Not so long ago, Amazon’s CreateSpace was a haven for self-publishing authors everywhere.
While CreateSpace is best known as Amazon’s efficient print-on-demand service, the platform also provided paid publishing services to participating authors: editing, interior book design, custom covers, Kindle conversion, and more.
And though these “author services” might not have been widely used, CreateSpace’s offerings did maintain a reputation for quality work. Whether they were line editing, laying out a book, or designing book jackets, CreateSpace’s creative teams were well-regarded as prompt, thorough, and highly responsive—even if their services were quite expensive.
Sadly, that era has come to a close.
As of 2018, CreateSpace will no longer offer author services. In a statement reported by South Carolina’s The Post and Courier, an Amazon representative said:
“After a thorough review of our service offerings, we’ve made the decision to discontinue CreateSpace’s paid professional editing, design, and marketing services. We will work closely with impacted employees through this transition to help them find new roles within the company or assist them with pursuing opportunities outside the company.”
In the wake of this decision, one question remains: How will this affect indie authors?
How CreateSpace’s Discontinued Author Services Impacts You
First, it must be said that if you’ve never used CreateSpace’s publishing services before, this change likely won’t affect you at all… unless you were planning to make use of these services for a future project.
But if you have used CreateSpace’s paid services before, this does affect you quite a bit—and in ways you might not realize at first.
For one, if you’ve ever made the mistake of failing to edit your books post-layout, you won’t have the luxury of getting CreateSpace editors to go back and polish your manuscript after it’s already been published. If you spot a misplaced period or comma or deleted word in your ebook, it’s there forever—unless you yourself take the time to go back and fix it.
This heightens the need for strong professional editing help—as well as for conscientiously editing and proofreading your own work before it hits Amazon’s digital shelves.
What’s more, if you’re a nonfiction author who routinely edits and updates the material in your books to reflect changing industry standards or simply to keep up with the needs of modern readers, you won’t be able to request these major changes through CreateSpace.
Now, nonfiction authors who used CreateSpace’s paid services must now manually monkey with their post-formatting book files in order to update their information and research for future readers.
According to an email recently sent to current clients, if authors who have used paid CreateSpace services want to make changes to their book files, those changes must be purchased and submitted no later than March 15, 2018, and completed by April 20, 2018. No changes can be requested for these files after that date.
How to Get Quality Editing and Formatting for Your Self-Published Book
Luckily, CreateSpace wasn’t the only name in the game where indie publishing services are concerned. Many wonderful online services exist to bring you top-quality editing, interior formatting, cover design, and even marketing options—for a fee, of course.
To make sure your next self-published book gets all the love and help it deserves, these are our top resources for editing and formatting your books.
BookBaby is an online publishing service company that offers many of the same services CreateSpace did, including line and copy editing, professional cover book cover and interior design, ebook conversion and distribution, and print-on-demand services.
BookBaby touts itself as a “one-stop shop” for all authors’ publishing needs, and therefore also offers marketing options, press releases, and even an online bookstore that hosts both print books and ebooks, called BookShop.
BookBaby’s popular Complete Self-Publishing Package takes paying authors through nearly every step of the self-publishing process. Though the package skips the editing process entirely, it does net you professional layout and cover design, ebook conversion and distribution, worldwide print-on-demand distribution, direct-to-reader BookShop sales, ISBNs for both your print book and ebook, and 25 copies of your print book.
The Complete Self-Publishing Package: $1,499
Fiverr is a global online marketplace/job board offering tasks and services, called “Gigs,” starting at $5 per job—hence the unusual name.
Since the site is primarily used by freelancers, Fiverr can be a great place to find publishing services for low prices, especially editing and formatting. Gig-seekers post their offerings in a specific “I will…” format: “I will format and publish your book for Kindle on more than 8 bookstores”… “I will format your print book and ebook for self-publishing”… and so on.
To find a collaborator who’s right for your project, simply browse Fiverr’s categories for the appropriate service, or search for the specific service you want. Like any freelance-heavy site, quality will vary from Gig to Gig—but if you’re looking for publishing help on the cheap, Fiverr’s one of the best places to start.
Be aware, though, that you often get what you pay for—a $5 ebook formatting job may not meet the professional standards you’re looking for. Be sure to carefully check over available samples and customer reviews to decide on the right balance of value and quality for your needs.
Book Design Templates
Award-winning book designer Joel Friedlander of thebookdesigner.com sells ready-made templates for interior book design at bookdesigntemplates.com. Self-publishing authors can simply thread their book files into these unique and highly stylish templates, save the new file, and publish their newly formatted book wherever they please.
Friedlander’s templates come in many unique varieties. Some are genre-based: Noir for the blunt, stripped-down look a blood-soaked mystery demands; Fling for graceful romance fiction design; or futuristic Quantum for space-age science fiction, among others.
Other templates are themed upon the styles of famous authors, including a retro-futuristic design based around the work of Isaac Asimov, a light and airy template based on Ralph Ellison, and a minimalistic yet highly striking layout based on the great Ernest Hemingway.
Each template is fully customizable and comes with both an instructional guide and free customer support. Templates start at $59 for a single title, but you can pay $119 for permission to use a single template for all your books—or, if you’re a businessperson looking to format a book for someone else, you can buy a Commercial Use License for $249.
ProofreadingPal is an online service that offers 24/7 business, resume, academic, student, essay, and book/manuscript editing at variable rates. Authors can ask for job quotes by entering their English type, writing style (MLA, APA, Chicago Style, etc.), and word count, uploading a copy of their unedited document, and selecting a desired turnaround speed—in ranges between 30 minutes and seven days.
Don’t expect a 30-minute return on a 50,000-word novel, though—only documents of 600 words or less qualify for 30-minute editing, while bigger projects (50,000 words or more) will take a minimum of seven days to properly proofread.
ProofreadingPal guarantees accurate and thorough proofreading by assigning two proofreaders to every project, all of whom are native English speakers and many of whom have a master’s or PhD degree.
Get a quote for your project by visiting the website or by calling 888-833-8385.
BONUS ROUND: Free Resources from TCK Publishing
We pride ourselves in being a well-rounded bunch here at TCK Publishing, and while we may not offer paid publishing services, we will teach you how to format your self-published book for CreateSpace—absolutely free. Now that CreateSpace is no longer offering formatting assistance for its authors, this is information you can’t afford to ignore.
The Step-by-Step to Formatting Your Print Book for CreateSpace is the only comprehensive guide you’ll ever need for do-it-yourself book formatting: these step-by-step instructions include detailed information on every aspect of the anatomy of book design, including page setup, typography, trim size, margins, and styles, and even includes a downloadable suite of CreateSpace formatting templates for Microsoft Word.
TCK Publishing will also teach you our field-tested step-by-step method for choosing the right editor for your project—again, absolutely free. How to Find an Editor for Your Book with Step-by-Step Instructions will you help you find the best editor for your project without overpaying or getting stressed out by the selection process. Our all-inclusive guide includes advice on which job sites to post on, how to describe your job or project, how to review job proposals from editors, and how to get sample edits from potential collaborators.
Self-publishing might seem daunting at first, but it doesn’t have to be scary. With the right tools—and the right people by your side—you can become the indie author you’ve always wanted to be… and make all your publishing dreams come true.
For more information on editing, formatting, and self-publishing, get your fix here:
- Nonfiction and Fiction eBook Formatting Templates for Kindle
- 17 Powerful Strategies for Revising Your Writing
- The Self-Publishing Roller Coaster: How to Navigate the Ups and Downs of Writing