Have you used CreateSpace?

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I had an experience I hope no one else has. If you did, please let me know how you resolved it. I have worked over the last month, editing and revising my first book (One Month…). Last Thursday, November 30, I uploaded the eBook to KDP and the paperback to CreateSpace (CS). Other than some formatting errors on my part, everything went smooth. KDP said it should appear within twenty-four hours. CS said to expect two to four business days. I was hoping it would be quicker.

I got an email from KDP Friday evening that the eBook was live. I went to Amazon to check and I was shocked at what I found. On a separate listing, was a third-party seller advertising my paperback book. It was listed for a price lower than my agreed price with CS. I traced the third-party seller and he had four plus star rating and had eighteen hundred previous listing. The seller had a picture of the front cover and the description from the eBook’s listing. I know that Amazon allows third-party sellers on just about anything. What was troubling, when CS hadn’t released it, how did he know about the paperback? The previous edition was in eBook only.

I called CS to find out if perhaps they had released it without notifying me. On my member dashboard, it showed no sales and the status “in process”. When I talked with the customer service representative, she told me not to worry, even if the third part seller advertised, if they purchased a copy to sell from their listing, I would still get the same royalties. I accepted her explanation, but I was still wary.

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Saturday morning I was shocked again when I looked at the listing. The third part seller had removed his name, raised the price eight dollars, now had a picture of the front and back cover, they listed the ISBN number, the correct number of pages, etc. It looked like a normal listing from KDP or CS. If you clicked on the link to purchase, you got an error message “the page is not available”.

I called CS back and they confirmed the paperback had not released. When I explained my concern that the listing now had the back cover picture, ISBN and other detail, the rep from CS stated something wasn’t right. I responded, “You — think?” After being put on hold several times, the rep assigned a case number and told me technical support would work on it. They promised me someone from CS would contact me within twenty-four hours.

Sunday, there was no change in the status and I did not hear from CS. Monday morning, still no change and still no contact. Late Monday morning, I went back to look at the listing and found the correct listing from CS. However, it is not on the same page or linked to the eBook. I’m waiting for the linking of the two formats. I’m also waiting for the notice from CS’s technical support.

I’m still not convinced they resolved anything. I can’t understand how anyone knew about the paperback, the cover, detail, etc. Did someone hack CS’s website? How did this seller get the ISBN number when CS said the book had not been released?

When we live in the days where website hacking and personal information stolen is a common occurrence, it makes you suspicious. What makes little sense; I’m no Steven King or John Grisham. Why would anyone want to steal my book unless this is something widespread? It is a mystery and I hope they get it resolved quickly. I also hope you don’t have a similar experience.

Update:

On Tuesday morning, December 5, I received the message from CS’s technical support. I won’t bore you with the detail, suffice to say they sent me a computer generated reply that did not address the issues I had with the third-party listing. One area of their response raised my blood pressure. “Sellers can list used copies of your title for sale. If a used copy is sold, you will not receive the royalty for this sale because you previously received the royalty when the title was manufactured and originally sold.”

The paperback listing is still not linked to the eBook. If you query the book by its title, you get the eBook. If you scroll down towards the bottom, you will find the paperback listed separately. I clicked on the paperback to look at its listing. If you look, you will find a link to the sale of “three used copies”.  Since CS shows zero books sold where did this third-party seller get their copies?  Now I wonder who will get those royalties?

If anyone has had a similar experience with CreateSpace or KDP, I would appreciate you leaving a comment for me. Meanwhile, the saga continues and I will not quit until they correct my listing.

 

22 Replies to “Have you used CreateSpace?”

    1. Hi Jean,

      Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. It does seem weird and unusual. I’m hoping it is nothing more than a glitch and nothing serious happens. You can bet I will be watching closely.

      1. My curiosity would get the better of me. I’d need to order one just to see. Sometimes books given away end up on the 3rd party seller list. But if your book wasn’t even released, I can’t figure out what happened. Do let me know when you find out.

  1. When I released my very first book, I checked Amazon and they said they had a used copy for sale–for $999. I had to laugh at this (and keep a screenshot to remind me of my book’s *real* worth 😉 ). The problem was fixed on its own after a few weeks.

