Kobo join the print-on-demand game — but should you play?

Many Kobo Writing Life authors recently received an invitation to take part in a beta print-on-demand program at Kobo. Not all Kobo authors received this invitation, myself included, because the program is a subcontract to the POD manufacturer Lightning Source International (LSI): if you already have print books distributed by Ingram, the print distributor and parent company of LSI/Ingram Spark, and if your print books’ ISBNs are in Kobo’s system, then there is no point in them contacting you. For this new POD service, Kobo is charging authors USD $25.00 Read More …

How digital printers are misleading indie authors

Print on demand (“POD”) is the buzzword of the day, and many commercial printers are losing a chunk of their business to print on demand manufacturers such as CreateSpace and Ingram Spark (Lightning Source International). The result is a plethora of short-run digital printers doing their best to masquerade as true POD printers. A short-run digital printer will often advertise themselves as print on demand, claiming that their system is such because they can print one book or a thousand “on demand,” that is, without having to set up the Read More …

CreateSpace expand distribution to Canada – but there’s a catch (naturally)

On this blog in September 2013 I predicted that Amazon’s CreateSpace were positioning themselves to supply the Canadian market directly. Two days ago, in an email to clients, CreateSpace made it official. Unless the CreateSpace publisher specifically opts out, the following will now apply: Starting October 8, we began making CreateSpace titles enrolled in the Amazon.com sales channel available directly to readers in Canada on Amazon.ca. Your title may already be offered on Amazon.ca through Expanded Distribution or other channels, but now you can earn the same royalty on Amazon.ca Read More …

Interview on Vancouver Co-op Radio

I was interviewed yesterday on Writing Life, on Vancouver’s Co-op Radio, 100.5 FM. We covered some of the basics of self-publishing, as well as marketing and international publishing. You can listen here or download here.  

LSI ending their distribution relationship with Amazon

The POD manufacturer Lightning Source International (LSI), owned by Ingram Content Group, announced on Friday (yes, a typical release-bad-news-on-Friday-and-hope-nobody-pays-attention move) that LSI will no longer be distributing directly to Amazon, B&N, Baker & Taylor, Espresso Book Machine, and NACSCORP, and to other wholesale distributors in the U.S. Instead, all titles will now be distributed only via Ingram Book Group, who in turn will resell to all retailers and other wholesale distributors. What this means is that Ingram, who previously did not earn a fee on LSI sales to the aforementioned Read More …

Third edition of The Global Indie Author now available in Canada

Well, after much trial and tribulation, the third edition of The Global Indie Author is out now in Canada. Readers can find it on Chapters/Indigo and Amazon.ca. By the way, that “Usually delivers in 3-5 weeks” declaration on the Amazon.ca website is nonsense; the book delivers in less than a week. The extended delivery time is just part of Amazon/CreateSpace’s strategy against competitor Lightning Source, which, incidentally, is covered in detail in the book. If you want to avoid supporting Amazon, buy from the Chapters/Indigo website, where the book is Read More …

Third Edition of The Global Indie Author is now available in U.S. and Europe

The third edition of The Global Indie Author is out now in print on Amazon U.S., UK, Germany, France, Spain, and Italy. All other territories coming soon! eBooks are also on the way. As mentioned in my previous post, the third edition features a new cover, new subtitle — to reflect the truly global phenomenon that self-publishing has become — and a great deal of new content (over 80 pages). The technical chapters have been completely overhauled to deal with the complexities of image handling, the increasing frustrations of font Read More …

CreateSpace removes payment thresholds

Following in the footsteps of parent company Amazon, CreateSpace have now removed their minimum payment thresholds. Previously, royalties from their three jurisdictions — United States, UK, and Continental Europe — had to meet a minimum of $10.00/£10.00/€10,00 before payment was made; now, payment will be made 30 days after the reporting period regardless of the amount. However, as with Kindle Direct Publishing, this only applies to those receiving payment by electronic funds transfer (EFT).

Is Ingram’s new Spark a viable alternative to CreateSpace’s Expanded Distribution?

UPDATE: DECEMBER 13/2013: CreateSpace has removed their fees for Expanded Distribution, no doubt in direct response to the launch of IngramSpark. Ingram, the U.S. wholesale distributor and parent company of Lightning Source International, has launched IngramSpark, a self-publishing portal intended to give CreateSpace a run for their money. But will it, or is it a case of too little, too late? When I first began self-publishing in 2011, LSI’s attitude toward self-publishers could only be described as contempt. The application process was onerous, the staff often condescending in their communications Read More …

Is Canada the next battleground between Amazon and Lightning Source?

In The Global Indie Author I write at length about the predatory practices Amazon/CreateSpace have exercised in the area of print on demand. Watching what’s going on with the Amazon Canada catalogue, I am of the opinion that CreateSpace is positioning themselves to supply the Canadian market directly. Why do I believe this? To answer that we need to look at bit at the history between CreateSpace and its main rival, Lightning Source International, a subsidiary of the giant U.S. wholesale distributor Ingram. Amazon had long been selling titles for Read More …