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CreateSpace vs Ingram for hard copies


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#1 RC Lewis

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Posted 05 October 2014 - 10:51 PM

If you're interested in selling physical copies of your book rather than just ebooks, here's a post breaking down some of the variables for two of the main companies. (Not the only games in town, but the biggies, it seems.)

 

http://www.selfpubli...ng-print-books/

 

Can't vouch for everything there, but seems like some pretty good information to consider, plus a link to more extensive comparison posts.


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#2 AQCrew

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Posted 06 October 2014 - 04:05 PM

That's a great article.  We're going to pin it.

 

It's too bad they can't also add Lightning Source to the chart along with Createspace and Ingram Spark -- especially since they do reference Lightning Source through the article as a comparison.

 

Some great common misconceptions pointed out within the article, especially for newbie self-publishing authors who mistakenly believe that they're distributing their printed book directly for stocking at the bookstores:

 

 

CS offers only one discount for “expanded distribution” (which means everything outside of Amazon, such as B&N, libraries, BAM, etc.). The discount is 60%. Ingram offers 40% or 55% discount options (LS offers 30% and even 20%). Please note—neither one of these options will result in brick-and-mortar stores stocking your book. They willorder it if a customer requests the title, but they won’t stock it. Here is the breakdown based on using Ingram’s 40% discount and CS’s 60% discount.

 

 

CS uses Ingram for distribution. Ingram is the world’s biggest distributor of books, so for all channels except Amazon, CS books are distributed through Ingram. Ingram gets approximately 15% of the cut, and CS takes about 15–20%. That leaves 25% for the bookstores. That’s not enough to make them even consider stocking the book, but they will order it if a customer asks.

 

 

Spark shows only the 40% option for this chart so that we’re comparing apples to apples. If you don’t plan on active distribution into brick-and-mortar stores, you can keep your discount at Spark to 40%. That means with every book sold, no matter where it’s sold, you’ll earn $4.14. With CS you’ll only earn $4.55 on Amazon. All books sold at B&N (Barnes & Noble), or BAM (Books-A-Million), or any stores that happen to order from you, will earn you $1.55. That’s a big difference.

 

And if you’re thinking…but I want to get into bookstores, so I need the 55% discount…That’s fine. But then you’re not comparing apples to apples, because you’re not getting stocked in stores with CS, not without the stores getting a true industry-standard discount and the books being returnable, neither one of which CS does. If you have an account at LS, you can opt for the 30% discount and earn an additional $1.50 per book.



#3 Clippership

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Posted 14 October 2014 - 03:26 PM

I went the hard copy route first, but I went through the oldest established POD company, Lulu.com. They let you do hardcover, softcover, and offer an ebook route. So there are other options other than Createspace and Ingram.



#4 RC Lewis

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Posted 14 October 2014 - 03:49 PM

That's true, but personally I haven't been a fan of Lulu's product. They don't (or didn't) carry the trim size I wanted, and there's something about the result that feels like a paperback textbook to me.

 

But that's quite possibly just my own hangups. :blush:


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#5 mwsinclair

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Posted 14 October 2014 - 03:50 PM

CreateSpace also will do hardcovers, but it's not like their softcover approach. For example, you have to already have the book uploaded for softcover. Plus, you have to pay $99 PER BOOK to establish a hard cover version. In my mind, the biggest challenge is that the hard cover does not feed into Amazon's distribution. You basically have to sell them on your own, which you can do via your web site. You'd be doing all the ordering and record-keeping, which means you'd have the sales tax factor, since you're the seller, not Amazon.



#6 Clippership

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Posted 18 October 2014 - 09:28 PM

Lulu doesn't charge the author to do a hardback.

 

I can't vouch for the quality of their paperbacks, because I haven't done one yet, but I've been pleased with the hardcover version. I wish they had more choices for the color of the actual cover (not the jacket) that are available in their distribution channels, but the binding, the paper, and the jacket quality were better than I thought they'd be.



#7 SciFiGuy

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Posted 10 November 2014 - 12:46 AM

Informative article, thanks for the link.



#8 qzcoach

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Posted 09 March 2015 - 04:51 PM

I used LULU back in 2005 for a nonfiction work.  I am considering using them again for fiction, just because I have an account there, but I am concerned that CreateSpace may be better as far as distribution and potential sales.  Anyone know anything about this?  Does it not really matter?  I did notice that the cost per book is pretty much the same on either site, but I suspect that CreateSpace is more accepted by major distributors, although I have no reason to think that.



#9 Blueberry Tide

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Posted 06 January 2016 - 07:20 PM

Are they options when creating a book with either place? Size, cover material, paper weight, etc. If so, What does any of that mean? I remember it from class, I minored in Small Press Publishing, but it's all a blur. 



#10 qzcoach

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Posted 07 January 2016 - 04:37 PM

ON LULU, there are a ton of size options.  I think 6x9 is standard, though, for a paperback novel.



#11 AQCrew

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Posted 07 January 2016 - 06:54 PM

Via Createspace, lots of folks use 5.25 x 8.  

 

Cover Finish:  Matte versus glossy cover is like asking chocolate vs. vanilla -- it depends on your genre and cover art.  

 

Paper color: cream versus white (which some think is too astrobright)

 

You can order a proof and go from there...



#12 mwsinclair

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Posted 08 January 2016 - 12:58 PM

createspace is owned by Amazon, so in a sense you're right that the distribution will be strong there.



#13 Blueberry Tide

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Posted 09 January 2016 - 03:33 PM

Thanks! This has all be really helpful!






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