Createspace & More Book Depository

Eoin Purcell

Amazon as publisher
Createspace has been launched by Amazon and there is MUCH discussion of it.

It combines the power of a or a with Amazon retail prowess. It could be a game changer except that the cost per unit remains stubbornly high. As the Petrona blog spells out:

Amazon’s share of each sale is calculated by taking a fixed charge of $3.15 per copy, plus a charge per page ($0.02 or $0.12 per black and white or colour page, respectively), plus a percentage of the list price (30% for sales through So a 100-page black and white book sold on Amazon with a list price of $25.00 would earn an author a royalty of $12.35 per sale.

If I get that right the author gets about 49.4% and Amazon the rest. For the author that is no bad deal but the 100 page books that sell at that kind of price are few and far between so the sample is a little unrealistic. A 350 page book @ $25.00 on the other hand would result in about $7.45 flowing back to the author but Amazon pocketing about $17.55. But even more realistically that book might sell for $20.00 so it would result in $3.85 for the author and $16.15 for Amazon. It is impressive capture of value on their part to be fair.

The money/success issue
I cannot decide if this is good or bad. I have previously considered the dangers Blurb and the like pose to niche publishers and feel that at that level the act as a more efficient form of self publishing. They draw borderline commercial projects out of the pool. They also ensure that self publishers can publish without getting fleeced but also do take the odd book that a publisher who specialises in limited run could have made money on.

I simply cannot make up my mind of this is big news or not. I think it is because book buyers on Amazon don’t care who published a book so long as they can get it and if there is information and good reviews a self published book is as likely to sell off it as traditionally published one.

As for the Book depository
They launched a give away! And I got one! Go there and get one if there is one left and remember it is the first of many!

Thinking long and hard

The Book Depository & BibDib

Eoin Purcell

The Book Depository Updated
Its site today and it does look prettier and smoother to use. Which makes me happy as the Book Depository has become my bookshop of choice. One of the best things about the book depository is Mark Thwaite’s blog, Editor’s Corner. Mark writes great stuff and you should read it if you have any interest in books, publishing and technology.

Hidden in the Press Release
But alongside the announcement of the improved site was this gem:

“In the coming months, further enhancements to will go live. In the background, we are also working on a number of other fascinating projects. Personally, I’m tremendously excited about a huge Web 2.0 project we are building called BibDib [url still directs to the Book Depository homepage].

BibDib will be a massive online bibliographic database that contains information about all the world’s books AND all the writing about those books! It is a huge, and ambitious, project and one that the team here at The Book Depository is in a superb place to deliver.”

Mark described it as:

very, very editable and addable and Web 2.0-tastic!! Think world’s biggest bibliographic database meets wikipedia meets …

Now if you are not excited by that then I don’t know what will work! Looking forward very much to seeing what come of this. Perhaps a rival to LibraryThing for my attention?

Very Facebook’d and Stumble’d Upon today (Welcome Stumblers)