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Old 01-15-2012, 10:49 PM   #1
Rebekkah
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Createspace or Lulu?

I have a YA paranormal book I'm going to self publish in March (hopefully) and I want to know which company is better for POD books--Createspace or Lulu? To be frank, I'm a computer moron, and I'm going to need all the help I can get. I'm also going to epublish on Amazon. Does anybody know of somebody who can format my manuscript to Kindle for me, and how much it would cost to do that?

Thanks. I appreciate your help.
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Old 01-16-2012, 12:08 AM   #2
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. . . Does anybody know of somebody who can format my manuscript to Kindle for me, and how much it would cost to do that? . . .
Cost would depend in part on what shape the file is in (gronked up with stuff that first has to be cleaned out, or not). But basically, it can be done inexpensively. I've turned a 100k+ word .doc (Word file, uncomplicated text, no illustrations) into HTML that Amazon was happy to accept for Kindle in a couple of minutes.

As for your other question, CreateSpace is far more economical. Pay the $39 for Pro Plan. But be cautious of the services they want to sell. I had a client who chose to have CreateSpace format her book interior (instead of having me do it), and she gave up in disgust, got her money back, and hired me anyway. They seem to have done a nice job on her cover, though, although I have no idea how much they charged for that. I use Lulu for ARCs (advance reader copies) and for a few simple projects (and I have used them for some larger efforts before, with print runs up to 500 copies), but their prices per book and for shipping are too high for other purposes. Easy and efficient, though, for those with reasonable technical skills.

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P.S. Look into www.bookbaby.com . I might be using that service soon.
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Old 01-16-2012, 02:41 AM   #3
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What do you mean by format book interior and why do you use Lulu for ARCs instead of Createspace?
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Old 01-16-2012, 02:45 AM   #4
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Oh wait! Do you mean text when you said 'interior of the book' ? Duh. Lol. *slaps hand on forehead* How much do you charge to do that?
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Old 01-16-2012, 04:57 AM   #5
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Oh wait! Do you mean text when you said 'interior of the book' ? Duh. Lol. *slaps hand on forehead* How much do you charge to do that?
Yes, the text, as opposed to the cover (although layout involves more than text per se). I use Lulu for ARCs because (a) I am familiar with it and (b) they will not slap an ISBN on the book (which I think CreateSpace might now insist on doing). Since I publish via Lightning Source now and use my own ISBNs, I cannot risk that screwup (although Lulu has had some doozies of screwups).

As for charges . . . and note that I am NOT soliciting business here . . . that depends on how much nuisance is involved, how long, that sort of thing. I've done interiors for a couple of hundred dollars to five hundred dollars (the latter included a bunch of photos that required work). I do not offer e-book conversions as a service, and so do not have a price or experience to cite. Some folks I know charge in the range of $125 for careful e-book prep.

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Old 01-18-2012, 10:41 PM   #6
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I suppose you folks know by now that Create Space has dropped their Pro-Plan effective 1-18-2012. I have just received an email from CS offering 5 free books of the one title I have with them, because I purchased the Pro-Plan within the past 30 days. I suggest those interested, go to the CreateSpace website and read up on the change. Evidently, they are going to something better.
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Old 01-18-2012, 10:45 PM   #7
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I've been wondering where to go too. If I use Createspace can it not be available on Nook?
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Old 01-18-2012, 11:47 PM   #8
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I've been wondering where to go too. If I use Createspace can it not be available on Nook?
I don't understand much about this self-publishing business with Create Space. I'm just fumbling along. But I believe Create Space is owned by Amazon, therefore the Amazon Kindle would be the most likely instrument for CS e-readers. Having said that: I have just checked a book I had with Publish America, for which my rights were returned in September 2006, and I haven't received royalties since, that book is now on the Barnes and Noble Nook site and available for purchase for under $2.00. How that happened, I haven't a clue.

My recent book with Create Space showed up in a few days on Amazon Books, and is available for purchase, but I believe it will take some action on my part to get it on Amazon Kindle, but I'm not sure yet, what action.

