This is the answer to a question that I received and have received before. It goes something like this:
"If I want to publish as cheaply as possible, why should I have my own website? I can just put my books up on Amazon."
This is indeed true. If you are solely looking for what is the cheapest possible way to publish a book, using CreateSpace* and getting your book up on Amazon is definitely inexpensive.
But, and here's my question for you, do you plan on selling books?
There are many reasons why a person might self-publish a book (and, in a future post, I will discuss those). If it's not about the sales and about the money, then your plan is good. You get the book up on Amazon and you point all of your friends and relatives to the site and they buy it. Done deal.
However, if the goal is to sell books, I would suggest that you definitely need your own website. Why, you may ask? Because you need a platform from which to market your books. Now, perhaps you have a blog that gets signficant traffic, and that may work as your platform. For the rest of us, though, it's best to have a place from which to showcase all of your writings.
Just because I am saying that you need your own website, don't think that your books shouldn't also be up on Amazon. I certainly sell many more books on Amazon than I do on my website.
Do you know why bookstores are going out of business? Because many people come in, browse for books, open them, read some of it, and put it back on the shelf. And walk out of the store and to the nearest computer to purchase it from Amazon. Not the only reason, but certainly one of them.
Think of your publishing company website as your bookstore. People come, take a look, and go buy it on Amazon. I am more than fine with that. Notice the key part where they end up buying my book. Yes, I make more money if they buy it from my website, but I still make money from that Amazon purchase. Importantly, when I put up my publishing company website, my Amazon sales grew. Each time I add a product, I notice an uptick in traffic and sales (on Amazon).
So here is a good example where I am telling you that you need to spend a little money on a website. In a forthcoming article, I will tell you about a number of different ways that you can build a book publishing website cheaply.