Recently, I received this question from William Burt, a YA Christian fantasy author, and a member of the John 3:16 Marketing Network.
I’m curious: Has your experience with CreateSpace been a positive one? New authors are asking for recommendations.
My initial reaction was another question: Do you need to have an account with CreateSpace if you load your book at this new Ingram Spark website:
I'm in the process of helping a traditionally published author to make the transition to indy, and since this is a new Ingram/Spark website, I'm looking into this as I write.
This is a complicated question — short answer, yes, I have been happy with Create Space. But Lightning Source is of higher quality, and if you can get author copies as cheaply through Ingram Spark as you can through Create Space (at the above website), you may not need to publish through Create Space.
My books are on Lighting Source through a different platform, much less user friendly, the original site, so that’s why I have my books on CreateSpace — it’s free and convenient.
The one time I had issues with CreateSpace, they made it right. I had ordered 30 books for an event, and two days before the event and long after they promised delivery, I called them because I hadn’t received the shipment. They sent those books out expedited free of charge through a different printer. They have more than one printer.
I eventually got the first shipment and CreateSpace gave the books to me for free. Sometimes a book isn’t printed properly, but in my opinion, having grown up in a family business that published maps, I know that is to be expected. There will be some that need to be thrown out. When I was a child, that was one of my jobs, to cull out those that had any kind of issue — and CreateSpace will reship those books for free. I’ve done this in the past.
Also, I saw on one website where authors were complaining that CreateSpace wasn’t free and they would try to sell you all their other products — covers, editing, et cetera. That’s YOUR CHOICE. I felt like that was misleading and unfair. The site where the article was posted was also a competitor, and they had stirred up the fires to generate more business for themselves—what I consider very deceptive advertising. Authors had simply jumped on the bandwagon with complaints, some of which were unfair. I have nothing to gain or lose with this statement. This is my opinion based on years of being an indy author and having published my books with multiple publishers.
I have never paid a dime to CreateSpace to publish my books, and I have nine books published through them. Those extra paid services are there for those who need them. AND — I have republished the same book through CreateSpace when I have found mistakes or done revisions, and I have never been charged for those updates.
That is VERY DIFFERENT from Lightning Source or any POD publisher. There is a fee for everything. I would recommend new authors learn the ropes with CreateSpace (for free), and then once they know what they are doing, add on Ingram Spark. Why? You will never get your books into bookstores and libraries in any significant way without returnability. CreateSpace doesn’t give you that.
Also, one final comment on CreateSpace: Your books are almost immediately available through CreateSpace once they have been vetted. That process might take a couple of days. You can also use their online program to check your book before giving the final approval to CreateSpace — for things like margin placement, and you can start the process over as many times as you need FOR FREE until you get it right. CreateSpace gives you a free template to use, and they have phone support FOR FREE.
I don’t think you will find any publisher that gives you this level of support FOR FREE.
Great question, William. If you have more questions, send them my way, and I will try to answer them through blog posts.
To learn more about Lorilyn Roberts, the founder of the John 3:16 Marketing Network, please visit http://LorilynRoberts.com