BookLocker.com, a firm that competes with CreateSpace (and many others), is the parent company of this publication. Many authors who are unhappy with other publishers have submitted their manuscripts to BookLocker for consideration. However, BookLocker.com vets manuscripts for quality and salability, and rejects a large number of manuscripts each year. When we do, we refer those authors to different P.O.D. publishers. Unfortunately, we can NOT refer authors to CreateSpace.
Thinking of using CreateSpace to publish your book? You might want to first read the complaints from their own authors below. They detail formatting/uploading headaches, poor quality and binding issues, delivery delays, bad customer service, up-selling, and much more.
The complaints about CreateSpace just never seem to stop! Each year, we publish an article like the one below and, each year, the complaints just keep rolling in. The complaints below are less than one year old.
Just a few snippets from below:
* “I am so angry I could scream.”
* “God I hate them. They are the worst.”
* “Complete failure.”
* “At every single corner, I was asked for my credit card.”
* “Their customer service is atrocious.”
* “Pages literally fell out of the binding right away.”
* “It does not get any worse than this!”
* “Highly Recommend that you DO NOT use Createspace! They stink!”
* “How about ZERO stars!”
* “I am absolutely furious and SO frustrated.”
* “They extended their lead time and never told us about it. So now I have a book release but I won’t have any books…”
* “I am at my wit’s end with these people.”
* “…it is always like, ‘I will get back to you’ and they never do!”
* “When I asked the senior specialist for a supervisor they said no one was available.”
* “It took me 6 months to get copies for reviewers.”
* “The left hand does not know what the right hand is doing.”
* “…whenever I do finally get an order, half the books (one time 80/100 books) had print errors and had to be replaced. I couldn’t sell them.”
* “It makes money from its poor web design and makes you feel obligated to buy their help.”
* “I would not go with this company again, and would advise people do extensive research and take their work elsewhere.”
* “I am so upset that I spent close to $1,000 with them and got a less than average product.”
* “Does anybody know of a US federal agency that I can escalate this complaint to?”
* “Potential buyers turned away at the hassle of having to create an AUTHOR account with createspace to buy the book.”
Back in 2009, the name BookSurge was retired (after previously being called Digitz, and then GreatUnpublished) and that business was rolled under the CreateSpace name. Since there were so many complaints about BookSurge posted online at that time (we were a previous victim as well), we investigated CreateSpace’s forum back then to see if their customer service and quality issued had improved. Changing a name doesn’t make a business instantly better! We have since checked up on them every year or so.
You can see our previous findings (they’re not pretty!) HERE .
Over the years, we have continued to receive complaints from authors about CreateSpace and, this week, we revisited their forum to see if things have improved. We weren’t surprised by what we found.
CreateSpace claims to be “free” (if you follow all their rules and confusing specs to the letter) but they sure can be expensive if you can’t! If you attempt their “free” service, they will try to upsell you on their expensive services along the way. A classic bait ‘n switch perhaps? Sure looks that way to us. Some authors are spending hundreds to thousands of dollars to get their books published at CreateSpace. In fact, for comparable services, the price is only $875 at BookLocker.com vs. $1,288.00 (OUCH!) at CreateSpace. For the record, BookLocker also offers a D.I.Y. program for only $78. Please see a POD Price Comparison, which lists several other firms as well, HERE.
Here are some comments we have received in the past year directly from CreateSpace authors via email:
“I went through CreateSpace and I’ve had mixed reviews of people having to contact them several times to get their books (it took me 6 months to get copies for reviewers).”
“I am not happy with CS’s printing quality and their apparent inability to produce a consistent copy of my book, and their customer service is atrocious.”
– Tom A.
“Createspace and kindle-e-book people have a super big communication problem. The left hand does not know what the right hand is doing and there is no tracking from one person to another from day to day.”
– Walter S.
COMPLAINTS FROM CREATESPACE’S OWN EMPLOYEES
You can read what CreateSpace’s own employees are posting online about the firm HERE.
BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU WEBSITE
“These people have the WORST customer support of any company in the world. They just hang up on you, or make you wait so long you give up. Avoid this company.”
– Andrew K.
