[Problematic Issues/Questions Re CreateSpace]-New Author

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GlobalGramma
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[Problematic Issues/Questions Re CreateSpace]-New Author

Post by GlobalGramma » Tue Apr 03, 2018 10:02 pm

I have been intending to self-publish with CreateSpace. However, I have read about a number of problematic issues with CS that I would love to get feedback on. I am based in the US, much of my market will be as well, though I do expect some international exposure through a number of groups I belong to.

1. European CS sales are printed in the UK, and apparently CS's US software will print your US copy beautifully, but the UK CS software doesn't convert US software well. It will print the same book with screwy fonts and spacing...making your book look like garbage. Rather than using US CS software, I am considering using Bookow to upload my mss into software that is (hopefully) compatible with both UK and US on demand Amazon printing orders,since it is an Australian company with a global market. Does anyone else have experience with Bookow, or other ideas or experience in resolving this international printing issue?

2. Packaging. I have read that multiple book orders through CS are terribly packaged and books frequently arrive modestly or even severely damage, even when they are re-ordered. Clean and perfect almost never happens. This seems inexcusable for a company the size of CS/Amazon. Book stores will not sell damaged books. Does anyone have experience with their CS/Amazon self-published books being regularly stocked in bookstores without encountering this problem? Has anyone experienced a similar problem?

3. Permission to reprint...I use quotes below my chapter headings. Do I need to get the permission to reprint myself? I cannot do that with Random House until I have the page number where it will appear in my book (so it has to be uploaded from my MS Word file to the book format to know that). Permissions take time. How can I move forward, so I can get my book out quickly?

Wow, there are lots more technical issues than these that are overwhelming to a non-technical newbie like myself. I thought I was ready to go!
Thank you!

GlobalGramma
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Re: Problematic Issues/Questions Re CreateSpace-New Author

Post by GlobalGramma » Tue Apr 03, 2018 10:09 pm

how do I apply a tag?

Phoenix
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Re: [Problematic Issues/Questions Re CreateSpace]-New Author

Post by Phoenix » Wed Apr 04, 2018 3:13 am

2. Packaging: I live in Australia and all my books so far, ( about 200 by now) have always turned up in perfect order. One parcel of three went missing once, and that was replaced without question, even though the original missing parcel of ten books turned up a month later. I know that one of our moderators lives in Alaska and gets damaged books more often than he would like, but as far as I know, they have always replaced his books promptly.

1. You submit your MS to CreateSpace as a pdf. Bookow will format your MS but they will not offer you software, so unsure where you are coming from with that. Once it has gone through the review process, you will receive a downloadable proof of your MS as it will be appears once printed, as well as being able to view you book on the CS reviewer. If all looks great there, then you need to order a proof copy. If all is good then you publish.

You have no further control over where a book is printed once a customer orders it. It is entirely up to your customer to order a new book if theirs is flawed. Yes, that can make us look bad, and I have heard of authors getting bad reviews for receiving damaged books, but that goes with anything you buy online. It is part of the hazard of POD publishing. It is not perfect, but you don't have to outlay thousands of $.

3. Confusing question. Do you have permission to use the quotes? If so, you may print with whomever you choose. You are the publisher. You mention Random House? If your book was previously published with them, you will need written permission from them to verify that you are able to publish yourself, otherwise you run the risk of being suppressed by CS. There is a lot of that happening lately. I hope this helps.

Finally, I have added your tags.
Good luck,
Joe.

walton
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Re: [Problematic Issues/Questions Re CreateSpace]-New Author

Post by walton » Wed Apr 04, 2018 6:59 am

I don't think I can give you great answers, especially regarding printing and sales in Europe. Here a bit about print quality.

My experience with CS, and before that BookSurge (which Amazon bought and which became CS), is that it can print incredibly beautiful books, and it can mess things up totally. I once estimated that a single replacement book probably cost $70. But there is an interesting phenomenon which I learned from FotoMat (now defunct). Before the one-hour film print services that popped up in the 90's in every shopping mall in the universe, and that, of course was before digital cameras . . . there was FotoMat (before that we dropped off our film at the local drugstore!). Fotomat has huge facilities all over the country. Hundreds of those "one-hour print" machines. They monitored each operators rejects. Too many rejects and the operator was too slow, too fussy (they could adjust the colors and exposure on a per print basis). Too few rejects and the operator was too fast, not previewing the images and not tweaking the settings.

Most commercial printing jobs, as distinguished from pod, entail adjusting the ink for each page (or sheet of pages). The pressmen typically pulls sheets throughout the run to check ink densities and tweak the settings. Print quality will always vary, but with a good pressman, not much. P-o-d printers, who might only print one copy of one book, can't do that. What is printed is what is printed. Quality control occurs before the book is printed. My understanding of the Indigo press, which CS and Amazon use at least for color printing, is that the system can be regularly and almost automatically calibrated, but that is something the pressman must initiate that. He must be trained well (and the Indigo is a very complicated machine), and management must support his taking time from printing books to calibrate.

Some facilities, and CS does subcontract, do better than others. San Bernardino has been terrible. Rochester uses incredibly better paper and their work is magnificent! We have no control over where CS sends our work.

