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Review of CreateSpace: Publishing Your Film or Video

written by: Kumara Velu•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 9/20/2010

Have you produced a DV movie and are thinking of a a way to get a return on your investment? It is possible to earn some cash for your efforts, even if you’re a nobody. This review will look at CreateSpace publishing to see how useful it could be to a novice moviemaker.

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    Let’s first look at how the CreateSpace concept works. CreateSpace helps you package your video into a DVD or video download and sell it through Amazon. Every time a purchase is made, you earn royalty. For your information, CreateSpace doesn’t stock your product. Your video is published and shipped only when there’s an order through Amazon.

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    Getting Started

    To get started, you will need to visit the CreateSpace website. From this page, you’ll want to focus on the Filmmakers icon and click on the Distribute your film or video link. You’ll be taken to a page where you can choose whether you want to create a DVD or a video download through Amazon’s Video On Demand facility.

    The video download is an exciting option whereby customers who are after instant gratification can choose between downloading to own and downloading to rent. This option also allows your customers to watch your video via mobile devices.

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    Ease of Use and Flexibility

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    After signing up with CreateSpace, you’ll have to undergo a four-step process. Firstly, you would need to finalize your video title, description, date of release, copyright information and so on. Done with this, you’ll upload your artwork for your video.

    The next step would be to set up your sales channel. Here you decide on your keywords and settings for your eStore (web page provided by Amazon for you to sell your video) and the Video On Demand settings if you’ve chosen this option.

    CreateSpace also gives you the opportunity to proof your title information and artwork before your product is processed. You can’t make any changes while your product is in the processing stage. However, once your title becomes available over Amazon, you can tweak your artwork to include awards your video has won or a line or two of a favorable review from a reputable source.

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    The one feature that would leave you impressed is the facility to sell your movie project as multiple products. For example, you could sell the screenplay of your movie as a book, and you can also sell the original soundtrack of your movie as a CD. This is definitely an opportunity to create multiple revenue streams via CreateSpace.

    The other feature that would impress you is the facility to order your own products at special rates. This is useful if you want to sell your video through your website or sell it offline during a screening of your video.

    There’s also flexibility when it comes to royalty payments. The direct payment plan allows you to receive your payments through your bank account. If you would like to see the record of your transactions for your products, then you can link your account to your debit card. You can then conveniently use the account statements for tax purposes

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    Value for Money

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    CreateSpace is an opportunity any independent filmmaker should grab. Firstly, you don’t have to fork out any capital outlay to distribute your movies to the rest of the world. You also don’t have to go through the hassle of shipping and handling.

    Yes, you may grumble that you’re getting only a small cut for your efforts, but then you should be grateful that all the `dirty’ work has been done for you. Just imagine being listed on Amazon for no upfront fee!

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    On the face of it, it looks like CreateSpace and Amazon will take care of your baby and bring you the riches you deserve. That’s not really the case.

    Even after signing up with CreateSpace and making your video available to the rest of the world, you would have to take the necessary efforts to get your video noticed. This would include running a website or blog and writing content relating to your movie and maybe participating in forums to publicize your work. It is obviously going to take time to get the visibility you want, but then if you keep at it, you can get reasonable monetary returns without having to fork out a huge investment in advance.