The print publishing process


“Hoe’s one cylinder printing press” by A.H. Jocelyn – History of the Processes of Manufacture 1864. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons –

So here’s more detail about my foray into print.

Back in December I got into a discussion on the Facebook Gay Mystery page with a reader who said he hated e-books, loved bibliomysteries, and would read the Jamie books in print if they were available. I told him I’d explore the possibilities.

I’d always avoided print for two reasons: first, a friend who had been through the process told me it was horrible, and made formatting for Smashwords seem like child’s play. Second, I knew I’d have to charge more for print books, and I didn’t want to.

But, with at least one guaranteed sale, I figured it was worth it to investigate.

What I found was fascinating.

Createspace is the website where everyone I know has gone to self-publish in print. Like Kindle and Smashwords, it’s free – as long as you stick to the basics. The Word files for the books were easy to upload. The covers were trickier. I didn’t have the expertise to format the existing e-covers for the print books, and getting help with it would be $99 per book.

There goes any profit.

As a result, the covers are different. There are elements of the e-covers in the print covers, in that in some cases I was able to use the same photo, and in others a similar photo.

But even though the covers are different, the books are the same.

Another interesting finding: Createspace is an Amazon company. The books can be bought both through the Createspace site and the Amazon site. When the purchase is made through Createspace, I make $2.00 more than I do with an Amazon purchase.

Same company. But Amazon is poaching $2.00/book from the author, even though it’s the same company.


One more thing: Createspace sets the minimum charge for the book, based on the length. As a result, I can’t charge the same price for all the print books like I can with the e-books. The first three are $7.99, but the fourth, Researched to Death, is longer. It’s $9.99.

Anyway! The first four books in the JBM series are now available in print, if you’re interested, at Createspace now and at Amazon in a few days. I will probably continue and get the rest of the existing books out in print by mid-year.



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