Jun. 28th, 2016

clhollandwriter: (marchin)
When it comes to distributing your book, Lulu and CreateSpace do things a little differently.

Lulu offers you the option to set up your book with private access (only you can find it when logged in), direct access (only people with the link can find it), or general access (anyone can find it). This is useful if, for example, you only want to print copies for family members and can set it to private or direct. It also lets you select their globalReach distribution option which offers the book on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Ingram as long as it meets their requirements with regards to formatting and having an ISBN. This appears to be an all or nothing deal, as it's either on or off. There doesn't seem to be any way to opt out of individual channels. I have the distribution options switched off, as it's redundant for Lulu to sell my book on Amazon when I can do so myself - especially when, as previously noted, I'll get a lot less in royalties.

CreateSpace offers different levels of distribution, and all are opt in. Standard distribution offers Amazon.com, Amazon Europe, and the CreateSpace eStore, which can be individually selected. Expanded distribution offers the options of Booksters and Online Retailers, Libraries and Academic Institutions, and Createspace Direct. These can also be individually selected, but that's as far as you can drill down.

I will say at this point that I haven't sold any copies through Lulu, but that's hardly surprising since I don't have any distribution channels switched on. I mostly use it for proofs and copies for hand selling. I sell a small trickle through CreateSpace, and these all seem to come from the various iterations of Amazon. I'm not making enough to give up my day job, or even pay any bills, but it's always a nice boost when you find out someone's bought your book.

Once you've picked your channels it's just a matter of clicking through the rest of the process, as the two sites do things in a different order. The final option will be to approve a proof, which you can either do digitally by downloading the file, or by ordering a proof copy. After you say that you're happy to proceed the site will also proof your book to make sure it meets their requirements. They'll email once this is complete and your book is ready. And that's it: you've self-published a book.

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