As far as getting a book from an Amazon entity to Nook, I simply don't know. I assume I will be able to accomplish that feat sometime later.
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Old 01-19-2012, 01:08 AM   #9
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After having made the previous post, I received by UPS a proof copy of a second novel. It is the third incorrect proof for the same book. When they downloaded the original interior document, they made two spacing errors that caused two chapter headings to appear at the bottom of a page, when they should have been on the next page at the top, and I discovered a duplicate sentence in the middle of the book. I submitted a corrected interior document to correct these three errors, which they approved, and listed the corrected document title in their email, so I know they got it.

They sent a second incorrect proof based on the original interior document, for which they charged approximately $10.00, including shipping. Responding to my email, they have now sent a third incorrect proof, (for which they did not charge) still based on the original document. Just got off another email about this problem. We will see what happens. But this is reminding me of a lot of stuff I went through with Publish America.
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Old 01-19-2012, 01:40 AM   #10
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Nook and Kindle are for e-books, not paperbacks. Think of them as completely different entities. You can self-publish your paperback with one company (CreateSpace, Lulu, etc.) and your e-book through another (Amazon KDP, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble's Nook, etc.). There are different formatting requirements for paperback and e-books.

I received the same e-mail from CreateSpace this morning. I had uploaded three paperback books in the last month, so will be compensated with fifteen free books. I have a year to use the three separate codes. The e-mail noted that all of their paperback books will receive free extended distribution.
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Old 01-19-2012, 01:42 AM   #11
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Arkie - which company were you using?
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Old 01-19-2012, 02:12 AM   #12
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Arkie - which company were you using?
Create Space.
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Old 01-19-2012, 02:55 AM   #13
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I've used Lulu before, not to self-publish, but to create a proof book. I didn't have a problem with it, and I was fairly happy with the quality of it. (I ordered two). Granted, it recieved quite a bit of wear and tear due to its purposes, and the cover's glue is seperating from the book.
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Old 01-19-2012, 03:16 AM   #14
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Create Space.
A client of mine was going to have CreateSpace prepare interior of her book. She was so disgusted with their poor work that she got her money refunded and did what she should have in the first place, contracted with me to do the formatting and prepare PDF for uploading. (They have done a nice job on the cover, though, after a few iterations.) Much grief may be avoided by uploading print-ready PDF.

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Old 01-19-2012, 06:27 AM   #15
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A client of mine was going to have CreateSpace prepare interior of her book. She was so disgusted with their poor work that she got her money refunded and did what she should have in the first place, contracted with me to do the formatting and prepare PDF for uploading. (They have done a nice job on the cover, though, after a few iterations.) Much grief may be avoided by uploading print-ready PDF.

--Ken
I wish I had had you around when I was trying to get my three books through the create space system during the Christmas holiday. I don't mind paying to get the thing right. I am a perfectionist, and will not put out a substandard product, if I can help it. I did have my daughter here during Christmas. She has 25 years experience as a computer programmer and had it not been for her (she also did the covers), I wouldn't have the one book I have now.

I think I may get the second book, if they find the correct interior submission. And if not mistaken, I believe my daughter did download both books as a "print ready " PDF; however, CS allows different interior submissions, and my second corrective submission was not PDF. That may have been a mistake on my part, but the way I understand it: once in PDF, the file cannot be corrected, and that concerned me. I'm sitting on the third book, waiting until I get the second book through the system.
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Old 01-19-2012, 06:58 AM   #16
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You can use both Createaspace and Lighteningsource and for epub conversions you can use

BookBaby, for basic ebook conversion for free, but there are signup fees to consider and you may not have any more control of the final file that you have at Smashwords. $99
Ebookarchitects explained how his team takes a completely hands-on approach to each book
Ebookit pretty pricey at $299

