Self-Publishing: Vervante vs CreateSpace

vervante vs createspace

As a followup to my podcast episode on how to publish spiral bound workbooks, Vervante has offered to share some insight in this guest post on the royalties you can make when publishing paperback bound books through Vervante vs Createspace.

Customization

Vervante:

  • Sample kits: If you’re undecided on the exact specifications for your book, you can order from a variety of sample kits that will provide tangible products to guide your imagination.
  • Full service, all-inclusive graphic design and formatting: Customized to fit your needs with a direct quote provided that fits your exact project
  • Wide range of productsthat go great with your book: CDs, DVDs, bookmarks, posters, card decks, postcards, info products, newsletters, and more – and can all be used for marketing, promotion, or to add value to your book.
  • Hard Cover AND Paperback options
  • Custom sizes: You are not limited in the dimensions of your book – Vervante can create a custom-size book for you, any size from 8.5×11 or smaller.

CreateSpace:

  • No publishing sample kits
  • Graphic design and formatting services need to be pieced together a la carte from a complicated menu, paid for each service separately, in a mounting bill.
  • Paperback printing only
  • Limited marketing materials
  • Limited flexibility on book sizes. If printing anything other than what is considered industry standard (6 x 9), product pricing increases.

Profitability

Vervante:

  • We can list your book or eBook online via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Baker and Taylor, Kindle, Nook, and the Vervante Bookstore.
  • Nothing hidden: Comprehensive online access to reports, orders, tracking & more
  • Printing costs based on product specs (NOT on retail price) and include production, packaging and fulfillment. We don’t add handling fees or markup postage.
  • 200+: Number of countries and territories we can ship to around the world
  • ISBN: For one low price, $35, you can have your own ISBN.
  • Copyright and LCCN done-for-you service.
  • No need to order large amounts of books printed and sent to you. Our print-on-demand services mean you only order what you want, when you want it, and we’ll send it directly to you or your customer for the same price.
  • More money returns to you. Check out the chart below to see how royalties include lower print costs, lower fees, and result in bigger returns to the author.

CreateSpace:

  • Standard sales package offers ONLY Amazon.com, Amazon Europe and CreateSpace eStore sales channel.
  • Must pay more AND meet certain eligibility requirements to sell through other retail outlets.
  • May be printed by third party manufacturers that don’t guarantee continuity in paper thickness, quality, color, etc.
  • Distribution: Custom sizes don’t fall under the ‘industry standard’ category and therefore are limited where distribution is concerned.
  • CreateSpace offers discounted printing cost-per-book prices when you place orders for your own title to be shipped directly to you. While this may be an initial cost saving, you are then responsible for storing, sales, processing, packaging and shipping of your book to customers.
  • Less money returns to you. Check out the chart on the next page to see how royalties include higher print costs, higher fees, and result in less returns to the author. Sales outside of Amazon incur even higher sales channel deductions, lowering royalties even further.

Example book

200 pages printed black & white, 6×9 – no bleed

Perfect-bound with a full color printed cover

Author determined list price of $14.95

Total Vervante Cost Per Book      $      5.93
CreateSpace Cost Per Book[1]
Fixed Cost Per Page  $ 0.01 200 pages  $       2.40
Fixed Cost Per Book  $ 0.85  $       0.85
40% Amazon Commission Per Book 40% $14.95  $       5.98
Total CreateSpace Cost Per Book      $      9.23

Additional profit per book with Vervante $3.30

About Vervante

Vervante offers on-demand publishing and distribution for Books, CDs, DVDs, information products, cards, calendars and more using state of the art technology, custom graphic design services, and project support every step of the way. To request a quote for publishing your book or any of our products, please email customerservice@vervante.com. You can also download a free copy of the expert guide “The Top 3 Products You Can Create That Will Attract Clients, Increase Income, and Help Your Business Achieve Next-Level Success” on their website at www.vervante.com.

