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Getting Started

141 Posts



I self published 11 years ago with the original booksurge, now called createspace and got the services. Today, I am a little confused on how to proceed with the PCN application.


I have browsed the web and read for hours. The ISBN from bowker seems to be a guarantee against the publishing POD demise but once inside the actual PCN application, it is confusing.


If you are an author who self-publish, how do you fill these below? And if you use createspace ISBN, would this make a difference?







Application to Participate in the PCN Program
Click here for Instructions

U.S. Publisher


Publishing House 
Street or P.O. Box: 
City:     State:     Zip code:  -
Phone:  ( )        Fax:  ( )  
ISBN Identifier: 


Senior Officer


Last Name:     First:    Middle:
Job Title: 
Phone:  ( )        Fax:  ( )  



If address for Senior Officer is different from Publisher, click here.
For registration of a non-US Senior Officer, click here.


Principal Contact


Last Name:     First:    Middle:
Job Title: 
Phone:  ( )        Fax:  ( )  



If address for Prinicipal Contact is different from Publisher, click here.


161 Views 2 Comments Permalink Tags: library, isbn, pcn, of, publishing, congress, yourself

Hi. I'm helping my mother in law fulfill a life long dream of publishing a picture book. So here I am! The story is in a PDF and we have found an illustrator. I've told the illustrator the trim size. Is there anything else I should confirm with her? I know the images should be hi-res, at least 300 dpi. Is there anything I should make sure of, especially to maintain color quality?


I also have a seperate question. We are going to pay someone to design the book. Can we upload a completely designed book (PDF) onto create space? Or will the fonts and placement of text and images get all messed up? I just need to know what to tell the designer beforehand.


If anyone has an experience with picture books, I would appreciate your feedback. Thanks!

112 Views 4 Comments Permalink

Cover Help

Posted by NicolletteG23 Apr 28, 2018

I am a recently published author.Today I got my proof in the mail and saw my name was cut off on the bottom,how do you resubmit a cover to the site? Or is it even possible cause my name ain't even on it. SOS.

144 Views 4 Comments Permalink Tags: bookcover

ISBN confusion - HELP

Posted by monamona Mar 18, 2018

Hey there


I opted for the $99 Universal ISBN option through Bowker/CS. I notice it asks for my Imprint name. Im aware that it can be a publishing house name or my own name but I don't want to use either.



For one, I'm not trying to go through the process of establishing an LLC. I want this book out by the end of the month and don't have time to go through the daunting process and expense that is required to established a registered publishing house. (I've been through it before and was rejected - long story)


Secondly, I'm using a psuedonym for my book to protect my identity. It defeats the purpose to release the book with my real name listed as the publisher.


Can I publish under an unregistered publishing house of my own creation and worry about getting the LLC later? Will this hurt me during tax time or in the future (if someone were to send me a check - would it go to my publisher's name or my personal name)? I'm on a budget right now and may at some point reinvest my book earnings into establishing an LLC. I simply can't right now.


I don't want to use the free CS ISBN option either - I've heard about the pros and cons of it and I like to have some flexibility. What are your thoughts?




Thank you



206 Views 3 Comments Permalink Tags: amazon, isbn, tax, business, llc

Hi Im new to this entire thing and I would appreciate any help that anyone could give me.

243 Views 5 Comments Permalink


Posted by eveningcook Dec 13, 2017

Just join in and would like to say "hi" to everyone.

354 Views 3 Comments Permalink Tags: book, amazon, author, self-publishing

Where do I began??

Posted by 1star Nov 15, 2017

I'm trying to get my book done with minimum cost. Does anyone have advice?




212 Views 2 Comments Permalink

New To this..

Posted by 1star Nov 15, 2017



I'm new to this world of writting, I'm not sure how good my work is but I'm looking forward to this new journey.


It kind of came natrual to me. I have not yet finished my project but I can't wait to get my novel out there.




223 Views 2 Comments Permalink

I hope I'm doing this right! I've had a blog before (actually still do on WordPress GenealogytoMystery) but I decided to put my hand to sharing how I came to get started writing mysteries.


