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 …

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 …

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 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 …

Lightning Source International’s new standard color offers lower-cost color printing

About a month ago, Lightning Source International announced the introduction of its Standard Color, a full-color print-on-demand service that prints and delivers in the same time as its black and white option. So how does this new option stack up? Reviews on the various forums indicate the quality is acceptable, though the thinness of the paper does result in some image bleed through, not sufficient to penetrate the paper but sufficient enough to create a shadow image on the reverse side. For most publishers this is an acceptable flaw in Read More …

Using Word’s Save as PDF Option for CreateSpace and Lightning Source

In The Global Indie Author, I counsel against using Word’s Save as PDF option for creating PDFs for submission to CreateSpace or Lightning Source International because the files do not meet the specifications outlined by the manufacturers; instead, you must use Adobe Acrobat Pro. Yet some indie authors are reporting using Word to create PDFs and their files have been accepted. So what is the definitive position of these companies’ submission requirements? Users of Word 2007 or higher have the option to save as PDF; however, the utility only allows 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 …

System-wide mess-up at Amazon affecting Christmas shopping

In an unfortunate twist of fate for indie writers who sell globally (and for smaller, independent publishers), a system-wide error at Amazon is affecting the display of delivery dates for print-on-demand books. This appears only to be affecting titles sold on Amazon sites outside the U.S. This from my distributor Lightning Source/Ingram: “As Amazon prepares for the upcoming holiday season, they recently implemented a sudden system-wide change on all vendor products, including books. The result had an unintended impact on some POD book stated delivery times on the Amazon site.  Amazon Read More …