Friday, February 5, 2010

CreateSpace versus Lighting Source - CreateSpace Wins for now

For those who have been following my comparison of the two companies, CreateSpace and Lightning Source, the experiment has been put on hold until my next book. Simply stated, it makes more sense to use CreateSpace to self-publish The Game of Basketball than it does to use LSI.

The reasons are simple, at least to me. The first is LSI is dragging its feet setting up my account.  I have no doubt that LSI will eventually get it done, the problem is the month of March is fast approaching.  I really want the book ready to go so I can tie in my early promotional efforts with the annual March Madness of the NCAA basketball tournament and the all the various state tournaments for high school basketball.  I know how long it will take from start to finish to get the book listed on Amazon with CreateSpace and time has run out in my mind for me to be able to use LSI to get the book to printed, distributed and to market in time.

My sole reason for wanting to use LSI instead of CreateSpace is the ability to set a short discount. By using LSI as the POD printer and distributor I can make more per copy for sales on Amazon than I can using CreateSpace. Since Amazon owns CreateSpace, Amazon controls the discount the author sets for the book. 

The difference winds up being a little over $1 per sale on Amazon.  That $1 can add up pretty quickly with a lot of sales on Amazon. CreateSpace will provide me with a lower per copy price than LSI will, both for wholesale distribution and sales to the publisher.  This is an issue for me.

Because most of my books are written for basketball coaches, I sell books to specialty retailers whose market is made up of coaches.  The lower per copy price allows me to make more money from that source of sales.  I sell books at coaching clinics I speak at and direct sales are more profitable with lower per copy pricing.

Finally, this particular book, The Game of Basketball, is meant for players as well as coaches. Part of my marketing strategy is for coaches to be able to use this book as a textbook of sorts for their players, to help the players understand the game on a mental level and to learn about the finer points, the intangibles of the game, that will make them a better player.  I plan to offer heavily discounted pricing for bulk orders for teams.  Thus the need once again for the lowest possible price per copy.  CreateSpace wins again.

I am willing to make less money on Amazon on each sale because I will make more money on other important sources of sales.  I also want to launch the book with the onset of March Madness.  Even Aaron Shepard says not every book is well suited for being printed and distributed by LSI.

I do plan on using LSI for my next book that I am working on.  So the experiment will be completed then and I will update my findings on using the two companies at that time.