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SPQ 022: CreateSpace vs. Kindle (Should You Pick One Over the Other?)

Written by Steve Scott on January 15, 2015. Listen to SPQ: iTunes | Stitcher | RSS Feed
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CreateSpace.com vs. Kindle

The Question…

Barry asks if you should publish on CreateSpace and then Kindle or vice-versa?

Biggest Takeaway…

Steve’s Answer…

CreateSpace is a print-on-demand service. If you upload a digital file, people can order a print version of your book. One good thing about CreateSpace is that it syncs with your Kindle account. When people come across your Kindle book on Amazon, they also have the opportunity to buy a print copy of the book via CreateSpace.

In Steve’s experience, print versions do not sell nearly as well as the eBooks. About 5 percent of his revenues come from print books, 15 to 20 percent from audiobooks, and 80 to 85 percent from his Kindle books. There are certainly some exceptions to this rule. Tom “Big Al” Schreiter writes in a market that caters to older readers, so he sells quite a few print books.

There are several benefits to having print books available. One is the price differential. People are sometimes more likely to buy your ebook when they see that the print book costs several dollars more. Some people still prefer to read print books instead of ebooks, so having a print book available helps generate a little extra income. Finally, you can get into libraries and other platforms if you have a print version of your book.

Steve doesn’t think there is any benefit to publishing on CreateSpace first. When he launches a book, he puts it on Kindle for 99 cents first. By the time the Kindle book goes up to its normal price of $2.99, he has the print book back from his formatter, Archangel Ink. There’s nothing to lose by publishing on both platforms.

It does take a day or so to post your print book on CreateSpace, but it is a fairly quick process. Then it takes a couple of days to show up on your Amazon author page. If it doesn’t show up after a few days, all you have to do is contact Amazon’s Author Central.

Have a question about self-publishing? Submit a question for the podcast at SpeakPipe.com.

Resources and Links

CreateSpace: Give buyers the option of purchasing a print copy of your book

Archangel Ink: Steve has Archangel Ink format his print books

Amazon Author Central: Go to Author Central if you need help publishing on Amazon

  • Hi Steve, how much does it cots the print formatting of your books? Some indie are all about the DIY.

  • I think it costs around $200. I’m sure I could do it cheaper, but I like to use the same company for the different aspects of my post-production. So the increased cost is worth not having to deal with the hassle of managing multiple people.