Near the end of last year I published a post about earning money by publishing books right from your home or RV by using the services of Amazon.com affiliate “createspace.com.” I explained that, having written and published books previously via more traditional methods, paying for and storing 2000 copies of the tome (where can you do that in an RV?), then waiting for orders and shipping them out to buyers, I was trying a new method. A colleague told me he worked with Create Space to publish his book and was pleased with the result.
At the point I wrote, I had essentially completed the writing, editing, uploading and proofing process and was simply waiting to give final “approval” to the book and make it available for sale as I wanted it to be released at the beginning of 2012 to give it a longer perceived “shelf-life.” I am pleased to inform you that on 1/1/2012, I confirmed my approval with Create Space and by 1/2/2012, I had sold my first copy of the 2nd edition of Romancing the Web: A Therapist’s Guide to the Finer Points of Online Dating!
One of the trickiest parts of selling books is book marketing. As I have done in the past, just prior to the end of the year when I would make my book available, I downloaded a form from Quality Books, a company which markets books to libraries. They had accepted my three other books and I was hopeful they would accept and market this volume to their sources. I was notified at the very end of the year that it had been accepted and presented with an order for 15 copies and a request for “cover art.” (While customers would typically be purchasing the book online from Amazon, for Quality Books to market it to libraries, I would need to provide the copies for them.)I emailed back that the book would not be available until after the first of the year and sent along a Jpeg image of the cover for their marketing purposes.
Therefore, immediately after approving my book with Create Space, I needed to place an order for sufficient copies to send along to Quality Books and others I would want to receive them. I placed an order for 30 copies, figuring that would give me a few extra to play with. The cost was reasonable, $3.13 per book (I had paid nearly $3.00 per copy for the first edition, and then had to store them myself!) but felt the shipping was exorbitant! To ship 30 copies of a 200 page book I was charged over $18.00!
The books arrived about a week later. I checked them over carefully and, much to my dismay, there was a flaw on the front covers of 21 of the books; something that had not appeared on any of the three separate proof copies I had ordered. On 20 of the copies, it appeared as if a small green mountain range had taken up residence across the front cover of the book. On one copy, the blue shaded area near the bottom of the cover appeared very blotchy and lumpy.
I immediately emailed Create Space Member Services Team and explained the problem. Not hearing anything, I sent them another email the following day because, at this point, I am still unable to fulfill the one customer order I have for 15 copies. After a several emails back and forth, further explanation was requested of me and I sent them pictures of the defective covers. The matter was then referred to the Technical Services Team and, shortly after they had reviewed it, I was informed that they had placed a new order for 21 additional copies which would be shipped to me priority mail. This resolution took about two weeks, I was informed of the resolution yesterday and I am awaiting receipt of the additional copies. My follow-up inquiry about how we can avoid this issue in the future is still in process. I will let you know how that goes.
Several of the remaining 15 copies I have ordered I plan to make available to “reviewers” who will post a review of the book on Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble.com. I subscribe to the (no charge) self-publishing newletter of Dan Poynter, author of the Self-Publishing Manual, called Publishing Poynters. Interested persons can subscribe by contacting [email protected] or check out his website at http://ParaPublishing.com. He makes available for subscribers a service entitled ParaReviews, in which authors may list new books in the next edition of his newsletter and make them available for other authors and subscribers to review and post their findings on the Amazon and Barnes and Noble sites. It DOES help to sell books and create a writers/publishers community. I will keep you posted on my progress with the new copies and the reviews. Coming next…on to the Kindle market!
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