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SarahCat
08-25-2016, 12:19 AM
Hello everyone,

I am so excited that earlier in the summer I was able to release my first title for children through Amazon's Createspace. After a challenging self-publishing journey, I now have a professional looking print and Kindle edition of my book that I am proud of. I hope to use it as a tool to make a difference in young students' lives. It is called, "Counting Kitties," and it features hand-drawn illustrations and rhymes to help children realize that learning can be fun as long as they don't give up.

Now that the book creation and formatting part is over, I instantly thought of more questions. I have reviewed a lot of threads with recommendations on how to try and promote your self-published book. Createspace has some additional features, but I would like to learn more about them from experienced authors first.

Has anyone who has self published a book through Createspace enrolled their title in Expanded Distribution? I enrolled my print version in my book into this program and I am trying to learn more about what this does for your book. I have heard both pros and cons, and I would love to hear some honest opinions from this community that I can trust.

My first question about this is about the length of time it takes for sales through these methods to be reported. My book has already shown up on some third party book sites, so these sellers have already ordered my book through other distribution methods. I heard the estimated time was six weeks for these sales to be listed in your earnings report, but I have not been able to find a direct answer to this.

Secondly, I chose not to enroll my Kindle book in Kindle Select, because it seemed like there were a lot of unnecessary strings attached that I wasn't sure I would like to unravel. I am grateful for the additional exposure, but at this point in starting out, I might enroll my title later. Has anyone used this program? What do you think of it? I am not sure if it is "new author nerves," but I am very happy to have released my title, and I want to make sure I am making the right decisions.

Last but not least, KDP invited me to create an author page that is shown on all of my product pages. Does anyone use this, and what do you think of it? Does anyone use this as an additional promotion method? Has this benefited you if you have established one?

I am not sure if I can post links in this section or not, but I wanted to thank this community for encouraging me to see this through, and giving me the knowledge I needed to do it.

I would greatly appreciate any insights anyone could share with me on these topics.

Thanks again
Sarah

blrude
08-25-2016, 03:44 AM
Has anyone who has self published a book through Createspace enrolled their title in Expanded Distribution? I enrolled my print version in my book into this program and I am trying to learn more about what this does for your book. I have heard both pros and cons, and I would love to hear some honest opinions from this community that I can trust.

Expanded distribution is a fancy name for "put your book in all the sales channels". What this does for your book is make it so that catalogs outside of Amazon will show your book.


My first question about this is about the length of time it takes for sales through these methods to be reported. My book has already shown up on some third party book sites, so these sellers have already ordered my book through other distribution methods. I heard the estimated time was six weeks for these sales to be listed in your earnings report, but I have not been able to find a direct answer to this.

Those sellers might not have ordered your book. When you're in expanded distribution, it allows online bookstores to post the link to your book, but that doesn't mean they have already purchased it... it just means that they when the online store gets the order, they will put the order into createspace.


Last but not least, KDP invited me to create an author page that is shown on all of my product pages. Does anyone use this, and what do you think of it? Does anyone use this as an additional promotion method? Has this benefited you if you have established one?

I don't have concrete benefits to having an author page, but it makes sense to have one because you can put your bio, your picture, some other information on the page on top of all the books you've written. I would call this passive promotion--you set it up once and don't have to think about it again until you make a major change. Same with an author page on Goodreads or Librarything.

SarahCat
08-25-2016, 04:18 AM
Hello, blrude, thank you for taking the time to clear some things up for me. I figured as such about the Expanded Distribution but I wasn't entirely sure. I am definitely going to set up my author page because I don't think it would hurt anything, but I'm curious if anyone has actually used these to generate sales. I can see a potential for this if the titles and pages are appealing enough though.

I actually found a few listings of my book on ebay, which was why I thought maybe the sellers saw my title through the expanded distribution, but I didn't know a seller could list the item without physically having it in their possession right away.

