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Archived Author Help > Any problem with Createspace quality?

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message 1: by Benita (new)

Benita Thompson (benitajthompsonauthor) | 32 comments I'm wondering if I should switch from Lulu to Createspace for my paperback. I like that Createspace is cheaper, is directly connected to Amazon, more control over discounts, and so on. However, I've heard horror stories about the quality of CS paperbacks. Has anyone here had problems?

Also, whilst I'm at it, does CS have the distribution reach that Lulu has? My Lulu book is all over the place.


message 2: by Quoleena (new)

Quoleena Sbrocca (qjsbrocca) My Createspace paperback book is available through expanded distribution. Mainly, I just wanted it to be both on Amazon and B&N, so I'll have to check to see wherever else it ends up.

Createspace has a detailed review process. Their human vetting system will call you out on any discrepancies in page numbers and margin bleeds etc. Carefully review the online proof to ensure it looks like it should. If you're uploading a pdf, nothing changes from what's on your computer vs what's in their online viewer. However, using their virtual page-turner will allow you to better gauge any issues.

For your first time processing each new book, they highly recommend that you buy a proof copy. Personally, I think this is absolutely necessary for the first time you publish the book (and the same for each of your books). With the proof in your hands, you'll be able to see if the cover came out as you expected (though this is a matter of setting your color profiles correctly and things like that), and if the spacing/layout is correct.

As for what they do, their printing is wonderful. I've never had any complaints, except that sometimes their packaging could be a lot better (every now and again, the book on top has bent corners from their packing job). Other than that complaint, whenever I've had issues with the result, it's only been things I needed to tweak on my end. They can only print the files you give them.

I've never used Lulu, so I can't compare the two. If you're happy with their work and it's just a matter of pricing, then there's nothing to lose in going through the physical proof process with Createspace. You don't ever have to submit it the final to make it for sale if you don't want.


message 3: by April (new)

April Wilson (aprilwilson) Benita wrote: "I'm wondering if I should switch from Lulu to Createspace for my paperback. I like that Createspace is cheaper, is directly connected to Amazon, more control over discounts, and so on. However, I'v..."

I use CreateSpace. It's easy to use, it offers seamless integration with Amazon, and the quality is outstanding.


message 4: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Jensen (kdragon) | 468 comments I've used both Createspace and Lulu and was happy with both. Lulu, as you know, also provides hardback while Amazon doesn't, but I prefer Amazon since my books are cheaper there.


message 5: by Grace (new)

Grace Risata | 25 comments I did my book on createspace and had no problems with it. It looked professional with good paper quality and a good cover. The books all shipped to me faster than they said they would. They came packaged very carefully. I've had two orders so far and I would definitely recommend it.


message 6: by Martin (new)

Martin Wilsey | 447 comments I have published two novels so far on CS and the quality and service are excellent. Number three is next month!


message 7: by Ken (last edited Feb 29, 2016 05:23PM) (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) I use both, and while I've never bought a paperback from Lulu I'm impressed with their hardcovers. I have ordered Createspace paperbacks, and found the quality to be first-rate. I also sell ebooks on Lulu, Draft2Digital, Smashwords, Amazon, and everybody they distribute to. I try to be everywhere, and I've almost achieved it.


message 8: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 779 comments I can't recommend CS enough! They do an excellent job and their DIY option is simple and easy to follow. If you have any questions you can call them anytime and they'll happily help you.

I'm all for createspace.


message 9: by Timothy (new)

Timothy Bowe | 2 comments I published my first paperback on CS and I will continue to use it. It's easy to use and to monitor. Once you set up your author account, everything else is a breeze.


message 10: by Ian (new)

Ian Bott (iansbott) | 263 comments I looked into Lulu and CreateSpace back in 2014 and went with CreateSpace largely on price. Print costs at Lulu were higher plus (according to my notes, so this might have changed) Lulu charged to get you distributed more widely whereas CS expanded distribution is free.

I've used CreateSpace for two novels now. Quality has been great (touch wood) and I plan to continue using them until something happens to change my mind.

One other consideration though, my sales of paperbacks are small and most of them are direct sales from stock I've bought. This means it will be years before (if ever) I reach the $100 royalties to receive a check. This means that my pittance of income from that route is locked up in their bank for the foreseeable future. I don't know what the payment policy is with Lulu but my notes say they can pay via PayPal which might mean they pay out on a lower threshold like Smashwords. Of course, if you expect to sell hundreds of books then this is not a consideration :)


message 11: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Emme (Lisa_Emme) | 212 comments Ian wrote: "This means it will be years before (if ever) I reach the $100 royalties to receive a check. "

I would recommend opening a US bank account if possible. CS will direct deposit your royalties with no threshold. I'm Canadian and I was able to open a US account through my bank (they have a subsidiary in the US).


message 12: by Owen (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) | 1509 comments We've been using Createspace for over 2 years and I have nothing but good things to say about them. We did consider Lulu at first, based on another author's recommendation, but Createspace seemed easier to get set up with at the time, and we aren't in the market for hardcovers.

