If you're thinking of self-publishing not only in electronic form, but also in print, a huge consideration is your goal.
Do you wish to be considered a publisher in your own right?
If so, I recommend Lightning Source as your printer.
If not, CreateSpace will work fine.
With Lightning Source as your printer, you'll need to set up your own publishing company, which will establish you as a separate entity in the publishing world. This applies whether you're having your own books published or if you're widening the field as a small publisher and offering your services to others.
Relatively speaking, it's not horribly expensive to set up a company, but there's some bother involved. You'll need to decide on a unique name for your company. You'll probably want to purchase a post office box, unless you wish the company's address to be your home's; then you'll register the company and send out notices. You might also consider a special logo for your books.
Also, you'll need to get an ISBN, which you can purchase at Bowker.com, in differing quantities, depending on how many books you plan on publishing.
Killer Career through Lightning Source in August, 2009, I paid $75.00 for a setup fee, which was reasonable. To be competitive, Lightning Source also suggested a discount of at least 40% to bookstores. They also suggested accepting returns.
I wanted to play the game right, so I followed their suggestions about discounts and returns. I must admit regretting those choices and have since changed my specifications to a smaller discount and no returns.
One good thing about following their initial suggestions about discounts and returns was, after sending a letter, I got my book into the Barnes and Noble bookstores, mainly in my area. It also appeared in their catalog for ordering. Sure, the books were in the stores, but not in featured positions. Instead, they languished in hard to find, out of the way spots.
When I asked for permission for book signings, I received a green light at many Barnes and Noble stores, as well as Walden's, which was owned by Borders. However, the managers tended to over-order. They had no worries. If the books didn't sell, they could always ship them back. Even when I had what I considered good sales at signings, there were usually books left over to be shipped back. Being the publisher, I had to pay not only $2.00 for each book returned to Lightning Source, but also the price the bookstore paid.
I learned the hard way that POD (print-on-demand) is the best policy. It doesn't get you into as many bookstores, but the expenses are less.
Most small publishers offering services to authors have always gone the POD route, and those that didn't before, are fast changing over.
Lightning Source produces a quality product and offers a great distribution system through Ingram, Baker and Taylor, and other entities, making it possible for your book to appear online for ordering and in catalogs, as well as internationally. So, even though Killer Career is not printed through CreateSpace, it still appears at Amazon. I have heard rumors, however, that Lightning Source books take a little longer to get to the customers than those created through CreateSpace. Some self-publishers have gotten around that obstacle by offering their books through both Lightning Source and CreateSpace.
I've focused a lot here on Lightning Source. CreateSpace is also good in its own right. If you're publishing your own books and don't care for the hassle of setting up your own publishing company, you can publish your books free through CreateSpace. For $25 more, you can pay for their expanded distribution as well, which will get you to libraries, Barnes and Noble and other online venues. For free, CreateSpace will supply you an ISBN through Amazon.
Because the stigma associated with self-publishing has almost completely disintegrated, a publishing company's name doesn't carry as much urgency as before. Still, some authors feel more secure listing a publisher, instead of only Amazon. As I mentioned before, there's always the option of using both Lighting Source and CreateSpace.
By the way, whichever printing source you pick, for best results I recommend hiring an editor. You can find plenty to choose from right here at The Blood-Red Pencil.
You can set up your book cover by yourself through following instructions offered by whichever printing company you choose, or you can hire a cover art designer. After designing the cover for Killer Career, I decided it was too much of a hassle to do so again. The rest of my covers have all been designed by Stephen Walker at SR Walker Designs. I choose the stock images and he puts them together at a reasonable price.
I hope this information helps you somewhat in your decision. For a more in depth look at how I published Killer Career though Lightning Source, I've included a few links from my series here in 2009. Keep in mind that my other books were published through CreateSpace since then, which means I'm unaware of any changes in pricing or procedures which may have occurred in the meantime. Still, it will give you an idea of the steps I took, which may help you along.
Morgan's Amazon Central Page.
Excerpts and buy links to her full length novels are at
http://morgansbooklinks.blogspot.com/ , two in print, all in e-book.
She's also contributed two stories to The Corner Cafe: A Tasty Collection of Short Stories.
Coming soon to Kindle is Her Handyman, a contemporary romance involving a famous artist and a handyman.