Author Topic: The beginning of the end for CreateSpace  (Read 4083 times)  

Offline dgcasey

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The beginning of the end for CreateSpace
« on: January 14, 2018, 04:39:08 AM »
Amazon has decided to lay off 58 people at CreateSpace in their South Carolina operation. How much longer before they shutter the whole operation and bring everything into KDP? Oh, and KDP finally rolled out their printed proofs and author copies on paperbacks.

https://www.postandcourier.com/business/amazon-laying-off-workers-at-north-charleston-self-publishing-business/article_d623bb16-f7d0-11e7-bef2-d3a151f19a96.html

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Re: The beginning of the end for CreateSpace
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2018, 04:48:40 AM »
That's frightening, even though we knew it was coming. I'm in Canada, and still using CreateSpace with a US bank account. As of a month or so ago, KDP was still saying "we're in beta and have no plans yet for Canadian distribution." (loose quote there)

Offline TwistedTales

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Re: The beginning of the end for CreateSpace
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2018, 04:53:13 AM »
The moment they try and force our books into KDP Print well delist them and finish the set up on Ingram. Im tired of Amazons bait and switch tactic. I get were stuck having to use them as a distribution platform, but Im firmly in the camp of limiting exposure rather than be forced to get in even deeper with them.

Offline C. Gold

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Re: The beginning of the end for CreateSpace
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2018, 05:38:56 AM »
That's frightening, even though we knew it was coming. I'm in Canada, and still using CreateSpace with a US bank account. As of a month or so ago, KDP was still saying "we're in beta and have no plans yet for Canadian distribution." (loose quote there)
What is so hard about Canada?

Offline Day Leitao

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Re: The beginning of the end for CreateSpace
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2018, 06:42:35 AM »
That is frightening, but I read the article, and they are laying off people in the editing, design and marketing departments, and Createspace is going to stop offering services for writers. I don't mind it, really. It's probably not that profitable anyways, and CreateSpace should stick to what it does best.

That said, of course, it could be step one in a larger plan.


Offline notjohn

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Re: The beginning of the end for CreateSpace
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2018, 07:09:38 AM »
The moment they try and force our books into KDP Print well delist them and finish the set up on Ingram. Im tired of Amazons bait and switch tactic. I get were stuck having to use them as a distribution platform, but Im firmly in the camp of limiting exposure rather than be forced to get in even deeper with them.

Wouldn't a better tactic be to use KDP Print for Amazon and Ingram for everything else? With the same ISBN, of course, which is a bit scary for me since I was foolish enough to take the "free" CS ISBN for most of my books, and that means that the CS version will stay on the Amazon store forever, competing with the new book.

Is South Carolina where the operation is located? 58 people is a lot! I've noticed that my proof and author copies, which used to be printed in Delaware, have for a year at least come from South Carolina.

This is a very sad development, and very bad I think for Amazon. How stupid they are! Surely the writers of substantial books are going to move to Ingram, leaving Amazon with the rubbish? Gor, how I wish I'd started out with Ingram in the first place. As it is, I have sixteen books on CS, and only one of them with my own ISBN. I'll be moving that to Ingram in the next couple of weeks. Grrr!
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Offline TwistedTales

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Re: The beginning of the end for CreateSpace
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2018, 07:34:43 AM »
Wouldn't a better tactic be to use KDP Print for Amazon and Ingram for everything else? With the same ISBN, of course, which is a bit scary for me since I was foolish enough to take the "free" CS ISBN for most of my books, and that means that the CS version will stay on the Amazon store forever, competing with the new book.

Is South Carolina where the operation is located? 58 people is a lot! I've noticed that my proof and author copies, which used to be printed in Delaware, have for a year at least come from South Carolina.

This is a very sad development, and very bad I think for Amazon. How stupid they are! Surely the writers of substantial books are going to move to Ingram, leaving Amazon with the rubbish? Gor, how I wish I'd started out with Ingram in the first place. As it is, I have sixteen books on CS, and only one of them with my own ISBN. I'll be moving that to Ingram in the next couple of weeks. Grrr!

