Amazon CreateSpace Transition Not Smooth!

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  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    The point, Kevin, is that 1) philosophy is different than fiction and so requires a keener precision than the fictional domain,

    What nonsense. Do you ever read any SF? I wonder what Ron has to say about that?

    and 2) I am obsessive so if I can fix something, I generally will.

    With the number of Revisions you seem to do, you don't know when to stop, or how to get it right in the first place.

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    BTW, this is Lulu, not Amazon. Lulu may not take kindly to your constant mention over your publication at Amazon, via Amazon.
  • swmirskyswmirsky Publisher
    edited October 2018
    Kevin: What nonsense. Do you ever read any SF? I wonder what Ron has to say about that?

    Me: Haven't read much sci-fi in recent decades though I did recently read the sci-fi books by that Chinese author whose name escapes me (The Three-Body Problem and The Dark Forest). Haven't read the third yet and not sure I will though the individual who recommended the first two to me assures me the third and final volume in the trilogy is mind-blowing. While sci-fi can be pretty philosophical it's not philosophy per se, i.e., the kind of thing philosophers write when explicating some problem.

    KevinWith the number of Revisions you seem to do, you don't know when to stop, or how to get it right in the first place.

    Me: It's like the  United States Supreme Court on pornography. I'll know it when I see it. Besides, having written and self-published three other books and having edited and prepared for publication two others, I have some track record for completing these projects satisfactorily.

    Kevin:  Lulu may not take kindly to your constant mention over your publication at Amazon, via Amazon.

    Me: It's true, they may not. On the other hand I am assuming this site is for open and honest discussions and that Lulu is okay with that. I'm not slamming Lulu after all. I actually like this site and, as I've said before, have used it to good result in the past. Lulu can benefit from what I write here by learning how someone who has used both their service and Amazon's compares the two experiences. I am being very frank about all this and detailed so that we can all learn something and get better at what we do.

  • BTW, this is Lulu, not Amazon. Lulu may not take kindly to your constant mention over your publication at Amazon, via Amazon.
    This thread and the second one recently opened on this same subject are right on the line. I'm not eager to suppress discussions that others may find helpful.
    But a running commentary about why Amazon is the preferable choice is pushing our limits.
    As I posted in the other thread, let's drop this line of conversation and steer back toward conversations about writing and publishing, or questions about using Lulu.
  • As I said elsewhere, it's your call because you speak for Lulu here. But you know my view. I won't post again on this topic unless invited to.
  • I respect Lulu's proprietary interests on their own site, that's all. Enough said.
  • swmirskyswmirsky Publisher
    edited November 2018
    Okay, Amazon has fixed the problem of correcting the interior file by making the fix to the CreateSpace cover which I could not do for lack of access to it and lack of the expertise to correct. Now I am waiting for delivery of a book to make sure they got it right.

    The Lulu proof came and I checked it cursorily (fearing to get too involved with it again) and approved and hit "publish." I understand it will be six to eight weeks until it appears on Amazon's sale site.

    Now I must decide which edition to use and thus obtain in sufficient quantity to use as "reviewer copies" though that term doesn't apply in the normal way to this book which is a work of philosophy, not fiction, memoir, cook book or the like.

    And I have returned, for now, to my earlier project, a work of historical fiction which I expect to self-publish if I am satisfied with the result. Haven't yet decided whether to use Lulu or Amazon's KDP program. One factor to take into account is the page count. Unlike my philosophy book, this novel will be substantial and we all know what that means: an astronomically high retail cost which means sales are likely to be lousy (for this book sales will matter). Thus far, my experience is that retail prices are higher using Lulu than Amazon KDP. That works against the former in favor of the latter. But there are other factors to consider including quality of the packaging (i.e., the cover art), customer support, ease of use, etc.

    Since I am now in the process of reconstructing the lost manuscript for that novel, I have some time before making a decision -- which is part of the reason I decided to run a test by using both Lulu and KDP to publish my last book, Value and Representation: Three Essays Exploring the Implications of a Pragmatic Epistemology for.Moral Thought. At only 134 pages plus a short intro and the frontispiece, and without any need to push the book in the general marketplace, it was the ideal candidate for such a test run.

    Soon I will see the results but I probably won't report them here any longer, given the concerns expressed by Kevin and Paul over my posting on these matters. (I just wanted to close this all out with an update for anyone here who might have been interested in how my comparative effort has turned out.)       
  • It will be interesting if you pasted links to your output.
  • You seem to have two identical books at two very different prices.


  • Looks like it's a function of CreateSpace. They had a separate sales platform before the consolidation on which, if the book sold, you got a better royalty. I guess they're still carrying that listing. It's the same book.

  • swmirskyswmirsky Publisher
    edited November 2018
    Not the price I set. No surprise though that the book never seemed to sell on that site given that price.  It did get a few sales on amazon but not many. Nor am I happy with it in retrospect, in any case. I came to think that I did not do enough in that book to make the case I was aiming at (which is why I have now done the second book -- as a follow-up so to speak). So I have pretty much let the first one die.

    If I've done the job I hoped on the new one, Value and Representation, it will find an audience in time among the philosophically inclined. Meanwhile, as of last week, I have returned, in earnest, to the historical novel I dropped a few years back after unsuccessfully trying to reconstitute it from what I could salvage after the flood that hit our area in 2012. Only time will tell if I can do that though -- to my satisfaction, that is.   
  • Not the price I set.

    Who set the price then if not you? I would expect Createspace to work the same as Lulu. Cost + what you add. Both books seem to be Createspace created.

    No surprise though that the book never seemed to sell on that site given that price.  It did get a few sales on amazon but not many.

