So while back I sent in a submission for the Amazon break through novel award. I lost in the first round, but I did get a coupon for a free proof copy of a manuscript from create space. I have never used create space and I thought it would be fun to compare it to the printer we are using at PHP. Plus I could get a typed proof copy of my novel Kingdom of the Dead, so that I could do one more edit before I sent it off to TOR.
My verdict on Create Space is that it is very easy to use. It is much simpler than the process we use at PHP. All you really need is Microsoft word (though I suppose another word processor would probably work) and some Google-fu. For our PHP books we use Indesign and adobe Illustrator, which are much more expensive and complex programs.
That having been said it does not give you nearly as much control of the final product. And there were certain things I just couldn’t do on Create space, so the quality we strive for at PHP just wouldn’t be there. So don't look for PHP to change printers anytime soon.
But I can certainly see why so many authors are choosing to self publish through create space and on kindle. (Once you get the hang of it formatting a kindle isn't that hard either). They are both simple ways to get your story out to readers.
Here is the cover of my proof copy, it is on a create space template. The artwork is something that we purchased when we first started up PHP, before we started commissioning custom art. It actually fits a scene in the story pretty well. Total process from start to finish took maybe an hour, and that includes formating the word doc.
PS: I am not going to opt into any sales channels this is merely going to be a proof/editing copy for myself, it will not be for sale.