Createspace versus Lulu Revisited

Some time ago, I laid out the advantages of using Lulu versus Createspace. And my biggest beef with Createspace was not being able to use my credit card. Well, at last I found my way through the labyrinth of ordering functions, enough to order a proof. Createspace has made peace with my credit card, and when I got the proof of Cold War Heroes, I found that the proof looked decent enough for a bookstore. So the assumption followed that I could go ahead and run all my future NTD magazines through Createspace. Not quite.

I’ve already run NTD 20 through Lulu, and got a lot of nice compliments about the issue. So with the PDF generated by Lulu’s software, I proceeded to upload on Createspace. You see, any book run through Createspace software will automatically go on Amazon. But Createspace wasn’t crazy about handling 8.5 x 11 books. You can’t do 8.5 x 11 books for premium distribution on Createspace like you can with Lulu.

No biggie there, until I got a memo from Createspace informing that the PDF wasn’t viable. NTD always has a print label on the spine, the way many perfect bound magazines do. The print had to come off of the spine, said Createspace. Also on my book reviews, I needed to add two additional places where the books reviewed are available. I don’t have the Acrobat software needed to change the spine. I could make the changes on the inside file on my Word 2007, save it to PDF and use that.

Ah, but with Lightning Source, Lulu, and Createspace, it isn’t enough to use a PDF. The fonts have to be embedded a certain way for the file to pass muster. Lulu will convert your word files to PDF so that you’ve got a file that meets that requirement.

Does that mean I’m firing Createspace? Not necessarily. But I can’t use it for NTD unless I’m willing to forego print on the spine. Maybe I’m having a hard time with change.

I am turning more to eBook distribution: namely Kindle, the Nook, Smashwords, and a new company, a European distributor of eBooks. The eBooks look promising, and more people are buying them. But there is a lot to be said for the feel of a print book.

I would like to hear from you about your experiences using Createspace’s software, and your thoughts on the future of eBooks.


About Barbara Custer

Author of: Twilight Healer Steel Rose Life Raft: Earth City of Brotherly Death Close Liaisons Infinite Sight When Blood Reigns Infinite Sight Publisher / Editor of Night to Dawn Books & Magazine
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  1. Keep up the wonderful piece of work, I read few blog posts on this site and I believe that your web blog is real interesting and has got sets of wonderful information.

  2. At the same time, let’s remember that a book is contracted for a certain period of time, usually three years. So it makes sense that you might be changing from one machine to another one eventually when your book is placed with a different publisher. To be honest, I’m having some problems with a couple publishers who had my books many years ago, and they are still available in POD format with the old company. These were books I authorized a one-time printing three or four years ago. So why are they still available? It took me quite a while to make Fictionwise remove my books after a publisher went under. The publisher was still receiving Royalties, but not me! So, anyway, I wouldn’t worry too much about the machine. I would like to see better policing of the POD companies.

  3. I think eBooks are a wonderful outlet for those of us overlooked by big publishing houses. My problem with the eBook concept (upload with a special format to specific machines) is supposed my story published in 2011 on now machines and they build a new machines? What happens to that eBook? Well we have to purchase yet another type of machine and change to a new format to read that old eBook.

    I recently purchased 2 paperback books written in 1869 by H.G. Wells. Two centuries from today will my ebook be available for the general public as would my paperback?

    Am I making sense?

  4. You are making sense, and whether our ebooks would be available two centuries from now (or even 50 years, say) is a good question. Longevity was one beef I had with createspace – the $5.00 per year charge once you get on the pro plan. Could you imagine paying $5.00 a year for fifty years?

    I heard about the machines but haven’t gotten into using them yet. The idea of having to reformat to accommodate a new machine every couple of years does not sound like fun.

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