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What's Your Biggest Challenge with Your Book?

I'd be interested to learn what authors/publishers on this network think their biggest challenges are with their book. I wonder if there's any common, pervasive challenge we all face.

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Replies to This Discussion I know by experience. The question is what to do now?

Well,I would say since you went that far you have a cover design and your book has been edited.Depending on the contract,notify them you are pulling your title and use something like createspace which will do your book for free as long as you don't need the services I already mentioned.

They have a great calculator as far as what your royalty would be and the price you would set.Their reporting on royalties is good.If you like I can give you the number of a contact since I just finished speaking to two of them from there to get a feel about how good they are for my report.

Hope this was of some help

Michael, make sure to look closely at those Better Business Bureau ratings. If they list that there are lots of unresolved complaints, then it's a good indication of a questionable business, but if a publisher gets a bad rating and you don't see unresolved complaints, it may be that they refused to join the BBB to pay the yearly fee. Hopefully, it's just certain chapters of the BBB that are involved, but it's become a pretty wide-spread problem. Every publisher should check their presence on the BBB regularly.

For more information, see this 20/20 report:


and search "BBB sucks" on Google. (Interestingly, if you look up the BBB to see if there are unresolved complaints about it, you'll discover that it isn't there!) I was just made aware of this last week.


Interesting video, but I think the gentleman was treated unfairly asking to reply to rare cases by a reporter that looked like he wanted to bite the guys neck.

First off when I consider the BBB Grade it is only after looking at the list of unresolved complaints.I count those reports even more when they match reports from other sources.

You're going about it the right way by looking at unresolved complaints rather than only at the grades.

I think what's happened is that the BBB has discovered a way to monetize, which isn't necessarily wrong. But some BBB locations are apparently outsourcing to marketing firms which put pressure to join, or else you can't correct your bad ranking. The new "services" offered lend themselves to misuse on a local level.

The reason I mention it is that a not-for-profit I'm familiar with had absolutely no complaints against them, but after a marketer encouraged them to sign up for BBB services and didn't pay the fee to sign up, they were listed as being uncooperative with efforts to get information. This was posted without knowledge of the not-for-profit, thus potentially harming their reputation unknowingly for years.

Michael, I'd be interested in hearing your rating of CreateSpace and Lightning Source. I expect there are pros and cons of all of them, but guidance is so important to the small publisher. Many thanks...  Judith


Judith,Lightning source is different than services like Createspace in that they truely deal with Publishers directly and not authors.Therefore,you can self publish through them but they won't provide editing or other support services,you must have your product ready to publish.Their prices are reasonable $100 plus 1.5 cents a page.They are really an Ingram company and well connected.They get an A+ from BBB and for what they are score an 85 on my scale due to their ease of use.

Createspace seems to a company I will grade highly but I am talking to one of their chief editors Monday at 10am so I will have a more full report then.

They do have an A+ with BBB

I hope this was of some use



I'm close to publishing a book on writing/publishing/marketing. In it, I give a cost/benefits comparison between Lightning Source, CreateSpace, and BookLocker. I use Booklocker (Angela Hoy) as an example of a subsidy publisher, because I've heard from others that they're good to deal with and are very up front and fair with their prices. Did you do any research of them? Would be interested to know your opinion of them before I publish the information.


Also, when evaluating subsidy publishers, do you take into account what they require a book to sell for and how much author copies cost? For me, I like to sell a lot of my own books at speaking engagements and like to offer a lot of books to popular blogs for review. Thus, a main consideration is how much I have to pay for author copies. It seems to me that this is the markup for most subsidy publishers.


One subsidy publisher I've heard lots of complaints about requires their authors to sell their books at such a high price as to make them very difficult to sell.


I've been very impressed with the quality, responsiveness, and professionalism CreateSpace, although I know many authors who simply love LightningSource. As far as I can tell, to use LightningSource you pretty much have to become a publisher by choosing a name for your company, buying your own ISBNs, and looking in a mirror and declaring: "I am a publisher." Not sure if you have to already have several books published or not. Thus, both would be open to use as self-publishers.


But I can get author copies much cheaper through Lightning Source or CreateSpace than through the subsidy publishers I look at. To me that's a huge benefit.


J. Steve Miller
President, Legacy Educational Resources
Author of Enjoy Your Money! How to Make It, Save It, Invest It and Give It
"The money book for people who hate money books."

Steve, looked at your site and I would be very interested in your book. Even after 14 months and 3 books (and counting) I still struggle with promotion. Although for me - the more personal events, school visits seem to work the best.

I've gone both ways - traditional and self - with CreateSpace BTW. To tell the truth, I NEVER expected to become the publisher of my own books.


Shawn Lamb

author of Allon YA fantasy series

Yes Steve,Lightning Source will allow you to declare yourself a publisher and yes,you need to buy your own ISBN's.You don't have to have previous titles to do business with them.After all,this may be your "publishing" companies first book

Createspace is a printer not a publisher so they use Ingram to do your book,they just farm out their printing to Lightning Source in place of you.This is the reason when you have a book done by Createspace you won't have a publishers name on your book unless you create one for them to put in there.

So why use Createspace? Well if you don't need any editing,cover or other pay for fee services you wouldn't.Also,Createspace doesn't get into hardcover as far as I can tell.

I haven't finished with Booklocker as of yet,it's prices seem low and it is also in a few scrapes with some of the others.As of now they are suing

Michael, thanks for the confirmation on Lightning Source concerning what they consider a "publisher."


But I think if you check more closely, CreateSpace uses its own POD printing equipment. My CreateSpace books are mailed to me from Charleston, SC, which was the headquarters of BookSurge, which Amazon merged with CreateSpace.

My wife did get one of her books printed in hardcover with them also.


I almost went with Lightning Source for my last book, but found that I got a better price with CreateSpace for author copies with the dimensions I was using for a paper cover book. As I was working through Lightning Source's "how to" manuals, I discovered that once you get into larger dimensions (like the size of a "For Dummies" book), they start charging more.


Concerning printers, things might get a bit more complicated. If someone orders a CreateSpace book from Amazon, the CreateSpace POD printers do the printing. But if a bookstore orders the same CreateSpace book through Ingram, Amazon may have a deal with Ingram/LightningSource by which LightningSource prints it. Not sure.

Yes Steve I agree.I just spoke to Gaines Hill from their headquarters is SC and it was he, who told me they do have their own POD printing equipment.That is why I wanted to wait until I spoke to him before saying more.I am quite impressed by the links he sent to me on how the cover and interior are done.

Although they do offer pay for fee services they don't require that you purchase them to print your book.I think the prices they ask for the services are reasonable and allow the author to decide just how polished they want the book to be.

Two reasons I didn't think they produced a hard cover is Booklocker claimed they didn't, and when I looked at Createspace's calculator I didn't see a break off for it, but thanks for the added info.


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