[Good post on making a self-published book —Ed.]
When I began writing a book on the liturgy back in March of this year, I was looking for ways of getting it in print easily and cheaply. I have no funny letters after my name, which means I have received no degrees (or schooling at all, for that matter) in the realm of liturgical studies. But I didn't want that to stop me from getting my research out to the people.
I considered lulu.com at first, because I had heard good things about it through the Church Music Association of America. Unfortunately, my experience with lulu was plagued by unexplained error messages, customer service that was at least a week behind, and expenses that, while not prohibitive, were disheartening.
It was in the forums on lulu.com that I found out about Amazon.com's print-on-demand division, CreateSpace.com. Because they are directly connected with Amazon, there is no additional fee for listing the book on Amazon. (The royalties you get through Amazon are less than through the CreateSpace portal, but that's a small price to pay for such visibility.) CreateSpace is barebones when compared to lulu (which provides many additional services, some free, some not), but it was more than sufficient for my needs. The one additional expense CreateSpace got me to accept was a one-time $39 fee which results in increased royalties and a reduced price for buying my own book. That $39 will pay for itself in a matter of days.
In the end, after only a single day of having the book in print, I have earned in royalties totalling over 33% of my total expenses in creating and promoting the book.
I would definitely recommend CreateSpace.com to anyone looking to publish a softcover book with minimal hassle and maximum returns-on-investment.