“They extended their lead time and never told us about it. So now I have a book release but I won’t have any books…not to mention all of the preorders that I have already sold. As if this isn’t bad enough, whenever I do finally get an order, half the books (one time 80/100 books) had print errors and had to be replaced. I couldn’t sell them. I have found a new printer and will NEVER EVER print through them ever again. They are horrible beyond reason. Please be kind to yourself and don’t use them.”
– Nina L.
“They kept saying that they went through different people and each person reviews it differently. If there was an issue like the cover being physically too big – why was it not addressed the first time. Also, if we didn’t change the file and only the interior, WHY even bother looking at the cover?”
“Them not accepting responsibility is maddening. When I asked the senior specialist for a supervisor they said no one was available. What happened CreateSpace?”
“How about ZERO stars!”
“Again, this Christmas 2017, my ordered was flawed again with very dark printing. They replaced the books again and they were exactly the same, dark printing. Sent all five cartons of books back and WON’T use CreateSpace again. Highly Recommend that you DO NOT use Createspace! They stink!”
– RJ K.
“Create Space is probably the worst company I’ve dealt with in so long”
“Customer service is rude…they act as though you are bothering them and how can I not understand what the margins, bleeds and gutter need to be? Well, maybe if you actually provided that information, I wouldn’t be calling!”
“God I hate them. They are the worst.”
– Jennifer N.
“Create Space received the books that were returned (without contacting the addressee) and since then – after promising that they would be resent – failed to follow up. We are still awaiting the delivery of the book and there has been no further information on their whereabouts. Appalling!!! Bordering on fraudulent….money was paid, no outcome.”
– Leo D.
“It makes money from its poor web design and makes you feel obligated to buy their help.”
”So, when you load your book up, especially if it has images, you will find that is nearly impossible to check what you have submitted. They will not let you format on the site, and also is incompatible with pdf, doc, docx, and rtf. So the work you put in to making it perfect in word or open office, you will find is nowhere close to what CreateSpace shows you. From a business standpoint, this is brilliant! Then they casually offer you very expensive support.”
– Christopher J.
“Poor quality service”
“They say they are free but you would be lucky to have a penny left to your name.”
”I think what attracts us is thinking that because Amazon is behind it that the brand is trustworthy, but they are not. They try to make you pay for very minor changes, like one word would cost you $90! You basically have to take or leave the cover they give you because you do not have options. I would not go with this company again, and would advise people do extensive research and take their work elsewhere.”
“It does not get any worse than this!”
“I went into my CreateSpace venture extremely excited about the platform. At every single corner, I was asked for my credit card. For their error of NOT posting the prices for edits, they would charge me $79 for a one word edit. It was highly disappointing. I spoke with supervisors and NO one could assist me. I am so upset that I spent close to $1,000 with them and got a less than average product.”
– Amanda P.
FROM CREATESPACE’S OWN AUTHOR FORUM!
“Complaint – overdue royalties”
“I’ve been publishing with CreateSpace for over two years and, up to the end of April 2017, they always paid royalties on time. However, since then I have not received any royalties despite having nearly $2000 unpaid on my account. I’ve e-mailed and rung several times over the past two weeks, but I have not received a satisfactory response from CreateSpace. They keep saying they’ll reply within one business day, but they never do. I’ve made a formal complaint – still no response. Does anybody know of a US federal agency that I can escalate this complaint to? I’m getting no joy from anyone in CreateSpace.”
“IMO The Createspace estore is a scam.”
“I was thinking of all of the royalties I could be earning by sending people to that site, my own estore. People would buy my book and I could earn a higher royalty. All I had to do was get the word out. I put the link everywhere. I paid money to plaster the link over web-sites and ads. But people started saying how hard it was to buy the book through the estore. Potential buyers turned away at the hassle of having to create an AUTHOR account with createspace to buy the book. I haven’t sent anyone to that link again. I felt shame for putting my readers through that hassle.”
“I am at my wits end with these people. I have just received another email with another excuse as why this problem is happening. They are trying to blame my files now – after I received three copies of the book no less!”
“My launch date was 9th July – two weeks ago and this is STILL continuing on. No end in sight. I am so angry I could scream.”
“I don’t want to post anymore in here. It is just making me angrier. The whole episode has been an author’s worst nightmare and they couldn’t care less.”
– Tracie C.
“CreateSpace Submission Process – Joke?”