I dont think thats how it works. We can stop selling the CS versions, but the listing will remain on Amazon for the second hand market. We can then create the books on Ingram using a new ISBN. You can bulk buy the ISBNs, which makes it a bit cheaper. There is also a fee associated with updates, so you wouldnt set up on Ingram unless you were sure the version is stable.

Although all our new books will be printed through Ingram, well slowly cut over the old catalog as well. A couple of reasons. Firstly, I dont trust Amazon not to do something stupid with KDP Print that wont be in my favor. Secondly, I want to limit my reliance on and exposure to Amazon, so this is a service I can easily have done by another supplier.

Offline AliceS

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Re: The beginning of the end for CreateSpace
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2018, 07:55:35 AM »
Not what I want to hear as I'm getting ready to do print for my latest book.


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Re: The beginning of the end for CreateSpace
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2018, 08:03:54 AM »
Wouldn't a better tactic be to use KDP Print for Amazon and Ingram for everything else? With the same ISBN, of course, which is a bit scary for me since I was foolish enough to take the "free" CS ISBN for most of my books, and that means that the CS version will stay on the Amazon store forever, competing with the new book.

If you set up with your own ISBN and use the same file, cover, etc., you can print the same book through both Ingram and Amazon since they're serving as printers and distributors only. I haven't done it, but I understand it's easy to just unpublish the CS version with the CS ISBN. That will eliminate the problem of the old version still floating around for new sales.

More expense to you (generic you), since you have to pay for the ISBN (not cheap in the US), and Ingram charges for the setup unless you luck into one of their free setup offers. But you can limit expenditures by only publishing on Amazon until you're ready to add Ingram.

ETA:  I don't see why having the original CS ISBN version up for the used market is a problem. My old print books are all still up as used sales. So far as I can tell, they haven't affected sales on any current ebook/print versions. (Especially not when some seller think they can get $50 or more for them!  Silly them! They're probably lucky to get $0.50! :P  )

ETA2: Even less of a problem if I only ever sold 5 copies of the CS version!
« Last Edit: January 14, 2018, 08:11:28 AM by My Dog's Servant »

Offline Decon

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Re: The beginning of the end for CreateSpace
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2018, 08:12:10 AM »
If they do close CS, I hope they can trans everything to KDP because I lost my original files to a Malware virus


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Offline Bill Hiatt

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Re: The beginning of the end for CreateSpace
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2018, 08:22:07 AM »
If they do close CS, I hope they can trans everything to KDP because I lost my original files to a Malware virus
I think the cover specs are slightly different. I've heard that here and from one of my cover designers.


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Offline Bill Hiatt

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Re: The beginning of the end for CreateSpace
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2018, 08:26:07 AM »
If you set up with your own ISBN and use the same file, cover, etc., you can print the same book through both Ingram and Amazon since they're serving as printers and distributors only. I haven't done it, but I understand it's easy to just unpublish the CS version with the CS ISBN. That will eliminate the problem of the old version still floating around for new sales.

More expense to you (generic you), since you have to pay for the ISBN (not cheap in the US), and Ingram charges for the setup unless you luck into one of their free setup offers. But you can limit expenditures by only publishing on Amazon until you're ready to add Ingram.

ETA:  I don't see why having the original CS ISBN version up for the used market is a problem. My old print books are all still up as used sales. So far as I can tell, they haven't affected sales on any current ebook/print versions. (Especially not when some seller think they can get $50 or more for them!  Silly them! They're probably lucky to get $0.50! :P  )

ETA2: Even less of a problem if I only ever sold 5 copies of the CS version!
This is what I've heard as well.

The advantage of having an Amazon version is that it will always show as in stock. The Ingram version may not, and, particularly if you don't trust Amazon, that is a factor to consider.

