Amazon CreateSpace: 10 Essential Things to Know

Amazon CreateSpace: 10 Essential Things to Know

Amazon CreateSpace: 10 Essential Things to KnowHere is a collection of 10 little known facts and features, and responses to the most frequently asked questions about Amazon CreateSpace. These range from costs, to capabilities to getting the most out of the service–and there are a lot of features. Note that words in italic are terms or phrases Amazon uses in menus or page titles. Try searching for these in their Search Site search box, top right.  

    1. Costs: You can produce a print book for free if you are willing and able to create your own book cover (try using CreateSpace Cover Creator) and format your book using Microsoft Word. Also, the ISBN number is free and you don’t have to buy a printed proof (you can view it online but a physical review copy is always best).
    1. ISBN numbers: CreateSpace offers 4 options and the free option is by far the most popular. Why? Because Amazon will list your book so it can be ordered by libraries and academic institutions. This is part of Expanded Distribution. (See my post How to Choose 1 of 4 ISBN Options When Using CreateSpace as Your Print-on-Demand Printer for more details.)
    1. Barcode: You don’t need to buy a barcode (which you need on a printed book) because it is provided for free by CreateSpace.
    1. Hardcover editions: CreateSpace does not offer hardcover print-on-demand book printing.
    1. Minimum book prices: Your price per book—the price you pay CreateSpace if you want to buy copies for yourself—is the same for any size book with 108 or fewer pages. B&W is $2.15 each and color books are $8.41 each. More than 108 pages and size does matter. Also, I have never seen a volume discount; order 1 or 100,000 and the price is the same.
    1. EPUB eBooks: If you use CreateSpace to produce your Kindle eBook you will still need to create an EPUB file if you intend to sell your eBook on Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Google, etc. If you plan to sell your eBook in other stores their conversion service may not be a good investment.
    1. HTML: You can use HTML to make your book’s description look pretty and this formatting will transfer to your listing (also see #9 below). But keep in mind that <H2> will not show as an orange heading like it will in KDP.
    1. SEO/Categories & Keywords: You choose a single category for your book in CreateSpace compared to 2 for KDP. You get to enter 5 keywords in CreateSpace compared to 7 in KDP. Note that the print and Kindle stores for the public are two different “stores”, with different category structures and different keyword suggestions. That means that if you research these two metadata elements ahead of time, and you should, you need to make sure you do that in the right store.
    1. Non-Amazon Stores: Your book will be available on (and in other online stores) if you select Expanded Distribution (which is now free as of late 2013).
  1. Private eStore: You can setup a private-branded store called a CreateSpace eStore to sell your books. You can password protect it, or not, and offer discounts. This might be useful for serving association members, distributors and other retail stores and Amazon handles the customer service.


Previews: You can upload a cover, a PDF, or even a movie or music (CreateSpace is more than just books) to get feedback from the massive CreateSpace community. You can post it publicly, or privately, and invite people to view it and provide feedback. The content can be for pre-publishing feedback, or after you have already released your book (movie or music CD). In the Member Dashboard, on the left of your CreateSpace account once you log in, click Manage Previews. By the way, there were more than 20,000 book previews when I last looked and hundreds of music and movie previews. I haven't used it but it seems like a great way to gather feedback.

Best of luck with your project and I hope this information has been helpful. Here are a number of other helpful articles about using CreateSpace.

Related Posts

CreateSpace Dominating Self-Published Book Releases at the Expense of Incumbents (but Ignore the eBook Stats)

5 Reasons to Create Your POD Book First, then the eBook

5 Ways a CreateSpace Book Helps You Make More Money

Step 1 for Using CreateSpace for Publishing a Print on Demand Book

Color vs. Black and White Printing Using CreateSpace

Here again is the link to ISBN article also referenced above:

How to Choose 1 of 4 ISBN Options When Using CreateSpace as Your Print-on-Demand Printer

photo credit: UGL_UIUC via photopin cc

8 thoughts on “Amazon CreateSpace: 10 Essential Things to Know”

  1. I am considering changing publishers. I got a positive review from Kirkus, but Xlibris wants to hammer me with a fee to add an excerpt to my cover. Xlibris also prices my paperback at 19.99, too high, but can’t change it. And I only get about $2.00 per sale. Createspace seems like a no-brainer for me at this point. Can they add excerpts to covers? Is the title and author’s name on the spine of the paperback. I have a full color cover, back and front, but a full B&W interior, with B&W illustrations, 12 of them. When I price this out, which option do I select, full B&W, or Full color, and with or without a bleed??? ANy help would be great.
    Chris B.

  2. Chris, it sounds like you need BW interior, no bleed, and an artist to put the blurb on the cover for you. It isn’t something CS cares about. Handling all this is something I do for publishers so if you have the budget, let me know. Best of luck regardless.

  3. David, do you have website with info.? My illustrator is willing to redo the cover, but might need a redo on the text file. Not sure, just checked my CD with the files from Xlibris and the text appears to be in high res. so think I could just upload to C-space.

  4. Have you checked with CreateSpace or your printer? That’s who has the specs you need. Or let me know if you’d like a quote for us to handle this for you.

  5. Hi David,
    Thanks for the very informative article. I have a question in regards to the ‘library and school distribution’ issue. Are you referring to schools such as public schools or private trade schools (in this case cosmetology schools, which are all independently owned)? I’ve written a book for the salon industry and planned on purchasing my own IBSN but now I’m unsure due to this distribution issue. I have a specific marketing plan geared towards these private trade specific schools. Thanks for any advice you may have regarding this!

  6. Carrie, I can’t imagine using the free ISBN would be a problem for you…if you don’t mind CS being listed as the “publisher.” The distributor that serves schools–and these are universities, colleges, etc–is Baker and Taylor. So if B&T is distributing to your market, that might be a problem. But I doubt they are. More importantly however is that you still need a plan to market to the schools, which you have. Btw, I told another commenter that I just finished a 10-part video training series on ISBN and it is currently free. I cover this topic in more detail there. Check out

  7. I am tanvir alom. I am a new seller on fiverr .i want open a new gig create space book formating .i need best key words for create space formating please help me.
    With regards

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