To continue from this entry in October, where I was commenting on the useability of CreateSpace and Lulu to self-publish. (On a side note, every time I link to one of my own entries, WordPress gets all excited and tells me a new website is linking to me. No, just no, WordPress.)
When we left the story, I had successfully updated my listing on Lulu with the new edition and was awaiting my proof from CreateSpace. This is where the trouble starts.
I was in the process of moving at the time, so I sent my CS proof to my mother’s house, as I didn’t know where I was living, had no address, and figured my mother’s house wasn’t going to go anywhere. It never showed. Eventually, some weeks later I called CS (really, had them call me – they have no customer service number. You give them your number and then they call you after a specified amount of time) and asked what had happened to it.
Apparently it had been returned as undeliverable.
I’m not sure why they wouldn’t deliver to my mother’s house – I send things there all the time – but I was more annoyed that they had not sent me an email or something to tell me that this was the case. Apparently we were hoping I would just psychically be aware of the situation.
So we got that hammered out. Eventually the proof shows up. It looks brilliant, except for the fact that the back cover is not ideal for reasons covered in the above post. Really, I am very pleased with the quality. Everything looks ready to go.
My husband and I go back into one of the CS menus to doublecheck something. We change nothing, but CS decides that we must have and demands that I order another proof copy. Oh, hell no. I am sick of the entire proof copy process. It will not let me approve the book for sale until I buy another copy.
After several phone calls that generally went “I did not change anything, I like the book as it is, can’t we just reset something for the love of Landsquid?” things finally got straightened out. The book went live. It is EXCELLENT to see yourself on Amazon.
Overall opinion of CS: Nice quality product, INFURIATING processes. I would/will use them again, because it has proven to be a very good thing to be listed on Amazon, but they really need to work on their interface. You should have to save something before it tries to force you to approve a new copy at the very least. But in their defense, everyone I spoke to on the phone was very helpful and honestly did the best they could to fix my issues. And I got a free proof out of the madness.
We also went ahead and did both the Kindle and the Nook. There’s really no reason not to. It is SUPER EASY to use both. Kindle wants you to upload an html file, which is a bit odd, while PubIt! will take a Word doc. Both sites let you preview how it will look on the physical ebook reader. The website interfaces are user-friendly and easy. If you want to include your cover/pictures in your Kindle file, you do need to do some funky html thing in the file and then include the graphics as a zip file, but overall, I have no complaints with either service.
I decided not to use SmashWords based on some advice I found across the interwebs based on an unreliable royalty issue. For the time being, I am not planning to expand to any other platforms, though that could change with time. I will keep you apprised of any relevant updates.