How Lydia was born:

When I was in 8th grade I wrote a series of short stories like the Hardy Boys (of which I was a fan) and Nancy Drew called the Michael's sisters. Their first exploit was at a dude ranch. The characters just flowed for me. It was so easy and so fun.Then high school came along and my counselor asked what I wanted to be (most of the aptitude tests had me as either a teacher, nurse or stewardess - like not...) and I said a writer. She informed me no one makes money from writing and instead of at least encouraging me with decent English classes, I was placed in remedial and stuck in the back of the room. In my junior year I found Journalism which seemed to appease that writing yen. In college I tried journalism at a different level but it just didn't appeal so I took creative writing classes (see the drive was still there.) Then I got married, had a family and writing went off my radar until 2005.


I have been a genealogist as long as I have wanted to write and one day at work it struck me that genealogical research methods could help solve a crime from the past in the present (there are TV shows now where genealogists do just that - help solve cold cases.) So I created my alter-ego Lydia and her group of friends - and that's how the Lydia Proctor Mysteries was born.


Pitfalls of self-publishing:

I have learned a great deal since book number one (An Old Fashioned Murder). Your book is only as good as the editing. I did pretty much everything wrong in my enthisiasm to get that story out. The story is good, great characters, twisting plot, but the sentence structure and some punctuation could be much better. I had some really good reviews and one horrible one who stated that although the story was good the composition was terrible (I'm being honest here). Instead of getting discouraged and throwing in the towel I took heart and really planned better for Lydia's second foray into the literary world. I was much more careful with the second (A Commitment to Murder) installment; I found an English major and let them work out the kinks (there were a few too). I always tell people that although the first got my feet wet the second showed how far I had come as a creator and a self-publisher - and to this day it is still my favorite of the four (my second favorite is in the editing phase now.)


Yes, I know the question is burning there...I did solicit a main stream publisher, or even some small presses? YES I did, but because my mystery is genealogy based they felt it was too narrow in focus (and WAY too cozy) to make any money off of. I was told I needed sex - lots of it, and more blood; I didn't have enough suspense - it was too cerebral. I pointed out that genealogy is the second most popular hobby today (thanks to Who Do You Think You Are) and that with the right marketing and visiting vendor sites at major conferences I could do well. That wasn't enough incentive for them to invest time and money so I got rejected.


The other pitfall was paying to publish and doing all the work yourself. I love CreateSpace because I am still doing most of the work, and I still retain creative rights, and I make better royalties. Unless I sell 1,000 copies of the first two I will never entirely make up all the money I invested in in them. That's fine because I really am doing this for the love of writing (I would like to someday retire from my day job). Now I need to learn how to really promote because I truly feel that audience is out there waiting to discover Lydia and her crew - and get to love genealogy the way I do!

296 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, books, createspace, publishing, writing, fiction

New To Create Space

Posted by JackTsJourney Jul 25, 2017

Hi, everyone!


My name is Jack Travis, and I am new to createspace. I recently finished writing a book, and I am working on raising the funds to self-publish. Just wondering if anyone has any advice for me?



651 Views 22 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, book, new, author, self-publishing, createspace, setup

I'm working on filing the copyright for my new book (just shy of the 90 day deadline). I've read all the faq and I'm still unsure how to answer their questions since I want to make sure I'm doing it correctly. I have a standard 32 page fully illustrated children's picture book.


-Can I file one copyright that covers both the text and the illustrations even though they are done by 2 different people? On my copyright page, I listed Copyright 2016 by (me/author) and Illustrations Copyright 2016 by (illustrator). In the contract, I also listed that I would file both copyrights. So I need to make sure that I cover us both, wheter it's included in the same one (since all our work is contained in one book) or if I do two different filings.


-When uses the term 'author', are they just meaning creator of the work? Not author in the sense that we use it as the writer of the book. So is the illustrator the 'author' of her images for the purposes of copyright??


-Does the 'work for hire' apply here? The illustrator is not my employee. She's a contract worker and I gave her a 1099 since I paid her for her work (under contract) for illustrations for this book.


-Am I the copyright claimant? Or do I list both myself and the illustrator?


-For their ( initial 3 questions under literary work, I feel like my answers should be (YES), (NO), (NO). Would that be correct for my situation?



Are you registering one work (one song, one poem, one illustration, etc.)? Check '' NO '' to this question if the work
is one of the following: a collection of works (such as: book of poetry, CD of songs and photographs),
a collective work, website or database because these works do not qualify for the single form.

Are you the only author and owner of the work (or the agent of the individual author who is also the only owner)?
Check ''NO'' to this question if the work was created by multiple people, is a ''work made for hire,'' or if any part
of the work was created by or is owned by another person.

