Author Topic: Is Amazon trolling us to sour Createspace?  (Read 988 times)  

Offline Mark Gardner

  • Status: George Orwell
  • *****
  • Posts: 1996
  • Gender: Male
  • Arizona, USA
    • View Profile
    • Article 94
Is Amazon trolling us to sour Createspace?
« on: June 04, 2018, 05:58:22 AM »
I've used Createspace since 2013. I noticed a drastic decrease in quality control when KDP print launched. In four of the almost five years I've been using Createspace, I've never had any copyright verification requests. This year, I've received 18. Some of them, like the ones with a pen name, I rolled my eyes and responded to the email. Even more, were non-English editions published under the name on my Createspace account. Again, I rolled my eyes and replied to the email. Yesterday, I was updating my superhero novel cover with a new back cover blurb, and I get a verification email. The novel in question has been on my Createspace account since it's publication in 2015, and uses the same author name that the Createspace account is registered with. There is absolutely no reason for Amazon to verify copyright other than they want to make continuing to use Createspace difficult to those of us who don't want the hassle of using KDP Print. Thoughts? Opinions? Bagels?

Online Puddleduck

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1065
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
Re: Is Amazon trolling us to sour Createspace?
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2018, 06:03:58 AM »
Yes, I think that's exactly what they're doing. They seem to think that by driving people away from CS, they'll drive people to Kindle Print. Personally, having not set up yet with CS but previously having been planning to, I've decided to skip all that nonsense and go with IS when the time comes.

Offline Cassie Leigh

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1832
    • View Profile
Re: Is Amazon trolling us to sour Createspace?
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2018, 06:24:00 AM »
Another possibility is that now that Vellum makes it so easy to put out paperbacks maybe the scammers are hitting print books now? As I recall, you seem to do well enough to maybe be worth pirating. So a duplicate version of your book gets posted and they send you both a notice? (Just spit-balling here...)


8 Pen Names. Genres: Non-fiction, Speculative Fiction, Romance.
Blog | Video Courses | Quick & Dirty Guide to AMS

Offline notjohn

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1112
    • View Profile
    • Notjohn's Self-Publishing Guide
Re: Is Amazon trolling us to sour Createspace?
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2018, 08:46:21 AM »
I had the same thought when I noticed a slew of "suppressions" of books on CreateSpace, both on the CS forum and on the KDP forums. (Maybe here too; I don't remember.)

IngramSpark is indeed looking more and more like the necessary haven.
Notjohn's Guide to E-Book & Print Formatting: http://viewbook.at/notjohn

The blog: http://notjohnkdp.blogspot.com

Offline Al Stevens

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2139
    • View Profile
Re: Is Amazon trolling us to sour Createspace?
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2018, 10:20:07 AM »
My decision to have my own ISBNs is looking better.

Offline Mark Gardner

  • Status: George Orwell
  • *****
  • Posts: 1996
  • Gender: Male
  • Arizona, USA
    • View Profile
    • Article 94
Re: Is Amazon trolling us to sour Createspace?
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2018, 07:02:11 AM »
The adventure continues. I replied to the validation email like I was supposed to, and it's been over 24 hours, and I still haven't gotten a response. They claim to reply within 24 hours, and then they claim to reinstate your book 24 - 48 hours after that. Of course, your book doesn't actually get reinstated - it reverts to the "review" step. Createspace says that the review step takes 24 - 48 hours, then you can proof your book. If you approve it right away, then it should be live in another 24 hours. The process often ends up dragging out to a weekend, where they get no work done, so the entire hassle ends up lasting a week.

What grinds my gears is that I need to order this book for a show coming up. I have to order books 6 - 8 weeks in advance because of Createspace's extremely poor quality control. And even though they 2-day air the replacements, I've had those arrive defective, or get shipped to Ohio (I live in Arizona.) When I order a small quantity of say 20 books, it often takes 4 - 8 weeks to get units that I can actually sell. I mean, all the local tiny libraries in my town have plenty of examples of Createspace's poor quality control, but come on, just hire someone to flip through the books, and maybe someone with a brainstem to look at the createbot's flagging of titles under the auspice of "valuing copyright." Simply having a human involved would stop a lot of these false positives.

