Amazon’s Createspace print-on-demand division is responding to rival Ingram Spark’s push into self-publishing by offering substantial discounts if you order at least 1,000 copies of the same book.
The Createspace discount deals are available until the end of December and are set at the following levels:
- 20% discount for orders of 1,000-1,499
- 30% discount for orders of 1,500-1,999
- 35% discount for orders of 2,000 and over
The volume discount applies only to orders delivered in the US and does not include shipping costs which are not discounted.
Createspace has always been a POD specialist and although authors have been able to buy their own copies of their book at special prices there has not been a discount for volume.
Ingram Spark is a division of Lightning Source, which provides a wide range of publishing, printing and distribution options mainly for publishers with a list of books. Ingram Spark was set up this year to cater for smaller publishers and self-publishers.
You can’t actually break down Createspace costs into the specific cost of printing as there are various options which depend on specification, including a per-page cost and a fixed charge.
But you can get the Createspace author’s copy price, so I’ll set out an example for comparison. I’m looking at a short book of 50 pages, 9 ins x 6 ins with a matt cover. The author’s price per copy for this would be $2.15, so for 1,000 copies the cost would be $2,150. If you apply the 20% discount offer on this price you would arrive at $1,720.
However, there’s no guarantee this would be the price as Createspace is cagy on costs and you have to contact them with your details to get a price quote on the discount deal. Only Amazon could offer you a discount on an unknown price.
Ingram Spark does lay out drop-shipping costs clearly with a print cost calculator. The cost there for the same book and print run would be $1.51 per unit or a total of $1,510 for 1,000 copies, beating even the discounted Createspace price I have suggested.
Neither of the prices quoted above include shipping.
If you can sell your print books direct either through a website or in person at seminars or conferences, for example, then buying copies of a title in bulk can make good sense but watch out you don’t end up with garage-full-of-unsold-books syndrome.
If you want to get a discount on a Createspace volume order you will need to email Createspace at firstname.lastname@example.org making “Volume Order Savings” the subject line.
Createspace requires your full name, book title and order quantity, shipping address and shipping speed (standard, expedited or priority), phone number with area code and best time of day to reach you. Don’t send credit card details.
Createspace will contact you by phone or email with any questions and will prepare your shopping cart and let you know when it’s ready for checkout.
You can review the order before it’s final so if you don’t like the price and if you don’t want to complete the deal you can clear your cart.