print book sales

Quick Overview of Printing with CreateSpace


While eBooks and Audio-Books are very popular, offering print books is almost a must!  Beside larger quantities at traditional printing and digital printing, Print-on-Demand is the most economically way of creating print titles. For self-publishers and small imprint, CreateSpace is a popular supplier and distributor.

CreateSpace is Amazon’s POD subsidiary and provides the most competitively priced Print-on-Demand service: If an author-publisher delivers a perfectly prepared PDF manuscript it is almost free to set-up the print book. Just the proof copy has to be purchased, and the postage.  So, for less than $10 the book production can start – a very tiny investment.

Reasons for Print Books:

  • The majority of book buyers still chooses printed books
  • You can offer review copies to newspaper/magazine or book reviewers
  • To be hosted at local media / TV – interviewers who want to show a copy of your book
  • To sell your book easier to libraries
  • To participate in a Goodreads Giveaway
  • To sell your book to those who love paper books
  • If you write non-fiction – it is almost a must to offer it in paper as well
  • With an ISBN number you can get listed with Bowker at worldwide bookstores
  • Physical books are just nicer to give on Christmas or birthdays

Benefits of Print-on-Demand with CreateSpace 
Your book remains in-stock, without inventory, made on-demand when customers order. Other advantages are:

  • Fast and reliable distribution to Amazon.
  • Fast and affordable shipping to US customers.
  • Shipping “review copies” to bloggers and/or for giveaways such as on Goodreads.
  • This do-it-yourself option for authors charges no setup fee and proofs cost only the print price for an individual book.

A video and calculator let you figure out how much you will make every time your book is manufactured.  Decide the size, color(s) and numbers of pages to learn how much revenue you will earn.  CreateSpace takes 40% when you sell on Amazon, and 60% for expanded distribution (other online stores, libraries or bookstores).

Book Description
Each book will have its own page on,,,,, and  Your book description can have up to 4,000 characters or about 760 words.
After you have approved your proof copy and made your book available for sale, you may change only your book’s description, keywords, BISAC category, and list price.  You can update this information through your CreateSpace account; please allow up to five to seven business days for this information to update on your book’s,, and Amazon Europe detail pages.

No Advertising Whatsoever
You won’t find a phone number, email or social media address, or website of an author in a trade-published book.  The same is true for books produced and distributed by CreateSpace.  You won’t get the same promotion benefits in print that you get in eBooks.  Details what else to consider can be found on CreateSpace website:

  • Phone numbers, physical mail addresses, e-mail addresses, or website URLs.
  • Availability, price, condition, alternative ordering information (such as links to other websites for placing orders), or alternative shipping offers (such as free shipping).
  • Spoilers (information that reveals plot elements crucial to the suspense, mystery, or surprise ending of a story).
  • Reviews, quotes, or testimonials.(Editorial Review section excluded)
  • Solicitations for positive customer reviews.
  • Pornographic, obscene, or offensive content.
  • Advertisements, promotional material, or watermarks on images, photos, or videos.
  • Time-sensitive information (i.e., dates of promotional tours, seminars, lectures, etc.).

Two Book Distribution Options:

  • Standard Distribution
  • Delivers to, as well as
  • Amazon’s European websites including,,,, Customers ordering from Amazon’s European websites can take advantage of Free Super Saver Shipping, One-Day-Shipping, and Prime savings.
  • CreateSpace eStore
    CreateSpace handles the cart, credit card processing, and fulfillment of your customer’s orders.
  • Expanded Distribution
    These additional sales channels make your book available for order to online retailers, bookstores, libraries, academic institutions, and distributors within the United States.

Submission Rules for Your Book to CreateSpace:
To upload your book to CreateSpace you will enter most of your book’s metadata directly within your account on your Project Homepage:

  • title and subtitle,
  • author name,
  • book description,
  • trim size,
  • paper color, etc.
  • Some of your book’s metadata, like page count, will auto-populate when your files are submitted.
  • Color Images: Resolution: 300 DPI or higher
  • Format: JPEG (JPEG Photoshop compression level with quality 10 or higher), or TIFF
  • Spine Text and Barcodes: CreateSpace only prints spine text on books with more than 130 pages. Text on larger spines must be sized to fit the spine, with at least 0.0625″ of space between the text and the edge of the spine.
  • All covers must have a 300 DPI barcode on the back cover, and the barcode must be at least 1.5″ wide and .9″ high.

