Tuesday, May 15, 2012

CreateSpace: a love story for the digital age

After one too many glasses (by glasses I mean cheap plastic cups) of wine, I awoke on Friday, May 11th with a throbbing Pinot headache that seemed to say, "you drank too much," "you drank too much," "you drank too much," with each pulse. Groggily, I fumbled with my Nalgene bottle and drank the last of my tap water and made the difficult decision to roll out of bed and pad barefoot over to the bathroom to get more water and beat the hangover. Hah. And my parents thought I lacked ambition...


As I filled my water bottle, I made the grave error of staring at myself in the bathroom mirror. Immediately, my mind took action and began to chastise me for my actions the night before. Well, if you had eaten more cheese fries instead of that last cup of wine, your eyes wouldn't look so glazed. And seriously, that hair?

I made a mad dash back to my bedroom and did the one thing I could do to convince myself that I still had any value as a human being: I checked my book's page on Amazon.com. For the first time since I published on February 29, 2012, I was selling a good number of books for no apparent reason. I hadn't done any serious marketing. I hadn't even gone on Twitter to do my daily spamming/propaganda (the Weimar Republik ain't got nothing on me). All I did was wake up late.

Energized by my sudden brush with fame and international recognition (read: I sold six books that day), I sat down at my desk to plan my next move towards Stephen King fame find more ways to reach potential readers and share my love of literature. After perusing the KDP boards, I realized that the next step forward had to be a step backwards: I needed to put my book into print form.

"Genius," I muttered as I stuffed a handful of almonds into my mouth. "This is my game changer." I brushed off my hands and hit the internet to seek out my printer.

CreateSpace is the Jake Gyllenhaal of the self-pub printing world. Super reliable, super popular, and just about everyone is in a relationship with them. Lulu is a fine choice, but certainly not as popular (think Zac Efron...and if you were wondering, any of the big 6 publishers are Ryan Gosling).

"You're trying too hard, Jake."
It was a no brainer, I had to go with CreateSpace. Why? I'm just that mainstream and they make it so easy.

But two things stood in the way of me getting into a serious relationship with CreateSpace: Interior and Cover.

Well, I already wrote the damn book, so the interior section wasn't so bad. But, I needed to get my text to fit into 6 x 9 pages. More on that in a later post.

The cover was an uphill battle. Lucky for my soon-to-be lover CreateSpace, I LIVE for layout. I opened up my editing programs, did some tweaking, and designed this little gem:


I submitted my completed book for review and waited with bated breath for the new love of my life to call me back. He ignored the three day rule and got back to me the next day. CreateSpace was ready for our first date.

First time's a charm...but not for us:
I looked at the online viewer and PDF of my book and wasn't entirely content. I ordered the proof (mock version of the book) in a panic and figured it wasn't a big deal. Wrong. What was I thinking, ordering a proof of a product that I wasn't content with? I called CreateSpace so I could desperately tell him that I made a mistake, that I was sorry, that I wanted to take it all back...
...some girl answered the hotline.

"CreateSpace."
"I ordered a proof a few hours ago and I want to cancel the order."
"Let me check that for you....Yeah...that's been shipped already."
"WOW. Well that was fast."
"Yeah, we work fast."

Clearly. While speed normally doesn't bode well in a relationship, I was impressed. It was my own fault that I jumped the gun on ordering the proof and decided to try again. I made some edits to my format and layout and went for the second date.

If at first you don't succeed:
Well, I uploaded my interior and cover again. I pleaded for him to take me back and he did. My book passed the review. The proof looked great online. We made plans to go on our first trip together (read: I shipped the proof to my house and will look at it then).

And if all goes according to plan, I really think CreateSpace and I are going to take that leap--become partners and lovers for life...

...you know, the kind where one of us forces the other to sell a commodity on his or her behalf.

Tune in for part two, where I finally see my proof. 

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