Now you have a proof copy of your book. Amazing feeling right? I know you did a happy dance...maybe you even kissed the cover.
You need to get a distributor and a printer.
What, you say? I already have that with Createspace.
True, and you could leave it at that, but remember-
Your book will NOT be on store shelves
Bookstores will only take your book if it is returnable for 100 years. Createspace is a POD (Print on demand) publisher and does not accept returns.
If you are okay with your print book only selling at online retailers, just use Createspace. If you want to be on bookstore shelves, you need to find a printer and a distributor.
Once your proof comes back perfect, order several more (3-4).
Look up distributors in your area. I used the internet. I also asked my indie-published friends. I read about what they had to offer and if they were accepting submissions. I followed the submission guidelines for the one I liked and sent them a copy of the book. Two weeks later, they told me they wanted my book. Yippee! (Happy dance here, too.)
In the meantime, I got with a cool designer at Speedi-pack in Layton to re-create my cover by looking at the one I created on Createspace. It cost me $20 bucks and was perfect. He put the copies on my jump drive. (That was easy)
I also called a bunch of printers in my area and talked to some indie-published authors about who they used. I asked for approximate costs. Once I found ones I liked, I sent them the cover copy and the interior file to get an exact cost. Two days later I received emails with the cost breakdown.
What? You have to pay for books? I know, it's a hard pill to swallow. You can expect to pay around 3 grand for a first run of a thousand books. If you can ante up more moolah, you can reduce the price per book. Why can't you just buy the books from Createspace and give them to your distributor and save all the hassle? Because you will be paying for distribution twice. You won't make any money.
Once I knew I had a distributor, I gave the printer the go ahead and he created a proof that he mailed out to me. 3 days later the proof was in my hot little hands. I called and approved it and they started the print job.
Five days later, my books were ready for pick-up or delivery and I was invested in my new publishing venture 3 grand...but my books were on the fast track to being in stores as well as being available online. I just found out that I made that money back and it's only been 3 months. Pretty amazing if you ask me. (Freaking awesome dance here)
Next week I'll share the mistakes I made during this process. Pitfalls you will be able to avoid. Go ahead, one more time. Give me a good shake.
Happy printing and distributing