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Monday, February 25, 2013

Part I, What I Did Not Know About CreateSpace, by Lorilyn Roberts, and Part II, Comparing Lightning Source and CreateSpace, by Bruce Brodowski

By Lorilyn Roberts

Lightning Source and CreateSpace are the two leading companies that self-published authors use to publish books. While the process of publishing with Lightning Source is more complicated and time-consuming, the end result of publishing with CreateSpace may be different from what you expect, particularly with their expanded distribution.

Recently I went to Books-A-Million to see if they would be able to order one of my books for the bookstore. Since the manager is someone I know – her mother is one of my best friends, she, of course, wanted to know all about my new book. I asked her if it would be possible for Books-A-Million to order my book Seventh Dimension – The Door either for the store or for a customer. She looked up my book on the computer and found it on the Books-A-Million website, but it showed that store delivery was not available. However, my book could be ordered online by a customer as long as it was delivered to the customer’s home.

The manager said they had gotten around this issue before (a book being listed as “not store deliverable”) and she would see what she could find out.  When I came home, I called CreateSpace. Their phone rep said their expanded distribution, which I paid extra for, was done by Ingram. I would have to ask them why Books-A-Million didn’t have store delivery availability. I went on the web and searched for Ingram. In an epiphany moment, I got a live person (not a recording or computer) who was very helpful (amazing things happen every once in a while).

This is what I discovered as one of the major differences between CreateSpace and Lightning Source: CreateSpace does not have returnability of books. In other words, if a bookstore were to order 10 books and only five of them sold, the bookstore couldn’t return the unsold books to CreateSpace. If that same bookstore ordered 10 books from Lightning Source and only five sold, the bookstore could return the unsold books to Lightning Source (if your contract is set up that way). Therefore, it’s much easier to get bookstores to buy books from self-published authors who publish with Lightning Source than with CreateSpace.

The CreateSpace rep also said that with CreateSpace, you can open your own ebook store and give an additional discount to bookstores. Another choice is for bookstores to set up their own account with CreateSpace and then they could order books directly from CreateSpace. However, I doubt that a major book chain would open a CreateSpace account to be able to accommodate one customer who special-ordered one book. Also, CreateSpace only gives a 25 percent discount to bookstores. Not awful, but not the best. When I did my initial research between the two companies, no one explained these differences between the two companies in terms that I understood. 

I also noted on the CreateSpace website, they make this statement:

We will determine how to handle Customer returns of Units, which may include, without limitation (a) in the case of physical Units, placing the returned copy of the Unit into inventory and reselling it to another Customer, in which case we will have no obligation to pay you any Content License Royalty for the resale of such Unit (because we paid, or will pay, you for the original sale of such Unit); or (b) destroying the Unit and calculating amounts due to you net of the Content License Royalty we previously paid for the destroyed return. We reserve the right to prohibit returns under any circumstances (or to impose any other restrictions on returns) with respect to sales or rentals (if applicable) of electronically formatted Units. If a Unit is returned and we have already paid you a Content License Royalty on the returned Unit, we may offset the amount of the Content License Royalty we previously paid you for that returned Unit against future Content License Royalty, or require you to remit to us the amount of the Content License Royalty we paid to you for the returned Unit.

Despite the fact this paragraph makes it appear that CreateSpace allows for book returns, I checked with their representative once again, and they do NOT have “returnability” of books. Period.

The Ingram representative said, though, that you could get around this. She gave me an email address and I contacted that Ingram person to see what I could do to make my books returnable with CreateSpace. I wanted bookstores to be able to order Seventh Dimension – The Door for a customer as a special order even if they weren’t going to stock it.

I specifically asked this question of CreateSpace before I decided to publish with them: “If a customer walked into Barnes & Noble and requested my book, could the store purchase my book for their customer?” I was told yes, with expanded distribution. THIS IS NOT TRUE! Again, store delivery is not available through CreateSpace.

With Lightning Source, you can.  In fact, bookstores may even stock your books if they know they can return your books if they don’t sell. I cancelled my expanded distribution with CreateSpace and will be adding Lightning Source as one of my publishers for books I want to sell outside of Amazon. I want any bookstore to be able to order my book for one of their customers without having to set up a separate account with CreateSpace. What bookstore is going to do that for one customer for one book? Nada.

I understand from other articles I have read on the web that Lightning Source will also distribute to Amazon and I can’t limit that distribution to outside of Amazon. That means I will have two detail pages and two sales rankings because I have a CreateSpace ISBN for CreateSpace and a separate ISBN for Lightning Source. The biggest disadvantage with that is when it comes to sales rankings. Instead of all sales being to one ISBN number, they will go to two numbers. I suppose you have to choose which is more important—sales ranking or availability of books to bookstores. It’s a tough choice, but I think I’d rather go for book sales. I’d take money any day over sales rankings, even though I know a higher sales ranking generates more sales. But when you are at the bottom of the barrel, all you can do is go up, so I figure I can’t lose, except not to do anything but limit my books to Amazon distribution, which has been paltry at best as far as print book sales.