ASeiple
08-25-2016, 06:44 AM
Secondly, I chose not to enroll my Kindle book in Kindle Select, because it seemed like there were a lot of unnecessary strings attached that I wasn't sure I would like to unravel. I am grateful for the additional exposure, but at this point in starting out, I might enroll my title later. Has anyone used this program? What do you think of it? I am not sure if it is "new author nerves," but I am very happy to have released my title, and I want to make sure I am making the right decisions.


Hello, Sarah!

I must confess that normally I'm a big fan of Kindle Select. That said, there are some reasons to give it a pass. The main reason to avoid it is to allow you to sell books through other channels, such as Lulu, Kobo, or iBooks. But if you're only planning to go through Amazon, then there's really no reason not to go with Kindle Select. It gets you more exposure, at the cost of effectively selling your book at a discount.

...mind you, since your book is a children's book, it probably doesn't have that many pages. So going Kindle Select would mean that Kindle Unlimited checkouts would be a steep discount.

Still, the free marketing can't be discounted. Kindle Unlimited checkouts push your rank up like sales do, and it gets you in front of a voracious group of readers. It also lets you do Kindle Countdown deals, and free days. While those aren't as effective when you've only got one book in there, it's still practice marketing in a fairly forgiving environment.

Do you have a marketing plan? From what I understand, children's books can be a hard sell if you're not in bookstores and libraries.

Anyway, don't take my word for it. Experiment! Leave this book out of Kindle Unlimited, go work on another book, and when it's done try putting that one in. See if it makes a difference. And let us know how it goes, so other aspiring authors can follow in your footsteps...

Welcome aboard, SarahCat! I wish you success and prosperity, and look forward to reading my daughter your book at some point!

Whibs123
09-03-2016, 07:09 PM
Get the author page - you go to https://authorcentral.amazon.com/ and register an account and "claim" your books. Simple, free. Expanded distribution, if you used their ISBN, you have no reason NOT to use thier expanded distribution. Do it. It's just more sales channels. As for Select... I don't use it, but have, and didn't like the results. Others have used it and swear by it. I think a lot depends on your genre. Is that your book in your avatar? Kids book? I write MG and YA and do better going wide with my stuff, but I know others will have an opposite opinion. Select simplifies things for you, and does give you the bonus of the free days to do promos.

SarahCat
09-06-2016, 03:20 AM
Get the author page - you go to https://authorcentral.amazon.com/ and register an account and "claim" your books. Simple, free. Expanded distribution, if you used their ISBN, you have no reason NOT to use thier expanded distribution. Do it. It's just more sales channels. As for Select... I don't use it, but have, and didn't like the results. Others have used it and swear by it. I think a lot depends on your genre. Is that your book in your avatar? Kids book? I write MG and YA and do better going wide with my stuff, but I know others will have an opposite opinion. Select simplifies things for you, and does give you the bonus of the free days to do promos.

Hello Whibs, yes I have done the author page and have claimed by books. So far I have both a Kindle version and a print version of my book. Yes, the avatar is from my book and it is a children's book. Like you said, I have also read and heard mixed results with the benefits and success of Kindle Unlimited. I have decided to try Kindle Unlimited, but it's going to be a while before I start to benefit from it. My book needs to be enrolled in the program for 30 days before I can use the Countdown Promotion, but I intend to utilize these, hoping it can draw some promotion for my book. Thank you for your advice. It is much appreciated.

Does anyone know if Createspace offers any printing sizes in the landscape orientation? I am working on a new project, and some of my illustrations were done in landscape in order to convey more on the page. I may redo these illustrations in portrait if it comes to that, though I would like to focus my time on the story too.

blrude
09-06-2016, 09:04 PM
Does anyone know if Createspace offers any printing sizes in the landscape orientation? I am working on a new project, and some of my illustrations were done in landscape in order to convey more on the page. I may redo these illustrations in portrait if it comes to that, though I would like to focus my time on the story too.

I'm not seeing that option with CS but Lulu can do a landscape 9 x 7 or a square 8.5.