Well, after those months, I have followed that process myself, and I want to tell you about my experiece with the online editor CreateSpace.
Once I had my two PDF files (interior and cover), as requested by CS, I started the publication process.
Basically, you need to register book data (title, author, number of pages, format, etc.) in order to assign a valid ISBN number (I chose it to be a Cs-own one, 978-1478353911, this assignment is free of cost).
CreateSpace has an online review tool, that will detect most critical issues upon upload. In my case, it detected a few ones:
- Some image was too close to the interior binding, so it would not be properly seen, with their binding process. I corrected that.
- some image was at low resolution (less than 200ppp). I could not change it, those were "external" downloads from the Internet.
- Decoration texts on page borders (chapter marks) were too close to the gutters, inside the theoretical margins. I had to move them a couple of millimetres to the inside of the layout.
Once critical errors (margins...) have been corrected, you may also accept all other (you assume the responsibility). You go to the next step, which is revision by technicians from CreateSpace - they will just check original errors, correction and acceptance of minor issues. This may take up to 48 hours.
Then, you go to the proof-read step.
You may order a first print of your book, but this can take up to two months, between printing and delivery. Besides, you will have to pay, both the book and the shipment. Alternatively, you will find a download link to get a low-resolution PDF (in my case, "just" 15Mb) to look for errata, format errors, type or size mistakes, layout misalignment...
If you find some error, you repeat the whole process from the file upload (you may not change pages number or format!), going through automated revision and then manual one, until you reach again the proofread step. You may repeat this cycle as many times as needed.
Once you accept the proofread, you may already order samples of your book, at a price of printing costs plus delivery. In your own orders, you will not be charged any royalty - but you will also not get it.
Only if you assign selling price and choose a distribution channel (CreateSpace web, Amazon, book shops...) it will appear as available on that / these channels...