CreateSpace Publishing – Damned If You Do?

Posted: October 28, 2013 in Uncategorized
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When I first started this blog I was stuck on mainstream literature.  Books that you could get at your local bookstore, fully believing that I was helping these brick and mortar stores survive in this highly technical environment.  I even refuse (so far) to get an e-reader.  I like the feel and smell of a book.  I don’t have anything against those who use them, they are just not my cup of tea.

I have recently discovered indie authors.  I know that this is not a new concept, but I really didn’t realize what I was missing.  My first indie book was scary, man by Jeffrey Hickey (see my review of scary, man and interview with Jeffrey Hickey here).   If you read my review, you would know that I loved it.  During my interactions with Mr. Hickey, it came to light that because he uses CreatSpace (owned and governed by Amazon) to publish his books, he is being turned away from brick and mortar bookstores.  This not only includes shelf space but readings of his work.   Because of their hatred for Amazon, they have turned their backs on him, choosing to punish him for Amazon’s impending destruction of the traditional bookstore.   I am truly saddened by this information as I feel it is a no-win situation.  At a time when small businesses should be supporting each other, bookstores have chosen to dig their heels in and in turn contribute to the downfall of the CreateSpace author.

Please  be aware that this is one man’s struggles.  I have not heard first hand of any others, but have done research and found that this is a common theme for CreateSpace authors.  Bookstores are unhappy with the discount they are receiving as well as the return policy.

Having gotten that off of my chest, I would like to challenge you to pick up an indie book (whether the author uses CreateSpace or not) and experience one for yourself.  On my left sidebar I have a list of indie authors’ names that include links to their websites.  These authors are worth checking out.  I am still on the indie path for now and will continue to add to that list as I find authors and books that you should know about.


  1. Christine says:

    I’ve read a few books by indie authors, but had no idea about the problems with CreateSpace regarding physical book stores! Thank you so much for this information! I’m not entirely sure what I can do about it, but perhaps now that I know about it I’ll be able to think of some way I can help.

    • I agree. I was so baffled when I was told this. I sat on the information for a week trying to figure out a way to help. The only thing I have thought of so far is blogging about. Maybe it will do some good. Who knows, but it did feel good to talk about it. ~Deanna

      • Christine says:

        Definitely bringing awareness to it would be a good idea. Perhaps posting on the NaNoWriMo forums could even help with that. CreateSpace is one of the sponsors and this year they’re offering up two free paperback copies of a finished book. Most of the authors on there have only previously discussed the problems you’ll face if you want to find a publisher after having self-published, not what happens as far as getting the word out about your book.

  2. As I mentioned to you in our correspondence, the stance of these bookstores is sadly ironic, one small business punishing another, and hypocritical, because there’s a pretty good chance some or all of their personnel use Amazon for other things. Finally, no matter how legitimate they feel for this stance, the bottom line is it cheapens the inventory of the bookstore by not carrying our work, and tarnishes their legacy. One other thing–this is truly a hardship for me, and other CreateSpace authors, but it will not lead to our downfall. Even as bookstores fail to evolve, we’ll keep writing.

    • I personally am glad that you will continue to write and that this will not deter you. I got the sense when I was doing some research that those authors who wished to continue doing what they love will eventually switch publishing platforms. Hopefully they will soldier on as well.

      • I will always keep an eye open for platforms that could be beneficial for me. As an indie author (by choice, by the way), I have to remain adaptable and open to a better deal. But so far, I’ve loved working with CreateSpace, KIndle, and With them, I get all my work released globally in every format, with fair and professional royalties, and complete transparency in the reporting and payment of those royalties. I published traditionally years ago, and did not receive either the fair wage, or transparency. I must add–CreateSpace has been very responsive and professional for my needs. Thanks for creating this discussion.

  3. I’m shocked and saddened to hear that. Amazon isn’t going to go away anytime soon and I find Indie authors often write outside the normal genres which I find refreshing. Great idea for your sidebar, thank you.

  4. For what it’s worth, I can recommend Lulu as a solid alternative to Amazon’s CreateSpace. I’ve only published one book through Lulu, but I’ve been very happy with their service, the quality of the printed books, and the user community. I have met with nothing but support from the brick-and-mortar stores that I’ve worked with directly, and stores nationwide are able to order the book via Ingram. Indie authors can choose a self-publishing route that stands apart from Amazon.

    That said, I must add that the vast majority of my book sales have been through Amazon, despite the fact that my book is available on Barnes & Noble, Apple iTunes Books, Google Play, Kobo, and Lulu, as well as being easy to find on

  5. toni d. says:

    Goodness! That’s a bit much if bookstores, especially local independent ones, did that to independent authors. You would think they of all would know how hard it is to be indie. It’s just plain spiteful isn’t it? I can see no sensible reason at all for them to turn independents away, unless they truly feel that the book wouldn’t sell and they wouldn’t get a sale or return for them.

  6. DoingDewey says:

    That’s awful! I’ve been trying to read more indie books this year and will hopefully do even better next year because I agree that we need to support awesome indie authors 🙂

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