CreateSpace and Me: Bummed

race-horse-accident

I am suffering the complete loss or absence of hope.  I have already made a post about my anguish with CreateSpace.  This is another rant but it will be brief.

There was a rather prestigious contest that a reader’s group paid an entry fee for to nominate my book, “Red Clay and Roses”.  My only responsibility was to get four proof copies of the paperback to the contest judges by October 1st, and that won’t be possible.  Today, CreateSpace informed me that my proof copy will be shipped in five days.  Count the days.  Not going to be a possibility to get the proofs and get them FedEx’d to the judges by October 1st.   Needless to say, I am more than sorely disappointed.  I have failed.

I first started with CreateSpace on June 6th.  This process has taken entirely too long.  I wouldn’t be so upset if it had not taken three weeks for CreateSpace to get around to giving my book ANY attention.  I know my revisions were part of the problem, but again, if they did not make their process so very time consuming…well, enough.  I am happy that there is a service that provides POD to self-published authors.  Who’s to say my book would have won the contest anyway?  I am just nettled that my horse broke his leg coming out of the starting gate.

46 thoughts on “CreateSpace and Me: Bummed

      1. I asked CreateSpace if I could pay to have the proofs overnighted to me, but the CS rep says that that could not do that until October 2nd. It is five business days from today that they are even going to ship. “Overnight” can still take up to three days to be received. Then there is another three possible days to get them to the judges. So it just isn’t doable.

        Like

    1. Thanks for the support. I know I played a part with my necessary revisions, but I do feel like their process of waiting 7-10 business days between correspondence was significant. I guess they have such a high volume to deal with that exceptions just aren’t possible. It just boiled down to cutting it so very close. In July, when the reader’s group told me, I would have declined had I known what to expect with CreateSpace, but Createspace had told me to expect 8 weeks from start to finish…so I thought it would be ready come September. I was wrong. Cut it too close.

      Like

      1. I feel kind of rotten for even posting this actually. I know that they make things possible where there was once no possibility. I’ll be over it soon enough. Just depressing for now because there is no hope for working it out.

        Like

  1. Wow, that is horrible. I understand that they have limitations, and very high volumes, but their customer service sucks. I’m in CS, in a company that emulates the Disney Model – it’s our top priority and after 2 years, I now know good from bad. This is bad. I’m sorry that you’re going through this Susan.

    Like

    1. Thanks Katie. What feels lousy is knowing that others had more faith in me and my book than I probably have in it, really. I just wanted to tell a story that I felt needed to be told and they thought enough of it to nominate it in a contest. Contests are not something that I had given any thought to. Then I started thinking this would be a great marketing thing if I even received honorable mention in the contest. I thought it would be cool. I guess you might even say I got a bit overzealous. So it was a let down. I appreciate your support. I don’t think it was good customer service to pitch the eight weeks thing to me in June with initial contact…and then take so long to get things accomplished…not even getting started for three weeks. I could have gone with lulu or lightning source. I had confidence in CreateSpace. If they were backed up and knew it would take some time to even get to me…when they knew I was pressed for time and had a deadline, they should have been upfront and honest. As it is, they were greedy and dishonest. That’s just how I feel.

      Like

      1. That’s just it – you had other options, and it was greedy and dishonest of them. Disappointment is such a lousy feeling, and while I know you are strong, and it will pass, you’ve got my support any day. Luckily, there can be other contests. Yours is a great story, that did need to be told, and the world needs to hear it. It’ll get out there. I know it will.

        Like

      2. Thanks. I am reading a new book on Effective Promotions by Mary Rosenblum. It comes highly recommended. I am curious to see what she has to say. I don’t know about contests. Maybe later. I have a sour taste in my mouth right now.

        Like

      3. She is British, I think, and calls herself The Literary Midwife. It is supposed to be entertaining as well as helpful. So I won’t feel that I have wasted my $5 if I never get around to putting her suggestions into place. 🙂

        Like

  2. I am going to have to make it clear when I recommend CreateSpace (which I do) that I am only recommending them as a POD source for a completed project–it sounds as if the creative side leaves something to be desired.

    Like

    1. I have to say that I would still recommend them to someone who had their project good to go, and didn’t need any heavy support to get things accomplished. I can’t deny my role in things. One example: I truly did not like their font choice for the Title and Part pages. It took two weeks to communicate my preferences to them and get a satisfactory font in place. They don’t show you fonts and have you select. You have to verbally communicate this to them. I gave them the names of acceptable Word fonts. It still took another week. Their process sucked. I will also say this. they have changed the way they do things now and are requiring people to be more prepared. They don’t do “Mock ups” anymore like they did when I first started with them. So you pretty much have to know what you want and have it all decided before they get started with you. That will certainly simplify things for them. I just felt bamboozled and did not know what to expect. I was not well prepared.

      Like

  3. I’m sorry to hear that. For the most part, I’ve had excellent service with CreateSpace, especially regarding their turn-around times and shipping. I’ve also experienced occasional problems, so I know it’s not perfect. It definitely stinks to miss out on the contest, especially considering when you started this.

    Like

    1. I think it is like Misha said. They are perfectly fine if you are prepared going in. I wasn’t. I bought their creative assistance package…paid the extra for it, and it wasn’t a good value. I need lessons from you on formatting, translation errors, and other other such self-publishing stuff (that I know very little about) so I can do this myself.

