Although I had previously discounted CreateSpace as an option for self-publishing Can’t Live Without, now I’m not so sure. My main concerns were how the publishing model doesn’t seem very well set up for the UK market – and why should it be? CreateSpace is a US operation and serves the US market brilliantly. It’s a shame we don’t have anything like it in the UK… yet.

However, on closer inspection, the costs for shipping ten or more books are not prohibitive, and the price at which you can buy copies of your own book are actually really competitive. I was concerned that CS didn’t offer the trim size that I want, but I was wrong: they do a US ‘B’ format paperback which is pretty much the same as the 128 x 198mm trim I need. The only downside production-wise is the lack of a matt-laminated cover. But maybe I can live with a glossy cover if everything else works.

I’ve read everything I can find on the CS website and forums, but still have questions about using this publishing model as a UK author. So this is my plea – would any self-publishing authors in the UK mind giving me some advice? I need to know three things:

How do UK authors work with the non-US member tax withholdings system?

How do UK authors get their books for sale on Amazon.co.uk at a reasonable price with free shipping etc? (The expanded distribution system is problematic as a route for this, with no control over production and a limited trim size – companies other than CS can print and bind the book.)

How do UK authors get around the fact that the list price is in dollars? Do they print a £ price on the cover anyway? Or use their own labels?

The way I see it, using CreateSpace from a UK base (if most of your marketing, and therefore customers, are in the UK), will not work as a purely Print On Demand model: the shipping costs and times per individual book are just too high/long. But as a short print run model, with stock distributed by the author, it could just work. Maybe…

As always, all comments and advice greatly appreciated, and please circulate this plea to anyone you think might be able to help 🙂

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