CreateSpace vs IngramSpark: Which One is Better for Self Publishing?

CreateSpace vs IngramSpark: Which One is Better for Self Publishing?



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hello everybody you might be vaguely aware that I recently published a novel no big deal I am an indie author I published the savior's champion through Ingram spark and I promised you guys that I would review their platform and let you know whether or not their cyborg approved but a lot of you have also asked about create space which is the platform I use to publish my debut novel since there have been requests for reviews of both of these platforms I figured why not just review them side-by-side I've broken down each platform into what I feel are the eight most relevant categories and I'm gonna let you know which platform excelled in these categories and which one was a big fat fail at the end of this I will give you my final thoughts and whether or not each platform is cyborg approved but first what the hell or Ingram's spark and create space Ingram spark and create space are self-publishing platforms are you believe the two most popular out there they allow authors and small publishers to publish and distribute their novels Ingram spark provides authors with access to engrams global distribution network for both print and ebooks CreateSpace is an Amazon company that allows authors to publish print books via Amazon and other platforms now it's time to pit them against each other and see who survives category number one navigation how user-friendly is each platform the createspace website is super basic and kind of outdated but it gets the job done everything is clearly labeled and more importantly all the publishing steps are very easy to follow additionally CreateSpace provides a user manual that tells you exactly how to operate their platform if you have any questions at any point you can refer to the manual and it will spell out on the flip side the Ingram SPARC website is a lot more aesthetically appealing but it is not intuitive at all you click on different headings and it takes you to places you are not expecting to go to like create space Ingram SPARC also provides a user manual however a big chunk of it focuses on pre-publication like editing and copywriting you know the you should have figured out before you published when it comes to the actual navigation the information is generalized and not particularly helpful and the publishing steps are not clear enough to navigate with confidence for example there are publishing steps that have very similar names but do entirely different thing am i approving my cover or am i literally approving my novel to be released for sale all over the internet the difference matters additionally each novel receives two publication dates the on sale dates and the publication date why who knows the user manual gives you roundabout explanation that means jack-shit I could go on but the point is ingress Park is not user friendly and CreateSpace is the clear winner number two pricing which platform is the cheapest this is overlooking all add-on features and focusing solely on mandatory costs so let's start with createspace it's free last I used it there were no fees for publishing then we move on to Ingram spark and Erma sparks publication process is a little confusing has we already covered they basically allow you to publish bundles which consists of one physical book and one ebook publishing one of these bundles has a fee of $49 if you decide to make significant revisions to your book that's an additional fee of $25 that said you do have the option of getting your initial $49 fee refunded if you buy 50 copies of your novel well Ingram sparks fees are definitely cheap CreateSpace doesn't have any at all which means once again create spaces the winner number three distribution which platform allows your work to be sent to which retailers both create space and Ingram spark offer expanded distribution which basically means you have the option to make your book available to a bunch of online retailers that said and this is based on personal opinion I found the expanded distribution option much more visible in Ingram spark than create space I'm not sure if this is just how I interpreted it but it seems like ingress parks platform revolves around expanded distribution since they are a direct line to Ingram's global distribution network with create space it's felt more like an afterthought maybe because they're an Amazon company and they're hoping you'll go Amazon exclusive maybe this is just my incorrect interpretation I don't know regardless I'm going with Ingram spark on this one because I thought their distribution options were a lot more transparent number four production which kind of books can you publish the reach platform if you publish through create space you can produce a paperback novel and you can then use Amazon KDP to create the ebook if you publish through Ingram spark you can produce an ebook and a paperback and a hardback a hardback there are a lot of authors who go through Ingram's bark for this reason alone hard backs are pretty as plus it's another format to offer your readers which means another potential revenue stream because of this I gotta give this one a Ingram spark number 5 pre-orders which platform allows you to feature your novel for presale let's start with create space which as I already mentioned is a partner of Amazon if you publish an e-book through Amazon KDP you can make it available for presale up to three months before your release date however you cannot make any createspace paperback books available for pre-sale which is some then we move on to Ingram spark which allows you to make ebooks paperbacks and hardbacks available for pre-sale on a bunch of retailer sites for as long as you please there is no three-month maximum there is no limitation to Amazon your book can be available for pre-sale on the Book Depository Barnes & Noble com whatever for me this was a huge win for Ingram spark and a major fail for CreateSpace number 6 quality which platform makes nicer books I'm gonna cut to the chase Ingram spark books just look nicer they blend right in with traditionally published books that doesn't mean CreateSpace books are garbage they just looked cheaper than Ingram spark books additionally anyone who's ever ordered a bulk shipment of books knows that sometimes you get duds some of the books are gonna be up whether it's in the printing the binding something the platform will replace them for you so there's no need to freak out that's sad I've gotten way more duds from create space than Ingram spark I once received a shipment that was literally half duds which is upsetting if you think about all that wasted paper once again Ingram spark wins this one and create space needs to stuff it's number 7 reports which platform makes it easiest to track your earnings and sales CreateSpace has a bunch of reports available to you they're updated in a timely manner and they're clear you could track your sales per month you can track your units sold you can track your payments it's very simple last said when it comes to ebook sales your numbers are typically reported through Amazon KDP and their reports are a disorganized mess they make it easy to generate daily sales but I don't know anyone who wants daily figures I want monthly figures and they have that information too but only for a limited time you can manually generate reports from past months but the spreadsheets are a mess they don't give you any totals then we look at Ingram's bar I'm gonna keep it real it's a bitch to access your reports through Ingram Sparks website however they will email your reports directly to you at the end of each month and these email reports are really simple they tell you the total number of books you sold for that month as well as the money you made which is literally all I want to know I am definitely giving this one to Ingram spark lastly number 8 customer service who's got the most helpful employees I've never had an issue with create spaces customer service they are very prompt you usually hear back within 24 hours and they are super accommodating whenever I received dud copies I send them a few pictures and they replace them no problem Ingram spark on the other hand okay look I used to work in customer service I know how much it sucks but goddamn it's not the worst customer service I've ever received but it's also not pleasant I once submitted a question to them three times because they just never answered it when I send them pictures of my dud copies I have to jump through hoops to get them replaced it covers that were misprinted and they wanted me to take a picture with a ruler to prove that the image was more than 1/16 of an inch off center they're really slow and apathetic so CreateSpace wins this round so those were the categories and looking back we got three points for CreateSpace and five for Ingram spark making Ingram spark the winner however I haven't given my personal thoughts yet and maybe that'll change everything it changes nothing I judge these platforms based on eight categories but not all of these categories are weighted equally the importance of each one will depend on the author if you're new to publishing and have no idea what you're doing ease of navigation might be your top priority but I'm a full time author my income is generated from book sales so it's important to me that my publishing platform is as professional as possible and caters to my customer base thus for me the most important qualities of a self publishing platform are as follows distribution I want as many retailers as possible to feature my novel pre-orders I want all formats available for pre-order in order to boost my released week quality I want my books to be beautiful I want my readers to be excited when receive their coffee and lastly production hardback novels are a premium product that readers love to body Ingram spark one all of these categories and create space failed they were not competing at the same level thus I have to say create space unfortunately is not cyborg approved they're great for a first-time publishing experience their user navigation is vastly superior but ultimately I don't think they have enough features to accommodate a professional on the flip side Ingram spark is indeed cyborg approved however it's not the most enthusiastic approval over all I give them a b-minus which definitely isn't bad but who wants a b-minus no one that's who additionally there is one last negative about Ingram spark that I didn't get to mention because it didn't fit into any of the categories and that is a book royalties CreateSpace is all about physical books whereas Ingram spark allows you to publish physical books and ebooks however the royalty rate for e-books via Ingram spark is only about forty to forty-five percent which is really unimpressive for comparison royalty rates for publishing an e-book via Amazon KDP can be 60 to 70 percent what I personally did to circumvent this issue was I published the Kindle version of TSE directly through Amazon KDP that way I could cash in on the higher royalty percentage all other ebook versions of TSE like Nook iBooks and Kobo I published through Ingram spark so there you have it that is my review of CreateSpace and Ingram spark if there are any other writing services you'd like me to review comment them below don't forget to subscribe to my channel I post new videos on Wednesdays and if you want to be alerted as soon as I upload ring that bell ring a ding ding ding ding dong ding dong ding my dark fantasy novel the saviors champion is available for purchase and ebook and hardback I've got all the links listed below pick yourself up a copy it's available everywhere and be sure to follow me on social media I'm on Instagram a Tumblr Facebook and of course you can tweet me at generosity bye


