July BAIPA Meeting: Using CreateSpace to Self-Publish & Start Your OwnHome-Based Business

Today's BAIPA speaker was Christy Pinheiro, a successful self-publisher. In 3 short years, her company is consistently grossing $10,000 - $18,000/month in royalties. (Yes, that's ten THOUSAND to eighteen THOUSAND per MONTH in royalties -- and she even had the royalty sheet from CreateSpace to prove it.) Her publications include The PassKey EA Exam Review book series, as well as a number of other books on various accounting and bookkeeping subjects.

In addition to her accounting book, she is also the author of Step-by-Step Guide to Self Publishing for Profit: Start Your Own Home-Based Publishing Company and Publish Your Non-Fiction Book with CreateSpace and Amazon.

The majority of her marketing efforts are done through Google AdWords.

Christy is the best speaker I've had the pleasure of listening to at BAIPA. She is very up-beat, well-spoken, with a blunt sense of humor. I lost count of the number of times she had the audience laughing.

According to Christy, publishing is "10% creativity and 90% outright stubbornness and the willingness to accept criticism." I think they should make t-shirts with this slogan!

For as little as $25 (the cost of a proof copy) you can have your book on - for as little as $25 (the cost of a proof copy) you can have your book on CreateSpace. They even have free software to help you create your book cover. CreateSpace is owned by Amazon; any book sold on CreateSpace is automatically available through Amazon.

However, Christy pointed out that just because you can have your book published for as little as $25, that doesn't mean you should. She emphasized the importance of hiring good copy editors and designers. The idea is to make your book look as good as anything being published by the mainstream, New York publishers. Christy also emphasized that dangers of publishing a book without getting the proper edits and design work done: bad reviews on Amazon. And those reviews stay up on Amazon.

Christy runs a free website for publishers called Step-by-Step Self Publishing. She offers lots of free information, such as how to create your own sell sheet and lists of no-cost book reviews.

She also discussed the difference between Vanity Publishing and Self Publishing. This was very interesting to me, as I've seen both terms thrown around quite a bit and did not have a firm grasp of the difference. So here's what I learned:

Vanity Publishing is when you pay someone to publish you. For example, publishing your book through Book Surge or iUniverse. The target profit center for these companies is the authors themselves; their emphasis is to sell books to authors, not to the public. Vanity publishers also own the ISBNs.

Self-Publishing is getting your books published on your own. You own the ISBN. The emphasis is to sell books to others, not to yourself.

All-in-all, Christy Pinherio gave a wonderful presentation and shared lots of information with all the BAIPA members today. I hope I have the pleasure of seeing her speak again sometime in the future.