Createspace is a print-on-demand (POD) service provider for self-publishers owned by Amazon. Unlike a full-service, or 'subsidy' publisher, Createspace does not offer editorial, layout, cover design, marketing, or even book distribution services. Createspace is a solution for authors and small publishers who already have those bases covered and just need to get their books printed and available for sale.
Following the specifications provided in Createspace's free book cover design template and manuscript formatting guidelines, the customer formats and uploads a manuscript file and a book cover file. Createspace approves the uploaded files, and the customer can then order a proof copy of the resulting book. Upon author approval the book is immediately made available for sale on the Createspace site, and at the author's option, can be listed on Amazon as well.
The only upfront charge to the customer is the cost of the proof copy. This makes Createspace a very economical printing option for self-publishers, but customers must be able and willing to get their manuscripts and cover designs print-ready before utilizing Createspace's services.