    I don’t know what happened, but my money would be on a technical glitch. As I was saying the other day, there is a bug for every 1,000 lines of code. To put this in perspective, an electric razor has some 14,000 lines of code. Amazon’s must be in the millions.

    Having said that, you did the right thing by reporting it to CS and by pursuing the matter. It’s the posting of your ISBN and covers that troubled me the most, as it raises the possibility that either CS has been hacked or someone is looking to make some extra money on the side–both uncomfortable thoughts.

    Thank you for sharing this with us. Keep us posted!

    1. Thank you Nicholas for your advice. I agree it might be a glitch. If it hadn’t been that the seller had the ISBN and the front and back cover, I wouldn’t been alarmed. To keep you up to date, this morning both the eBook and paperback are linked. Unless there is some other indicator of piracy, I’m moving on.

    1. Thank you for stopping by and leaving your comment. It’s got to be a computer glitch, but because of the circumstances and the seller’s use of the ISBN, I had to put the post out. BTW the two book formats are finally linked.

  2. Holy crap Chuck! This is horrendous. And what’s more infuriating is that CS or KDP are so bloody useless when it comes to helping. I’m willing to bet they
    ve been hacked! Now I worry about my new book, since I had so many woes viewing in previewer 🙁

    1. Hi Debbie,
      I still don’t know what happened. Tuesday the book finally got listed corrrectly. You can bet I’ll be watching for any piracy. I wouldn’t panic on yours, but I would advise doing a google search periodically to see if anyone other than your autorized seller has it. Thanks for your support. HUGS

      1. Chuck, I signed up for Blasty a long time ago. Every author should too. Blasty alerts us to anything that comes up on Google with our book’s name and gives us the option to blast the off Google and then they are banned from Google. Visit my search bar and type in Blasty. 🙂 It saves us the time of searching. I’ve blasted off over 1000 books in the past year!

  3. I HAD VERY SIMILAR EXPERIENCES WITH CS & KDP. WHAT IS WORSE, I have been selling my books on AMAZON SELLER CENTRAL. On 18 March 2016 I underwent Thoracic Surgery (Lung Cancer) & after 13 days in SICU at the Miami VA Med Center – I experienced a prolonged recovery period where I could not even look at my computer until mid-September. As we all know, promoting your book requires being on your computer DAILY. Sales of my books had dropped to near zero! I logged into my AMAZON SELLER CENTRAL account – only to find it had been “terminated due to inactivity” This was done without any notice to me! It has been a BATTLE – still not resolved!
    WE are ALL prisoners and subject to Amazon’s ever changing policies.

    1. Thank you Michael for coming by and leaving a comment. The good news is after hounding CS and KDP I finally got the listing set up correctly. I have heard of horror stories like your, so I will be watching my listing and the internet like a hawk. Thanks for the advice. Something is going on with KDP the last few days, there is no listing of any royalities. I hope it is computer overload due to the holidays. You are right, we are at the mercy of Amazon.

  4. Omg Chuck, this is infuriating as well as troubling. On my Amazon Author Page in October, the cover to the 1st edition of one of my books was showing, instead of the cover to the 2nd (and current) edition. The Kindle edition wasn’t even there, and to make matters worse, the paper format was listed by a 3rd party for $99! I talked with Amazon Author Services, and they corrected all errors, including separating the 3rd-party book from both my author page and book page. I first went round and round with CS on this matter and finally asked to speak with a supervisor, who connected me with Author Services. So in the future, I’ll ask to be connected with them when I call, and avoid the CS runaround. Maybe this will help you as well. I know a hug will 🙂 ♥

    1. Hi Tina, I thought my episode was bad. Wow! I got my listing corrected with both the Ebook and paperback together. The third party seller is no longer listed. I’m with you, Amazon is not to be trusted and we need to be watchful. Thank you for commenting. HUGS

  5. I read this with trepidation as I’m just about to release on Createspace, already having my ebook with KDP. It seems a tricky process at the best of times…glad it seems to be resolved now. The possible hacking issue is cause for concern!

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