Posted by: Debrah Martin | March 4, 2016

To Createspace or not to Createspace – that is the question…

question markWhether ’tis nobler in the print to suffer the constraints and exclusivity of outrageous Amazon, or to take arms against a sea of restricted distribution, and by opposing end it? Yes, terrible I know, but it IS a difficult decision for the self-publishing author – or in other words, go exclusive or go truly independent? There is no one answer that fits all, so I’m going to take a look at the pros and cons on a personal level of using only Amazon/Createspace, or extending my publication strategy to encompass all the other options too.

But to start with, why am I even asking myself this when Amazon makes everything so easy? Well, there’s no one answer to that either but here are some of the questions and answers I posed myself recently leading up to the release of WRITE, PUBLISH, PROMOTE on the 5th April.

Q1: How can I cover the widest market available to a self-published author?

Q2: How can I promote myself as a professional self-publishing author – because that IS what I am?

Q3: And as a self-publishing author is effectively writer, publisher, promoter and bookseller all rolled into one, how can I make publishing my books as simple and streamlined for myself as possible?

Let’s start with a bit of background…

Amazon logoCreatespace is the print publishing arm of Amazon. Publish your book digitally via KDP, publish your book in print via Createspace. Sell them both via Amazon.

 

IngramSpark logoIngram is one of the several alternatives on offer to self-publishing authors. I say several because at last count the options include:

 

Of all of them, Ingram is on top for print and here’s a little-known fact why: Ingram is the largest worldwide distributor of print books. (Yes really!) 1st imageDavid Taylor (Senior Vice President, Content Acquisition International, Ingram Content Group and Group Managing Director, Lightning Source UK, to give him his full job title), who I had the pleasure of meeting a few weeks ago and will have the privilege of interviewing on the 19th April, will reliably inform  you that Ingram actually prints books for Amazon too.  (Yes really!) And when a bookshop orders a book, it will also probably come from Ingram, even if via an intermediary.

…So why am I asking myself whether to use Createspace or seek an alternative publishers? Not such a silly question, is it? Whilst Amazon is (apparently) aiming for world domination in everything else, there is little doubt that Ingram is king of the print pile…pile of books

… and as for the others? Well they may all have a little something extra to offer too (more of that as this blog progresses).

When writing this review I have in mind that a great deal of invaluable information has already been provided in Jim Giammatteo’s Watchdog piece (http://selfpublishingadvice.org/watchdog-ingram-spark-vs-createspace-for-self-publishing-print-books/) from October 2014, and in Karen Myers account of how she found using Createspace and Ingram spark together (http://selfpublishingadvice.org/how-to-use-createspace-and-ingram-spark-together/) so I won’t repeat their observations. Go and have a look at their blog posts for the insider gen from their angles. This, however, is all about my personal experience and my personal weighing up of what’s what in the self-publishing world right now. In a few weeks’ time, I have – as I mentioned above – the chance to ask the horse’s mouth at Ingram what Ingram can really do for me (and you) so I’m using the intervening weeks as a pre-interview self-publishing review, and to compile  the interview question list to ask David Taylor. Want to add your personal question to it? Just comment on the blog. I’ll publish the updated list of questions periodically, and the final list just before the visit.

wrpeps-3D

 

 

This post is by way of introducing the topic and prompting some of those questions of IngramSpark. My next post has a look at the less obvious pros and cons in using the two biggest print book services for self-publishing authors and if you’re interested in learning more about WRITE, PUBLISH, PROMOTE , how to self-publish successfully, and grabbing yourself a bonus offer before the book even comes out, have a look HERE and see how.

 

 

Find out more about me and my books on my website: www.debrahmartin.co.uk

or follow me on Twitter and Facebook

Download the first in my Patchwork Trilogy HERE.

 

All images courtesy of Creative Commons or the author.

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