More Tips:
To get help with submissions, use their online chat system. If you make an error, simply upload a new file at no charge. There are also several YouTube videos that show you exactly how to upload your PDF file to CreateSpace.

Do use your own ISBN – do not buy it from CS.
Bowker is the official distributor and only when you buy it there, you will be the publisher!
CS offers to sell you an ISBN for $99 that you can put your own imprint on. If you spend another $196 you can buy 10 of them from Bowker!

Order at least two proof copies of your book – things never look the same on screen as they do in print.  You don’t have to read the whole book word for word, but thumb through all the pages to make sure the interior of your print book looks professional.  Have another person (or several) carefully look trough your proof copy as well. The cost for a proof copy is the same as the cost of a single book, plus shipping and handling.

Ordering Print Copies of Your Own Book
Orders you place for your title are “Member Orders.”  When you order copies of your own book, you pay just the fixed and per-page charges plus shipping and handling.  Use their calculator to see your per-book, proof order cost, and shipping and handling costs. How revenues (wrongly called “royalties) are calculated can be found in detail at this CreateSpace page:



How Much Do Authors Really Earn?



“It doesn’t help authors to say that 70% of the book market is in print if only a small fraction of that money ends up in authors’ pockets.  What we want to see is the combined effect of royalty rate, sales volume, and sale price.  These three factors combine to give us a true picture of comparative earnings, as shown in our pie charts” says Hugh Howey, founder of Author Earnings.

A Fantastic Report About Author Earnings
He explains: “Sports stars, musicians, actors— their salaries are often discussed.  This is less true for authors, and it creates unrealistic expectations for those who pursue writing as a career.  Now with every writer needing to choose between self-publishing and submitting to traditional publishers, the decision gets even more difficult. Online Book Retailers, such as Barnes&Noble or Amazon don’t share their e-book sales figures.”

Website for Authors, by Authors
Author Earnings, a website by authors and for authors looks at independent authors, small/medium publishers, Amazon published, Big Five published and uncategorized Single-Authors.  All the pie-charts on Author Earnings are divided into all the types of publishing.  The purpose is to gather and share information so that writers can make informed decisions.  Another mission is to call for change within the publishing community, for better pay and fairer terms in all contracts. 

Some of the Findings

• Big-5 publishers are massively reliant on their most established authors – for 63% of their e-book revenue.
• Roughly 46% of traditional publishing’s fiction book dollars are coming from e-books.
• In absolute numbers, more self-published authors are earning a living wage today than Big-5 authors.
• Readers are interested in both: the quality of a book and the price
• Very few authors who debut with major publishers make enough money to earn a living—and modern advances don’t help.

Publishing in Print or Digital – or Both?
Author Earnings:
“How much money is being spent on print overall and how much on Amazon’s digital storefront?  Before we got to money, we looked at actual unit sales, which came out to be 61% digital and 39% print.  That’s a total different picture, comparing versions at a retailer that sells both: ebooks and print books.”

These, so far, nine extensive reports – chock-full with charts, explanations and publishing tips – are a valuable resource for every author.  Here is the latest from October 2014:  Author Earnings.

Another question: Why should you have a print book and not the digital version only?  In a former blog post we gave you all the reasons to offer both: e-book and print. Check these reasons if they are valid for you too.


If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $179 for three months – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting for writers:

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 1,100 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.

Thanks a lot for following us on these Social Networks:

@111publishing 111Publishing @ Google+


Hyper Smash


Tagged: Author Central, Author Earnings, Hugh Howey, Kindle Direct Publishing, print book sales, Sales Rank Express, The 7K Report

7 Tips to Follow Your PRINT Book Sales


Amazon gives authors detailed information on Author Central how you can follow your print book sales – or if you can receive any information at all about the sales of your paperback or hardcover book. Not easy to follow up your actual print book sales numbers.