Anyway, I've already paid my table fee for the event, and I'm gonna be angry in the extreme if I don't have a title due to Createspace's incompetence. I'm going to try to contact someone in support who can actually do something after I go for a walk to clear my head.

Offline notjohn

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1112
    • View Profile
    • Notjohn's Self-Publishing Guide
Re: Is Amazon trolling us to sour Createspace?
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2018, 07:13:49 AM »
I've never had an unacceptable book from CS, but I have had a different sort of problem and nothing happened for two days following an email. So I phoned and it was cleared up in five minutes. Phone support is one of the great things available here, so why not use it?
Notjohn's Guide to E-Book & Print Formatting: http://viewbook.at/notjohn

The blog: http://notjohnkdp.blogspot.com

Offline Loosecannon

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 175
  • Gender: Male
  • Western frontier
    • View Profile
    • Modus Operandi Press
Re: Is Amazon trolling us to sour Createspace?
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2018, 09:59:07 AM »
Mark: Yes, something is afoot. I've had 4 in the last 30 days alone and 3 in the two months before that. I asked one of the reps what was the deal of so many of these happening to independent authors and they confirmed there was an algorithm issue causing a much larger slew of items being triggered. They also said this was something initiated on the Amazon-side of the company outside of Createspace and they had to go through the 'procedures' as specified.

My theory is this is part of a multi-prong effort to hit back at scammers, and this is just part of numerous items thrown up to make the entire publishing process for scammers more inconveinient / work-intensive to try and discourage them time/labor-wise. This seems the most likely, as a algorithim tweak error would have been easily corrected a month ago at the very least. This seems clearly intentional.

Online David VanDyke

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1792
    • View Profile
Re: Is Amazon trolling us to sour Createspace?
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2018, 10:05:49 AM »
You might want to do a separate POD deal with a local POD printer. The prices are often comparable to CS. Sometimes the give discounts for larger orders, and you can avoid the shipping if you pick them up in person. There are several Phoenix.


Futuristic Thrillers, Mysteries and Science Fiction
David VanDyke | Blog | Website | Facebook | Twitter[/

Offline munboy

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 153
    • View Profile
Re: Is Amazon trolling us to sour Createspace?
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2018, 10:10:53 AM »
I've recently had an issue with CS. I went into more detail in another thread, but the gist is... I noticed a book listed out of print on Amazon. Checked CS and the Channels page was completely blank. Nothing to select. Sent in a ticket. Waited. Email saying they sent it to technical. Waited. Email saying it's not a technical issue and it was sent to content review. Freaked out a little. Waited. Waited. Waited. 5-6 days after noticing, I checked again and all the channels were back, ticked, and everything was fine. Never received anything from content review about what happened.

So...who knows? That's the first time I've had any issues at all with CS in the 3 years I've been publishing.

Online Bill Hiatt

  • Status: Dostoevsky
  • ******
  • Posts: 3335
  • Gender: Male
  • California
    • View Profile
    • Bill Hiatt's Author Website
Re: Is Amazon trolling us to sour Createspace?
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2018, 10:12:32 AM »
Mark: Yes, something is afoot. I've had 4 in the last 30 days alone and 3 in the two months before that. I asked one of the reps what was the deal of so many of these happening to independent authors and they confirmed there was an algorithm issue causing a much larger slew of items being triggered. They also said this was something initiated on the Amazon-side of the company outside of Createspace and they had to go through the 'procedures' as specified.

My theory is this is part of a multi-prong effort to hit back at scammers, and this is just part of numerous items thrown up to make the entire publishing process for scammers more inconveinient / work-intensive to try and discourage them time/labor-wise. This seems the most likely, as a algorithim tweak error would have been easily corrected a month ago at the very least. This seems clearly intentional.
I'd find that an appealing theory if I could figure out what scammers do with paperbacks. Are you thinking in terms of pirating? Or is there something I'm missing.


