This post will show you how to quickly self publish your children’s book on Amazon through the free Createspace, print on demand, website.
Whether your book is fully illustrated or you are thinking about writing a children’s book, this guide is intended to give you an understanding and the experience of using the platforms to get your book out into the world.
Just like going to the gym for the first time, this process may seem confusing and uncomfortable at first, but will become second nature once you begin to build the habit.
Lets first take a high level view of what we’re going to do.
Simply put, you’re going to upload 2 files to Createspace which is linked to your Amazon account.
When someone buys a book from your Amazon check out page, Createspace prints the book (on-demand) and handles all of the shipping and handling for you, and you receive a royalty for each unit sold.
Go ahead and sign up for a Createspace account and if you are living on another planet and don’t have an Amazon account, set one up now.
Lets get started making and uploading your first book.
“But my book isn’t ready yet!”
I know I’m rushing you through this, but remember, you need to be able to do one pull up before you do 10. Lets do a practice run through, your first pull up.
I went ahead and set up Powerpoint files of the Cover of your book and the Interior of your book.
Open up Powerpoint and edit the text. Feel free to paste some clip art images in the Powerpoint files. Don’t worry, no one is going to see this book, not even when you put it on Amazon. I wish it were that easy.
After setting up the Cover file with your book title, name, and back of the book info, along with writing a quick story in the Interior file, go to File > Save As and select PDF in the dropdown. Save 2 files, a Cover.pdf and Interior.pdf. If you need help saving a PDF from a PPT file, click here.
These files will be uploaded to Createspace.
After logging in to Createspace, you’ll want to follow the steps to enter in the information to get your account set up and connected to Amazon. I won’t go into detail about how to connect things because I’m sure you’re used to setting up accounts on websites by now. Follow the prompts, you will be fine.
On Createspace, over to the left, select ‘Add a New Title.’
Enter your book title name, give it any name for now, you can delete the book or pull it down later.
The Select the ‘Guided’ set up process.
Next, fill out the title, author information and language. I put a publication date on there too but it’s not completely necessary.
Next step, choose ‘Free ISB Number.’ You can read more about ISBN #’s here, but just know for now you need one.
You will also need to choose a size of the book. The template files I provided above are based on an 8.5×8.5” book. The Powerpoint files are 9 inches, giving .25 inches of bleed area padding on each side of the book. So if you are using my templates, go ahead and select 8.5”x8.5” in the “Choose a Different Size” section.
Now upload the Interior.pdf file and hit Save.
You’ll need to select a Cover and “Bleed.”
Cover – Choose ‘Glossy.’
Bleed – Choose ‘Ends Before the Edge.’
Then upload the Cover.pdf and press Save.
You’re just about done. Once your files are fully uploaded (sometimes you have to wait for your interior files to upload a few minutes) you are ready to submit your files for review.
Press Submit files for Review.
Createspace will take 1-2 days to review and approve your book. You will get notified by email.
When you get that email, click the link, go back to Createspace and in your Dashboard you will need to either order printed Proofs to review, or review in the online reviewer. I personally order printed proofs for a few dollars to make sure everything is ready to go.
Next up, you’ll need to choose the Channels where your book will be sold. I select the following:
Pricing. Do a little research on Amazon and see what other books similar to yours are being sold at. You will see the royalty rate change based on your listing price. Over time, you will figure out ways to increase the margins, either with shorter, smaller books, or maybe your book is black and white. For example, The Day Gravity Goes Loco coloring book is $6.99 vs. the full color version, $9.99, because the coloring book is cheaper to print.
Next up is your description. If this is a test book you are uploading, a quick and dirty description will do, but if this is ready to sell, take your time to write out a description that connects with your readers.
When I first launched “The Day Gravity Goes Loco” I had no idea what I was doing. I put in a quick description not thinking it was that important. Then a couple of years later, I took the time to think through the description and the customer’s experience of reading it and my sales dramatically increased because of it. I also reselected the category the book was listed in from “Childhood / Bed time dreams” to “Imagination and Play.”
After you review your proof, either the paperback copy or online, you are ready to approve your books. Once you do that, the books will be listed on Amazon within a few days. You can share that Amazon link on your website or social networks and start selling your book.
Everything we’ve just done above is changeable so don’t worry if you don’t get it right the first time. Like anything else, you get better and refine the process the more you do it.
I hope this article helped you to give you a general understanding of how to get your children’s book out into the world. While this article didn’t go into every minute detail of setting up your book on createspace, it gives you enough to get your first book up and eliminate a few headaches that I experienced the first time trying to set up my books.
If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch.
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