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Do you think that book stores hesitate to buy books with "CreateSpace" as the publisher?  Or would an unknown publisher have the same "red flag?"

I'm trying to decide if I should use my own isbn with "Ralston Store Publishing" or a CreateSpace isbn . . . for expanded distribution.
 

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I sell about 700-1,000 books a month thru ED on CS, but I can't really answer the question because there's no way of knowing where the ED books are being sold.

I do know, for example, that one of my books is in some Walmarts and on their webstore as well. I have no idea how many are sold.

Even if you do use your own ISBN, I still believe bookstores will know the printer is CS, so I'm not sure it would make any difference.

Best of luck.
 

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I went with Ingram/LightningSource for print editions for several reasons. One of them was that I didn't want them to be too obviously identified as self-pubbed.
 

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I have no idea if this story is representative, but I approached the owner of our local bookstore about taking my books on consignment.  At first he was enthusiastic, and even said he'd put a poster in the window if I made one, which of course I did the same day.

I called or stopped by every couple of weeks to see if they were selling, and each time he had a strange story about why he hadn't ever put them out yet.  It was weird.  Finally he worked up the nerve to tell me that he'd reluctantly put them out since he'd agreed, but when they sold he didn't want me to restock because they were from Createspace.  Then a rant about the evil Amazon empire, unfair business practices, and some very farfetched sounding stuff he'd heard about createspace pulling stock from shelves as soon as it started to sell, and Amazon publishing it instead.  There was no point in arguing with him, especially when he said I should find a more reputable outfit to do business with.  He made me feel like a crook.
 

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Dang, Brenda, you've got a short story right there. Was he looking nervously out the window as he spoke in a hushed tone?
 
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The issue with indie books is that they are POD, regardless of whether it says Createspace or Jane Doe Publishing. POD books are non-returnable. Bookstores historically over-order and return 30-40% of the books they order.

Quick history lesson: During the Great Depression, the major publishing houses realized that most bookstores were going out of business. In order to save the industry, they decided to offer something that had never been done before: Full returnability. Bookstores were given some protection. If they stocked books and the books did not sell, they could return the covers (just the covers to save the cost of shipping. They were suppose to destroy the books) for a full credit. Those of us old enough to remember may recall seeing books with the warning “Not for resale if missing cover” or something like that on the title page. Thus the bookstores were saved during the Depression.

Proving that no good deed goes unpunished, in the 70’s with the rise of the mega chain stores, this started to bite publishers in the butt. Because it is one thing if a mom and pop store orders 100 copies of a book and returns 30 of them. It is quite another if a major book chain orders 20,000 copies of a book and returns 6000. This had a double-whammy on publishers because when WalMart orders 100,000 copies of a single title, they expect preferred pricing. This allows them to sell for less than the mom and pop store can, thus over time running the mom and pop stores out of business.

Bottom line is, bookstores are now accustomed to getting discounts of 40-50% plus full returnability on books. POD titles are non-returnable and have short discounted (usually 20-25%). So you are effectively asking a bookstore to stock the books of an unknown author, for less profit, and risk being stuck with the books if they do not sell.

This makes for stiff odds, but not insurmountable. But it requires a concerted effort on the part of the publisher to promote the books OFFLINE. If you work direct with LSI, they have an option to allow returnability (but remember, you are financially on the hook for returned books!).  You need to have a plan together that will convince a bookstore that you can sell books. Unfortunately, most indies are locked into the Amazon-free-Select-99 cent mindset and don’t know how to promote offline or even have the will to put the resources into offline promotion.
 

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Bards and Sages (Julie) said:
Bottom line is, bookstores are now accustomed to getting discounts of 40-50% plus full returnability on books. POD titles are non-returnable and have short discounted (usually 20-25%). So you are effectively asking a bookstore to stock the books of an unknown author, for less profit, and risk being stuck with the books if they do not sell.
But you know this isn't true. All those things about POD titles is only if that is the choice made.
 
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tensen said:
But you know this isn't true. All those things about POD titles is only if that is the choice made.
I don't know of a single mainstream POD service besides LSI that offers traditional trade discounts and full returnability, and then only if you select it and pay for it (and LSI won't work with most indie authors. They don't like dealing with authors with only one or two books. They will direct them to another service). Some of the vanity outfits offer returnability at huge costs up front. But if you are talking about the general POD services like Lulu or Createspace or some of the smaller outfits, then these are the terms you deal with.

And again, the point holds that even if you can offer returnability, the author is financially obligated to deal with it. So the author needs to be prepared to cover those costs.
 

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Bards and Sages (Julie) said:
I don't know of a single mainstream POD service besides LSI that offers traditional trade discounts and full returnability, and then only if you select it and pay for it (and LSI won't work with most indie authors. They don't like dealing with authors with only one or two books. They will direct them to another service).
Hmm, I didn't know that about LSI directing people away. I guess they changed over time. I know when I first used them we only had one title with them for about 2 years, before we started heavily using them.

Bards and Sages (Julie) said:
Some of the vanity outfits offer returnability at huge costs up front. But if you are talking about the general POD services like Lulu or Createspace or some of the smaller outfits, then these are the terms you deal with.

And again, the point holds that even if you can offer returnability, the author is financially obligated to deal with it. So the author needs to be prepared to cover those costs.
But this is a choice that people have made. The option exists to make a book returnable, with the expected discounts. It makes things riskier for the author/publisher... but they can chose to do it. Most don't... because they also chose to go the POD route to limit their risk, whether they realize that was the reason or not.
 

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Jerri Lincoln said:
Do you think that book stores hesitate to buy books with "CreateSpace" as the publisher? Or would an unknown publisher have the same "red flag?"

I'm trying to decide if I should use my own isbn with "Ralston Store Publishing" or a CreateSpace isbn . . . for expanded distribution.
In responce to the original question.

Personally I'd want my own titles to be listed as my publishers name and not Createspace.

An unknown publisher will likely have a red flag, but it won't necessarily be the same red flag that CreateSpace will have. Many small bookstores will have a kneejerk responce against a Amazon in any form.
 
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