Posted by: Debrah Martin | April 10, 2016

The streamlined self-publisher

WPP flying books imageRemember where I started with this? To Createspace or not to Createspace – or maybe that has now become, to be an authorpreneur or to be an amateur? The third issue I wanted to address when I first started this series of posts was:

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?

Q: How can I make life simplest and most streamlined for myself as a self-published author?


IngramSpark logoBooks printed and distributed via Ingram Spark are directly available to all-comers, but most importantly they’re included in Ingram’s catalogue, made available to book sellers, libraries and wholesalers/retailers at normal trade discounts, so the process from ordering a book to being supplied with it if you are in the trade, is seamless. Compare that to a book published through Createspace that a wholesaler/retailer wishes to buy – and I have personal experience of this.  Your book details will be registered with Nielsen BookScan as a matter of course because this is how Createspace will track your sales – or at least 75% of them (although as a self-publisher you must ensure this is done yourself). If a wholesaler/ retailer IS persuaded to stock your book (unlikely through Createspace as they won’t get the usual trade discount nor the option to return) and you have published only through Createspace, you will get a sale enquiry through the Nielsen system, which you will have to personally fulfil (delivery costs, invoicing and all). Inevitably, the method of ordering and fulfilment of the order marks you as a self-publisher.

ebookpartnership logoI will add one more distribution service to the mix if we’re talking solely ebooks: For a flat annual fee ($50/£35 for up to 9 books) they will distribute your eBook above and beyond the call of duty, you can pick and choose between outlets – o for example if you want to leave Amazon KDP in charge of your Kindle sales, simply specify that, and if you live outside of the US, they will even bypass all the tricky tax stuff you have to do to withhold 30% US withholding tax on all your US sales. Bonus!

My conclusions (and a lot of author’s)?

Reach – or discoverability, in marketer’s terminology – is much greater looking outside of the (Amazon) box and mixing and matching services, despite Amazon being the world’s largest bookseller, ironically.


Best seller book for WPP ad

What do I suggest? Currently, the best practice recommendation is to use CreateSpace for Amazon (not the expanded services) and Ingram for everywhere else. They also have printers in Europe and Australia, making international ordering cost-effective (if you’ve ever gasped at the shipping costs for your Createspace orders like I have).

And here’s a little tip to (potentially) avoid that set-up cost (unless the gap’s been plugged): select enhanced distribution on Amazon and once it’s in place, deselect it. Set up an account with Ingram Spark and then send an e-mail to Ingram Spark listing the ISBNs of the book(s) you’d like to transfer over to them from Createspace. This will not affect standard distribution via Amazon Createspace but it is a little slow in being operational. Createspace will e-mail you to say they’ve done as you asked and the ISBNs have been released but you will have to call Ingram Spark to proceed. You may spend five minutes on the phone to Ingram Spark customer service, or you may spend an hour, but when you get through, they will take care of transferring everything (including the cover and interior file) from Createspace, with no set up fee. Your titles will then show as available on your Ingram Spark dashboard and the world’s your oyster…


Interested in maximising your success as a self-publisher? Have a look at WRITE, PUBLISH, PROMOTE . It’s out now so no waiting around; you can get straight into your first campaign (or writing your first book)!

And fancy writing a review? Just send a link to your review here: and I’ll send you detail of how to automate a bestseller pre-order/giveaway campaign.


Next time: Dotting the i’s and traversing the BISACs


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

or follow me on Twitter and Facebook

Download the first in my Patchwork Trilogy HERE.


All images courtesy of Creative Commons or the author/author license


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