Or do the ebook conversion yourself using Calibre
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Old 01-19-2012, 07:42 AM   #17
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once in PDF, the file cannot be corrected
You can change the original file and then save it as a PDF again. Then submit that file to CS. CS has a great previewer now that shows you exactly what your book will look like. I go page by page checking for spacing issues, font size, justification, etc. before ordering a proof copy. You can spot issues, fix them in your original document, save as a PDF and upload the file again, if you need to. Then I review it in the previewer again. Previewer = your friend.
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Old 01-19-2012, 08:14 AM   #18
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I have some questions. I'm getting a cover designed for ebooks. I understand I can use the same cover for POD books at Createspace, but how would I do the spine and back cover with my blurb and bio on it? And how would I learn how to format my manuscript to a POD book through Createspace? Also, Kindle and epubs are two different formats, right? Is it hard to do? I would like to learn how to do those things so in the future I won't have to rely on someone else to do it.

Thanks for your help. I appreciate it.
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Old 01-19-2012, 10:28 AM   #19
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I have some questions. I'm getting a cover designed for ebooks. I understand I can use the same cover for POD books at Createspace, but how would I do the spine and back cover with my blurb and bio on it? And how would I learn how to format my manuscript to a POD book through Createspace? Also, Kindle and epubs are two different formats, right? Is it hard to do? I would like to learn how to do those things so in the future I won't have to rely on someone else to do it.

Thanks for your help. I appreciate it.
CreateSpace has a cover creator that allows you to choose from about 16 designs and you upload your cover image, add back cover text and your photo and bio (if you want those on the back).

CreateSpace has templates you can download that help with formatting. The people on their forums are very helpful, too.

Smashwords offers many formats, including epub. You can download their free style guide to learn more.
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Old 01-19-2012, 04:12 PM   #20
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Thanks Merrihiatt!
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Old 01-22-2012, 02:42 AM   #21
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I have just exchanged emails with Createspace yet again. I can't seem to get my second book through their system. They're either running a scam on me, getting me to purchase proofs, or I'm just dumb--probably a little of both.

They have a system, it seems to me, whereas if you accidently make a wrong selection, you can't reverse it. The system only moves forward. There is no "undo" button or reverse. And they don't seem to read my emails, but just hit an automatic response button that sends a generic reply.

I sent an email yesterday responding to their email--trying to get them to reset the system that would restore their "Order a Copy Link," which they indicated in yesterday's email, was posted on their website, for my second book's proof, but which I never saw. Searching for it, I must have given some indication I was downloading another file. Today's email ignored my request to restore the order link and told me to continue downloading the file they already have. Well it won't be long now, said the dog when the train ran over its tail.
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Old 01-22-2012, 05:09 AM   #22
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Sorry you're having such a hard time with CS, Arkie. I have nine books published through CS and have been fortunate to have had only one glitch (once I reviewed my proof, I was not allowed to purchase copies. It just kept saying I needed to review the proof). I e-mailed CS and the problem was fixed within 24 hours.
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Old 01-25-2012, 07:07 PM   #23
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I have a YA paranormal book I'm going to self publish in March (hopefully) and I want to know which company is better for POD books--Createspace or Lulu? To be frank, I'm a computer moron, and I'm going to need all the help I can get. I'm also going to epublish on Amazon. Does anybody know of somebody who can format my manuscript to Kindle for me, and how much it would cost to do that?

Thanks. I appreciate your help.
I suggest that you published in CreateSpace. If you sign up with them for the first time, you will have a free Proof copy of your book!
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Old 01-25-2012, 07:17 PM   #24
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Cool. That rocks. I was totally leaning toward Createspace anyway. Thanks.
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Old 01-25-2012, 08:44 PM   #25
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Yesterday, I received my five free copies of my one book I have with Createspace because of their having changed extended promotion systems. They charged me $5.34 for shipping the five books, but that's o.k. This book--Mavis Abbott--is already on Amazon Books, but I have not found it elsewhere.

Then after an exchange of emails where I was not able to get them to reset the system so I could order a proof on the second book, I called and spoke with a young lady (at least she sounded young) and had her read inside the book to make sure she had the correct file, where I had made three corrections; the corrections were there. I then explained that it made no sense to download yet another file on top of one that was a third correction, before I could review it; she agreed and reset the system allowing the proof order. It is supposed to be here shortly.
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