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Books/Characters > Create Space

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message 1: by Bisky (new)

Bisky Scribbles (bisky_scribbles) | 2536 comments Mod
So, I'm going to be going towards the later stages of editing with my book soon and I have to ask:

Create space, is it worth it?

I am very limited fund-wise. I am also in Europe. People (in the States) have asked me for signed copies but it looks like it would be quite expensive to order copies to me, then send them out again.

Has anyone else got any experience they'd like to share? :3

message 2: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 1053 comments Mod
Can't tell yet. I just uploaded my book and cover yesterday. It was approved and I ordered a proof copy which I will receive within 10 days. (It is actually already being shipped. I never thought it would be this fast.)
I'd say you can always do a giveaway on goodreads with one signed book only. I know not all of your fans would get theirs but they'd have a chance to win one and one wouldn't cost too much.

message 3: by J. David (new)

J. David Clarke (clarketacular) | 418 comments I actually quite like CreateSpace. It's very easy to use, free to publish, on demand print copies for those who prefer print to ebooks, can be ordered through Amazon and they have expanded distribution so bookstores and libraries can order too. Pretty convenient. I've used them a lot for signed copies people request as well. It does cost to order the copies, but then you have readers paypal the book price plus shipping and voila, you send it to them.

Like you, I am short on money at the moment so haven't been able to order copies of my latest, but once i am able to I definitely intend to order them and offer signed copies again. Plus, with my first book I sold a lot of copies at a comic convention a while back, I'd like to be able to attend conventions and book fairs again and sign and sell copies at a table, that worked out quite well.

message 4: by Michael (new)

Michael Ray (mcray) I like CreateSpace a lot. Setup cost of a book is minimal, if anything. We purchased our own ISBNs from Bowker (instead of using the free ones supplied by CreateSpace) because we wanted our own company name listed as the publisher. With CreateSpace it's really nice to be able to get multiple revised proof copies during the final editing stages of the book. There's no charge from CreateSpace when you update the files (at least not before you authorize for distribution ... maybe there is if you make changes later, but I'm not sure about that). We also used them to create ARCs of the book before we published the final version.

The turnaround time for printing is really quite amazing, and the quality of the book is excellent. And it's relatively inexpensive to buy your own copies directly from CreateSpace.

I'm less thrilled with the experience I've had with Ingram Spark. They're part of the same company as Lightning Source, but LS has lately been redirecting applications from small indie pubs over to Ingram Spark, even though Ingram Spark uses LS as their printer. Anyway, we're using Ingram Spark now for hardbacks of our book since CreateSpace only does paperback. But Ingram Spark charges for setup and they charge each time you revise your files. Their file submission process is buggy and poorly documented. I had to contact their support line several times to deal with broken forms on their site. And in the end I was less than impressed with the quality of the printed book I received. I'll want to receive several more copies before I officially pass judgment on print quality, though. We'll see ...

message 5: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Michelle | 450 comments Mod
I'm not sure how helpful this will be for you, but this is my experience with it:

I have a friend who self publishes anthologies and collections through Create Space, which is how we did our Halloween collection, and then I was going to make my own collection (but abandoned the project) and so he had helped me out a lot and explained the basics to me of how it worked, so i could navigate it myself. The only thing we paid for was our own copies and the proof copies are cheeper (for obvious reasons). There's this calculator thing that helps you decided how much to sell the book for. It takes into account what they will charge per copy so they make a profit and then you can decide how much profit you want in royalties. And you can make the price whatever you want (just don't let that kind of power get to your head ;p). I think where it gets expensive is the cover art if you don't have one made up already. From what I've seen they sell templates for hundreds of dollars (although I wasn't looking extensively just happened to see a few, so for all I know that could've been like their 'premium' options or something).
Personally, I thought it was easy to use and I really liked it. If I do ever decide to self publish I will for sure be using Create Space. Hope this helped!

message 6: by Bisky (new)

