Createspace’s eStore is Closing but What Does it Mean?

Createspace’s eStore is Shutting Down

A few days ago, I received this email from Createspace:

“Hello,

To better serve customers and improve the online buying experience, we will redirect customers who click on your CreateSpace eStore links to their corresponding detail pages on Amazon.com starting October 31, 2017.

We’re making this change based on increasing feedback and requests to add features to the eStore that are currently available on Amazon.com. These features include the ability to search across the site, an improved checkout process, better shipping options including Amazon Prime, order tracking notifications, and a familiar user interface.

While this change will allow eStore redirects to benefit your titles’ sales rank and visibility on Amazon.com, we realize these sales will earn lower royalty rates than on the eStore.

To help with this transition, we will adjust your Amazon royalty rates for six months effective November 1, 2017 through April 30, 2018, to reflect the average royalty rate you earned across all paperback sales of your title through both the CreateSpace eStore and Amazon sales channels (which includes Amazon.com and Amazon Europe) over the last year.

For example, if half of your sales for a paperback title were through the CreateSpace eStore, for which you earned an 80% royalty rate, and the other half were through Amazon sales channels, for which you earned a 60% royalty rate, your new royalty rate for sales of that title during this six-month period will be 70%. After April 30, 2018, your royalty rate will revert to the standard Amazon 60% rate.

You can also earn more if you sign up to become an Amazon Associate at https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/.

The closure of the eStore will not affect other CreateSpace services. However, if your titles are not available for sale on Amazon.com, you’ll need to visit your CreateSpace dashboard and check the box to allow sales through Amazon.com. To learn more about these changes please review our Help page.

https://www.createspace.com/Help/Index.jsp?orgId=00D300000001Sh9&id=50139000000oxUN

Below you’ll find the adjusted royalty rates for your impacted titles:

Title: Knocked Up Abroad Again (ASIN or ID:0997062428)||Adjusted Royalty Rate: 73%

Regards,

The CreateSpace Team”

I’m new to self-publishing—can you translate that for me?

First of all, if you’re a newly self-published author, don’t worry about this. It really doesn’t affect you.

The Createspace eStore was another avenue for customers to purchase paperback books by Createspace authors.

While another potential sales channel, it wasn’t used by many customers because it was a separate site altogether.

Let’s be honest, here, nobody was surfing the Createspace eStore looking for up and coming authors when they were more likely to stumble upon them while on Amazon. com.

Createspace shutting down the eStore will affect only a small percentage of self-published authors—that’s why they are shutting it down.

There are a few indie authors who have used the eStore as a way to provide mega discounts to their loyal readers, indie bookstores, and anyone else who purchases books in bulk. Createspace allowed you to add coupons for customers to buy your book at a discount via the eStore. If you have any coupons set up, you’ll need to alert your buyers that the channel is closing and to direct their purchases to you.

Personally, I only had via purchase on the eStore for 35 books. The eStore is cumbersome and required customers to set up a separate login account that was not linked to Amazon. The entire thing was a bit redundant and extraneous.

That’s why they are closing it down.

Should I find another publisher other than Createspace?

I wouldn’t but like I said, the closure of the eStore doesn’t affect me or anyone I know. I applaud Createspace for shutting down a non-essential service that wasn’t benefiting the majority of their authors.

Can I still buy my own books in bulk at cost?

Yes. You will still be able to order your books at cost via your dashboard on Createspace. Those purchases were never conducted through the eStore anyway.

Will my customers notice?

Probably not. Again, that’s why they are shutting down the eStore channel. Anyone who clicks on an old eStore link will be directed to your book’s page on Amazon so they are even doing the heavy lifting for you.

My suggestion, if you’re not doing it already: Change all of the hyperlinks on your website and social media platforms to feature your affiliate link of your book(s). If you are going to drive traffic to Amazon, you should be getting a percentage of the sale. They recommend that in their email above and have provided the link to their Affiliate program.

How should I handle providing purchases in bulk at wholesale prices?

Unless Createspace works with Amazon to create a coupon code section, which they haven’t announced, you’ll need to handle bulk orders manually.

Alert any customers who were potentially using the eStore that they’ll need to email you directly if they want to order books at a discount.

New process:

  • Customer places a bulk order with you
  • You’ll place the order and ship the books to your customer via your Createspace dashboard
  • Invoice them the retail+shipping+VAT/taxes-discount
  • Take their payment the old-fashioned way via check, money order, PayPal, etc.,

Yeah, it’s somewhat of a pain to create and track down invoices, but it’s probably not a huge imposition for most authors.

Marketing tip

Offer bulk order discounts to everyone, not only indie bookstores. If someone buys 2 books in one order, they get X% off. If they order 5+ books at once, they get Y% off retail. You can set this up yourself if you have a Shopify or WooCommerce store on your website.

Make it easy for people to buy your books directly from you instead of directing them to Amazon. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.

So, I don’t need to freak out?

Nah, you’re good. I know of a few indie authors who have been self-publishing for years and have 11+ books available via the eStore. They’ll have their hands full managing wholesale book orders but that’s a good problem to have, right?

If you’re new to the game or still considering Createspace for your self-publishing solutions, don’t let this worry you one bit. Createspace is still the biggest player in town and for good reason—they still provide excellent quality and service at unbeatable costs for authors.

If you have any other questions, feel free to sound off in the comments below or on Facebook.

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