Print editions: Createspace, yes or no?

I’m seriously considering rolling out print editions of my novels.  I get asked about it quite often from my readers.  I have little knowledge about how well the print editions sell.  Is it a good source of income?  Do these editions look cheap?

Feedback is greatly appreciated!



About glenkrisch

Writer, freelance editor, runner, family man, wanna-be farmer, neo-luddite
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6 Responses to Print editions: Createspace, yes or no?

  1. henadology says:

    They look superb, I’ll say that; naturally, it’s your job to find a good cover design, but the paper, binding, etc. on the ones I’ve seen—I own three—is first rate. As for how they sell, it depends on what you’re selling. There is a whole audience out there that will not purchase an ebook, so for them, hard copy is a must.

    • glenkrisch says:

      I know the print reading population isn’t growing like its ebook reading counterpart, but it’s still sizable. If I do go ahead with print editions, I want them to look professionally made. I’ve contacted someone who would be more adept at formatting than me. I could probably do it myself, but the end product wouldn’t look as good, and would probably confound my untech-savvy brain.

  2. Byron Paul says:

    I’m not sure if I’ve specifically had something from Createspace, but I know I’ve gotten a few book recently from small press publishers, that gave me the impression the book was coming as a print-on-demand… basically, I’m seeing a code or barcode (but different from ISBN) with a print month and year (sometimes even a print day). The date is very near my purchase, so naturally that is what makes me assume its print-on-demand. They always look nice and are in a typical trade paperback quality.

    With the ebook craze, print-on-demand, and ability to market on blogs, facebook, and goodreads I understand why authors are going the independent route, but I still wonder if you miss out on something a good publisher can provide.

    So I’m wonder if a model like this would work: (1) self-publish in ebook form and see what sales you get for 18 months and then look at using your sales number to (2) to go print with a small publisher, one that has its own presence on the web and followers of the company, that would then be introduced to your works for the first time. Especially if its a publisher that can still get books on shelves in the remaining physical bookstores. And if I’m right that these small publishers are taking advantage of print-on-demand now rather than purchasing in bulk possibly too few or too many, both entities might be better off without that worry of how much to print. So self-promote an ebook for 1 to 2 years, and then try to get a publisher to help you hit the markets you missed.

    You may want to check out Raw Dog Screaming Press or Dark Regions Press. They seem to publish your ‘type’ of works a successful small-press entities, I think they may actually be a good fit for you, and you can keep your ‘independent feel’. Maybe Flying Pen Press. Possible even Sam’s Dot Publishing.

    Don’t forget, there are some people that are never going to go to ebooks. My parents would have no clue how to can an ebook onto their reader! I still prefer the feel of holding a paperback but am starting to buy more ebooks due to the price savings. Hardcore fans always like a physical copy.

    Something else to consider is upon the release of a new ebook, you could release on the same day a limited-edition signed print edition (100 or 200 copies) that would ship from you directly, and bundle a free electronic version of it. Call it the Ultimate Fan Pack.. signed copy of print and the ebook (email the copy directly or use free coupon code on smashwords)… sounds good to me for making your biggest fans happy

    • glenkrisch says:

      Hiya, Byron:
      I would like to work with a small press to bring my novels out in at least a limited edition, but most are closed to submissions. I’m working closely with a top-tier small press to get one of my future titles into print, but I haven’t delivered a manuscript he wants to buy yet. He loves my writing, but the story just isn’t there yet. Even submitting to that press, I had to figure out a backdoor way to get a manuscript on his desk. I’ve been dreaming that a publisher would notice how well my work has been received and contact me, but I don’t see that happening. If I were to wait 18 months before making my decision on putting out a print edition, I wouldn’t have those print sales for 18 months. It might work out in the end, but this guy has bills to pay! And who knows what the print market will look like in 18 months. The more I think about it, the more I’m leaning toward using Createspace. My print title would be linked to my Kindle editions. It seems like a no-brainer, really.
      Thanks for your thoughtful comments!

  3. Lady_D says:

    Note: I am a fence-straddler… As far as books go, yes, I do read ebooks. I also still read printed books. Roughly 50-50 at this time. I love to hold printed books in my hands, but for traveling, I wouldn’t be without my Kindle. Prices have a lot to do with whether I purchase the ebook or printed format… and in a few cases, I have been known to acquire both formats of the same novel. If the price of an ebook is more than the price of the printed book, then I’m going to buy the printed version, if any. If the price of the ebook is only $3 or so less than the print book, for my money, I’ll still go with the printed version. I buy ebooks when that’s my only alternative, or if that’s the lowest priced format. If I really, really love a book though, I’ll want a print version.

    The Createspace novels I’ve seen have been very well done in the physical realm. They look just as good as a Randomhouse, Penguin or other professionally printed paperback novels. As far as the actual text goes – don’t forget to proof-read or have someone proof-read your novels before they are sent to Createspace for printing.

    FYI: Reviews are forthcoming from me on The Nightmare Within and also on Where Darkness Dwells.

    • glenkrisch says:

      Thanks for the response, Lady-D. Doesn’t Createspace send proofs of the text, or is that just for the cover? I’ll definitely go through the text again before I go to print.
      I’m quite neurotic as far as not allowing errors into my novels, but I know a few have found their way into the finished product. With an ebook, at least you’re able to quickly fix issues. With print, it becomes more problematic, regardless of who published it (indie or trad).
      Hope you enjoyed The Nightmare Within & Where Darknes Dwells.

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