Should You Self-Publish On CreateSpace Through Amazon? The Good And The Bad.

Choosing a Self-Publishing company is a tough choice: the cost, time, reputation ect, all takes research. Also you want your ‘baby’  in safe and capable hands.

I chose Amazon’s CreateSpace.

Which is good and bad.

Here’s the low down on what to expect:

CreateSpace is free, until it asked me if I wanted to cough up 25 bucks for an extra distribution channel (of course I want that – extra avenues for my book being sold means more chance of gaining a larger readership. 25 dollars is a small amount to pay for that added bonus). The whole publishing process is easy… but not quick. Formatting and uploading the book takes time but the prompts and advice on the way make the process easy. It’s just time-consuming – set aside a week because formatting is a tedious task, creating your cover takes time and crafting blurbs/descriptions need to be just right.

So the distribution cost of $25 dollars for Amazon’s CreateSpace is worth it:

There are many online carriers now selling my book: Barnes and Noble,, Book depository etc. The one teeny-tiny problem with CreateSpace is its unreliable tracking of sales and royalties – (I called them gross inaccuracies in my complaint email).

I’ll level with you. I priced my book, Funny Australian Letterboxes as low as Amazon would allow me: $12.28. So royalties is not an issue. I’m more interested in getting my book into the hands of my readers.I promoted my book on my author page ‘MJ Cope’ via Facebook and know of two Holland sales, one UK sale & twenty Australian sales: CreateSpace January sales show four sales of Funny Australian Letterboxes.

That was it.

It takes 72 hours for the sales tracking to be updated so I waited… and waited… we are now half way through February and I have only one sale for this month… hmmm. So I researched CreateSpace’s reputation concerning sales & royalties. There are hundreds of blogs complaining about the same problem. I received an email response assuring me that the tracking was correct (then strangely the UK sale turned up in my January sales – now five sales).

I composed an email back but the futility weighed on me: I felt like a krill chatting with a whale. “Hi there big fella, I have a problem with you eating me…” see, that is not going to end well. The whale is already squeezing lemon juice on me and opening his mouth.

I am grateful to Amazon and their self publishing platform Createspace because it was straightforward to format and uploading my book was very cheap, but I am profoundly disappointed in their recording of sales and hence delivering of royalties.

While I’m having a good old Australian whinge, eBay is selling five of my books for $23.95! Palm-to-forehead. Amazon will not show these sales and the middle man is profiting from my work.

Welcome to the world of self publishing and being a small time author… however, I’m still loving it.

O.K. Rant over.

Keep Smiling People.



8 thoughts on “Should You Self-Publish On CreateSpace Through Amazon? The Good And The Bad.

  1. Pingback: Createspace and the best tools for publishing an ebook | Tim

    1. MJ Cope

      Hey Queenariyah – the best advice I can give you is what FAB told me:

      Far Away Books x
      Submitted on 2013/02/17 at 11:33 pm
      “Contact the Ebay sellers. Tell them you are the author and just want to know when and from where they bought the book because you’re trying to track sales channels.”

      I hope that helps – my tactic of chatting to them backfired as they are no longer selling my book – you win some you lose some. Hope you have more luck. Best wishes.

  2. lilkenobi

    Did you purchase author copies and if so, how did you find the cost including shipping? Currently trying to figure out the CS vs Lulu debate for Australian residents. I want the online selling option, but my plan also involves in-person distribution…

    1. MJ Cope

      Yes, I purchased author copies and they worked out to be ten dollars a copy for Funny Australian Letterboxes books. That includes shipping and it took three weeks to arrive. Amazon is cheap to publish and fairly reliable with shipping (I’ve had a few dogeared copies due to poor packaging). My only complaint with Amazon’s CreateSpace publishing platform is their inaccurate recording of sales – the publishing process was very cheap and straight forward.

  3. Pingback: Hunter now available in Paperback | Goran Zidar

  4. I’ve had the same problem with their inaccurate royalty reports, and also found my book on ebay (friends told me). It’s a bloody hassle! With my next book, I’m not going with CreateSpace, but Lightening Source. They are more reliable AND they have an office in Melbourne, so you can chat to a human being in Aussie time! Not only is their print quality excellent, but they’re owned by Ingrams who are the world’s largest book distributor. Then, I’ll upload my book myself onto Amazon. Bye bye CreateSpace – you will not be missed!

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