My Self Publishing Journey – Feedaread vs CreateSpace

16 Apr

Hello folks, today was an important day for me; it was paperback royalty day from Feedaread. They only calculate royalties every 6 months and as book seller sales aren’t reported for 3 months I didn’t really get the picture back in October so today I was curious to see how my book went. In October I didn’t make the minimum payment threshold so I had to wait another 6 months. I still didn’t make it today. I emailed them to ask if I closed my account with them would I be able to have my royalties paid out if they were below the threshold. I haven’t received a reply yet but I did receive an email telling me I’d received a royalty payment. I’m slightly confused I think I must have misunderstood the publishing terms. I guess they don’t hold royalties back for more than one payment period, but that wasn’t clear in the information which made it sound like you just don’t get any money until you hit the threshold.

Anyway the reason I was thinking of closing my account in order to get my royalties ( I needn’t have bothered) was because I’m planning on moving to Createspace. As bad as I feel about handing even more business to the already enormous Amazon machine , the fact is they offer better value for money. I originally chose Feedaread because they are a British company with arts council backing. Back so I didn’t have any complicated tax business to deal with and I could get a proof copy reasonably quickly. BUT although it was free to publish with them and sell on their site to make it available to other retailers including Amazon was £88 which let’s be honest the book will probably never make back. On top of that it’s something like £75 if I want to amend the book.

The problem is looking at my sales breakdown I sold only 2 copies of my book directly on their website, both to people I know. 2 People actual told me they couldn’t buy from the site due to something called 3D verification which stopped them paying (not entirely sure). Frankly I can’t say I’m surprised either; if you search for my collection of short ghost stories you probably wont find it. I tried searching for ghost stories, short ghost stories and short stories. I didn’t even show up. In fact the only way I could find it on their site was by typing the exact title or my exact name into the search field. Which is fine if people are going to the site with the sole purpose of buying my book but if they’re just browsing they won’t find it. If they don’t find it they wont buy it. The book hasn’t sold many copies in paperback anyhow but the majority are from book seller purchases; it was Amazon I’ve watched their stock figures.

So, if the vast majority of my sales are coming from Amazon, why spend £88 +19.99 per year thereafter to keep it for sale on Amazon when I could just sell directly through Amazon for free? Besides there are problems with the way the book cover is coming out in print; it’s so much darker than it appears on screens so that the image is  almost unrecognisable. I also spotted some typos I’ll confess. It was  my first book and I made some mistakes, which I have learnt from. Unfortunately I simply can’t afford the cost of correcting them, especially now I no longer have my day job. So, I’m thinking of putting out a second edition and the new book with Createspace. I’d rather support and use a home-grown company but when the alternative makes it near impossible to find your book on their website it places you in an impossible position.

If I keep my Feedaread account open I may be able to go back there at some point in the future if they make themselves a more viable selling platform. Clearly Amazon will always have the advantage of being able to sell on their own sites for free whereas other companies have to pay to get on there, but that being the case other self publishing platforms need to make themselves as practical, appealing and intuitive as possible as a selling platform. There’s no point having a bookshop and keeping it locked.



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