We have done the expanded distribution, but we never sold anything thru it, so we've dropped it.


message 13: by Anthony Deeney (new)

Anthony Deeney | 437 comments Owen wrote: "We have done the expanded distribution, but we never sold anything thru it, so we've dropped it."

Is there any disadvantage in expanded distribution? Even if it isn't selling? Why bother dropping it? Maybe it will eventually sell an odd book or two.

I have found Createspace to be generally very easy to use and I am happy with the quality. I made the decision based on price, so I cannot comment on CS v Lulu.


message 14: by Anthony Deeney (new)

Anthony Deeney | 437 comments B.B. wrote: "I've had several experiences where the paperback arrived bent, and the front cover had sticky white marks and greasy finger prints on it. It's been hit and miss for me. I haven't ordered any since...."

Sounds like slave-driven amazon packers mishandling the product to me. I have seen some disturbing tv undercover reports on them. It makes me uncomfortable to be "in bed with" Amazon as they sell my books.

I've not had the experience and I hope that the reader takes this up with Amazon, rather than troubling me! If the quality drops too far, they might give the packers more time, but they'll likely just crack the whip!


message 15: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 2491 comments I've had one book once when I ordered a dozen copies of my book with the cover slightly bent, but I ordered books from them a few times, individual as well as in bundles (mine as well as other authors for my shelf) and aside from that one time, I never had any problems. The books were all of great quality.


message 16: by G.G. (last edited Mar 01, 2016 04:15AM) (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 2491 comments Anthony wrote: "Owen wrote: "We have done the expanded distribution, but we never sold anything thru it, so we've dropped it."

Is there any disadvantage in expanded distribution? Even if it isn't selling? Why bot..."


Extended distribution raises the price of the book. For example, right now without the extended distribution, I can sell my book for 9.99$ and make a little less than 1$ a piece, while with the distribution, I had to sell it for 12.99$ and was making but a few pennies on each. (And I really mean a few.)


message 17: by Sue (new)

Sue Rovens | 8 comments I've only had good luck with CreateSpace. When I researched which company to go with, C.S. appeared to be the best among the group.


message 18: by R.L. (new)

R.L. Giddings | 5 comments I also have gone with Createspace and found them to be very effective- the covers are bright and clear. As I'm in the UK I also tried Feedaread which is an Arts Council supported site but whilst I did prefer their "Insides" the quality of the Createspace cover was significantly superior. I have just had 50 delivered for an author talk in schools so it will be interesting to see how the cover hold up to many hands and eager reading.


message 19: by Anthony Deeney (new)

Anthony Deeney | 437 comments G.G. wrote: "Anthony wrote: "Owen wrote: "We have done the expanded distribution, but we never sold anything thru it, so we've dropped it."

Is there any disadvantage in expanded distribution? Even if it isn't ..."


Wow, GG. I didn't know that! Excuse me while I go away and fix that.


message 20: by Anthony Deeney (new)

Anthony Deeney | 437 comments G.G. wrote: "Extended distribution raises the price of the book. For example, right now without the extended distribution, I can sell my book for 9.99$ and make a little less than 1$ a piece, while with the distribution, I had to sell it for 12.99$ and was making but a few pennies on each. (And I really mean a few.)
"


Well, I'm back! Didn't take seven minutes. I have shaved the price by at least $2-3!

P.S. My book is not available in paperback. Working on a second edition (proofing stage).

Thanks Owen, GG, and SIA! How long would I have gone without knowing that?

It doesn't make sense.


message 21: by Ken (last edited Mar 01, 2016 07:10AM) (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) Don't forget that paperbacks are usually hard to sell at any price. I had another thread in this group pointing out why I don't skimp on pages, layout, or distribution when creating a paperback. The difference of two or three dollars didn't affect my admittedly low sales one iota. When it comes to paperbacks and hardcovers I create a product that I'm proud to display on my own bookshelf, and damn the expense. If price is a problem, buy an ebook.


message 22: by A.M.H. (new)

A.M.H. Johnson (amhjohnson) | 9 comments Createspace is really easy to use, and my books turned out looking great. they offer a lot of help and breakdown how well your book is doing and where. Source: personal exp


message 23: by Anthony Deeney (new)

Anthony Deeney | 437 comments Ken wrote: "Don't forget that paperbacks are usually hard to sell at any price. I had another thread in this group pointing out why I don't skimp on pages, layout, or distribution when creating a paperback. Th..."

