing, layout and design, Kindle, and marketing. Create Space has been updated since 2012, when I used it and appears to be even more user friendly than before.
When I had proofed the text and the cover and was satisfied with the appearance, I had only to click a button to publish and Amazon took over from there. Within 48 hours, my book was listed on Amazon.com, with a thumbnail sketch of the cover posted beside the title, author, and options to purchase in both Kindle and hard copy. I received a hardcopy draft of the printed version by mail within the week.
I can revisit either site and click onto my book title to review any section and make changes. I can also manage the marketing and sales of the book from those sites. Amazon offers both free and professional services in those areas, but since my goal was primarily to publish and share with a limited audience, I did not take the matter much farther.
When Retirement: A Journey not a Destination by Katherine P. Stillerman appeared on the Amazon website in January 2013, I felt a huge sense of accomplishment. I had met my goal of publishing a completed work with my name on it for posterity and I did it virtually for free. The only cost incurred was the $250 for ten ISBN numbers, two of which I used, and the other eight I will save for my next publication. So, technically, that’s $50. So far, I have received a little more than that in royalties, and so I consider that I have broken even expense-wise. Intrinsically, the satisfaction from having written and published my personal memoir and the knowledge gained from learning by doing it, cannot be measured.