Posted by: Debrah Martin | March 24, 2016

The Problems with Print

WPP flying books image

Print books; the main contenders in the self-publishing arena are of course Createspace and Ingram Spark (or Lightning Source for traditional or Indie publishers).


There’s a comparison of the two in WRITE, PUBLISH, PROMOTE which essentially says this

Use CS for:

·         Fast and good distribution to Amazon.

·         Fast and affordable shipping to US customers.

·         Shipping “review copies” to bloggers and/or for giveaways like on Goodreads.

Use Ingram for:

·         Distribution to all stores except Amazon.

·         Fast and affordable shipping to international customers.

·         Shipping high-quality copies as samples to bookstores, autographed copies, etc.

and clearly there are advantages to using both for print books going into both of two markets:

·         Print books for general resale.

·         Print books for library lending.

But now here’s the thing – I’ve lumped these potential sales avenues into two categories, but if you drill down further they each present their own problems.

Skipping over library lending and sales to libraries for a moment because they’re an issue all on their own, let’s take a look at print sales, and here it IS a little easier to come to a conclusion. CS enhanced distrib requirments

Createspace offers an Expanded Distribution option…

But if you look carefully at what it includes you’ll see that booksellers and on/off-line retailers are described as including “Barnes & Noble and to distributors such as Ingram and NACSCORP.” Wait – so Createspace actually uses Ingram itself then? What am I really getting with enhanced distribution then? Barnes and Noble are US-based and NACSCORP are in the educational books field. Fine if you are aiming mainly at the US market or educational books, but what if your aspirations include elsewhere in the world?

Back to Ingram. Who do Ingram use then? Here’s their list:

so basically the first element of the Createspace expanded distribution option is only the same as using Ingram, and the second part only of any use if you are distributing wholly to the US or to educational establishments. And using Ingram direct has three major advantages over using Ingram via Createspace:

·  looking the professional,

·  bricks and mortar booksellers,

·  and back to that point I skipped over earlier: libraries.

Most bricks and mortar book shops won’t stock a Createspace book, and neither will libraries simply because they recognise it for what it is – self-published and only available via the POD service that Createspace provides, whereas IngramSpark …

That takes me neatly onto my next main issue – digital dilemmas and that question, ‘How can I cover the widest market available to a self-published author?’ 


In the meantime, stay tuned in and if you’re interested in learning more about WRITE, PUBLISH, PROMOTE  and grabbing yourself a bonus offer before it even comes out, have a look HERE and see how.


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

or follow me on Twitter and Facebook


And download the first in my Patchwork Trilogy HERE.


All images courtesy of Creative Commons or the author.  


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