Granted, I really don't sell many paperbacks anyway!
However, there is no loss in dropping the price at no cost to me.


message 24: by Ken (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) In my case, I have sold paperbacks through expanded distribution, so I'd hate to give up that channel just to drop the price a little.


message 25: by Jay (new)

Jay Cole (jay_cole) Createspace printing matches your pdf, so I think it would be unusual to have complaints on the interior. My cover exactly matched what I sent in, so I really have no complaints.


message 26: by J.D. (new)

J.D. Cunegan (jdcunegan) | 240 comments Benita wrote: "I'm wondering if I should switch from Lulu to Createspace for my paperback. I like that Createspace is cheaper, is directly connected to Amazon, more control over discounts, and so on. However, I'v..."

I've published two novels through CreateSpace, and I've yet to have a problem with the material itself. Both of my books look fantastic, and it's available through several prominent online retailers (I haven't yet seen it in actual bookstores, but I think that's just because most chain stores don't care to carry print-on-demand titles).


message 27: by Ken (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) Jay wrote: "Createspace printing matches your pdf, so I think it would be unusual to have complaints on the interior. My cover exactly matched what I sent in, so I really have no complaints."

Complaints on the interior could arise from the margins you choose, especially the inside margin, even if the PDF looks great. You have to be careful of that, along with how your page numbers align.


message 28: by G.T. (new)

G.T. Trickle (goodreadscomgttrickle) | 31 comments Benita wrote: "I'm wondering if I should switch from Lulu to Createspace for my paperback. I like that Createspace is cheaper, is directly connected to Amazon, more control over discounts, and so on. However, I'v..."

I've used Createspace and haven't encountered any problems. I've used CS's drop ship method many times. I direct sell my paperback to book clubs in my area at a discounted price and have CS drop ship to the book club's facilitator, who distributes to readers and collects the purchase price. The quantity can be anywhere from 6-20 units. All shipments have (so far) arrived in AOK condition.

FYI -- The CS Community Forum is an excellent resource tool. There are savvy members there willing to help on any conceivable problem you can throw at them. Look for replies by five star members.


message 29: by Shoshanah (new)

Shoshanah Marohn (shoshanahmarohn) | 32 comments I have four books with them, and they are great. One time, one book came missing a page--- but that is the only issue ever. They are also very nice if you don't understand something- you can call them and they are very helpful. I really like them a lot.


message 30: by Mimi (new)

Mimi Marten | 54 comments I'm happy with Createspace, the software is friendly and the quality is up to the industry standards. :-)


message 31: by Daniel (new)

Daniel Quilter | 8 comments you should definitely get a proof copy to make sure it's what you want, but I've been satisfied with the quality of books from create space so far


message 32: by Lyra (new)

Lyra Shanti (lyrashanti) | 126 comments Daniel is right about always getting a proof copy first, but I've been pretty happy with create space so far. The covers never quite capture the details of the art imo, but it's not bad either. Lulu is just too darn expensive imo.


message 33: by Trice (new)

Trice Blue | 5 comments Does anyone have any recommendations for a POD that does hardcovers


message 34: by Walt (new)

Walt Bridges | 2 comments I must agree with Lyra the only issue I have with create space has to be the cover art limitations and might add the themes could be much more imaginative. The alternative is paid art work or trying to find something that works within the guidelines.
On the plus side I must say I am pleased with the quality of the print books just wish they would offer a hard cover edition as well.


message 35: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) Betricia wrote: "Does anyone have any recommendations for a POD that does hardcovers"

As mentioned above, Lulu does hardcover books.


message 36: by Christina (new)

Christina Smith (cnsmithauthor1) | 21 comments I've published with Createspace as well. Mine was a children's color picture book. The quality is excellent. However, my only thing is I WISH Createaspace offered a hardcover option, but that is my only "complaint". The customer service is excellent. I've even called with a question at 8pm in the evening and received wonderful customer service. I've never published with LULU, although I have considered it based on the hardcover options they provide. I have only good things to say about Createspace. I would recommend it~


message 37: by C.B., Beach Body Moderator (last edited Mar 04, 2016 03:51PM) (new)

C.B. Archer | 1090 comments Mod
I have ordered books from Createspace a few times.

- Review copies of first book - They messed up the shipping. I got expedited shipping for free.
- First shipment of first book - They messed up the shipping, I got expedited shipping for free.
- Second shipment of first book - They messed up the quantity, I got six extra copies for free.
- Review copies of second book - They messed up the shipping. I got expedited shipping for free.

