Monday, February 15, 2010

The Cost of the New CreateSpace

Some time ago, I did a comparison of BookSurge, CreateSpace and Lulu in terms of value per dollar related to self-publishing a book. Both BookSurge and CreateSpace are owned by and recently they merged. I don’t think this surprised anyone, considering that having the two companies using two different pricing schemes only made things confusing, which is part of why I did that comparison. I recently received an e-mail from a reader, asking me to do a similar breakdown of the new CreateSpace. I am happy to do so.

For our purposes, we will assume the author has a print-ready PDF for both the interior and the cover of the book. The author may have done this work himself, or he may have had someone else do it for him, but as he enters this process he believes he is ready to upload his files. In the new CreateSpace, he has several options. One is the Author’s Express Package. This is essentially the same cheapest possible package that was available under BookSurge and costs $299. The other option is the self-service program and is advertised as “free of charge”. This is essentially same as the old CreateSpace package. Then to make things interesting, there is a Pro plan and a Standard plan.

The difference between the Author’s Express and the Self-Service option is whether or not you have someone double checking your PDF file and providing assistance if needed. Most people will decide they don’t need that service, I’m sure, but it’s easy to make mistakes.

The Pro plan is worth our consideration. You will notice that for the Author’s Express option, the Pro Plan actually reduces the number of books you have to sell in order to make a profit. It also opens the door to allow book stores other than to order our books. If the book is selling at all, the Pro Plan pretty much pays for itself. There is an annual fee, so you may want to remove your book from the Pro Plan at some point, but as long as it is selling about three books a year, the increased royalties will cover the cost.