Bisky Scribbles (bisky_scribbles) | 2536 comments Mod
This has been really helpful :] Maybe I won't give up on it afterall ^-^

message 7: by G.G. (last edited Nov 27, 2013 11:42AM) (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 1053 comments Mod
Beware though that the extended distribution (if you choose to take it now that it is 'free') will raise the price of your book by a lot.
Without it I can sell my book for 9.99 and still make 85 cents a copy while with it I have to sell it for at least 15$ to make as much and I would barely get anything from sales made to those special places. So yeah it gets the book to more stores but at what cost... :(

message 8: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Michelle | 450 comments Mod
Yeah don't give up Bisky! Personally, I'd rather have a copy to hold in my hands vs virtual, but to each their own ;)

message 9: by Brook (new)

Brook Tesla (mickeybell) | 53 comments I do not have much knowledge about create space. It all depends on your strategy. If this is your first book, be modest. Test if people like it. Go digital first. Maybe go with amazon's free ebook program. Then, if and when it becomes 100 shades of gray, go with a distributor who can execute the printing for you. People say that lightning source is an amazing distributor. Maybe create space, too. But before you use them, maybe you should use a local book printer, maybe print 100 copies to test the market.
My 2 cents...

message 10: by Michael (new)

Michael Ray (mcray) Brook, the advantage of CreateSpace (which is owned by Amazon) is that they print on demand. It costs nothing to set up a book with them, and then they only print copies as the books are sold. CreateSpace/Amazon takes care of printing, processing sales, storing inventory, shipping, all of that. It's actually a perfect, risk-free way of testing the market. Lightning Source works in a similar way, but there are some important differences in setup fees and wholesale pricing. If you expect most of your print sales to come through Amazon (and for a first-time, self-published author, that's likely the case) then I'd give the edge to CreateSpace.

message 11: by Brook (new)

Brook Tesla (mickeybell) | 53 comments Thank you Michael.
Talk to me about the royalties paid to an author by create space. Is it really a free service?
Again, I know little about creat space, but in general I bet, there is no free lunch...
Amazon is a great company and #1.

message 12: by Michael (new)

Michael Ray (mcray) It really is free, although you might want to spend money for layout and design services if you're not expert at that yourself. They even provide you with a free ISBN, but if you use that, CreateSpace will be listed as the publisher (they don't obtain any rights from you when that happens; it's just that their name appears in the databases, and it becomes obvious that the book is self published). Also they used to charge for what they call "expanded distribution" beyond Amazon, but they just recently made that a free option as well.

Your royalties depend upon the trim size of the book, the number of pages, and the retail price you set. They have a calculator available online, so you can run the numbers for yourself:

Whatever price you set, it's likely that Amazon will make the book available at a discount. My book is priced at $11.95 retail, but I usually see Amazon selling it in the $10 range. But even when discounted, the royalty they pay me is still based in the $11.95 price that I set.

message 13: by Brook (new)

Brook Tesla (mickeybell) | 53 comments And percentage wise, how much do you get?

message 14: by Michael (new)

Michael Ray (mcray) It probably fluctuates depending on changes in printing costs over time ... I expect the royalty changes depending on paper costs, etc. However, over the first month and a half our royalty has averaged 26.6% of the retail price of the book.

message 15: by Brook (new)

Brook Tesla (mickeybell) | 53 comments And this is called free?
Nothing is free, everyone would take more than 70% from the book price..
It's a wash... No matter what direction you go.
If you do it yourself or CS or lightning source, or any publisher...

message 16: by Bisky (new)

Bisky Scribbles (bisky_scribbles) | 2536 comments Mod
I never thought about people buying the books from Amazon in print. I meant them buying from me for signed ones. I have been asked several times If I'm gonna do it and was the main reason I asked xD

message 17: by Michael (new)

Michael Ray (mcray) CreateSpace works the same whether or not you enable distribution through Amazon. Setup of a title is still free. When we buy copies of our own book directly from CreateSpace, it costs us $3.99 each plus shipping. There's no volume discount, so the per copy price is the same whether we order one or one thousand. You own book's cost to you would vary depending on trim size and page count. Their online calculator can give you an approximate price.

message 18: by Brook (new)

Brook Tesla (mickeybell) | 53 comments Bisky, if this is the case, you do not need the distribution service. You just need limited amount of books for signing (?)

message 19: by Bisky (new)

Bisky Scribbles (bisky_scribbles) | 2536 comments Mod
Aye, exactly.

message 20: by Brook (new)

Brook Tesla (mickeybell) | 53 comments Bisky, if this is all you need, save yourself a big headache, print 50-100 copies at a local or online book printer. There are hundreds of them.
Change the strategy if people are interested and if damned picks up...
My humble advice...

message 21: by Brook (new)

Brook Tesla (mickeybell) | 53 comments Also, use 10-20 copies for your Goodreads Giveaway campaign... Very effective.

message 22: by Bisky (new)

Bisky Scribbles (bisky_scribbles) | 2536 comments Mod
I didn't think it would be cheaper to go locally, but its 4.99 dollars shipping to me with each book. Lol so I might go scout around my city at the weekend. Thanks :]

message 23: by Brook (new)

Brook Tesla (mickeybell) | 53 comments We all have to do our research. I have studied the issue during the past few years. It boils down to this: no matter which way you going you always end up with 15~20% of the list price. And the middleman is taking the rest.
In your cast you do not need the broker right now. I'm sure you'll find a good printer near you.

message 24: by Bisky (new)

Bisky Scribbles (bisky_scribbles) | 2536 comments Mod
Yeah, really print publishing is the only thing I've not really looked into because I didn't think I'd be able to afford to do it. But when I looked at createspace just having afew sent to me didn't look so bad. I didn't even think that a printer near me would be cheaper or that I'd have access to one near me.

Then I remembered that I lived in a city lol

message 25: by Brook (new)

Brook Tesla (mickeybell) | 53 comments I'm willing to share with you a spreadsheet that I put together early this year. Actually, as I'm looking at it again, I find out that I did look at Create Space as well. Gee, my memory…

Based on this spreadsheet, 325 pages book (inside BW, color cover), printed by CS comes down to $4.76. Lightning Source: $3.75 per book (these do not include shipping.)

I'd check with LS to see if they print in the UK.
You can do your research by going to their calculator pages…

message 26: by Michael (new)

Michael Ray (mcray) LS does print in the UK, but keep in mind they no longer accept small indie publishers (aka self-pub). They will probably refer you to Ingram Spark instead. And Ingram Spark / LS also charges a setup fee on top of the per book cost.

message 27: by Brook (new)

Brook Tesla (mickeybell) | 53 comments No, here is what it says on their site:
Free Account Set-Up
IngramSpark has a free account set-up policy. Others have complicated packages that make it difficult for you to understand what you are actually getting for the price you pay.
But they do charge for title setup, LOL... $45.... Amazing...
Let me check, maybe they don't charge me title setup...

message 28: by Harmony (new)

Harmony Kent (harmonyk) To order copies of my own book here in the UK from Create Space is just too expensive ... why? Because of the shipping fees. It's crazy what I'm being quoted on orders to ship here to the UK. So even though my own copies of the book are cheaper than the RRP, the shipping is vastly prohibitive. And, as commented above, the royalty rate is appalling. I'm listed with Create Space so that I have a Paperback available to any reader that wants it, but I don't expect much back from any sales made via that route. I also haven't yet ordered a paper version for myself for the same reasons: it costs too much. :( Am doubly annoyed as I paid $25 for the expanded distribution on my first book, and by the time I've published my second book they've made it 'free' - but as GG points out, it adds a LOT onto the cost of your book's list price. I wish everybody good luck, but also feel that at the moment there is no good option in paperback for indie authors. Lulu I tried, but their print quality was atrocious, and I would never want a book sending to a reader in that state. Hope this all helps :3

message 29: by Brook (new)

Brook Tesla (mickeybell) | 53 comments @Harmony, I'm so glad you said that. We, self-publish authors get a raw deal. I love Amazon and never tried CS, but the royalties are horrible across the board.
Even if you produce and print the book yourself, it's hard to compete against the big publishers.

message 30: by Brook (new)

Brook Tesla (mickeybell) | 53 comments But it always feels good to be the underdog :)
Underdogs have their advantage. We invent stuff, we're bold, we are creative. Isn't it?

message 31: by Michael (new)

Michael Ray (mcray) Harmony, it does look like there's an unfortunate glitch in the system for UK authors using CreateSpace. Although CreateSpace prints UK reader orders in the UK, they print UK author orders in the US. So while you have to pay the overseas shipping fees on your book, your UK readers don't.

