Using CreateSpace for Non-traditional Purposes

CreateSpace is Amazon’s gateway to easy self-publishing. Whatever your opinion of Amazon, CreateSpace, and self-publishing in general, it’s a useful tool and fairly user friendly. I learned to use it to publish a book of my mother’s. Because the program is so popular, it was easy for someone like me to find tutorials on formatting and the like, so that I could use it to publish Mom’s Little Brown Bird. I then used CreateSpace to publish my own children’s book, Leonardo Da Bunni.

Leonardo was an interesting project. It sprung from the fact that I needed a present for a friend’s baby. Why not write them a book? So I did. My only real objective in self-publishing it was to have a snazzy copy of the book to give my friend’s baby. That some folks bought it was icing on the cake.

My dad was awesome.

My dad was awesome.

After my father passed away last April, I got to thinking about CreateSpace again. My dad had written a short account of his life back in 1987. I found it when I was going through his papers. The family enjoyed reading it. I also had a bunch of his old photos which some of the family had never seen.

Army buddy, Don, and my dad, Gene, under the Eiffel Tower.

Army buddy, Don, and my dad, Gene, under the Eiffel Tower.

I wondered how much it would cost to print a short book of my dad’s story and a bunch of photos. What followed was a twenty-six page book of story and photos that makes a lovely and professionally printed memento for his family and friends.

A memento that only cost me about three bucks a piece to have printed.

It turned out really well.  The cover was me reorganizing a CS template.  Easy peasy, and now I have this nice little book about my dad.

It turned out really well. The cover was me reorganizing a CS template. Easy peasy, and now I have this nice little book about my dad.

That’s the big deal. If I took a project like this to a printing company it would cost much more than that. Even if I wanted to copy the pages myself and put them in a binder or scrapbook, that’s going to be far more expensive. Average cost of a color copy at most places is around a buck a page. CreateSpace made it cheaper than buying color cartridges and printing the pages myself.

Using collages inside helped me pack in oodles of pictures while keeping the page count down, making it cheaper to print.

Using collages inside helped me pack in oodles of pictures while keeping the page count down, making it cheaper to print.

That’s got me thinking of other non-traditional projects I can use CreateSpace for. A photo album book of the Disney vacation my sweetie and I took with his family would make a nice Christmas gift. (Sorry, Curleys. Spoilers!) I also would love to print a family cookbook, not to try to sell–they are a dime a dozen out there–but just for my family to have and enjoy. There are other photo album projects I would enjoy doing. I’m playing with the idea of making one where the pages look like scrapbook pages.

So keep in mind that CreateSpace is a useful resource in and of itself. It’s not just for self-publishing books to sell to strangers.

My dad, looking up the skirt of the ugliest statue I ever saw.

My dad, looking up the skirt of the ugliest statue I ever saw.

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About JulianneQJohnson

I am a writer in Indiana who lives with two cats, two ferrets, and one fiance. I enjoy cheap coffee and expensive chocolate.
This entry was posted in photography, Self Publishing, writing, Writing Advice and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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