From The Blood-Red Pencil:
If you’re thinking of self-publishing not only in electronic form, but also in print, a huge consideration is your goal.
Do you wish to be considered a publisher in your own right?
If so, I recommend Lightning Source as your printer. If not, CreateSpace will work fine.
With Lightning Source as your printer, you’ll need to set up your own publishing company, which will establish you as a separate entity in the publishing world. This applies whether you’re having your own books published or if you’re widening the field as a small publisher and offering your services to others.
. . . .
When I published Killer Career through Lightning Source in August, 2009, I paid $75.00 for a setup fee, which was reasonable. To be competitive, Lightning Source also suggested a discount of at least 40% to bookstores. They also suggested accepting returns.
I wanted to play the game right, so I followed their suggestions about discounts and returns. I must admit regretting those choices and have since changed my specifications to a smaller discount and no returns.
One good thing about following their initial suggestions about discounts and returns was, after sending a letter, I got my book into the Barnes and Noble bookstores, mainly in my area. It also appeared in their catalog for ordering.
. . . .
I’ve focused a lot here on Lightning Source. CreateSpace is also good in its own right. If you’re publishing your own books and don’t care for the hassle of setting up your own publishing company, you can publish your books free through CreateSpace. For $25 more, you can pay for their expanded distribution as well, which will get you to libraries, Barnes and Noble and other online venues. For free, CreateSpace will supply you an ISBN through Amazon.
Link to the rest at The Blood-Red Pencil
PG thinks Ms. Mandel, the proprietor of The Blood-Red Pencil, may be working from outdated information. You can absolutely set up your own publisher, buy your own ISBN numbers, and publish through CreateSpace. In PG’s experience with POD books, whatever entity you use to purchase ISBN numbers is the one that shows up as the publisher when you use those ISBN numbers.
PG compared the listing for the POD version of Ms. Mandel’s book, Killer Career, with Mrs. PG’s latest, The Taming of Lady Kate (which is printed by CreateSpace) and each shows a publisher.
As many of you know, with expanded distribution on CreateSpace, you need to price your POD books high enough to pay for the costs of the distribution system. Even then, your royalties on books sold through expanded distribution are substantially lower than those sold on Amazon.
PG ended up turning off expanded distribution for Mrs. PG’s books when he discovered several bookstores purchasing books through CreateSpace’s expanded distribution system were undercutting Mrs. PG’s list price on Amazon. If Mrs. PG’s price was $9.99, some of the bookstores were selling for $8.99 or $8.49 or less. If you look at the listing for Ms. Mandel’s book, you’ll discover the Amazon price is $13.99 and new books are available from third party sellers for as low as $9.56.
Many customers would, for perfectly understandable reasons, purchase the books from the third-party bookstores and Mrs. PG would receive a substantially lower royalty because the sale was through the expanded distribution system.
After turning off expanded distribution, we generally dropped the prices for POD books to $7.99 so readers got a better deal and Mrs. PG received a nice royalty on each book sold through Amazon. For us, at least, the additional cost of the expanded distribution system on CreateSpace was not offset by significantly increased sales. It appeared to us that most of the expanded distribution sales were still going through Amazon.