Create Space: Print Quality?

I’m thinking about using Amazon’s affiliate Create Space to publish a compilation, contents of which are irrelevant for this discussion. Their pricing scheme is very reasonable, but I’m concerned about the quality of the finished product. Is the binding flimsy and apt to come apart? Is the paper of reasonable quality? Is the printing itself apt to have smudges? If anyone has published with Create Space–or bought books from them–what are your impressions?

I used CreateSpace for my self-published horror/urban fantasy novel, and I was very impressed by the quality. The paper is nice (you get a choice between cream and white), the printing is crisp, the coverstock is nice (looks just like any other paperback book), and as far as I’m aware the binding is solid (though I am very careful with my “baby” in particular and books in general, so it would be very difficult for a book of mine to have binding problems). Of course, you’re responsible for all the layout, but they have very good and intuitive tools for you to see exactly what your book is going to look like, and to be doubly sure you can order a hardcopy proof.

I highly recommend CreateSpace and I plan to use them again for the sequel to my novel.

Can you use Create Space for a purely digital product? If not, where’s the best way to do that? I am self publishign a short children’s book with artwork.

Not quite sure what you mean by “purely digital product,” but if I’m understanding you correctly (everything involved with the product is online, with no “hardcopy” parts) then that’s what CS is designed for. You can definitely use it for books with artwork, including color. It’s more expensive, obviously (you don’t have to pay for anything upfront, but the cost both to you if you want to buy copies of your own book and to the customer will be higher). For example, my book, which is 468 pages, 5.25 x 8", with white paper and black and white interior, costs me $5.35 to buy a copy for myself, and I can buy as many as I like at that price. The minimum charge for customers to buy it through CS/Amazon’s site (this is the bare-bones price where I would get no royalty) is somewhere in the $10.99 range. I sell it for $13.99. Note also that books sold through the CreateSpace site directly offer higher royalties than books sold through Amazon.

He’s talking about stuff that goes straight to Kindle, et. al. Infovore, is your book available on Kindle as a matter of course when you publish on CreateSpace?

No, that’s a different mechanism. Formatting for Kindle and other e-readers is completely different than formatting for CreateSpace, but again, Amazon offers tools to make it easier. One difference between electronic-only publishing and CS is that for CS you need to have an ISBN number (which you can purchase on your own or through CS–I think the cheapest ones they offer are $10 each–they’re quite limited for distribution options, but for most people they work fine). For Kindle publishing you don’t need one, though you can get one if you want. You can’t use the same one for your Kindle book and your CS book, though.

Quality is high, based on my one experience so far.

Infovore, Mr. Downtown, let me thank you publicly. I was really expecting a horror story based on the physical quality of independently published books that I’ve dealt with.

I haven’t really used Createspace, but I got a few free sample proofs based on their Nanowrimo winners program in previous years. (This year it’s not a free proof, it’s five free copies after you pay for your proof, and I didn’t take advantage.) But I was impressed by the print quality.

DO review your PDF file carefully before sending it off - I got one proof with an error message in my table of contents - dammit! :smack:

Yes, that is what i meant. The piece is very short, 2600 words, but has 9 pieces of high quality art. I want to find the best way to market it digitally without having to worry about print venues.