I just had a long talk with an exceedingly helpful person at CreateSpace. They’re the arm of Amazon that prints my books. I spoke to another helpful person at the Pacific Northwest Writers Association (PNWA) conference last week, who suggested I email my questions to her and she would get them answered ASAP—I sent the mail on Monday. This is Wednesday. That’s pretty fast turnaround for a large company. Well done.
So, their answers to my questions will bore you for the most part, but a few might enlighten others who deal with CreateSpace or buy my print books.
1) The discount codes that I’ve been passing around to everyone who shows even a passing interest in my book (like the poor guy trapped in the elevator with me the other day) aren’t of much use. It seems they only work if you buy from the CreateSpace site directly. This means if you go to Amazon to buy my book (in print), you can’t use the code. It also means that Kindle purchases won’t accept the code. Sigh. The kind lady on the phone did indicate that this is a common concern for authors/publishers and might be addressed in the future. So if you want to use the discount code, you’ll have to click on the link shown above. Sorry. De’ms da rules.
2) The pricing for my book with color illustrations is far too high at $62.68. Apparently, because I asked for “Expanded Distribution” (which includes bookstores and libraries), the price jumps considerably due to the increased cost of distribution. As it is, I get no (as in zero) royalties at this level. I expect that will have to change now that I understand that the retail price is out of my control. And no, I don’t expect to sell many at this price—not even to my mother-in-law in Leavenworth, Kansas. Perhaps I should buy these in bulk and sell them myself. After all, that’s how I got started back in the early ‘90s with Hitchhiker’s Guide to VBSQL.
All in all, I was very pleased with the extra effort taken by the CreateSpace team. They seem to be very open to suggestions to make my and my reader’s experience better.