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 …

Warning: CreateSpace expand use of third-party printers with dire results

Previously I blogged about print on demand’s dirty little secret: the use of third-party printers whose quality cannot be assured, and included this in the 2nd edition of The Global Indie Author. In particular I looked at the use of Lightning Source (“LSI”) to fulfill CreateSpace’s Expanded Distribution orders and the problems that can result. Unfortunately, CreateSpace have now expanded their use of third-party printers to fulfill “overflow” orders, and if my recent experience is anything to go by, authors need to be very concerned. With the recent release of Read More …

CreateSpace adds European distribution, decreases payment thresholds

Over the past few weeks CreateSpace has made two important changes: they have decreased their payment threshold from $20/£20/€20 to $10/£10/€10; and they have now added direct distribution to Amazon.co.uk (UK), Amazon.de (Germany), Amazon.fr (France), Amazon.es (Spain), and Amazon.it (Italy). I hesitated to write about this immediately as I wanted to check first what the Amazon catalogue would list as the estimated delivery time for each site. Would it be as with Amazon.com where all CreateSpace titles would be listed as “In Stock” or would it be the same as 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 …

A warning about Bowker Books in Print

When I published my first novel, Baby Jane, I inputted my title information into the Bowker Books in Print catalogue well after the book was released. For this new title, The Global Indie Author, I thought I was being more organized by inputting my title information as soon as it became available. BIG MISTAKE. Why? With print-on-demand, a manufacturer/distributor like Lightning Source or CreateSpace cannot be listed in the Books in Print catalogue as a distributor. If you are self-published, with your own ISBN, you are the defacto distributor; consequently, Read More …

ISBNs and the Self-Publisher Part V: The Advantages (and a Few Disadvantages) of Owning Your ISBN

(This is abbreviated text from The Global Indie Author.) The advantages to owning your ISBNs are: Increased Distribution Options Most vanity publishers and aggregators have limited distribution partners (often only one for print and maybe a half-dozen for ebooks). If you own your ISBN you can contract with as many wholesale distributors as you wish including Lightning Source, which is owned by Ingram, is U.S.-based and has two international subsidiaries, has an extensive list of distribution partners, and gives you access to the libraries and academic markets as well. Optics Read More …