#Mondayblogs Why Createspace is still king! My paperback experience #Indieauthor #indie

I couple of months ago I asked for some advice on whether to publish the paperback of my newest book via Createspace or try out Amazon KDP. I got some great advice and many people were happy to have changed over to KDP. Here’s the link to my original post.

I deliberated for some time, but decided to stick with Createspace as I knew the process and it was getting close to the book release date. I didn’t want any last minute problems messing everything up.

Using Createspace was as simple as ever and I had soon uploaded the doc and cover files, checked on screen for errors and ordered my proof copy. The only gripe I have is the shipping costs. As usual, I left myself no time to mess about before the release date on 29th June 2018, so I had to use their priorty shipping. Over $20 later, I had my proof and read it through for typos and formatting errors. Once I was happy with it, it was just a matter of agreeing the proof and then it went live in a few hours! I quickly ordered a UK copy (free shipping as I’m a prime member) and double checked those last minute changes were ok before making the big announcement to the world that it was for sale.

At the same time I did a test print with Lulu. It was cheaper as the postage was a lot less, but I felt the cover colours were inferior to Createspace and they did not support the font used for my chapter headers (reverting it automatically to times new roman). The overall quality of the book was better than I’d seen in the past. The quality of the paper was good and it felt more sturdy than the test copy I received from them last year for The Lost Sentinel. I weighed it all up and ordered 3 books from Lulu to keep as stock or give as gifts. Great, or so I thought until the books arrived a week later. There were 3 different books from 3 different authors in the package! I assumed somehow Lulu had sent me someone else’s order until I looked inside the book cover. It was The Sentinel’s Reign!

I got straight onto Lulu who replied 2 days later (standard response time) they wanted photos to prove what had happened. I sent them over and they agreed to redo the order free of charge with express shipping. A week later and I’m still waiting for the order to be fulfilled, let alone delivered to me. All in all, I’m not too impressed with Lulu.

Whilst waiting for the Lulu mess to be sorted last week, I ordered 10 books from Createspace as I really wanted to have some stock for the people who prefer to buy direct from me rather than online. I paid for the expedited shipping method, which they estimated would be about 2 weeks. They arrived within 5 days! And they are all perfect, though this picture doesn’t do them justice.

DSC_2865

I still want to trial the KDP paperback, but I’ve had such good service from Createspace and the covers are so tactile and beautiful I think I’ll stick with them for a bit longer.

One last note on why I’m sticking with Createspace –  the US paperback copies feel so much nicer than the UK paperbacks. I like that silicone feel they have, while I know others prefer the matt feel of the UK version. It is a small detail, but enough to convince me to stay where I am and pay that little bit extra for postage.

What are your thoughts or experiences with Createspace, KDP and Lulu?

Book News! Visions of Zarua is being published in Czech #fantasy #epicfantasy

Those who follow my blog may remember a while ago I mentioned I’d been contacted by a publisher about a Czech translation of my debut novel, Visions of Zarua.

Well last week I received the signed contract so I can finally announce the deal is official!

I do not have a publication date as yet but I’m so happy to share this news and to say I will soon be a traditionally published author! That is a dream come true, even if it has come about in a totally unexpected way.

Visions of Zarua Book Cover

I am so proud of this book and can’t wait to see what it looks like in Czech!

For those of you unfamiliar with the book here’s the blurb…

Two wizards, 350 years apart. Can they save the realm of Paltria from Zarua’s dark past?

An ancient darkness haunts the realm of Paltria.
Apprentice wizard Paddren is plagued by visions of a city on the brink of annihilation. When his master Kalesh dies in mysterious circumstances, the Royal Order of Wizards refuses to investigate.
Helped by his childhood friend, the skilled tracker Varnia, and her lover Leyoch, Paddren vows to find the killer.
The investigation leads Paddren down a sinister path of assassins, secret sects and creatures conjured by blood magic. But he is guided by a connection with a wizard from centuries ago – a wizard whose history holds the key to the horror at the heart of the abandoned city of Zarua. Can Paddren decipher his visions in time to save the Paltrian people from the dark menace of Zarua’s past?
Goodreads book link

 

Why not see what others have been saying on Amazon via universal book link.

I am currently approaching agents with this book and would really love to get some more reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, or to be featured on your book blogs. If you are willing to post an honest review in exchange for a free copy, please get in touch using my contact form. Alternatively, Visions of Zarua is enrolled in Kindle Unlimited where members can read it for free.

I hope to have more news to share soon, but for now thanks for reading.

Guest Post – Catherine Ryan Howard #DistressSignals

I am very pleased to have Catherine Ryan Howard on my blog today as she celebrates the release of her debut thriller ‘Distress Signals’. Over to you Catherine;

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Why Didn’t I Self-Publish Distress Signals?

Catherine Ryan Howard

My debut thriller, Distress Signals, was published on May 5 by Corvus/Atlantic, the first in a two-book deal. (The second will be out this time next year.) If you search for my name on Amazon, you’ll find more results than that for my name, because starting in 2010, I self-published. I started with Mousetrapped, the story of the year and a bit I spent living in Orlando, Florida and working in Walt Disney World. I followed it up with Backpacked, the story of what I did after that, i.e. went backpacking around Central America for a couple of months. Finally – since the self-publishing of the first two went well – came the obligatory ‘how to’, Self-Printed: The Sane Person’s Guide to Self-Publishing.