[1]** All information about CreateSpace book publishing services researched and quoted from www.createspace.com and current as of Feb 1, 2016. Cost per book rates determined using CreateSpace royalty calculator.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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6 thoughts on “Self-Publishing: Vervante vs CreateSpace

  1. OK it’s late as I review this, what could I be missing? Regarding the chart above-The 40% Amazon charges is to sell the books on their site, they help every author sell with exposure, and love them or not, authors need to be on Amazon. As hard as we have worked, still most of our sales come from their site. If I were to sell with it having been printed through Vervante, it would still cost me the 40% to have it sold through Amazon.
    When I sell through my webesite, or have customers buy directly, then we go through Createspace in this case Amazon (at least when I have used it for all our books) does not take that 40% cut. Now from that very typical scenario Vervante is more expensive, in fact I do not see where it is not more expensive.
    Always wishing the very Best.

  2. Victor, you bring up some great points, and we wanted to clarify a few points from the article above. Hope this helps!
     
    CreateSpace will list your book on Amazon, which charges 40% of the retail price plus the printing cost of the book.
     
    In contrast, Vervante lists your book for free on Amazon Marketplace. Amazon Marketplace only takes 15% commission plus a $1.35 per transaction fee and reimburses you $3.99 for postage on U.S. orders, another money-saving value. Vervante only charges you the price to print the book plus actual postage. Vervante does NOT take a percentage of your retail price.
     
    Here’s how Amazon Marketplace works when you have Vervante produce and list your book there:
     
    1. Vervante lists your item for sale on Amazon Marketplace.
    2. A customer orders your item through Amazon.
    3. Vervante receives the orders when your book or product is purchased on Amazon.
    4. The transaction is entered in your order report in your Vervante author account so you will see all transactions.
    5. Vervante prints and ships the order.
    6. Vervante notifies Amazon that the order has shipped.
    7. Amazon sends a shipment confirmation to the customer and charges the customer’s credit card.
    8. Amazon pays Vervante for transactions and we will post your Amazon credits in your Vervante account.
    9. If you have a credit of less than $100 the balance will remain in your Vervante account. If the credit is more than $100 you can request a check, refund via PayPal or use the credit against other invoices.
     
    We agree, Amazon is definitely a must for authors who want to sell online. We energetically recommend it to all our customers. However, Amazon does not do anything to promote your book, no matter if you use CreateSpace or someone else like us. There is no marketing offered by Amazon.
     
    As for price per book: If you order books to be shipped from CreateSpace directly to yourself, you do get the lowest author price per book. But then, you have to turn around and ship the book to your customer costing you time and money. Many authors have told us that this savings of time and stress are another point that add value to our services. Vervante charges you the same price per book, whether we ship to you, a customer of yours, or for an Amazon order.
     
    We invite anyone with questions or concerns to let us know at customerservice@vervante.com. We’d be happy to provide you with free quotes for your book and products and answer any questions you might have.

  3. Thank you, this is an informative article. However, there are a few inconsistences. Here is one of them:

    The example shared in the post was for a Createspace book with 200 pages, printed black and white, 6×9, no bleed, perfect bound with full-color cover.

    The total cost per book was calculated to be $9.23 (this is not entirely accurate).

    The total cost per book using Createspace is $3.25 (using the Createspace Calculator)

    This is how Createspace explains this cost:

    Fixed cost per page: $0.012 (0.012 x 200) = $2.40
    Fixed cost per unit/book: $0.85
    Total cost of book: $2.40 + $.85 = $3.25

    So $3.25 is the total cost per book (using the specs from the example above), not $9.23.

    $9.23 is the cost AFTER adding Amazon’s share if selling via Amazon’s site (but the cost of the book is actually $3.25).

    This book can be purchased at production cost and sold at the list price of $14.95. That’s a profit of $11.70 if sold from the author’s website (or back of room sales).

    Sure, if the author decides to sell via Amazon, then royalties are less.

