Publishing consultant Pete Masterson, who owns Aeonix, is with us again today with some interesting comparisons between Lightning Source and CreateSpace and the “New Digital Print” business model. Pete credits Aaron Shepherd for the "inspiration" of using the "New Digital Print" business model, as Aaron was the first to publicize this particular approach.
Of course Amazon (which is both a "good guy" and a "bad guy" depending on which policies of theirs you're stumbling over) is a major place to sell books. Their CreateSpace (CS) subsidiary has some advantages (and disadvantages).
In recent years, many of my clients have used both LSI and CS as part of their "system" to sell their books.
See the article on my web site: The New Digital Print Business Model for Small/Self-Publishers.
This article was written (for online) in 2005 and was edited with some changes to CS pricing (when they dropped a "pro plan" and just gave "pro plan" pricing to everyone). I believe the latest rates require printing 500 or more copies with LSI to beat the CS unit cost... (LSI has up-front fees, while CS does not. LSI has volume-based discounts for inventory purchase, while CS has a flat "any quantity" pricing.)
This article also describes the differences between LSI and CS.
In general, today the "best" deal is to distribute through LSI for coverage of all booksellers. Use the 20% discount as described in the business model (but sales through physical bookstores will be very few). Offer the full 55% discount if you think you "need" physical bookstores -- but you still will see few sales, as almost no booksellers will order print on demand (even through LSI) books for inventory.
The downside of CS is that sales to Amazon are at a (required) 40% discount. CS also offers "extended" distribution to "all booksellers" -- but you must use a CS ISBN to do that. The "secret" of extended distribution is that CS places the book with LSI for distribution. CS requires a 60% discount for this service. You can distribute directly through LSI with your own ISBN and not give up 60% of the list price!
Visit Aeonix for more information or feel free to ask Pete a question. I know a lot of authors use CreateSpace, but there is a profit difference, not to mention having to use their ISBN. (Which lists them as the publisher, not the author.)
Don’t forget Wednesday is post day for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.
And this is post #1800 for me! Not bad for over 9 years of blogging.