Monthly Archives: November 2016

The Two CreateSpaces. CreateSpace Pro for Publishers and CreateSpace Lite for Indies.

amazon-print-on-demand

Amazon Print-On-Demand? Meet CreateSpace Pro. Is POD-Select Exclusivity On the Cards?

During the Amazon-Hachette spat one of Amazon’s tactics was to push for Hachette and other publishers to use Amazon’s POD system, making sure all books were perma-available.

Needless to say Hachette didn’t go down this route, but rest assured trad pub big and small is looking closely at, and investing in, what we loosely call POD, and as the costs come down so more and more print production will shift to this model.

It’s a bizarre irony that the technology supposedly killing print will end up being its saviour. More on that in another post.

Here to take a look at Amazon Print On Demand and how it differs from CreateSpace.

Basically, if you’re an indie author you’re not welcome. Amazon POD is a business venture for publishers, and indie authors trying to get in on the act will be shuffled off to the regular CreateSpace site as per the sidebar. (LINK)

Amazon ram home the point that we are not “publishers”here. (LINK)

From FAQs:

19. I am an author and I want to self-publish, can I take advantage of Print-On-Demand to publish my novel?
The information on this website is intended for publishers, however Amazon does offer Print-On-Demand services for authors who want to self-publish. Please visit (CreateSpace) for more information.

And yes, Amazon does go on to explain the difference. One key difference being Amazon give publishers “exclusive benefits” not available to us small-fry.

Q 20. What is the difference between CreateSpace and Print-On-Demand?

CreateSpace is the platform through which both independent authors and publishers using POD can upload and manage their titles.

“The key difference between the two services is that Print-On-Demand offers benefits that are exclusive to publishers, including managed accounts, flexible uploading options and additional solutions for your titles.”

As ever, it’s Amazon’s business and they set the rules.

CreateSpace still offers us indies great way to get our books into print and we’d be crazy not to be using CreateSpace as part of our “going wide” strategy.

But there are plenty of other options, like Ingram, and now StreetLib’s POS print-on-demand service has dropped its upfront fees that could be well worth exploring further.

Bottom line is, print is not going to fade into oblivion any time soon. Just the opposite. Continuing improvements and cost efficiency will make digital printing more and more central to publishers whatever our size.

And with Amazon’s drive to get more publishers using CreateSpace with the professional publisher option, the print arena is about to get a whole lot more competitive.

Many of us are seeing our CreateSpace titles appear in our KDP dashboard, and I would expect that to continue apace until all KDP authors have the KDP-CreateSpace set-up available.

CreateSpace itself will no doubt become a professional-publishers only site.

No idea yet what sort of royalties pro-publishers will get compared to us indies in CreateSpace Lite. Looks like we need to be signed up to get that sort of information.

Meantime don’t be surprised if Amazon starts offering an exclusive POD-Select option, whereby we indies can get some sort of extra benefits by eschewing Ingram, StreetLib POS and all the myriad other POD options competing with CreateSpace, and have our print titles available solely through Amazon.

This post first appeared in the International Indie Author Facebook Group. (LINK
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*  Ebook Bargains UK Newsletter Promotion *
Okay, so the Britain-based EBUK promotional newsletter isn’t quite Bookbub, but it does get some authors some extra sales, and plenty of authors come back to advertise with us time and time again. Not surprising with listing prices ranging from just £5 to £15 GBP.

EBUK is a not-for-profit venture and all proceeds after costs go towards supporting nursery school projects here in The Gambia.

Right now there’s a special 2-for-1 promo for IIA readers who want to use the EBUK promo newsletter to promote their titles.

Just type the code IIA-2-for-1-Promo anywhere in the metadata fields when you book a title and the guys in the UK will credit you with a free listing of equal value.

Click HERE to go to the EBUK site.

Would You Say No To 90%+ Royalties? Maybe You Already Are.