(As an update to the comments above, I later learned you can "retire" the ISBN number from Create Space and just use the ISBN number for Lightning Source and you can ask Amazon to add all the reviews from the Create Space ISBN version to the Lightning Source version before you retire the Create Space ISBN. I have since done this and resolved the issue).

The above comments were originally posted in a similar form on the John 3:16 Marketing Network Forum and one of our members, Bruce Brodowski, posted some additional information. For those who are still confused or uncertain about whether to use CreateSpace or Lightning Source, here are his follow-up comments. He has published with both CreateSpace and Lightning Source.

by Bruce Brodowski

1. LSI does not do business with authors. They only deal with publishers. That means you have to set yourself up as a publisher with a DBA (doing business as) legal name.

2. LSI ONLY accepts book covers on their templates. If you don't have a means to do that, (such as Indesign) then you have to hire it out. I hired out mine to Walt Shiel and now to Lisa Hainline.

3. Mainline bookstores do not shelve books of self-published authors. However, they will order them through LSI IF they get their normal discount of 40%. They require all books to be returnable; otherwise, they will not order them. This means that all books submitted to LSI must be set up at a 55% discount and returnable. Be careful! LSI gives you two choices:

Returnable and shipped to you—you get charged for the cost of the returned
book—OR you can make them returnable from the bookstore and then destroyed. I have since changed all of my books to make them returnable and destroyed to cut the cost of returning them to me.

4. If you establish an account with LSI, you need to fill out ALL of the forms necessary for ALL other countries. There are several.

5. The advantage of LSI is they own Ingram Distributors, which is the largest distributor in the world. This allows your book to be ordered from LSI to all bookstores in other countries.

6. You need to use you own ISBN. They are available through Bowkers.

7. LSI is better quality than CreateSpace BUT more expensive. Your cost per book is more than CreateSpace.

8. NEVER approve a book with LSI until one or two weeks after CreateSpace. Otherwise will use LSI INSTEAD of CreateSpace and you will make fewer royalties.

9. NEVER upload your interior pages to LSI UNTIL ALL MISTAKES ARE CORRECTED. Only upload the final version. I just made this mistake. I found grammar errors. I uploaded the revision. Then I found content errors.

I uploaded the revision. LSI nailed me for $40 for each revision. I just lost $80 and will have to sell 80 books to recover from that mistake. From now on, I will upload my books to CreateSpace first, order proof books, make revisions, and when I finally approve the PDF for CreateSpace, I will upload that PDF to LSI.

10. There is an upload cost for LSI. You get what you pay for.

11. Always order books for yourself from CreateSpace. They are cheaper. I am about to put an order in for 50 books. Always drop ship single copies of books through CreateSpace. Let them do the packaging and shipping and bill you for it.

I have now successfully published on CreateSpace with no upload cost and no revision cost. I am distributing only through two channels: and Amazon Europe. This is the main way of selling my books to the public. My books are being sold on ALL websites in all countries.

I do not use Expanded Distribution because I have an LSI account and I use my own ISBNs. There is a danger in using CreateSpace ISBN's as discussed in Charlotte at our last writers’ group meeting. If you use CreateSpace’s ISBNs, CreateSpace can do anything they want with your book. By using my own ISBN, they can’t. In my opinion, the Expanded Distribution is worthless.

To sum up, my book A Journey to Heaven is available online at Barnes and Noble because of my account with LSI. The bookstore in Meadville, PA, Tattered Corners, that is hosting Tammy's March 9 book signing was supplied 10 books that I drop shipped to the bookstore through a CreateSpace order. As of yesterday, the store is also able to order more books through LSI/Ingram and will do that at a 40% discount before the book signing. The book store Park Road Books (an Indie bookstore) in Charlotte, NC, has approved carrying A Journey to Heaven on consignment. I will order books through CreateSpace at my cost and supply them to that store. They will pay me 60% of the sales price of the book twice a year.

One other thing: I have a sales use tax license for NC and have had temporary licenses for other states in which I have sold. The only way around this is to have a bookstore run your books through their cash register during a book signing. They collect and pay the sales tax.
Borders did that for me as well as a sweet bookstore in Inlet, NY.

Phew, that is a lot to cover and I probably forgot some things. I hope this may help to clear up the differences between Lightning Source and CreateSpace.

