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.