    That's amazing, so would that not mean the one at less than half that price would sell like hot cakes?

     Nor am I happy with it in retrospect, in any case. I came to think that I did not do enough in that book to make the case I was aiming at (which is why I have now done the second book

    Is that the one that says No Image Available? That does not have the same title as the duplicate books.

     -- as a follow-up so to speak). So I have pretty much let the first one die.

    No, they are both still for sale.

    If I've done the job I hoped on the new one, Value and Representation, it will find an audience in time among the philosophically inclined.

    If it was myself considering buying you philosophical books, your blogs on Amazon would put me off. The new book is not there yet, BTW.

     Meanwhile, as of last week, I have returned, in earnest, to the historical novel I dropped a few years back after unsuccessfully trying to reconstitute it from what I could salvage after the flood that hit our area in 2012. Only time will tell if I can do that though -- to my satisfaction, that is.

    Well good luck with that.   

  • swmirskyswmirsky Publisher
    edited November 2018
    I set the price that shows up on the amazon site. I have no idea how they came up with the different price for CreateSpace (which now no longer exists in any case, except, perhaps, for legacy books like mine).

    ". . . so would that not mean the one at less than half that price would sell like hot cakes?"

    Probably not. First it's philosophy which starts with a limited audience and second I am not a player in the world of academic philosophy, hence I have an even more limited, if not infinitesimal, audience. Any book will sell according to its quality and audience (promotion will help for books with an accessible audience, not so much for those without). Price is an important factor in sales. But it's only one factor within a reasonable range. As you have often argued here, Kevin, POD books are much more expensive, pound for pound or page for page, than their traditional offset printed cousins. So fewer pages make the most sense in POD (since the page count ups the cost astronomically). Unfortunately, my current novel, now underway, looks like it's going to come in at a much higher count than what is optimal and may even exceed my first novel which, at 637 pages, was too expensive to really compete once Xlbris, the POD provider, realized they weren't setting retail prices to cover POD costs. (But they were new then and just trying to figure out how to make the self-publishing POD model work.)

    "Is that the one that says No Image Available? That does not have the same title as the duplicate books." 

    No, you're referring to Irregularities. That was kind of a throwaway. After my first, The King of Vinland's Saga, had been so successful and I had become a vocal participant on Xlibris' early effort to do a forum site like this (where Xlibris customers were bitching up a storm and I came on to explain how Xlibris could do some things better), the old Xlibris CEO contacted me and we had some private conversations. I even invited him out to the first Literary Arts Festival I coordinated to sit on a panel for self-publishing which included a rep from the old iUniverse (his main competitor) as well as an agent and a representative from a mom and pop bookshop then trying to highlight self published works. As a result he offered me free publication of another book. I didn't have anything ready, unfortunately, so I cobbled together a bunch of my columns for our local newspaper into a book, called it Irregularities: Tidal Flows and Politics Along the Rockaway Shore, and Xlibris published it for me. But it was never much, just a compilation of local opinion pieces. I just didn't want to miss the chance to take advantage of the CEO's offer and I figured it couldn't hurt to have another book out under my name! It never sold but a few copies.

    By "pretty much let that die" I meant that I do not mention Choice and Action any longer in philosophical circles.

    "If it was myself considering buying you philosophical books, your blogs on Amazon would put me off. The new book is not there yet, BTW."

    I have no blogs on Amazon. What you see on the author's page are links to a philosophical website to which I occasionally contribute. At one point I noticed that Amazon offered a connection to off site links so I connected. What you call my "blogs" are just efforts to contribute to the philosophical discussion on that site though, in fact, over time that site has tended to become inactive, as most philosophy sites and lists I have participated on tend to do. People who go to sites like that usually have an ax of their own to grind and want to hold forth. To the extent others hold forth they tend either to be argumentative or uninterested (kind of like what sometimes happens here) and then heated arguments ensue or people drift away. The blog site linked there was the outcome of several prior Yahoo listservs where the same people argued vehemently with one another.

    Professional philosophical blogs, where the participants are mainly academics in the "business" or graduate students looking to get into it, tend to be a little more stable and more interesting. You get fewer crackpots and egotists but you get some of those, too. I suppose it's to do with the dynamics of blogging.

    Sorry those blogs put you off. I guess they are not your cup of tea.
  • Well, sorry, but I am not replying to all of that.
  • Why ask questions then if you don't want the answers? Just to ask them?

  • I expect the answers to be as simple as the questions, not be essays.
  • You mean like "yes" and "no," even when such answers would merely be misleading and lead you to draw further mistaken conclusions (as you have in the past), leading to still more questions and ungrounded assertions based on misunderstandings? If you ask me a question I will give the fullest answer I can to avoid all that, but if you don't care to respond, of course, then by all means, don't.
  • I read exactly what you type. You should take more notice of what you type, also. Slow down and think more before putting finger to keys.
  • Look who's typing!
  • Well at long last the Lulu version of Value and Representation has appeared on Amazon USA. Given that it's slightly more expensive than the Amazon KDP version, I wonder if it will see any sales at all. (It's also slightly better in that I found some areas that needed fixing during the long gestation the Lulu edition required compared to the shorter time to market for the KDP version. So maybe taking a little longer has some aspects to commend it.

    https://www.amazon.com/Value-Representation-Stuart-W-Mirsky/dp/1387630652/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1543427375&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=stuart+w.+mirsky&fbclid=IwAR3eBw_YM7_4Uby4Kq9BQKlOPKJoOgerQQ_Nq7kEk1E6osS2IsroOKxkyRI
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