CS adjusts our PDFs, to get them ready for printing. No one here, repeat no one, outside of CS or Amazon knows what they do. CS cannot use our PDFs as is, and this is not just about imposition (how pages are laid out for actual printing, e.g. 2 up). CS must change our settings. For example, Adobe products default to a dot gain of 20%, whereas Indigo uses 9-12%

(Dot gain is the spread of a dot of ink on the paper. Since ink spreads, something must compensate for that when the image is converted into an array of dots, here, on the left are actual dots of ink from a halftone and on the right, how a 20% dot gain would look for the same sample:

Image

KDP Print advises us that all image profile information will be stripped away. I've been posting that for years on the CS forum, and have been attacked for it. (Actually, I have said some to all is stripped away, because we don't know what happens.)

Okay, sorry for the ramble, our PDFs are adjusted and they are printed. There is no reason that printers in the UK or anywhere else cannot print exactly the some quality from those PDFs. If there are "consistent" differences, my guess is that it is like the difference between San Bernardino and Rochester: some printers simple go the extra mile.

Coffee is ready . . . hope that helps a little. Probably doesn't, but I was on a role.
Walton

Bleeds , free, 91 page guide to bleeds, margins, covers, and annotated CreateSpace guidelines. Prepress Glossary free, 79 page, fully illustrated prepress glossary with annotations forCreateSpace users. Typography free, 112 page illustrated guide to designing books, typography, with glossary and type specimen pages. Free list of free PDF downloads.

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GlobalGramma
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Re: [Problematic Issues/Questions Re CreateSpace]-New Author

Post by GlobalGramma » Wed Apr 04, 2018 8:25 am

Thank you, Joe and Walton!

Phoenix, My issue with permission to reprint from Random House is for a 12-line, 112 word poem by Rilke that will appear below my final chapter heading, not with my book having been previously printed, and for a 13 word quote from another Rilke poem below the heading of another chapter.

Thank you for adding a tag to my original post, Phoenix. Could you please explain HOW to apply a tag...I just have no idea for future posts...and don't see an icon for that or even where the tag appears once added.

Thanks so much,
Ann/GlobalGramma

walton
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Re: [Problematic Issues/Questions Re CreateSpace]-New Author

Post by walton » Wed Apr 04, 2018 10:47 am

The rule of thumb is: anything published prior to 1923 is in public domain. See: https://copyright.cornell.edu/publicdomain

I assume that most of Rilke's work was published prior to 1923: that is easily checked. The catch is the translation, and that depends on when it was published.

If the Rilke quote is in public domain . . . then translate it yourself. You know the essential meaning. You can get the literal meaning online. You can probably massage your own translation.
Walton

Bleeds , free, 91 page guide to bleeds, margins, covers, and annotated CreateSpace guidelines. Prepress Glossary free, 79 page, fully illustrated prepress glossary with annotations forCreateSpace users. Typography free, 112 page illustrated guide to designing books, typography, with glossary and type specimen pages. Free list of free PDF downloads.

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Phoenix
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Re: [Problematic Issues/Questions Re CreateSpace]-New Author

Post by Phoenix » Wed Apr 04, 2018 2:06 pm

You're overthinking the tag bit. Its just a simple matter of placing the subject heading of your post within the straight parenthesis found on any common keyboard. Your tag may have been simpler like the example above in the pink section. So the tag could have been [CreateSpace] Problematic issues.
Cheers,
Joe.

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Michelle
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Re: [Problematic Issues/Questions Re CreateSpace]-New Author

Post by Michelle » Wed Apr 04, 2018 2:56 pm

1. There is no US/UK software. You can either upload in PDF (recommended) or MS Word. Bookow does a superb job of formatting a Word doc so it looks like a real book and supplying you with a PDF and ebook files. They should print the same in any location. The difference in quality lies with the paper, equipment and staff in each location, not the file you provide.

2. I’ve had dreadful quality issues with CS over the years. Needless to say I don’t use them anymore and now work with a different POD provider with superior quality and quality control processes.
Michelle (Forum Moderator)

Odyssey Publishing -- affordable editing, cover design and book formatting services to help you on your publishing journey.

GlobalGramma
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Re: [Problematic Issues/Questions Re CreateSpace]-New Author

Post by GlobalGramma » Thu Apr 05, 2018 2:28 am

Thank you, Michelle, Joe, and Walton, for your generous responses.
Michelle, can I ask who you use for POD now, and how their costs and your earnings compare to Create Space?

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Michelle
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Re: [Problematic Issues/Questions Re CreateSpace]-New Author

Post by Michelle » Thu Apr 05, 2018 4:35 pm

I use IngramSpark.

Their costs are about the same for printing, but they have a lot more print options, including landscape sizes and hard cover and saddle stitch binding.

They do have setup and revision fees, but you can often get these waived by joining ALLI or waiting for IngramSpark's promotion periods.

Royalties are often much better than CS, since you can choose to offer a wholesale discount as low as 30%, which goes out to all booksellers, whereas CS only allow a discount of 40% for Amazon and 60% for Expanded Distribution to non-Amazon retailers.

International distribution is better as Ingram can supply distributors worldwide. CS is very US-centric.

I could go on, but these are the main things new authors look for.
Michelle (Forum Moderator)

Odyssey Publishing -- affordable editing, cover design and book formatting services to help you on your publishing journey.

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