Monday, August 16, 2010

CreateSpace, Amazon and Barnes and Noble - Expanded Distribution

When I self-published one of my first books about coaching basketball, a true disadvantage, albeit a small one, was the book would only be sold on the internet via my web site and Amazon. Since my business and marketing plan was to follow the sage advice of book marketing expert Aaron Shepherd as advocated in his book Aiming at Amazon, I did not see this as a problem. I planned to steer my sales to Amazon.

Without much fanfare several months ago, CreateSpace started a new program where authors could sign their books up for expanded distribution as part of the ProPlan service. I was in the process of publishing a new book at the time and went back and signed up for this service for all of my books. Within a period of two weeks the books I signed up for the service appeared on the Barnes and Noble web site.

I still did not think much of the expanded distribution service. I had enough to do trying to promote and market my books, work on new projects and keep up with my real job. Until I got last month's sales figures that is.

One of my books sold 36 copies last month. Eleven of those were via expanded distribution. The CreateSpace monthly report, which is much more detailed than it used to be, another positive improvement by CreateSpace, included a breakdown of how and where each copy was sold and on what date.  Eleven of those 36 sales took place on Barnes and Noble, not Amazon. Without lifting a single finger, I had sold eleven books!

That got my attention.  Eleven books may not sound like a lot, but it was nearly one third of that title's sales last month! I have to give CreateSpace their credit when it's due. While my profit per copy was less (the price you have to pay for expanded distribution sales - after all, Amazon is letting a competitor sell a book it is publishing for your), because of a new program that took me about 30 seconds to register my book for, I increased my sales.

This is one more positive feature authors searching for a company to use as their POD service.