Books written by Ray Sullivan

Monday, 13 February 2012

Createspace Progress for DLF

There's certain blog subjects that get more interest than others, in my limited experience.  Whenever I have flagged a bargain in the eReader department, for example, I seem to get rather a lot of hits.  I guess I'm not the only 'careful' person when it comes to eReaders and judging by the countries that pounce on those blog entries, it doesn't seem to matter if I state in the title that the deal relates just to the UK or not.  In fact the early readers of those blog entries seem to be mainly in the US - but Eastern Europe does roll its sleeves up quickly, too - and the target audience strolls along a day or so afterwards in the main.

The Project: Evil episodes seem to be attracting a reasonable amount of consistent traffic too, very satisfying that you guys are coming back for more and a little worrying as I've just got the little problem of finishing the book to crack on with.

And it seems that an awful lot of you are interested in data security judging by the amount of hits I got (and continue to get) for my blog entry What Does Your Data Say About You?

But many of the blog entries receive very little interest, compared to the rest - The Douglas Adams Invented Google piece sank without trace initially, although I've noticed it being picked up piecemeal on a daily basis.  And I'm not going to worry too much about my explanation of how Value Added Tax works - it's really meant as a piece of background for the very occasional person needing to understand that subject over time.  If it had been read a lot, I'd have started worrying about who was hitting the blog!

However, when I blogged about my intention to self publish DLF as a print option the other day I was quietly surprised to see it being picked up on almost as soon as I posted the blog.  Somehow I don't think it is all about an untapped interest in the book - I'd have to double check the numbers but I suspect there were more hits on the blog than I've had interest in the book itself on Amazon and Smashwords combined since I self published the eBook version on the day of the Royal wedding last year.

So I suspect that the interest is really more focused on the Createspace process itself.  I'm guessing that many of the readers of that blog were authors thinking about the process themselves - let's face it, there's a lot of us crowding out Amazon and Smashwords right now with our novels and I'm guessing that I'm not the only author a little confused by the Createspace instructions, which as I said in that blog are not that clear.

Since then I've dabbled a little with the submission and finally entered the data Createspace need to send me money in the (unlikely) event of my selling enough books to generate a royalty cheque.  The one piece I haven't done yet is submit for the US tax withholding - I used to do that every year for an American company I used to work for and know that although it isn't the hardest piece of admin around, it is a tad tiresome and needs to be done anew every year.  If I've understood the blurb correctly, Createspace will only think about sending me a cheque once I've accumulated more than $100 in royalties, which they'll charge me $8 for and, if I haven't filled in the tax forms by that point in time, less about another $30 which will be sent to the US taxman to help out with the deficit.  As I'm not actually expecting to sell many books, it could be a long time before that tax form is needed, so I'll just monitor the sales and submit it if and when I think I may need it.  In the unlikely event that my book is a runaway success in print I'll either take the tax bill on the chin or hire an accountant.  If you are an accountant, by all means lodge your details with me, but don't expect a call back real soon.

So, book uploaded, cover designed using their tools, postal address provided for the rare royalty cheque and all that seems left is the pricing.  This bit is made very easy - they tell you the minimum cost of the book based on the amount of pages and you decide how much it is going to be sold for.  Once you choose a price the software tells you how much you will earn per sale - you get more if a book is sold directly by Createspace estore, less if sold by Amazon.  You can set any price you like, as long as it is at least the minimum amount they have advised.  I've plumped for $8 - it seems like a reasonable amount, but it doesn't put me in too much danger of settling the US deficit single-handedly either.

For those of you thinking about using Createspace the critical information you're waiting for is the base price and how it relates to your own work of art.  Well, DLF  is about 70,000 words long and the base price come in at $5.69, so just scale up or down for your own book.

I'm now waiting for Createspace to advise me that I've done all the paperwork correctly - I'm writing this in the UK on a Sunday night and don't really expect there to be that many people in Createspace's offices to be working right now - and once I get the green light I can order my proof copy.  I'm expecting the postage to be a significant part of the costs, but will report when I know for certain how it stacks up.  I'll update in a future blog post on how efficient the process is, how long it takes for a book to turn up, what it looks like when held in my grubby little hands and whether I'm likely to need to fill that  tax form in.


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