I don't sell enough paperbacks to worry much about it, but for someone with big paperback volume, will some business be lost as a result of whatever messages about stock Amazon puts up.


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Offline Michael Eli Vineberg

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Re: The beginning of the end for CreateSpace
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2018, 09:14:29 AM »
The Ingram version may not, and, particularly if you don't trust Amazon, that is a factor to consider.

The Ingram version will not show "in stock". There, I've corrected it for you. It is print on demand via an outside supplier, and as such, will never be in stock at Amazon (maybe this changes if you sell hundreds of thousands of books, but I couldn't tell you from personal experience). I had a phone conversation with an Ingram rep when I was considering options for my newest paperback. They explained that they have no control over what message Amazon places in the availability box. It may show 2-3 days, or whatever, Amazon decides this.

Another thing, if you have a free ISBN from either Amazon or Createspace, you don't own it and there is a possibility that if Createspace is eliminated that you will lose that ISBN. I somehow doubt Amazon will make that choice, but it's within the realm of possibility.

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Offline TwistedTales

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Re: The beginning of the end for CreateSpace
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2018, 09:30:25 AM »
The Ingram version will not show "in stock". There, I've corrected it for you. It is print on demand via an outside supplier, and as such, will never be in stock at Amazon (maybe this changes if you sell hundreds of thousands of books, but I couldn't tell you from personal experience). I had a phone conversation with an Ingram rep when I was considering options for my newest paperback. They explained that they have no control over what message Amazon places in the availability box. It may show 2-3 days, or whatever, Amazon decides this.

Another thing, if you have a free ISBN from either Amazon or Createspace, you don't own it and there is a possibility that if Createspace is eliminated that you will lose that ISBN. I somehow doubt Amazon will make that choice, but it's within the realm of possibility.

For those of us who are wide, we have to direct people using other platforms to where the print versions are sold, so I figure we can just as easily send them to Ingram or our website to buy print. Any book we never printed through CS wont show up on Amazon ever. The books we did print through CS, but have removed from sale, will show as out of stock (which they will be on Amazon).

Our print sales can fluctuate a lot, but theyre never anywhere near the sale of ebooks. I dont want to use KDP Print and it will be minimal disruption to move the whole catalog now, so might as well bite the bullet before it becomes a lot harder to do.

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Re: The beginning of the end for CreateSpace
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2018, 11:12:56 AM »

 I'm sort of glad I haven't done a paperback yet. But I imagine I'll have to get there eventually. I hope that when I do, KDP Paperback hasn't become the only option.

Offline LovingLife139

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Re: The beginning of the end for CreateSpace
« Reply #15 on: January 14, 2018, 11:32:47 AM »
Nothing will bother me more than CreateSpace finally going under if and when it does. I've worked with them for eight years now and their customer service has always been phenomenal. I know there are other options out there, but actually having to choose one of them is going to be a depressing hassle. I've heard nothing but awful things about KDP paperbacks. Transferring all my books to Ingram and paying out the ISBN fees is going to be...fun.

I just hope Ingram's going to keep doing good business in the future because if all this happens and KDP is my only option, I'm not sure I'd take it. But having paperbacks is extremely important to me. It's the only way I read books, so having copies of my own is imperative.

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Re: The beginning of the end for CreateSpace
« Reply #16 on: January 14, 2018, 11:41:58 AM »
What is so hard about Canada?

KDP Print has no distribution here and apparently no short term plans to start. So that would be like flipping the bird to my Canadian print readers. Sure they could buy from .com, but then they have to pay about 8 bucks to get it here.

I have considered using IS for international in the past, so if CS does go away completely, I think the above mentioned US with KDP and everything else for international is the answer. 

Offline Cassie Leigh

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Re: The beginning of the end for CreateSpace
« Reply #17 on: January 14, 2018, 11:48:06 AM »
I will keep my books listed with CreateSpace until the bitter end. If and when Amazon shuts it down (remember there are other aspects to CS that have nothing to do with books), then I'll take stock of where things stand and adjust accordingly.


