Posted by: Debrah Martin | March 14, 2016

Pros and Cons of the Two Big Boys of Print

Here I am setting up WRITE, PUBLISH, PROMOTE on Createspace. I know my way around pretty well now since this is my 8th book via the Createspace platform.

setting up WPP on CS

It’s all quite simple, add the book details, cover files, interior files, description etc (if you want a step by step guide to setting up a book on Createspace have a look in Part 2: Publish of WRITE, PUBLISH, PROMOTE) but notice you can’t enter a publication date unless you are republishing a book already published. Createspace will allocate the publication date when you approve the files so be prepared – once you’ve approved you project, you’re off the starting blocks and running; no pre-orders, not preparation, no advance planning pre-release at the last minute…

can't choose a publication date on CS


By comparison, on IngramSpark, you can choose your publication date AND the ‘on sale’ date beforehand – or in other words, make your book available for pre-order by setting an earlier ‘on-sale’ date to the publication date.:

Ingram publication date


How good is that?

Answer: very good because now you can manipulate who has access to your book for reviews and pre-release buzz. It’s not just a case of hit the button and your book is out there. That’s awesome!

  • Votes for Createspace so far: 1 because I already know my way around the site.
  • Votes for IngramSpark so far: 3 because I have more control over my book – and isn’t that where independent publishing is supposed to win over traditional? I can also set up pre-orders for early exposure, and I can also get my hands on copies of the book pre-release for my own promotional needs, and count them as sales!

Working my way through the set up procedure on each of the sites produced no real problems, but there were a number of other differences.

  • On Createspace you can review a proof of your book online. You can also order a print proof copy to check for cost plus postage – invaluable for checking imagery and the overall presentation of the book.
  • On IngramSpark, once the cover and interior file are uploaded, you hit this screen:

Ingram pay screen


Ah! Now there’s the rub – to continue the allusion from the first post in this series… I can’t check how the book looks before paying for the set-up. And if – having paid for the set-up – I’m not happy and want to change anything? Sorry, you’ll have to pay for the changes …

  • Votes for IS nil, votes for CS 2 – who wants to pay to see what they’ve got wrong?

Another complaint I’ve come across is that  IngramSpark use 50lb paper for interiors whereas Createspace use 60lb. The latter is much better quality, and that also calls into question whether the cover you are using on Createspace might not need adjusting for use on IngramSpark…

  • Nil votes for IS, 1 for CS.

On the subject of colour printing IngramSpark offer two options – Standard and Premium. According to Giacomo Giammetteo in his post here: (within the comments).

IS Standard is equal or better than CS color.
IS Premium is far superior.”

  • 2 votes for IS, nil for CS.

Then there’s customer service – and quite a bit of negative feedback online for IngramSpark, little for Createspace.

  • Nil votes for IS, 1 for CS.

The vote count so far is IngramSpark 5

                                              Createspace 5

Where IngramSpark scores more over Createspace is in the less considered opportunities when first self-publishing wrpeps-3D– libraries, bricks and mortar shops and ease of order fulfilment.

More on this and digital printing in the posts to follow – and next up I’ll look at the problems with print.

You can find out more about a range of self-publishing and promotional strategies for your books in WRITE, PUBLISH, PROMOTE. If you pre-order  you’ll even get bonuses on top of bonuses before you even get the book. Find out how HERE.


Find out more about me and my books on my website:

and follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

Download the first in my Patchwork Trilogy HERE.


All images courtesy of Creative Commons or the author and her log-in dashboards at Createspace and IngramSpark.


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