Are there less costly ways to self publish a book? I know they exist and I have checked out some of them. I stick with Createspace because they consistently do a good job and give me excellent customer service if a problem does arise.
My goal in self publishing is to make a profit and keep things as simple as possible. Createspace keeps my upfront cost low but more importantly, once you learn how to prepare your interior and cover files, they take care of everything. You can market your book around the world and they handle all aspects of the fulfillment.
Certainly I could make more on each book if I purchased a quantity and fulfilled the orders myself but that would also take a lot of my time away from writing and publishing other books and that is where I prefer to spend my time. Once I have published a book I never have to do anything else other than marketing using my web site and other methods.
Createspace creates an eStore for my books in addition to placing it on Amazon. They also make it available worldwide. When an order comes in, the credit card sale is processed, the book is printed in the appropriate country, and the book is shipped to the customer promptly. At the end of the month my share of the sale is deposited in my bank account.
For me this makes business easy so I can create more products to sell. Createspace has worked for me and after 10 books I don’t have a single complaint about the way they do business.