Would You Say No To 90%+ Royalties? Maybe You Already Are.

shopify

D2C and 96% Royalties. Get Started Direct2Consumer With Shopify Lite.

Shopify just deposited £9.58 in my bank.

Nothing to get excited about on its own, but when you consider it was for a five-ebook package, each individually selling at £1.99 (GBP) on Amazon, it gets more interesting.

On Amazon those five (children’s) books would have cost the buyer £1.99 x 5 = £9.95. I sell them as a pack of five (not a box set – some people prefer individual titles because they are easier to navigate and to share among the children) for a clean £10.

On Amazon each sale would net me 35% of the £1.99 each, sixty days after the end of the month in which the sale was made. That’s 0.70 a shot x 5 making a total royalty for the five books of £3.50 coming to me. Amazon would have taken £6.50 for brokering the deal.

Instead Shopify landed £9.58 in my UK account just four working days after the transaction. (3 days for US and Australia, 7 days for Canada.) That’s £6.08 *more* than the same sale would have got me on Amazon.

And for those wondering, that’s a 96% royalty rate.

Even for a higher priced item where Amazon paid the 70% royalty (minus the delivery charge) that’s still upwards of 26% less than my direct sale delivered.

Shopify will also let me sell direct on Facebook and Pinterest. Not a promotional link to a retailer but a direct sales button.

And of course I can put sales buttons on my website, blog, etc.

There’s a monthly fee of $9 for Shopify Lite, which lets us do all the above.

The next step up is the Shopify store, which I plan on experimenting with in 2017. The monthly fee is a little higher, but when we’re collecting 95% of list price that’s no problem to cover if we have the traffic.

Where does the traffic come from? Our mailing lists are one good source. Plus of course we can directly promote our Shopify shop or individual sales links.

The downside of course is chart position on the mighty Amazon. Chart position equals visibility equals sales, as we all know.

But… If we are fielding niche-market titles (my bilinguals, for example), or have back-list titles that are not seeing much chart action anyway, D2C is a great way to maximise profits, and of course we have the customer data to up-sell further goods later.

And having a shop of course means we can bundle items as we like, cross-promote items as we like, and make up our own categories, and add links to retailers too. The latter is always good idea for ebooks because some buyers will want the convenience of, say, Amazon’s one-click.

With a shop (Shopify or whatever) we can also offer loyalty incentives. We can offer subscriptions. We can offer free bonus material. We can run promotions and competitions and special offers and etc, etc.

Yes, these are things we can do on our regular websites, but a well-branded “shop” adds appeal and professionalism for the consumer,.

And a shopping cart system where consumers can load up a basket of goods rather than make an individual purchase then go back and do it all over again.

D2C shouldn’t be seen as trying to compete with, or as an alternative to, the big retailers. But to compliment the sales they bring us, and to build our brand and enlarge out reach.

https://www.shopify.com/lite

Shopify (LINK), like Etsy and Ecwid and Selz and etc will let us load digital content and will take care of everything for us once we have the listings live, so before we protest it’s all too much work it’s actually no different in that respect from loading to Amazon or Kobo.

The big difference is that 95% royalty.

What’s your excuse for not going D2C?

This post first appeared in the International Indie Author Facebook Group. (LINK)

♦ ♦ ♦

*  Ebook Bargains UK Newsletter Promotion *
Okay, so the Britain-based EBUK promotional newsletter isn’t quite Bookbub, but it does get some authors some extra sales, and plenty of authors come back to advertise with us time and time again. Not surprising with listing prices ranging from just £5 to £15 GBP.

EBUK is a not-for-profit venture and all proceeds after costs go towards supporting nursery school projects here in The Gambia.

Right now there’s a special 2-for-1 promo for IIA readers who want to use the EBUK promo newsletter to promote their titles.

Just type the code IIA-2-for-1-Promo anywhere in the metadata fields when you book a title and the guys in the UK will credit you with a free listing of equal value.

Click HERE to go to the EBUK site.

The International Indie Author
Looking at the bigger picture.

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