So far... I will say I am a fan of Createspace.


message 38: by M.Z. (new)

M.Z. Thwaite | 2 comments Tidewater Rip
I found Create Space easy to work with and they responded to my questions and problems quickly. My first order had packaging that was a tad inferior, but my second order was packaged better. The second order of 200 books had @8 copies which omitted the second or title page. CS apologized and sent 8 replacement copies quickly. Would I use them again? Probably.
M. Z. Thwaite


message 39: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Emme (Lisa_Emme) | 212 comments I have no complaints about Createspace but I will say, if you are in Canada and using them, use the expedited shipping. In my experience it is actually cheaper than the standard. Here's why. If you pick expedited your package is sent UPS. For a box of 50 books, I paid about $6 CAD in duty. The next order, I didn't need it in a hurry so I chose standard delivery. It came by a different carrier (DHL) and on top of the duty they charged a fee of about $20 so in the end, I paid more for the standard service than the expedited. Needless to say I was a bit ticked off. I complained to DHL but got nowhere with them. I get all my books with UPS delivery now.


message 40: by C.B., Beach Body Moderator (new)

C.B. Archer | 1090 comments Mod
Lisa wrote: "I have no complaints about Createspace but I will say, if you are in Canada and using them, use the expedited shipping. In my experience it is actually cheaper than the standard. Here's why. If you..."

That explains the different shipping fees... thanks!


message 41: by Shannon (new)

Shannon Peel (shannonpeel) | 6 comments Lisa wrote: "I have no complaints about Createspace but I will say, if you are in Canada and using them, use the expedited shipping. In my experience it is actually cheaper than the standard. Here's why. If you..."

Lisa thanks for letting me know. I usually get mine shipped to a US address just on the other side of the boarder and go get them. But I live 1 minute from it. If I move, like I want to, I'll have to remember UPS shipping.


message 42: by Anthony Deeney (new)

Anthony Deeney | 437 comments Anthony wrote: "G.G. wrote: "Extended distribution raises the price of the book. For example, right now without the extended distribution, I can sell my book for 9.99$ and make a little less than 1$ a piece, while..."

Here's an observation: I cancelled the extended distribution as indicated, saving nearly $3.

Now, I am in the process of editing the book for a second edition and I unpublished the paperback meantime. However, the book is still available from third party sellers!

So cancelling extended distribution may not stop it!

I have mixed feelings about this.

Why pay more, when you can opt for extended distribution with no penalty price?


message 43: by Ken (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) If the book is unpublished it won't be available to those third-party sellers even if they list it. Sometimes it takes awhile for the book to become unlisted. I issued a new hard cover edition of one of my books, and unpublished the old one. Although it's been about a month, the new edition just replaced the old at Barnes & Noble, but the old one is still listed at Amazon. You can probably order it, but you can't get it.


message 44: by Anthony Deeney (new)

Anthony Deeney | 437 comments Ken wrote: "If the book is unpublished it won't be available to those third-party sellers even if they list it. Sometimes it takes awhile for the book to become unlisted. I issued a new hard cover edition of o..."

That makes sense, but it is very slow.


message 45: by Carrie (new)

Carrie Johnson | 10 comments I have had no problems with Create Space so far. All of the books that I or people I know have ordered have been in excellent quality. I am very pleased with the process.


message 46: by John (new)

John Khoury | 1 comments I wasn't thrilled with the quality of the paperback I produced there. Lots of samples that weren't quite right - they also had some typos here and there in the book - things I had one way in my digital version that they botched. I believe one was italic percentages. So you basically have to proof-read each new sample book they send you for the slightest error. The colors on the cover were also slightly different per sample they sent. And the binding on my book, which was colored, would overlap on to the front or the back, and again, be slightly different per sample. Geez, it's tough re-living his now... Having said that, they were very friendly and helpful. ;-)


message 47: by Kelly (new)

Kelly Clayton | 4 comments I use CS and think they're a great option. I published in December and the proof came down in really good condition. I am also really happy with the internals. However, I had a great guy do the formatting so I was confident the interior would be great.

I then ordered 10 copies as gifts for beta-readers, the local Chief of Police (who helped me on the procedural bits) etc and my in-laws who'd have been upset not to get one!

Three copies had damaged spines, not that bad, but enough to annoy me. I have re-ordered copies since and there were no issues.

I've sold quite a few paperbacks and the only negative customer feedback is one person who said that the cover was badly damaged and Amazon offered to replace the book.

So I'd go with CS.


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