      Like

      1. Learning to do it well yourself is an investment that can return on many books in the future. If you need to hire formatting services, there are small publishers who can do this fairly well for a better cost (and, of course, some who don’t do a good job). If you can get good recommendations from people you trust, that could help with this; a little research can help, too. Another benefit of doing it yourself… (If you ever have questions, you’re welcome to ask.)

        Like

      2. I had a small publisher do the eversion. He was affordable and did a great job. His rates for paperback were way out of range for me. He also did not do POD, but had a printer who would only do large batches of books at an unrealistic cost. I would love to learn how to prepare my documents/manuscript myself. But where I am at…lol…I have used Word for years and just learned this week what the navigation bar is! I have started with Scrivener and am doing very well with that software. I am excited about that. I wouldn’t know the right questions to ask you. Kate Sparkes just recently published a post where she was beating her head against the wall trying to make some sense of the requests her potential editor had for submissions and I had to laugh. I directed her to you….LOL

        Like

      3. *waves*

        Sorry to hear about this. How disappointing for you and your readers’ group. I hadn’t read reviews on the CS assisted publishing (or whatever they call it). Sounds like they have some issues to work out.

        Like

      4. They are already working on it from what I understand from CS. They don’t even offer the full service package that I bought in June anymore. Guess I wasn’t the only one with issues.

        Like

      5. I so agree. I want to do my own. If I could learn the things necessary! I feel that the creativity in book production would come naturally from the authors who best know their stories.

        Like

      6. Chris, The Scrivener online course given by Gwen Hernandez, the author of Scrivener for Dummies, is great. It is done through WizIQ.com. There are ten page, or less, lessons that I can download and print and she makes herself available to ask questions from 9a-9p. It goes for six weeks. Of course she doesn’t sit by the computer for 12 hours a day, but she does respond to all questions. The lessons and the homework are in baby steps that started with just an introduction to the software and then became more complex with tons of practical uses as we progressed. If you had a class like this for self-publishing, I’d be the first to sign up.

        Like

    1. CreateSpace doesn’t even do the back and forth mock-ups for approval &/or disapproval anymore. I guess they realized what a time consuming burden the in depth creative packages presented and stopped it. They most likely had complaints on the turnaround times, and not wanting to soil their reputation did away with that package. I was just one of the unlucky ones that got caught up in it.

      Like

  4. Oh dear. . .so sorry to hear about all this! I know you must be disappointed. I’ve only ever worked with academic presses and nonfiction works–and turnaround time is about 6 months, but can be longer. I’ve still had communication problems though. (But I’ve never needed a book to be in my hand by a particular date.) Well, hopefully you will have the books now for any future contests? 🙂 Good luck!

    Like

    1. Thanks. It was more than a disappointment and I truly didn’t mean to rant so…but I do wish I had known what to expect. My eversion took only a matter of days, so I wasn’t expecting 4 months for the paperback. I regret that Createspace wasn’t forthright about that as a possibility.

      Like

  5. I am sorry to hear of your experiences on this, especially missing out on the competition – we need all the exposure that we can get! I have not used CreateSpace yet although I am planning to once my book is ready for paperback. The plan is to use Scrivener to format and convert it and then the cover design will be done separately, I am hoping that it should be relatively easy to do but we shall see! Good luck with it all when it does sort out and thank you so much for bringing this to our attention! 🙂

    Like

    1. Thanks. I think CreateSpace has offered a much better experience for those who are doing a less complex package that what I had purchased from them. I would love to know how that comes out to do the Scrivener prep and a self-publish.

      Like

  6. What a lousy turn of events. Hopefully you will jump back in and get it submitted to other contests. I hear that is one of the best ways to promote a book…Don’t be so hard on yourself. You have done a lot more than some of us and I am very proud of how far you have come.

    Like

    1. Well thank you for the support. I did most of my ranting yesterday and I am about over it today. Just one of those things. I understand CreateSpace does a very good service for most. I was one of the unfortunates.

      Like

    1. I wrote a new post yesterday about the matter. there are new developments. I am feeling better now. Not as happy as I could have been…but better. How are the baby chicks? They grow up fast don’t they. They aren’t pullets yet are they?

      Like

      1. Aha! I have had a backlog of emails of blog posts to go through so i am a couple of days behind. Good to hear it worked out!
        The baby chicks are well except we have lost a few 😦 We have finally figured out it was Cocci so we managed to save one. We will probably do a blog post about it soon. The eldest is five weeks so they are growing up fast but they are still babies! We have new ones born every week as well so it’s amazing to see how much they actually have grown compared to the newborns!

        Like

  7. I too am frustrated with this publisher. I started in September shooting for Thanksgiving. I was told that they could probably get it by the end of October. I submitted my manuscript twice. After what seemed to be nearly two weeks, I was told that it had problems. I submitted it again and the very next day I got a proof with 8 point text, So I spent the next couple day reformatting the original text and including everything that I needed them to put in. I sent the manuscript back and now I am waiting for them to tell me how much more that are going to charge me….They also told me that we have missed Thanksgiving and may be able to get it the first or second week of December….if I approve the next proof. So Christmas is not looking good. This is my second book and I will definitely not return to this publisher for my third. It seems the story with them is “The Customer is Never Right….”

    Like

    1. Staring with them in June and being told it would be 8 weeks tops, and finding myself struggling to get this thing accomplished by Christmas has certainly been disheartening. It seems their whole email back and forth process sucks. I just want to say, “Can the team manager just speak with me for five minutes on the phone, we could resolve all of this!?”

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s