“I recently uploaded an 11-volume set of softcovers. So 11 different book projects, but the same books with identical dimensions, margins, etc. The covers were all identical except the text was changed – volume 2 became volume 3, etc. Out of the 11 identical covers, 4 were rejected and resized by reviewers. Some couldn’t understand that the physical cover contained an image of a notebook, and so resized everything so the notebook image was flush with the trim. Others thought the spine text was too big though it was the same size on all 11 covers.”
“Very poor physical quality of proof indicative of final book quality?”
“After weeks of reformtting a book to fit within the trim sizes available I was delighted when the proof arrived this morning. I wanted to immediately begin checking it over but sadly as soon as I opened it the book began falling apart. Pages literally fell out of the binding right away.”
“Inconsistent file reviews”
“After checking a printed proof I had to tweak a few interior photos. I did this and re-uploaded, Createspace approved this but are now saying there is a problem with the cover ‘not enough bleed’ This is NOT true, it’s the same cover that was already approved, I have the printed proof book in front of me and it has trimmed PERFECT…”
“This is maddening and it seems every other time you re-upload something with elements that have proved to be ok, this time the Createspace team decideds to now not allow it??!!”
“COVER – I feel absolutely conned and furious!”
“I am at my wits’ end with CreateSpace and wish I had never gone down this avenue in the first place!”
“Every time I emailed CreateSpace about it, a different person came back to me, and the problem went unresolved for a fortnight, until CreateSpace admitted the fault was THEIRS; there were problems with my cover that they had failed to flag up with me.”
“I am absolutely furious and SO frustrated. I spoke to a CreateSpace Rep the other day, who has helpfully put the £399 cover design/upload purchase into my Cart for me and who tells me they can be marvellously helpful at assisting me in getting my cover perfected. To be honest, I’m just feeling conned and disillusioned. Does anybody have any helpful hints to give me, please, about how I can get round this? I’d actually rather buy Adobe InDesign than be forced to pay CreateSpace for nothing!”
“Concerned about the legitimacy of Createspace”
“I filled out a questionnaire that asked for design input and story synopsis. I feel I was very clear that one specific element of the story should NOT appear on the cover. So when I got the first draft of the cover, I was surprised to see that the cover revealed that very story element.”
“So when I got an alert saying I’d have to pay another $80 to get the cover changed, and if I didn’t, I’d be stuck with the original cover, it honestly made me feel like I was being grifted. My initial instructions for the project were completely ignored, a complete “spoiler” is put right on the cover of the book, and I have to pay another $80 to have it removed? With no apparent guarantee that they won’t just screw something else up?”
WHAT’S AN ALTERNATIVE TO CreateSpace? Which firm can get your book published fast, with high quality, and with a smile? Which firm gives authors DIRECT ACCESS to the owners for extraordinary customer service? BookLocker.com does.
READ MORE COMPLAINTS ABOUT CREATESPACE RIGHT HERE.
Check out the Print on Demand Price Comparison HERE .
Read more columns by Angela HERE.
About The Author
Angela Hoy is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, and the co-owner of BookLocker.com (one of the original POD publishers that still gets books to market in less than a month), PubPreppers.com (print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish), and Abuzz Press (the publishing co-op that charges no setup fees).
WritersWeekly.com - the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday.
BookLocker.com - According to attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print, BookLocker is: "As close to perfection as you're going to find in the world of ebook and POD publishing. The ebook royalties are the highest I've ever seen, and the print royalties are better than average. BookLocker understands what new authors experience, and have put together a package that is the best in the business. You can't go wrong here. Plus, they're selective and won't publish any manuscript just because it's accompanied by a check. Also, the web site is well trafficked. If you can find a POD or epublisher with as much integrity and dedication to selling authors' books, but with lower POD publishing fees, please let me know."
Abuzz Press offers FAST and FREE book publication, but only accepts a small percentage of submissions, and only works with U.S. authors.
PubPreppers.com - "We Prep, You Publish!" Print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish. Offers formatting and design services only, and then provides simple instructions for authors on where to sign up to have the print and ebook editions printed/listed/sold. Cut out the middle man. Keep 100% of what bookstores pay for your book!
Angela's POD Secrets Revealed Series can be found HERE.
Have a POD Book with another publisher? See if BookLocker can give you a better deal. (BookLocker offers "disgruntled author discounts" to those who want to move from other POD services.)
See BookLocker's publishing packages HERE.
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