So I have an established platform, I know how to self-publish and it’s gone well for me in the past. So why didn’t I self-publish Distress Signals too.

1. My goal was always to get published

My goal, since I was a child, was to get a novel published. I wrote Mousetrapped, initially, because I felt woefully underprepared for my move to Orlando and thought that the other people who went out there on the same programme I did might benefit from the book. I self-published it because no one was interested in doing the publishing bit for me. Non-fiction felt a low-stakes game for me – it wasn’t the only thing I’d ever wanted to do with my life, so there was significantly less pressure. I wasn’t crippled with fear and anxiety over every last decision. I could have fun with it, because failure wouldn’t be devastating.

I feel totally different about fiction, which is why I wanted an agent to represent it and me and then, hopefully, a publisher to get involved. If Distress Signals had been rejected all over town, my thoughts might have turned to self-publishing it too. But we didn’t get that far.

2. My dream needs a traditional publisher

I’ve held this dream for the best part of three decades and it looks a certain way: a champagne welcome to a publishing house, a beautiful printed book, that book on shelves in bookstores all over the country, interviews and features in newspapers and magazines, a launch party where someone else is footing the bill for the wine. (And all the other bills too…!) Five years or so ago when e-books had an explosive surge in popularity, this dream didn’t suddenly change. I didn’t suddenly decide, after about twenty-five years of wanting a very specific thing, that hey, this other thing will ‘do’ instead. My dream remained the same. And I needed a traditional publisher in order to achieve it.

I understand that if you go to the Kindle store to download your next read, it’s hard to tell if it’s been traditionally or self-published, and it doesn’t seem to matter. But for me, that’s looking at the process very selectively, through an incredibly narrow lens. Over the last year or more, my publisher has done countless things for me that I just could not achieve by myself or, at the very least, wouldn’t have the money, experience or contacts to make happen. Getting e-books on Amazon are just one small part of the publishing process. There’s so much more to it than that, and it’s a ‘more’ I can’t make happen for myself.

3. Team Distress Signals

I loved the challenge of self-publishing and I’m so proud of what I achieved with it, especially because I made it happen by myself. But it can be a lonely road. The buck stops with you. All mistakes are your own.

Right now I have a whole team of people working with me – my agent, my editor, publicists in Ireland and the UK – while numerous other people (designers, sales agents, digital managers) do more heavy lifting behind the scenes. We all have the same goal: to make Distress Signals the best book it can be, and to make its publication as successful as possible. Each person brings years of experience, unique insight and boundless enthusiasm to the table. Because I was paid an advance, these people have invested in me. They’ve taken a risk on me. Now, we’re all working together to make sure that risk pays off.

Yes, control has to be relinquished. Yes, there are frustrating days, or confusing decisions. But so far, I think it’s more than worth it.

* * *

Ultimately, I didn’t self-publish Distress Signals because I didn’t want to and I didn’t have to. That doesn’t mean I’m done with self-publishing though. In fact, I’m certain I’ll return to it again at some point in the future, because I want this to be my career and a career has highs and lows, feasts and famines. Also, traditional publishing runs on contracts, and contracts expire. I have this deal now, yes, but no one knows what’s going to happen in the future.

Even if things go swimmingly, I still think self-publishing should have a place in every author’s master plan. But for now, I’m seeing what the view is like from the other side.

distress signals cover image

ABOUT DISTRESS SIGNALS:

Standalone crime/thriller

Published May 5 by Corvus/Atlantic in Ireland and the UK, June 2 in Australia and New Zealand. Details of North American publication later in 2016 coming soon.

Did she leave, or was she taken?

The day Adam Dunne’s girlfriend, Sarah, fails to return from a Barcelona business trip, his perfect life begins to fall apart. Days later, the arrival of her passport and a note that reads ‘I’m sorry – S’ sets off real alarm bells. He vows to do whatever it takes to find her.

Adam is puzzled when he connects Sarah to a cruise ship called the Celebrate – and to a woman, Estelle, who disappeared from the same ship in eerily similar circumstances almost exactly a year before. To get the answers, Adam must confront some difficult truths about his relationship with Sarah. He must do things of which he never thought himself capable. And he must try to outwit a predator who seems to have found the perfect hunting ground…

Advance praise:

“Pacey, suspenseful and intriguing … [A] top class, page turning read. Catherine Ryan Howard is an astonishing new voice in thriller writing.” — Liz Nugent, author of 2014 IBA Crime Novel of the Year Unravelling Oliver

“An exhilarating debut thriller from a hugely talented author. Distress Signals is fast-paced, twisty and an absolute joy to read.” — Mark Edwards, #1 bestselling author of The Magpies and Follow You Home

Read a preview of the first three chapters here:

https://catherineryanhoward.com/access-your-exclusive-preview/

Amazon.co.uk link:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Distress-Signals-Incredibly-Gripping-Psychological/dp/1782398384

ABOUT CATHERINE:

Catherine Ryan Howard was born in Cork, Ireland, in 1982. Prior to writing full-time, Catherine worked as a campsite courier in France and a front desk agent in Walt Disney World, Florida, and most recently was a social media marketer for a major publisher. She is currently studying for a BA in English at Trinity College Dublin.

Catherine Ryan Howard by City Headshots Dublin

Catherine Ryan Howard by City Headshots Dublin

http://www.catherineryanhoward.com/

http://www.DistressSignalsBook.com

Twitter: @cathryanhoward

Instagram: @cathryanhoward

Facebook: facebook.com/catherineryanhoward