Now I have established that self publishing is working for me and perhaps it will work for you. Here are some caveats. There are a ton of companies out there willing to take your money and produce your book. No doubt some of them are very good. After much research I ended up with Amazon’s CreateSpace. It is the least expensive solution from a reputable company that I could find. You may recall I am retired. Note I did not say independently wealthy retired, I just said retired. Fixed incomes lead to fiscal conservatism. I stoutly state that fiscal conservatism is not the same as cheap. Fiscally conservative means a willingness to spend money but in a wise manner. CreateSpace meets my fiscally conservative demands.
I have been happy with the cost of CreateSpace, the quality and promptness of their work and their services. I discovered some pitfalls in the area of ISBN numbers. CreateSpace assigns an ISBN to your book for free. That is a distinct savings immediately since Bowker charges over $100.00 for a single ISBN and if you purchase from one of the authorized resellers you will pay at least $55.00. Take note, the ISBN from CreateSpace is a legitimate ISBN and is not a unique Amazon/CreateSpace ISBN. I, erroneously, thought that the ISBN that CreateSpace was not registered in Books In Print (the bookstores bible). This was after speaking with a CreateSpace employee who either didn’t know that or I wasn’t smart enough to specifically ask that question. I wanted one of my books to specifically be able to be found by any bookstore and not just through Amazon. I purchased an ISBN through Aardvark, a legitimate reseller of ISBN numbers. However Aardvark is then listed as the publisher and CreateSpace will NOT allow you to use that ISBN on books they publish. I now own an ISBN that I really didn’t need and am out the $55.00 it cost me due to my not asking enough questions and perhaps CreateSpace not addressing the ISBN issue with thorough clarity. Take note anyone from Amazon/CreateSpace that may read this is that you should clarify the value and use of the ISBN number and save someone else from wasting their money on buying a un-needed ISBN.
What’s my point? CreateSpace is a great place to get your work published for a minimal amount of money. I have discovered that that getting a good layout and setting up a book is substantially more laborious than I realized. My 28 page childhood stress books were relatively easy compared to my first 100 page Hardy Belch book. I did purchase a new desktop publishing package that I am learning by using. Serif PagePlus 11 works very well. The week after I bought it I got an email telling me I could upgrade to their new version for a minimal charge of, I think, $75.00. Since I haven’t even scratched the programs capability surface yet I declined. I do advise if you plan on writing more than a few pages you should consider a desktop publishing software package. Serif PagePlus 11 can be found for $20.00 if you look around.
Bottom line, if you have always wanted to get in print, then you should do so and do it now! It can be laborious, it will be time consuming, it does not have to be expensive and it is enormously satisfying.