CreateSpace with Elance - Fun, Fast Experience!

by Andrea Zimmerman
(Minneapolis, MN)

Do These Pants Make Me Look Fat?

Do These Pants Make Me Look Fat?

Combining CreateSpace with Elance contractors got me published quickly and easily.

I started down the path of writing a full color children's book to help me work through a parenting challenge with my 9 year-old daughter, mainly having to do with negative self-talk and other girls saying hurtful things to one another.

I wrote the text in a couple of days and then used Elance to get help modifying/editing the text and for illustrating before turning to CreateSpace for the actual printing.

Elance.com was a great site. Editing/Word help cost me around $100, and full color illustration for 15 pages was $1200. I could have illustrated for less, but I really like the style of the artist I selected. The creation process was easy to manage using this website which cost me nothing to join - only the cost of the free-lancers. Great experience!

Webmaster's note: Visit elance and search CreateSpace to find contractor with CreateSpace experience. (Or just click the link, because I did it for you!)

Self publishing:

I used CreateSpace and had my illustrator create and upload the pdf documents necessary for the printing process. CreateSpace is part of Amazon, and they only charge a per book on demand printing fee. You can cut your cost in 1/2 if you pay $30 upfront. My 28 page full color 8.25x8.25 book costs me $3.65 to print. What an easy way to get a book out there.

CreateSpace allows you to market your book using their site (for an extra % of the sales), but they handle shipping and sales tax. They also push through Amazon and other sales distribution channels.

View my CreateSpace purchase site for my book (and buy it!).

The paperback book is rich in color; the only downside is the cover isn't the highest quality. If you have paper over the cover and jot a note on the paper, it leaves a slight imprint on the cover (soft, high gloss paperback).

Marketing:

I have just finalized and printed my books (they will arrive next week). Now I'm going to go down the path of learning all the things I can do to market it. CreateSpace's printing/marketing options are perfect for my marketing needs. I can order what I think I can sell myself for only the cost of printing (or fill larger orders), and I can also drive traffic for a full fee through Amazon and a lesser fee through the CreateSpace.com link - depending on my marketing approach.

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May 06, 2013
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I too have used Elance!
by: Steve B. (webmaster)

I can now report I've used Elance as well for my own self-publishing efforts, though not with Createspace.

I commissioned a Malaysian artist to reproduce Beatrix Potter's artwork (all public domain now) as coloring book drawings.

Feb 02, 2010
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RE: Illustrator questions
by: Andrea

I found my illustrator on Elance. I put up a proposal for a "Whimsical children's book illustrator" and had about 20 bids over the course of 2 1/2 weeks. They ranged in price from $200-$2000, depending on the experience/talent of the illustrator.

These were all fixed bid projects (which I requested) vs. open ended hourly. By using elance, the purchaser of the services owns the copyrights to whatever is produced. They can also handle the 1099's, which is nice and needed if the payments to a vendor are over $500 in one year. I selected Shelagh Inglesby. She is a great talent! The bid was $1200, and I paid her $1500 because of how happy I was with the work. I think you can google her. You can check out the illustrations at my book website on the inside the book page. Best of luck!

Andrea

Feb 01, 2010
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I'm curious about your illustrator
by: Anonymous 1

Thanks for the info, especially on createspace dot com. Did you have a contract with your illustrator? I am curious about ownership of the illustrations and how much you paid for them. Was it a percentage or per book? Can you comment?

Good luck, You've inspired me to really consider self-publishing.

Jan 26, 2010
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Marketing Expectations
by: Sandy

Thanks for your informative posting about self-publishing. What are reasonable expectations for selling these types of books? TIA

Jan 11, 2010
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Copyrights
by: Andrea

Good Luck on your adventure, Alison!

You can register for a copyright if you wish. If you google "do I need a copyright," it will guide you on whether you need one and how to do a "poor man's copyright" if you desire (basically you mail your work to yourself and keep the postmark info). Based on the rules of the road, I choose not to file a copyright on any of my work. In fact, with work I do for clients (including fortune 100) in my regular job, we never copyright with the Library of Congress. Based on my understanding of property rights/copyrights, I feel that my published work including the copyright mark and date is proof enough.

Best,
Andrea

Jan 10, 2010
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What about Copyrighting
by: Anonymous

Hi Andrea! Thank you so much for the helpful information! I am new to the whole children's book writing gig and had no idea where to start!

While I was reading your post I became curious about copyrighting. Did you copyright your material before submitting it for editing and afterwards?

I ask because I am a little nervous to submit my un-copyrighted work....but am not sure what the norm is....

Thanks!

Alison

Jan 07, 2010
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A Star Under My Step
by: Graham Best (TightropeDream.com)

Hi Andrea.

Thanks for the info, especially about craetespace.com. I think I'll give them a try, since the prices at my current print-on-demand service, Blurb.com, are driving away a lot of people who would buy my book at a reasonable market price, but understandably won't spend $20+ on a softcover. It was very eye-opening to find out there were better options for me.

I hope you sell a lot of copies of your book too!

Graham

Dec 30, 2009
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I agree, Createspace was a great experience!
by: Anonymous

Andrea,

Your cover is fun! Good luck with your book.

I also used CreateSpace to print my self-published book. I wanted to echo your sentiments about them. I submitted my interior files and cover file on a Thursday evening and received a proof for review on Wednesday the following week! It cost me less than 10 dollars, including shipping. Amazing. Of course, it took me several proofs before I went live, but the experience was a very positive one.

CreateSpace is now also providing many tools to assist the self-publisher in marketing and distribution. I find the user forums to be an invaluable source of information as well.

Best of luck to you.

H.W. Baker
The Minution Chronicles - Saving Zinitheron

Dec 14, 2009
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Self publishing...and publishing?
by: Steve B. (webmaster)

Andrea, thanks for a nice post. I love what motivated you to write.

Hey, are you the same Andrea Zimmerman who has traditionally published a number of other books, like Fire Engine Man and Dig?

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