Tickling the imagination one book at a time
Bill Hiatt | fiction website | education website | Facebook author page | Twitter

Offline Mark Gardner

  • Status: George Orwell
  • *****
  • Posts: 1996
  • Gender: Male
  • Arizona, USA
    • View Profile
    • Article 94
Re: Is Amazon trolling us to sour Createspace?
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2018, 11:01:13 AM »
Well, the adventure continues. I asked the support specialist to transfer me to a support supervisor, and of course, they had to transfer me to a senior support specialist first. I relayed the same information, got the stock answer that verification can take 3 - 5 business days! I of course was not happy with this, and asked to be transferred to a support supervisor who I know can liaison directly with people at content verification. I was told that there was no support supervisor available. I was told that there might be one available in about an hour, so I told them that I would wait. They really didn't want to do that, so they promised a call back from the first available support supervisor. I agreed, and awaited the call.

About 30 minutes later, I get another content verification email. The same one that was createbotted to me two days ago. I'm rather peeved that this new verification request could potentially delay resolution if I ignore it, or in some cases, if I were to reply again, there would be dueling verifications that would delay resolution until Sol expanded to consume the inner planets, and we all died. So I called once again, asked the support specialist to be transferred to a support supervisor. I was transferred to a support supervisor who was able to liaise directly with content validation while I waited on hold. The support supervisor promised me a resolution in 3 hours or less.

Two hours later, I get a call from Createspace. It's the support supervisor advising me that the issue is resolved, and that within 24 hours, I would be able to proof my book. The email from content validation arrived just as I was hanging up with the support supervisor. So, until the next egregious content validation request, it looks as if I'm back on track.

(I italicized the positions and department names so that if anyone else is in the same situation, they know what terminology to use for a faster resolution.)

Offline Mark Gardner

  • Status: George Orwell
  • *****
  • Posts: 1996
  • Gender: Male
  • Arizona, USA
    • View Profile
    • Article 94
Re: Is Amazon trolling us to sour Createspace?
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2018, 11:14:42 AM »
Mark: Yes, something is afoot. I've had 4 in the last 30 days alone and 3 in the two months before that. I asked one of the reps what was the deal of so many of these happening to independent authors and they confirmed there was an algorithm issue causing a much larger slew of items being triggered. They also said this was something initiated on the Amazon-side of the company outside of Createspace and they had to go through the 'procedures' as specified.

My theory is this is part of a multi-prong effort to hit back at scammers, and this is just part of numerous items thrown up to make the entire publishing process for scammers more inconveinient / work-intensive to try and discourage them time/labor-wise. This seems the most likely, as a algorithim tweak error would have been easily corrected a month ago at the very least. This seems clearly intentional.
I've had no content validation requests from 2015 until 2017. I've had 19 in 2018, and a smattering in 2017 - mostly with weird non-English rights issues.

Offline Mark Gardner

  • Status: George Orwell
  • *****
  • Posts: 1996
  • Gender: Male
  • Arizona, USA
    • View Profile
    • Article 94
Re: Is Amazon trolling us to sour Createspace?
« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2018, 11:15:58 AM »
You might want to do a separate POD deal with a local POD printer. The prices are often comparable to CS. Sometimes the give discounts for larger orders, and you can avoid the shipping if you pick them up in person. There are several Phoenix.
Let me know the details on those PHX POD printers. If you donn't feel comfortable naming them in the thread, then please email or message me the information.

Online LilyBLily

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2192
    • View Profile
Re: Is Amazon trolling us to sour Createspace?
« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2018, 01:02:47 PM »
Let me know the details on those PHX POD printers. If you donn't feel comfortable naming them in the thread, then please email or message me the information.

If you use one, please report back.

In the bad old days, local printers were the scum of the earth and charged whatever they thought you could pay. They also spent much effort (like the vanity presses) on convincing you to fill your garage with thousands of copies because the per unit price was "such a bargain."