Graphic Designer (or want to be one)? Learn it at

SpiritualAnimal, the workshop of Brett Engle

You are reading:
How to create and self publish a print book with a lot of images and pictures
Guide Start Button

Uploading, ISBNs, and setting the price

Support the author and download this entire guide ad free. Only 99 cents for the PDF. Click here! You may need to use File Transfer Protocol (FTP) to upload.
Some book printers have a website you can use to transfer your finalized PDF files to them. Others may ask you to upload your files to their FTP site. If you are required to use FTP you will need a software application to do so, and several free ones are available online. Check out Cyberduck for Mac & PC. You will need to obtain upload instructions from your printer, including FTP address, username and password. Consult with them if you have trouble.

CreateSpace has a web interface for building and uploading your book that doesn't need special software and is actually very easy to use. Once you create an account on CreateSpace, the website will walk you through several steps for setting up the details of your book, including: project title, book title, primary author name, contributor names, interior file, cover file, reviewing, and proofing. Once published, you can order low cost copies to simply enjoy yourself or to give to family and friends.

At this point it is very easy to activate your book for sale online. The CreateSpace website explains the different Distribution Channels offered which include listing your book on You set the price, ISBN choice, sales channels, and description of your book.

For those of you who plan to sell your book, you will need an International Standard Book Number (ISBN).
An ISBN is a unique number that is assigned to all books published in the United States and, for better or for worse, you absolutely must have one to sell your book online or in stores. To purchase your own ISBN is very expensive. ($250 for one number, $1,000 for four numbers, and bulk discounts for buying more.) A new number must be used for every version of your book (ebook, hardcover, paperback, updated editions, etc.) to differentiate them to booksellers or else they will not consider selling your book. I was astounded to learn that only one company in the United States (Bowker) actually administers and sells ISBNs.

CreateSpace and other publishers buy ISBNs in huge quantities, making it cheap for them. In exchange for a cut of your royalties, they will give you an ISBN for free, which takes care of a lot of overhead for you as self publisher. While your book is being printed and sold by CreateSpace you can also sell versions of it elsewhere, but you may not use the ISBN they will give you anywhere else. (The ISBN rules are specific and strict.) You can only use the free number on books sold through their company, but it is a very reasonable trade-off for most authors. Visit CreateSpace's website for terms and details on their program. When my book is priced at $12.00, I make $5.95 when one is sold through my CreateSpace eStore page, and $3.55 when one is sold from my Amazon page. This is a higher rate than most authors make historically on the sale of each of their books, so if your book goes on to sell well, you could make more money.

The type of service CreateSpace and others are offering is called an imprint. Technically you are self publishing your book and you retain all rights to the content of the book, but they are the ISBN's imprint and will always be listed as such for this edition of your book. You can also choose to purchase your own ISBN, or purchase one from CreateSpace that you assign to your own self publishing company. There is no increase in the royalties you'll receive, so I would recommend seriously considering the free CreateSpace ISBN. Read more on CreateSpace's ISBN choices.

Maze Completed Illustration by Brett EngleCongratulations on creating your book!

You should feel very proud of your major accomplishment! If this guide helped you with your book, please take a second to let me know. I would love to hear about your process and the book you created! Best of luck and thank you!

Previous Step Button




Visual Art

Fine Art & Performance

Self Publishing Guide

About My Services

Art Shop

FAQ & Help

If You Were Here

Contact Brett


This site hosted by DreamHost.

© 1998-2015 Brett Engle. All rights reserved.

Why have ads?