This is a bit of an experiment to see how do-it-yourself print-on-demand works. Amazon.com and its allied outlets don't have to carry a large number of copies in inventory—nor does the author if he wants to hand-sell the book— but can just print new ones to order. That saves warehouse space and nobody gets caught with a lot of unsold inventory.
I decided to go with a cover different from the ebook version simply because it was easier to use CreateSpace's electronic templates rather than to puzzle out how to transfer the ebook cover design.
Putting the book together was a lot of sweaty busywork. I downloaded a 6 x 9 template from CreateSpace and poured the electronic manuscript into it, then tweaked it for upload. The problem here is that the template doesn't quite forecast accurately how CreateSpace will actually format the text once it's uploaded. The book ended up at ten pages longer than the template said it would. Getting it publishable required about six or seven tweaks with the template, then the same number of re-uploads.
I kept trying to get rid of "widows"—those lonely one-word lines at the top of a page—but this was like trying to trap puppies under a rug. Zapping one widow tended to create another on a following page. There is probably an efficient way to de-widow one's electronic text, but I haven't found it yet. And so Porcupine County still contains a few widows.
Otherwise the POD paperback is of surprisingly high quality, with a handsome cover and sharp print in an attractive font on good paper.
Over-all, the experience with CreateSpace wasn't bad at all. It's not only for amateur self-publishing. When a professional author has won the rights back from his original publisher for out-of-print volumes, as I did, he can re-publish the books himself in a new form and extend their earnings.
The royalties from the POD version of Porcupine County, as with those of the ebook version, will all go to the Friends of the Porkies, the civilian auxiliary of the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park in upper Michigan.