Does the work you are sending contain material created only by this author? Check ''NO'' to this question if the copy includes
content or contributions by anyone else, even if the claim is limited to only the contribution by this author or the material has been
licensed, permissioned or transferred to the claimant.




I appreciate any help or advice. Thank you!

604 Views 3 Comments Permalink Tags: author, illustrator, copyright, childrens_book

Paper Quality

Posted by PinkByron Feb 25, 2017

Hello Everyone,


I am new to Createspace. I am hoping to create a craft How To book.


Can anyone tell me what the paper quality of paper books is like please? I need the paper to be smooth and a better quality than a standard fiction paperback.


Thank you.

312 Views 1 Comments Permalink

the family man

Posted by clebzz Feb 6, 2017


233 Views 1 Comments Permalink


Posted by DSM62 Dec 28, 2016

Once you have created a one or two sentence statement explaining the protagonist, antagonist, obstacles and goals and have a unique setting you are ready to create the basic outline.  Understand that your logline may evolve throughout the process but until you have one it is very difficult to start an outline.


The first thing you must identify in your story are 4  plot points. Increasingly more frequent are 5 plot points but we'll get to that later.  Don't worry about when they need to occur just the order.


Using my logline as an example let's create the 4 plot points.


Logline:  After discovering there will be nothing for Christmas, an Italian boy, 9, in 1949 New York, must overcome a bully, the trolls under the bridge and abject poverty to save Christmas for his family.  Slightly different from last post. It continues to evolve.



The first plot point that should occur in a great story is some inciting incident. Everything was normal but something happens and now everything has changed. The protagonist will now try to restore normality but in the process everyone he knows will change especially himself ( if not, why are they in the story?).  Circumstances will never be the same.  Sometimes better, sometimes worse that usually depends on genre.


A.  The father gets injured at the bobby pin factory.



The next plot point is when the protagonist experiences something that convinces him/her/it they must take on the fight. The decision is now made it is up to them and they will try.


B.  Protagonist finds out that his father's injury is much worse than thought and now he HAS to help.



Something happens that causes the protagonist to take an action that cannot be undone. Normality will never be restored.  From this point on it is a struggle just to survive.


C.  At nine years old, the protagonist must provide for his parents, brother and two sisters because his father will never be able to work again.



After failing miserably, the protagonist figures out what he must do or all is lost forever.  Does he have the ability or will to save the day or does he ultimately fail.


D.  The protagonist figures out what it takes to be a great salesman.  



The fifth plot point is not always there but increasingly it is. A twist occurs that shows that what the protagonist thought was the answer wasn't and now has to see things in a totally different way to solve the problem or discovers the lesson he thought he learned was not the real lesson.


E. I may have one or may not, we'll see.  In a horror film: When the monster isn't killed after all. Now what?



These are only brief moments that change direction or intensity of the story. One sentence should be able to describe what happens.



Once you have identified these MAJOR plot points you are starting to form your pitch. Don't get ahead of yourself. You don't want to write 75% of your story before you realize you don't have a story. it can save you frustration and brain damage.


The minor plot points will be next.


Hope this helps. Comments encouraged and appreciated.

289 Views 3 Comments Permalink Tags: points, writing, outline, storytelling, plot_

Explain the idea

Posted by DSM62 Dec 20, 2016

If you want to tell a great story, start with a logline. One or two sentences that tell the story.   It should describe the protagonist, state a goal and explain the obstacles. Here is the logline for the screenplay I am currently writing. An adaptation of Chapter 1 from the book "From an Attic to a Mansion."  This works for any type of storytelling. It is a helpful first step..


For example:


A poor nine year old Italian boy in 1949, New York, discovers there will be nothing for Christmas.


He battles a bully, the trolls under the bridge and abject poverty as he struggles to save Christmas for his family.


Very concise. Notice no personal names.


1. Describe the protagonist (a poor, nine year old, Italian boy ), ,


2. A unique setting. (1949, New York)


3.  What sets them off on their journey? (nothing for Christmas)


4.  What will be SOME of the obstacles they will face? (bully, trolls under the bridge, abject poverty.


5.  What is the goal? (save christmas for the family)


Not only does it provide a nice way of communicating your idea but it provides an overarching structure that will keep you on track when outlining your plot points.


Hope this helps.  Comments are appreciated and encouraged.

291 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: suggestions, writing, advice, storytelling
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