Saturday, January 2, 2010

Print On Demand

Went through the setup online for, a print on demand publishing service controlled by Amazon. I have issues. While CreateSpace assigned a ISBN and EAN-13 identifying number to my book (for free), the sales and royalty program seemed less than generous.

They calculate a list price for you that is based on fixed charges + 40% Amazon take of list (in my case $7.056/copy). The fixed charges for printing my 454 page 8-1/2" x 5-1/2" trade paperback include: $1.50/book fixed charge + a per page charge of .02 per page ($9.08 in my case). So my book would cost me $10.58 in fixed charges + 40% of the list price. Amazon insists on a minimum list price of $17.64. If I accept that price (I can choose to charge more), then I will receive $0.00 in royalties per book sold. This is because if you add up the fixed and percentage charges Amazon makes per book, they must have $17.636 per book printed. If I want to make any money on the sale of my trade paperback, I must increase the retail price beyond this amount. However, they will continue to take an additional 40% of any increase I make.

Of couse, if I will pay a one-time fee of $39.00 to be a Pro, then I will receive $4.29 of the minimum retail price. Obviously, every author is pushed to become a Pro.

Yet, like all POD printers, I must do all the setup to ensure the book is finished with artwork, text, and uploaded files. Since printing appears to use my files automatically, I'm not sure how much Amazon (createspace) employees actually do to print a copy of my book.

I would like to hear from anyone that tried out Amazon's POD program using createspace. Did everything go well or are there issues with the quality of the printed book?