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 disintermediation possible for the indie author?

Following on the heels of my blog regarding Louis CK’s experiment with producing and selling his own video, the question arises as to whether this is possible for the indie author. “Disintermediation” is the new buzz word, and success stories such as CK’s suggest the only thing standing between the author and their audience is a blog and PayPal. But is it really? The allure of indie publishing is that it provides us with a way past the gatekeepers. But all gatekeepers? Or just the obvious ones? The only true 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 …