    Here is how Createspace calculates their share:

    40% (from the List Price) if sold via US Amazon channel:
    + the fixed charge ($.85)
    + the per page charge ($0.012 + 200 = $2.40)
    = Createspace/Amazon share: $9.23

    But this is what the author is getting for having to ‘give’ Amazon the 40% share:

    1. Amazon’s platform (largest in the world).
    2. Amazon takes care of fulfillment.
    3. Amazon takes care of customer service.
    4. Amazon takes care of shipping and handling.
    5. Amazon takes returns and doesn’t charge the author.

  4. Publishing and selling using Vervante actually costs more than using CreateSpace!
    Follow the math. As shown above the CreateSpace price for a new book listed in Amazons catalogue is $9.23 for $14.95 retail priced book.
    Vervante sells through the Market place, but does this place the book in the New books catalogue at Amazon or just merchandise available through Amazon?
    Anyway you still pay a 15% commission on the sale that’s $2.24 for the example book plus $1.35 transaction fee for addition cost total of $3.59 but the article claims a profit difference of $3.30 using Vervante .
    The reality is it costs $0.29 cents more to publish with Vervante than with CreatSpace.
    The real advantage of Vervante is what you can sell, what CreateSpace does not provide rather than head to head competition.
    CreateSpace does not provide for binders or combinations of book and CD, so this is where there is a benefit, not in head to head price comparisons. There is a way to improve your margins, but that’s not the point of this comment.

    • I still use Createspace for my print books with the exception of spiral bound versions which I publish via Vervante. I simply wanted them to share the costs so you can make the decision for yourself. It is MUCH cheaper to buy books directly from Createspace than from Vervante.

      I can’t comment on the pricing for Vervante as this article was written by them, but you can get a quote by contacting them.

      • I know this is late to the party….but I’ve been selling through CS for years and using Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, Draft2Digital and my own website for as long as they’ve been around, and now I’m switching all my books over to Vervante, because of a factor no one here has talked about, including Vervante.

        Control and exposure.

        @Eric…there are no inconsistencies in the statements made, as this was about Amazon, not really Createspace. The focus here in the conversation is about having to be on Amazon, so you cannot accurately point just at CS…because you won’t be selling your book from CS. You’re selling them on Amazon, hence the prices have to include that channel.

        Here’s the thing: no matter what you are selling–from fiction (like me) to non-fiction, if you limit yourself to Amazon, the rules will eventually change. Amazon is only there for Amazon, as they should be…which means you should have as much exposure to the world as possible.

        Vervante allows you to sell from Amazon AND from your website and it allows you to collect customer information or send them a note through Amazon orders, so you can encourage them to come to your website and build a relationship directly.

        You have more options with Vervante…and to be clear here, I agree with Shelly here–it’s MUCH cheaper to buy directly from CS for your own books. I do that only for when I want lesser quality books I can sell or give away at signings or events as prizes. However, having it all automated for both my website AND Amazon?

        This is all up to each author, of course, but I urge everyone to be very mindful of trends and market shifts in both technology and company growth. Amazon is not your friend. They are a tool, and so are we–to them. That’s just a fact of the Amazon business model.

        Vervante is built around us–to help us build OUR business. That’s quite the advantage…and s for me–instead of worrying so much about prices (which IS important, don’t get me wrong)…I am refocusing my efforts on creating/adding value and making myself known.

        …for once people know you, like you and have confidence in you, they’ll pay a great deal more than $14.95 to learn from you or to be entertained by you.

        Think about the possibilities with Vervante: you can create special deals, bundles, add-ons (I sell a game for parents to play with their kids and include dice with the book Vervante prints for me)…limited editions, hardback books, posters, personal notes with your orders…

        You can connect with your customers better through Vervante.

        Hey–I’m just an author and cartoonist, but I’ve sold thousands upon thousands of my comics, novels and games over the years. But I’ve learned that the real estate I have to build in the end is my own, not Amazons.

        That doesn’t mean to dump them.

        Absolutely not.

        I’m only suggesting we, as authors, be wise.

        Don’t limit yourself.

        As for me, I use both and I’m already seeing the blessings of that shift.

        Best of luck to everyone!

        – Jaime Buckley
        Your BIGGEST Fan!