I've written about this issue before but this time I have direct experience to recount. And before we get started I just have to say that I haven't given up...
I decided after several conversations with people who tried to order my books from bookstores (independent) and couldn't get them, that I should at least republish my newer titles on Ingram. Their platform is directly connected with expanded distribution and allows the author to opt for the proper discount and returnability. This in turn enables bookstores to order. As it stands now my books don't even come up when the bookstores search for them! Yes, Createspace says it has expanded distribution but what they don't say is that they don't give the industry discount nor do they give the right to return a book. My e-books will still be published through amazon kindle.
I didn't think this process would be too difficult to get through--after all, my books are already published. How bad could it be? I already understood that I would need to pay the $49 set-up fee. When I called the first time and spoke to a very nice man he told me that my most recent book, Just Another Desert Sunset wouldn't need to be put through the process since it had an isbn that I purchased separate from Createspace. All I needed to do was give him the isbn, go into my account on Createspace and uncheck the expanded distribution for this title. Easy-peasy. While I was on the phone he drafted an email (I assume) to ask that they release my book. I did as he asked but so far nothing has happened and it's been over a week.
Now to get to my other two titles. I input all the information, uploaded my finalized, formatted pdf that I used for Createspace as well as the final cover art, back and front and spine. I paid the fees. When I finished all that a message came up that the files had a problem--but no worries we can fix it for another $10! Yay! Unfortunately that was not to be. Now, they said, I needed to hire a designer. And that is where we are.
I will call them tomorrow and see if I can get this straightened out and in the meantime I sent off an email to my formatter. Do we need to reformat for Ingram? and in that case do I need different cover files? If it requires more money I simply can't afford it! (couldn't afford what I've done already) And why was I told that my first title could be done without all this? It would certainly have all the same design flaws for their publishing platform--the only difference is that the isbn didn't need to be changed.
I have no idea if this hassle is even worth it. Although the interface is easier than it used to be, trying to deal with it is frustrating to say the least. They seem to have an attitude that screams 'you fool! why can't you figure this out?' I think it's a recent reaction to complaints that has encouraged them to offer a phone number but it's nothing like talking to a person at Createspace.
Why am I doing this, you ask? At this point I really don't know. What started it was what I mentioned at the beginning. I seem to sell more paperbacks than e-books and thought it would be nice for people to have the chance to order them.
Have any of you dealt with this? If so do you have any insights or words of wisdom? Maybe it would be: stop banging your head against the wall.
Love to hear your experiences or comments. Thank you for reading!