1. When Will You Get Sales Numbers:
Should you be a lucky bestseller author, you can follow your numbers hourly: The Amazon Bestsellers Rank History graph is updated every hour in Author Central and on your books’ detail pages on
Each Friday, 12:00am Pacific Time/ 3am Eastern Time, new sales numbers for print books by Nielsen BookScan data appear.

-  Sales by Geography BookScan divides the continental US into geographic areas, known as Designated Market Areas (DMAs), by       ZIP codes
–  Sales by Week

2. Will You Receive Sales Numbers?
Amazon’s sales tab lets you see how your print books were selling in the U.S. A. during the last 4 weeks. Your PRINT book sales figures are provided by Nielsen BookScan and include ca. 3/4 of the retail print book sales in the U.S., including – most – of Amazon print sales.

Sales Numbers DO NOT INCLUDE for example:

– Books published through CreateSpace
– All Sales to Libraries
– Purchases by wholesalers
– Sales of used books
– Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) sales
– Pre-orders—orders for a book before the book is released

And Amazon warns: “If a disproportionate number of your books are sold by stores that do not report to Nielsen, your sales information may underestimate your total sales. If your book is registered with Ingram (largest whole sale company), you will see sales info. If your book is Print-on-Demand, (such as CreateSpace, LS Spark, Lulu or BookBaby) your publishing company may not report ISBNs to Ingram and you may not see any sales information.”

3. Amazon Explains How They Get the Numbers
Author Central obtains sales data from Nielsen BookScan. To be reported, a book’s seller must participate in Nielsen BookScan and the book must appear in BookScan’s bibliography. This bibliography is generated from a number of third party sources including the Ingram Book Company. CreateSpace books may be eligible for the Bookstores & Online Retailers outlet of the “Expanded Distribution Channel”, which includes enrolment with the Ingram Book Company. Contact CreateSpace to learn more about the “Expanded Distribution Channel”.
Nielsen “estimates” they report “approximately” 75% of print book sales in the US retail market, depending on which retailers participate in Nielsen (pretty costly!). Additionally, different reporting time periods result in different reports data between Author Central and your publisher or distributor.

4. How to Use the Sales Info Tab
The Sales Info tab in Author Central helps you identify sales TRENDS. The information shown on this tab is provided by Nielsen BookScan, and is not meant to replace reports you receive from your publisher. If you have more than one book in your bibliography, the Sales Info tab defaults to an All Books view, which displays the total number of copies of your entire bibliography sold. To see copies sold for an individual book, click the orange triangle next to the All Books heading and select an individual book. BookScan “Highlights” tell you how many copies sold in the most recent week. Sales by Geography and Sales by Week tell you how many copies sold in the time period selected.

5. Amazon Bestseller Rank History
Amazon: “Our Bestsellers Rank History page shows the bestseller rank summary of all your books. Selecting an individual book shows a chart of your book’s Amazon Bestsellers Rank over time. Sales ranks are updated every hour of every day around-the-clock. Bestsellers Rank does not include sales from any of our International websites”. Only the US Bestsellers are displayed. Bestsellers Rank shows how well books in the catalog are selling – relative to other books in the catalog.

6. Foreign Sales Data
Currently, Author Central provides Nielsen BookScan sales data about their U.S. sales only, to you, the Author Central member .

7. Kindle Books NOT Included in BookScan
Members of the Kindle Direct Publishing program have access to reporting data, which is updated weekly. You can view your sales reports there.

Is Your Book Successful Selling?
There are more ways to measure if you are right on track to Bestsellerdom – worldwide – using Aaron Shepard’s Sales Rank Express.  Here are even more numbers about book sales and author earnings in general – also not about your own book: The 7K ReportThe other question is “How much money do I earn with my book”? Read this humorous article by Patrick Wensink on




If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $179 for three months – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting for writers:

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 1,100 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.
Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing 111Publishing @ Google+


Hyper Smash


Tagged: Author Central, How many print books did I sell, Kindle Direct Publishing, Nielsen BookScan, print book sales, Sales Rank Express, The 7K Report

%d bloggers like this: