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Author Resource Round Table > Seeking print-on-demand recommendations

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message 1: by A.M. (new)

A.M. Rycroft (amrycroft) | 35 comments Hi all,

I'm currently using Lulu as my print-on-demand service, but I'm thinking of taking my business elsewhere. The reasons being, one, I had a really large order get missprinted (bad covers, all 300) and had to wait a week for a new shipment, and two, the cost per book ordered by me (roughly $10.81 per book for small runs).

I've heard good things about both IngramSpark/Lightning Source and CreateSpace. I'm looking for recommendations for one or both services, or another service altogether. Feel free to gush about a great experience or rant about a terrible experience.

Thanks!
A.M. Rycroft


message 2: by Angel (last edited Aug 09, 2015 06:55PM) (new)

Angel | 180 comments I've had a great experience with Createspace. They have very strict formatting rules which is a challenge and can drive you mad but, otherwise they are great. They let you decide your own pricing for your books.

They will print on demand your books in paperback but, if you want them in hardcover you will have to pay $99.00 for the printing/binding. But, if not it's free to use them, you don't have to pay for printing your books if you have customers buy through Amazon, which Createspace uploads your book there for free, since Createspace is the right arm of Amazon.

But, you have to upload your book on Createspace yourself after following their formatting rules. They also have templates of all particular sizes for your book, to help you with the formatting of your book. They also have a Cover center where you can pick your cover and the colors or you can upload your own cover. To do an e-book version you have to go through Kindle, which I've done that too.

By the way if you do the hardcover version of your book through Createspace, Amazon will not accept the hardcover on their site. But, you will be able to order the hardcovers through Createspace at your on discretion or you can have the customer do it by making your own discount or coupon. Also if you don't want the customers to go through Amazon to order your book in paperback, you can order the copies through Createspace, which they were give you a discount because your the author, or they you can let the customer do it and they can benefit from the discount of your book.

I did the former, I ordered the copies of my book through Createspace (while copies of my book were also being sold on Amazon) and sold them at my on discretion to boost my sales. Also you can get your ISBN for free but, you will have to let Createspace be the publisher name instead of yourself. Which is better for an author who is not well known but, when the author does become well-known this can be changed and they have reasonable rates to buy your own row of ISBNs.

Also you can choose which genre your book goes in, even if it is a mixed genre book and you can choose wide/expanded distribution/bookstores/college bookstores and local. I will be publishing my novel under them next round.


message 3: by Belle (new)

Belle Blackburn | 158 comments I have had no problems with createspace except their covers tend to curl. I wrote them and they talked about humidity but my paperbacks from other publishers don't curl. I wish they would make the covers sturdier but otherwise they have been very helpful.


message 4: by Lenita (new)

Lenita Sheridan | 1010 comments BookBaby does POD, and I use their service. I haven't had an order yet, so I wouldn't know what to tell you. I sell most of my print books locally. I would be surprised if BookBaby would mess up on an order, however. They're a pretty reputable company.


message 5: by A.M. (new)

A.M. Rycroft (amrycroft) | 35 comments Thanks, Angel and Belle, for the feedback on CreateSpace. I'm a little hesitant to go with them, however, because I own my ISBNs. I don't want new ones, and I don't want CS listed as my publisher in place of Mighty Quill Books.

Lenita, I have heard of BookBaby, but haven't done much research on them yet. Unfortunately, Lulu is also considered reputable, and I don't disagree. I'm just looking for a company slightly more on top of printing issues (getting help with issues can be SLOW) and more cost-effective.

A.M.


message 6: by Effie (new)

Effie Kammenou (effiekammenou) | 720 comments I just published my book on createspace and kdp with my own ISBN. It was what a couple of author friends recommend I do. I hope this helps.


message 7: by Mary (new)

Mary Ogle | 3 comments I recently published with CreateSpace and so far I've found the experience to be a good one. I published a good sized graphic novel/coloring book. The paper is decent quality and the cover is quite nice with a glossy finish. I haven't noticed curling and the color is good. I have not ordered in bulk so I'm not sure if there are any issues with that. Sometimes bulk orders are handled differently than singles so that might make a difference.


message 8: by Lance (new)

Lance Charnes (lcharnes) | 326 comments I use CreateSpace for Amazon and Lightning Source for everything else. The products from each are close enough that I can use the same text block and cover for both. I use the same ISBN (my own) for both.

As Angel pointed out, CS is a creature of Amazon, so you won't have the "out of stock" problem on the 'Zon that you might with other POD providers. However, everyone knows CS is a 'Zon creature, so some bookstores won't order from them. Lightning Source is Ingram's POD arm, so you get Ingram distribution (basically everywhere in the world except B&T) and no Amazon shaming.

LS is bureaucratic and charges a fee for everything. I do my proofing on CS; once it's sorted, I use the same materials on LS and pay the setup charges only once.

I get my single copies on CS, where they're cheaper.


message 9: by R.F.G. (new)

R.F.G. Cameron | 443 comments Or consider finding a printer local to you.


message 10: by Merita (new)

Merita King (meritaking) | 11 comments I use Createspace and my own ISBN's and I have found the upload process very straightforward and easy to follow. I do use Lulu but only because the postage when buying copies of my own books is cheaper with them than with Amazon.


message 11: by A.M. (new)

A.M. Rycroft (amrycroft) | 35 comments Thanks to everyone for the very informative feedback. Based on feedback I've also received elsewhere, I will probably do a combo of CS and Ingram for pretty much the exact reasons Lance does.

A.M.


message 12: by Peggy (new)

Peggy A. | 38 comments A.M. wrote: "Hi all,

I'm currently using Lulu as my print-on-demand service, but I'm thinking of taking my business elsewhere. The reasons being, one, I had a really large order get missprinted (bad covers, al..."


I have been very happy with Lightning Source and am getting ready to use them again. They have great user assistance.


message 13: by Peggy (new)

Peggy A. | 38 comments Lance wrote: "I use CreateSpace for Amazon and Lightning Source for everything else. The products from each are close enough that I can use the same text block and cover for both. I use the same ISBN (my own) fo..."

Interesting. Thanks.


message 14: by Alicia (new)

Alicia Ehrhardt (aliciabutcherehrhardt) I am very satisfied with the books I got from CreateSpace - and the ease of creating it. Once I had my pdfs to their standards, the rest went fast and easily.

They sent a proof - the cover was off in a particular way. I communicated with them, they looked at it, said it was THEIR fault, fixed it, and sent me a free new proof. That was perfect - I was done.


message 15: by Nicholas (last edited Feb 23, 2016 03:38PM) (new)

Nicholas Boyland (rhinotrikes) | 5 comments I use 4edge for small print runs (100 - 300 copies) they are every bit as good as Createspace and a fraction of the cost. Very helpful, I had some problems with the trim size of my interior pages, they talked me through my options and helped put things right at no extra cost.
Side by side and like for like I cannot tell the difference between my Createspace books and my 4edge books. Of course, with Createspace you get potential distribution whereas 4edge are an on demand print service.


message 16: by Peggy (new)

Peggy A. | 38 comments Lance wrote: "I use CreateSpace for Amazon and Lightning Source for everything else. The products from each are close enough that I can use the same text block and cover for both. I use the same ISBN (my own) fo..."

Interesting tip. Thanks.


message 17: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 2165 comments Createspace is great, never had any issues with them.


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