Books Writing

Goodbye, CreateSpace

There are only a few things that have really changed my life. My children, certainly. My wife, of course. There are maybe one or two others that could be included — business school, for example — but one thing that I would include in that category without hesitation is the website CreateSpace.

Back in 2011, I was still living in Philly and a close friend of mine who is an enormous James Altucher fan snagged a couple of tickets to see him speak, so we made the quick jaunt up to Manhattan. During that talk Altucher spoke about how the digital revolution had removed barriers to entry and made it so easy for aspiring writers to publish a book, referring repeatedly to a blog post he had written that laid out each and every step of the process.

I was intrigued. My writing carer was fledgling. I had done a few guest posts here and there, but nothing beyond that. Yet I had an idea that I believed would make for an excellent book, but I wasn’t sure a traditional publisher would have any interest.

I went home, found the post, and read it over and over again. That was the first time I ever heard of CreateSpace.

To me, the greatest thing about CreateSpace was its print on demand feature. Ebooks are awesome, but I can tell you from experience that there is nothing like holding a physical copy of your own book in your hands. There is a tactility to real books, the sense of touch and smell and authenticity that I feel is lost in the digital format, particularly for the author.

Amazon recently announced that it would be shuttering CreateSpace and moving everything to Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). Logically, merging the two makes sense. They’re both Amazon sites, so having to visit two different sites to see the performance of a single book because of format (CreateSpace for print; KDP for kindle) can be tedious and annoying. Now everything is in one place, which makes the analytics much easier.

But writing isn’t about logic. It’s an art, not a science, and writers are not always logical. That is especially true for someone that is prone to nostalgialike myself. That CreateSpace site was a representation of the moment when I fulfilled a dream of mine and held a book with my name on the front and my face on the back. Writing a book is never easy and seeing it available for sale gave me a rush every time. The layout hasn’t changed since 2012 when I published my first book, so every time I visited the site a small part of that feeling remained.

I recently moved everything over to KDP, but out of habit, I went to CreateSpace and seeing zero books listed there was jarring. It felt like coming home and all of your stuff is gone. I know they’re still available and in time the feeling will fade, but for a moment I was overcome with melancholy. This was a site that was instrumental in helping me do something I never thought I could — or would — do.

That’s important.

I have published nine books. I have my own website. I have received royalty checks and been asked to give interviews. All because of that one blog post that directed me to that one website.

So thank you, CreateSpace, for changing my life. I’m forever grateful.

Rest in peace.

Christopher Pierznik’s nine books are available in paperback and Kindle. Check out more of his writing at MediumHis work has appeared on XXL, Cuepoint, Business InsiderThe CauldronMedium, Fatherly, Hip Hop Golden Age, and many more. Subscribe to his monthly newsletter or follow him on Facebook or Twitter.

By Christopher Pierznik

Christopher Pierznik is the author of 9 books and has contributed to numerous websites on a variety of topics including music, sports, movies, TV, personal finance, and life. He works in corporate finance and lives in northern New Jersey with his family. His dream is to one day be a member of the Wu-Tang Clan.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s