Friday, July 29, 2011

CreateSpace versus Lightning Source (Ingram Spark) - Title Comparison

With the current pressure from Amazon, or at least that is what it seems like, for self-published authors and Indie publishers to switch from Lightning Source to CreateSpace for POD services, I was curious just how many titles CreateSpace prints.

An advanced search on Amazon showed there are some 85,115 paperback titles, 18 hardcover books, 1,801 Kindle books and 4 audio CDs that are "published" by CreateSpace. I am sure this number is low and includes only items which have CreateSpace provided ISBNs or a similar method of indicating CreateSpace is the publisher.

I had to talk to Customer Service today about a new title I just made available on Amazon as well as some issues with switching an title from Lightning Source to CreateSpace for distribution via Amazon. I asked if she knew how many titles CreateSpace published and she just laughed and said she had no idea where to even begin to look to find out that information. 

Is the answer to this question a closely guarded secret? Who knows. I do know the change in policy on the part of Amazon has wreaked absolute havoc on my Amazon sales for my book at Lightning Source. I sold a grand total of THREE copies this month and on a bad month this book sells over 50 copies.  

The slide in Amazon search results has started as well. The book has dropped from 3rd in its primary category to 6th. Kindle sales for the book have remained strong and July has been Game Strategy's best month so far in the Kindle store.  Hopefully the change over to CreateSpace has taken place quick enough to prevent further erosion of sales rank in the search results. The book has not been ranked this low since it was introduced in 2009.

For those who are curious as to what I am  referring to concerning Amazon and Lightning Source, you will want to read Amazon expert Aaron Shepard's most recent post (July 6, 2011 and updated July 21, 2011) about Amazon's apparent change of policy.

Why was I curious about how many titles CreateSpace is the print-on-demand service for? I just wanted to see if Amazon's change in policy is to push authors to CreateSpace. The numbers were lower than I expected but certainly do not include all the titles with ISBNs owned by the authors or the small publishers who use CreateSpace for print-on-demand.

I will continue to look into this if for no reason other than to satisfy my own curiosity. A comparison of titles printed by CreateSpace and the total number of titles printed by Lightning Source might be interesting if I can obtain the numbers.

Note: Lightning Source is now part of IngramSpark.