Whew!!! What a journey! Writing the books was one thing, then came the editing and more editing and proofing and more editing until I felt they were ready for print. Then it was uploading them to CreateSpace, and making revisions until they passed their on-line reviewer. Next I ordered a print proof copy, and then more editing, and more print proof copies until finally I felt they were acceptable. Now they were ready to to be sold by CreateSpace and Amazon on-line.
Createspace and Amazon are connected, but.. and it’s a BIG but.. they don’t really serve the brick and mortar retail stores, as everything is done on line. So now I turned to IngramSpark another POD publisher, to get my books into retail stores around the globe. That was another frustrating learning curve, as what worked for CreateSpace, didn’t work for IngramSpark. Nothing major, but a pain in the butt none the less. Frustrated, I put that project on hold and focused on getting my eBooks out.
There again it was a learning curve as the formatting that worked for my print books now had to be basically scrapped and each book re-formatted, including images. Not only that, they had to be formatted for kindle and ePub. That meant downloading and installing eBook editors for both formats, and learning how to use them. Not having the Kindle ebook or an iBook or Nook, I also needed to download and install eBook viewers. Next I had to upload my revised books (in a PDF format) to an online converter and download and review and make the necessary changes. And then repeat the process until they looked good. Next I had to upload them to an on-line validator to see if they passed… and if they didn’t it was back to the drawing board.
Once the eBooks had the green light, it was off to Amazon and also IngramSpark, that I had put on hold. My initial plan was to have CreateSpace and Amazon handle the on-line POD print books and the Kindle eBook, and have Ingram Spark handle all the retail stores and the ePub eBook format. Amazon wasn’t an issue, but IngramSpark was, not so much with the eBooks, but with the print books and trying to understand what they required, as while their computer program would say there was a problem, it only in general terms, and didn’t give any specifics. So where to look? Frustrated, I put IngramSpark on hold again and looked to Smashwords for my ePub eBook distribution, as I felt that I could always use CreateSpaces expanded distribution if I couldn’t get the print books accepted at IngramSpark.
Smashwords was yet another learning curve, but I managed to get my books approved after some “political” nit picking things were resolved, like deleting active reference links to Amazon, which I did, as the names and titles were still there. When it came to deleting my pen name and copyright issues, I refused to make any changes, as to abide by their “rules” meant not only editing my print and eBooks and re-doing all my book covers, but also applying for new ISBN numbers, and that I wasn’t prepared to do, and so they finally agreed to let them pass – pending my final approval.
I then zipped back to IngramSpark and finally got the print book issues sorted out and ordered a copy of each. What their computer program had originally complained about was not really a problem, as the page numbers were one line outside their optimal parameters, but still well within their print guide lines. The only difference I could see and feel between the books by CreateSpace and IngramSpark was that IngramSpark used slightly better quality paper that was also slightly thinner, and it affected the book thickness and cover spine, but I didn’t think it was that big a deal that I needed to rework my covered to make them look better.
It was then that I made a coin toss and decided to let IngramSpark handle my Print books, and print books only, and that I would try Smashwords, to see how they handled my ePub eBook distribution. With that… my print and ebooks were finally ready for GLOBAL distribution..