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 …

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 …

Is Lightning Source refusing to accept new self-publishers?

In an earlier post regarding Ingram’s new IngramSpark, I looked firstly at Ingram’s subsidiary Lightning Source International, its contempt for indie authors, and the consequent difficulties in opening an account. I then looked at Ingram’s new self-publishing portal, IngramSpark, and how it compares to LSI. Now, according to anecdotal evidence and self-publishing guru Aaron Shepard, LSI’s contempt continues: indie authors are not only steered toward IngramSpark as the de facto option, but indie authors who do their research and conclude they would be better off with LSI are being denied Read More …

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 …

Print-on-demand’s dirty little secret

[UPDATE: While the following deals with the problems created by CreateSpace’s Expanded Distribution, CreateSpace itself has increasingly been using third-party printers to fulfill publisher orders. I have had numerous problems with my print orders, losing usually on average about 10% of my order to everything from crooked pages to machine roller smears. Further to CreateSpace, for their E.U. (and likely soon for their Canadian operations), it is not CreateSpace who are printing the books but Amazon themselves at their fulfillment warehouses. With so many potential printers of your product, the Read More …