“I am fourteen years old and I have always been told I write very well. I love writing fiction and fantasy novels, I am currently working on one that should be better than all of my previous stories. I intend on publishing it when I finish, but I do not know exactly how. Please just outline all of the steps and requirements for me, thanks!”
CreateSpace was acquired by Amazon in 2005, and similar to Lulu, it provides book publishing and digital media development. Because CreateSpace is a subsidiary of Amazon, it’s easier and quicker to sell your book through Amazon. Like the other sites, you are able to choose between making your book open to the public or private. The only format accepted during the submission process is PDF, which is for both text and images.
What makes it unique: CreateSpace is the only one of the self publishing services that provides you the ability to create your book in Kindle format. Additionally, you are able to immediately assign an ISBN or use an existing one.
What it’s missing: There is no option to create hardcover books. Also, while users can participate in the CreateSpace message boards, it’s lacking some of the social media tools, groups, and messaging that other self-publishing services provide.
Pricing: Standard B&W starts at $3.66 per book; Standard Color starts at $6.55. You can also upgrade to their Pro Plan, which is $39.00 per book. The Pro Plan allows you to keep more from each sale, and pay less when ordering copies.
CafePress provides a way for people to sell their creations in “shops.” It is a marketplace with over 150 million products (i.e. clothing, gifts, books, etc.). They also provide you with the ability of self publishing your books. Like the others, CafePress also has private and public options. While you are able to upload your book in PDF format, it has to be less than 100 MB. There are different templates you can use based on the type of book you are trying to publish, and you can tailor it the way you see fit.
What makes it unique: CafePress sells a variety of items, such as books, cds, clothing, art, etc. You do not have to be a member to use their self-publishing service.
What it’s missing: There is no option to create hardcover books and it doesn’t have the ease of site navigation like the other services.
Pricing: Prices start at $0.045 per page and a $4 binding fee.
WeBook combines the joys of self publishing with social media. You are able to write a book alone or collaborate with other writers. The site provides an online text editor for you to write, and you are able to add images from image-hosting sites like Flickr, Photobucket, Picasa, etc.
There are two levels of privacy: You can choose who is able to view your writing, and who is able to write the story. Throughout the year, WeBook has submission periods in which you are able to submit your book for consideration for publishing. You can choose to share your royalties with people who have given you helpful feedback and assisted in the development of your book.
What makes it unique: You are able to collaborate with different writers, and be part of various groups. Writers rate and review submitted books, and the ones with the highest ratings are published by WeBook. Additionally, you can share your royalties with selected reviewers who have provided you with helpful feedback.
What it’s missing: There is no option for you to publish your book, if you desire. It is all dependent on the rating you receive. Also, you are not able to import from another word processor or PDF.
Xlibris was founded in 1997 and is one of the first self publishing services in the industry. You start the process by having a consultation with one of their consultants about your needs and the correct package to fit those needs. They create the full design of the book and send it to you for feedback and approval. After that, the book is yours and you are able to sell it wherever and to whomever you want.
What makes it unique: You get a free consultation to ensure that you are on the right path. Additionally, they offer leather-bound editions of your book.
What it’s missing: Competitive prices and private/public options.
Pricing: Prices start at $299
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