Getting started with Createspace

I’m ready to start compiling a paperback version of The Face Stealer and it seems that Createspace is the tool of choice. It’s a print on demand service owned by Amazon. Once you have a version properly formatted, it sits on Createspace’s servers waiting for customers to buy it. If a customer buys a copy, your book is printed to your specifications and sent to them directly.

There are some things I really don’t understand yet and should find out the answers to before I get too stuck in:

  • When you create a book, can you then link that to the Amazon listing so a customer can see the option to buy a paperback alongside your ebook?
  • If I want to distribute a few around local bookstores, is it better for me to order them directly and then sell them to the bookstores?
  • Are ISBNs important? I’m pretty sure by publishing on Amazon I’ve already got an ISBN. And also by making it available through Smashwords I’ve got another (different one). Does is actually, practically make any difference at this stage of my writing career that I might have different ISBNs for the same book?
  • What size is going to be the best for my book? At Createspace you get a variety of options. There’s probably some magical formula to work out the optimum page size to page count ratio that will help keep costs down.
  • How long is it going to take me to do this? Is the time spent away from writing my next novel time well spent?