Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Getting a hardcover on Createspace.

*PLEASE NOTE: CreateSpace no longer offers this feature.

Several weeks ago, I posted about how to start the process of turning one of your paperbacks into a hardcover on Createspace. The person I spoke with told me this process would take about 10 business days once I had paid and set everything up. He was wrong.

The process of turning your paperback into a hardcover takes more than a month from the time you paid. To review:

1. You contact CS (Createspace) customer service through the message screen on your account and tell them you would like to turn your book into a hardcover.

2. The will e-mail you within 2 business days and ask you some preliminary questions. Right now, you can get laminate or hardcover with dust jacket options. I chose the dust jacket, but this costs $2 more per book when you order them. If you ask any questions, expect a response time of 2 business days. Also, you can speed the process by knowing which book (have the title and CS id number that you see next to it on your dashboard) and which binding and telling the person this information up front.

3. In 1 - 3 days, you will get a notification saying the item is in your cart. You must click on the cart tab to access your cart and pay for it. (At the time, this service cost me $99.)

4. In another 1 - 3 days, you will see the item appear on your dashboard. Instead of the usual CS book icon, this one will have an icon that is a little different in front of it. Click on this and answer the questions (some of the information will be asking you again what binding you want).

5. Wait. When you finish with the questions, it will say that CS is processing the information and will let you know when the next step is needed. There is no next step, so this seems kind of strange.

6. In about 4 - 6 weeks, the hardcover will be available for you to order. WARNING: There is no proof step. There is also NO WAY to change the files when you finish. Unlike the paperback titles on your dashboard, when you click on a hardcover title you will be taken to a "dummy" screen that will have none of the adjustment options you see with paperbacks. Make sure your paperback is immaculate BEFORE you take this plunge. We just put out The Corruption (hence my silence for a few weeks), and we will be offering that in hardcover soon, but not until we are sure most of the bugs (read typos) are well out of it.

I am attaching some pictures to show you that my hardcover came out just as nice as my paperback. I was very impressed. The pages of the hardcover are a little thicker and are glossy white. CS does a much better job with its POD hardcovers than Staples (although Staples will get them to you faster).

(I had to choose white pages when I set up my paperback because it is a color children's book. Since The Corruption is going to be done on cream paper, I will give you an update how that comes out - probably next year.) 

The downside is that you can only order the hardcovers yourself. They will not be on CS or Amazon, so you need to either have an outlet (someone you can sell them to out of your home) or you need to have a website like ours where people can buy items directly from you. In some ways, this is good because you don't have to set unreasonably high and non-competitive prices, which CS would invariably make you do if you marketed through them. However, at the same time, it is bad because you do not get the exposure for your hardcover.


  1. Are you charging a different rate for the hard cover? Can't you sell your hardcover on Amazon through one of the affiliate programs?

  2. How much is it per hardcover after you set it up with the initial $99 dollar fee?

    1. The cost per book is $12.40 but that is based on the number of pages and whether or not it is in color. My children's book is 26 color pages.

  3. Jennifer,

    I am looking to go this route (I've already had several paperbacks through CS) and wondered 2 things: What did your book cost (and how many pages) and did you get it print ready or have to hire it done, or does CS do it for you? Thanks!

    1. The cost per book is based on the number of pages and whether your book is color or black and white. For mine, it was $12.40 for a 26 page full color picture book.

      I always recommend hiring 2-3 editors to edit and proofread your book before you print. I hired the pages set up for my first book (because it was a picture book), and then did others by myself. When you are setting up a paperback, you can have CreateSpace format it for you, but I believe this costs a few hundred dollars. (I haven't used that option so I do not have more information about it.) Whatever you choose, you need to make sure it looks professional.

  4. If given the opportunity, would you choose this route again or try another avenue? My only concern is the lack of distribution, since I have always done well with my paperback books on amazon that I created through CS and only used their distribution process. Thanks and best of luck in continued success of your writing.

  5. Hi Jenn! Wondering if createspace had an moq and if the color quality was good and gloss.