But that brings up another issue: Since CreateSpace subcontracts European reader orders to a UK printer, you might find a difference in the quality of books printed there vs. the ones printed in the US. This might be a concern across the board whether you're using Lightning Source, Ingram Spark, Lulu, or CreateSpace. Depending on the economics of any given day, a book could be outsourced to a different press with a different quality paper or whatever. In my limited experience, I've seen fantastic quality from CreateSpace over several orders, but so-so quality from a single Ingram Spark order.

message 32: by Brook (new)

Brook Tesla (mickeybell) | 53 comments Michael, I think that you provide very valuable information. Thank you.

message 33: by H.C. (new)

H.C. Gray (scribberlings) | 53 comments You know about the extra shipping costs from the USA to UK/European writers from CreateSpace? For promotional giveaways, couldn't you just get a friend to buy some copies through Amazon which doesn't incur the extra shipping costs? Then just pay the friend back?

Forgive me if I've misunderstood. I'm overdue for my afternoon nap.

message 34: by Michael (last edited Nov 30, 2013 07:42AM) (new)

Michael Ray (mcray) Helen, those friends would have to buy from Amazon, where they would get good shipping costs but they'd have to pay retail price for the books. In order to get the books at the discounted author price, the books have to be purchased directly from CreateSpace, and that's where the big shipping costs come in. There seems to be no way around this currently for European authors.

Thanks, Brook.

message 35: by H.C. (new)

H.C. Gray (scribberlings) | 53 comments Michael wrote: "Helen, those friends would have to buy from Amazon, where they would get good shipping costs but they'd have to pay retail price for the books. In order to get the books at the discounted author pr..."

Get ya, thank you!

message 36: by Sarah (new)

Sarah LaFleur (lafleurdeplume) | 37 comments Although if shipping costs are that much of an issue, an author outside the USA could buy the book at the amazon price and get back some of the money in royalties...

That's really too bad that Amazon can't make accommodations for the European community...I've just ordered the final proof of my book from Createspace and expect to receive it tomorrow or Thursday so I'll have to follow up on this thread when I get it, but the process has been very easy (and incredibly speedy!!) so far.

message 37: by Marat (new)

Marat Daan (MaratMsaevDaan) | 15 comments I have published all 3 books on CreateSpace and I have to say that I am VERY satisfied with them! Everything could be done for free if you have editor, graphic designer for cover, etc.

Few have mentioned shipping to Europe. Guys, what do you think, how I feel here in Serbia? xD hehe. Well, My experiences are positive here too. From what I remember, let's say that I will have to pay 5$ for one book and wait for it up to 31 business days. Every other book will be like 2,5$. I am not sure if that price will go any lower, (wan't paying attention, but will tell you in several days when I order my 3rd book for me) but in the end both times, book was in my hands in max 20 normal days (max 15 business days). If you are not in the rush to get those copies, I think you will be ok. :)

message 38: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Michelle | 450 comments Mod
Marat wrote: "I have published all 3 books on CreateSpace and I have to say that I am VERY satisfied with them! Everything could be done for free if you have editor, graphic designer for cover, etc.

Few have m..."

Yay :) Thats very helpful. Thanks for sharing your experience.

Signed copies for everyone! Right Bisky? ;D

message 39: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 1053 comments Mod
lol That can be costy Nicole!

I don't know if there is a cheaper way to send in Europe but I checked the pre-paid packets and wow... $75??? I want to do a Goodread giveaway soon but at that price, I'll have to keep it close to USA residents :/

message 40: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Michelle | 450 comments Mod

message 41: by Harmony (new)

Harmony Kent (harmonyk) Looks like we're pretty much all in the same boat. I left Lulu because of appalling print quality - and it really was very poor. I haven't ordered a print copy for myself from CS yet (shipping!) but people are mostly happy with them, so fingers crossed :)

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