  1. Thank you, That was an informative and useful video. Pretty much confirmed some things I was already aware of but helped me make up my mind re who to go for. You could have also included corporate social responsibility factors for those of us who take such factors into account. Not just in terms of paying taxes, paying a living wage and working conditions (supply chain responsibility is a major issue for some), but also stuff like will the print on FSC paper (for those who are concerned for the environmental impact).

  2. One thing I noticed is that last I checked Ingramspark had limited shipping options if you want copies. One that is insured with tracking and is outrageously expensive; the less expensive route with no tracking or insurance is their scapegoat when you read reviews they are not liable if we choose the cheaper route. So if your books get lost your SOL. Who ships without tracking these days? Its under 2.00 to get a tracking number. Also i have complained years ago to at least tape their boxes when shipping. Mine had been opened and crushed in the past. Customer service makes my chest all tight. So much resistence it hurts. Gotta keep thinking positive it works cause I'm still with them. Ingramspark that is…

  3. Great review and comparison. Amazing presence. CreateSpace is no longer an option. It is all Amazon now, and Amazon print book quality is not nearly as good as CreateSpace. Their platform for uploading books is a nightmare. I'm considering Ingram Sparks.

  4. I was reading in IngramSpark’s user agreement that you can’t publish an ebook with them to Amazon if you had published an ebook with Amazon within the last 12 months. Have you run into this?

  5. Hi Thankyou for the video very informative. I had a few questions.

    You said you published the kindle version directly on Amazon. Did you have to notify Ingramspark to only publish the ebook version to avoid conflict.

    Do you need two separate ISBNs for the ebook and kindle.

    What are the consequences for someone if they published kindle, ebook and paperback on both platforms (amazon and Ingrams)

  6. I'm new at this.. And after slogging through other youtubers, I must say, YOU ARE THE SHIT! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR A GREAT Concise, and to the point video. Thank you for not selling your site and boring me.. Seriously… GREAT JOB. Big help and so crisp and easy. A+++ 🙂

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