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Offline Marian

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Re: The beginning of the end for CreateSpace
« Reply #18 on: January 14, 2018, 02:29:44 PM »
Ingram offers a free set up at least once a year. Members of this board will post about it. Presently they are offering free revisions until March 31.

You can buy ISBNs in groups from Bowker. I have heard of authors getting together to buy as many as 1,000 and then dividing them so that each gets an equal share. If you can get the ISBNs cheaply enough, you can put them on your ebooks as well. An ebook can't have the same ISBN as a print book; the book must have two separate ISBNs.

What is likely to happen if you take your print books to Ingram is that Amazon will take the order for the book (they don't want to miss a sale) and will tell the customer that there will be a delay before shipping. I doubt that this will happen to popular books. I believe Ingram actually prints some of Amazon's books.

Offline DIAMONDSINTHESKY

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Re: The beginning of the end for CreateSpace
« Reply #19 on: January 14, 2018, 02:52:26 PM »
If I am setting up my first book through Createspace and Ingramspark does this mean I will be okay or should I go with KDP now instead?

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Re: The beginning of the end for CreateSpace
« Reply #20 on: January 14, 2018, 03:42:12 PM »
Just a brief comment about Ingram:

Ingram charges a set-up fee. But this not "standard practice" in the industry.
Book publishing is a very competitive industry. Google pod book printers and you will see several that do not charge a set-up fee.
It's easy to do the homework.

Offline Bill Hiatt

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Re: The beginning of the end for CreateSpace
« Reply #21 on: January 14, 2018, 03:58:40 PM »
I will keep my books listed with CreateSpace until the bitter end. If and when Amazon shuts it down (remember there are other aspects to CS that have nothing to do with books), then I'll take stock of where things stand and adjust accordingly.
That's the way I feel about it.

It could be that the elimination of CS employees, since it seems to be connected to other author services offerings, such as editing packages, isn't necessarily the harbinger of doom. It may just be Amazon wasn't making enough on those services to justify continuing them. That's different from shutting down the whole operation--which Amazon could have done at the same time, but didn't.

My theory is that Amazon would like us all to use KDP Print. However, it may want people to migrate voluntarily. What it will do if there are still a large number of authors sitting there at the bitter end we can't know yet. I know, it could just close it down regardless. Movie studios, who would dearly love for DVD to go away, haven't just stopped producing them, which would be the easiest way to make sure it goes away.

If enough people leave CS but don't end with KDP Print, that will also send a message to Amazon. Whether it hears it or not is another question.

Perhaps I'm just being overly optimistic.


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Offline MClayton

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Re: The beginning of the end for CreateSpace
« Reply #22 on: January 14, 2018, 04:36:29 PM »
You can buy ISBNs in groups from Bowker. I have heard of authors getting together to buy as many as 1,000 and then dividing them so that each gets an equal share. If you can get the ISBNs cheaply enough, you can put them on your ebooks as well. An ebook can't have the same ISBN as a print book; the book must have two separate ISBNs.



I've heard of authors doing that, too, but it would make me a little nervous. The person who actually registered at Bowker and bought the ISBNs is the publisher of record. I'd have to have a whole lot of trust for that person before going that route.

Offline Edward M. Grant

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Re: The beginning of the end for CreateSpace
« Reply #23 on: January 14, 2018, 04:36:57 PM »
If they do close CS, I hope they can trans everything to KDP because I lost my original files to a Malware virus

You can download an interior PDF from the Createspace site. But you'd still need to recreate the cover.

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Re: The beginning of the end for CreateSpace
« Reply #24 on: January 14, 2018, 04:42:35 PM »
I'm with the bitter-enders. Call me lazy, or maybe just stubborn, but I won't budge from Createspace until they make me. Twenty paperbacks is a lot to move over, even after I take the time to adjust to the different platform. 

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