Welcome to the Blood Red Pencil, John. When you were first ready to publish a book, did you explore other avenues before you came to CreateSpace? (If so, why did you veer away from those choices?)
I did go to an ebook self-publishing site for my alien invasion novel Dark Wings. I’ve heard other people have had success with it. The publishing process was not very difficult, but I found I wasn’t making the sort of sales I expected. From that point on, all my ebooks have been done on the Createspace site via the link to Kindle.
Was there a substantial learning curve the first time you published? Is this something the average writer can do or does it take some knowledge of layout and formatting? What about cover design?
One thing I really need to emphasize. Read the directions. Createspace does have an easy to follow page that shows you how to format your novel properly before uploading it, and sparing yourself some headaches.
As for the cover design, Createspace has a very easy to follow cover creator page. They also have about 25 different cover formats, and you do have to play around with them to see which one is the best fit for your cover design. I also imagine there are a few authors out there who, like me, have no artistic ability whatsoever. I can’t even draw a decent stick figure. Thankfully, that is no longer a major problem. You can find royalty free images to use for book covers on sites like Dreamstime and Shutterstock that are not very expensive, or for royalty free, professionally designed covers for between $70 - $80, there is selfpubbookcovers.com. That’s the site where I found the cover for Fallen Eagle: Alaska Front.
What are the Pros of using CreateSpace over other self-publishing venues? Over traditional publishing routes?
What would you consider the Cons to this method?
One is the stigma that still exists--that self-published books are not as, for lack of a better word, ”polished” as those from traditional publishers. It is also difficult to get these books in major bookstores.
Does this program offer marketing opportunities for its authors?
They do. Createspace offers professionally made marketing copy as well as the ability to purchase book reviews from Kirkus.
What is your advice to writers who think they are ready to be published?
Try to contact other people who have published through Createspace to get their thoughts about the process. Using a critique group, be it in person or online, is a very good idea in order to discover any grammar or spelling mistakes, or to get advice on improving plotlines or character development. Show your cover design and back cover blurb to others and get their reactions to it, to see if it works or if it needs improvement. Above all, don’t be afraid. Putting your work out for the entire world to see can make some nervous. But take the leap and see where it goes.
|John J. Rust is the author of five novels, the sports-themed books The Best Phillies Team Ever and Arizona’s All-Time Baseball Team, the sci-fi action thrillers Sea Raptor and Dark Wings, and his latest one, the action/adventure novel Fallen Eagle: Alaska Front, which deals with a group of Alaska residents battling an invasion by UN forces. All his books are available on Amazon. Rust grew up in New Jersey, and moved to Arizona in 1996. He works for KYCA Radio as sports director, play-by-play man for Prescott High School football, and is the host of “The Tri-City Sports Round-Up” show.|
|Interview by Heidi M. Thomas. Heidi is a native Montanan who now lives in North-central Arizona where she blogs, teaches writing, and edits. Her first novel, Cowgirl Dreams, is based on her grandmother, and the sequel, Follow the Dream, won the national WILLA Award. The next book in the series is Dare to Dream, and a non-fiction book Cowgirl Up! A History of Rodeo Women, is also available. Heidi has a degree in journalism and a certificate in fiction writing.|