You can contact Bruce Brodowski on his website at http://orphanheart.wordpress.com

You can contact Lorilyn Roberts on her website at

To learn more about the John 3:16 Marketing Network, where information like this is shared daily, go to

Sunday, February 17, 2013

New YA Bible Study Plan Available

Now there's a Bible lesson plan for Just Like Jonah Wail Tales, a short story collection teaching there's a price to pay when you disobey to 10- to 14-year-olds. Just Like Jonah Wail Tales Workbook is aimed at parents, Sunday school teachers, youth group leaders and all those who want to share their faith with young people.

Wail tales are exaggerated tales of woe, or fish tales, where the main characters land in a whale of trouble, just like Jonah in the Bible. They turn to God and learn he hears their call when they fall.

"This workbook edition will provide relevant Scriptures and discussion questions to help parents and teachers hone in on the different ways the main characters disobey," says author Cheryl Rogers, who publishes New Christian Books Online Magazine. "It's also good for individual Bible study."

Just Like Jonah Wail Tales Workbook contains eight short stories, with modern Jonahs who mess up in assorted ways. One is prideful and needs to learn about serving, another is fearful, another skips her math homework when it's too hard, another is selfish, and another hosts an underage drinking party when his parents aren't home. The ebook teaches the biblical path of salvation through the example of these characters who call upon the name of the Lord.

"It is my goal to teach these youngsters early through the mistakes of these fictitious characters, so they hopefully can avoid living through wail tales of their own," Rogers says.

A former newspaper reporter, Rogers came to know the Lord as an adult through a serious illness. "There is so much I didn't know," she says, "although I went to church regularly."

So Rogers has dedicated herself to sharing the good news of Jesus Christ through her writing, which includes fiction and nonfiction for all ages.

Her original Just Like Jonah Wail Tales is a short story collection without the discussion questions and Scripture citations, which can be read individually or used by students in group Bible studies.

Her free ebook The Lesson of Jonah: There is a Price to Pay When You Disobey includes one story with discussion questions, plus Scripture cites and optional homework.

Also for the 10- to 14-year-old market, Rogers has written a mystery/adventure about a group of 10- to 16-year-old boys who head to the Florida backwoods for a back-to-nature retreat. Lost in the Woods: A Bible Camp Mystery is the first in her new series about the youth group from a Central Florida community church.

When Bible Den's Leader Chet Harrigan takes his group to the backwoods they are expecting adventure, but they get more of it than they planned. The bumbling adventures of this relatively inexperienced group of campers keep readers guessing. Thirteen-year-old Zack disappears in the middle of the night, more than half of the campers become ill, and a hurricane takes an unexpected turn in their direction. The boys must find Zack, and fast!

The wail tale collection, and Lost in the Woods: A Bible Camp Mystery, are available in multiple ebook formats from the New Christian Books Online Store and other e-retail outlets. Please contact the author to order print copies.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Fearless Friday - Meet Lisa Hainline!

Lisa Hainline

For thirty-five years Lisa Hainline has developed the visual vocabulary to say a thousand words with one picture. For the past three decades, Lisa has produced and directed custom graphic design for ad agencies, corporations, radio stations, hospitals, banks, manufacturers, local retailers, and magazines.

She recalls graduating from high school with a passion for advertising and a meager portfolio.  Pounding the pavement and looking for work, she drew the attention of a creative director for a large advertising agency. 

“He was so impressed with my portfolio and taken with my passion and drive that he made a call to a colleague at a local art studio that housed 35 illustrators. I ran 8 blocks and entered into a world of opportunity after opportunity. I learned from the best while having the chance to be a part of exciting work for national accounts.”

Lisa grew in talent and skill over the years, owning two private design studios and became the Senior Art Director for a mid-sized ad agency. Soon after, Lisa went solo, freelancing out of her home while homeschooling her daughter for eighteen years. 

With daughter newly married, Lisa has again turned her attention to private studio ownership, catering to businesses and authors who need the expertise and talent of a professional graphic designer without the high costs of hiring an ad agency.

A Personal Life, Too
Lisa dedicates much of her off-design time to helping people heal from emotional pain through her ministry website at

She also spends time on the joys of her life: her dedicated husband John, and newly-married daughter Samantha, who is equally creative as well. Moving up the ladder of loves is her droopy-eyed Labrador named Harley, sometimes Bo, and other times, Jasper-one confused puppy.

Lisa says: My writings are on and not into printed book form as of yet. Working on that as my editor nags at me!

Your unique talent: Gosh, I use my gifts every day in design and creativity, and also draw realistic portraits, but how unique is that? I used to be able to do a back bend to the point of touching my head with my butt, and was the family “pet attraction” when young, but a fused spine disallows that now.

Share something not many people know about you: I had the opportunity to sing in chamber choirs across Europe at the age of 18 and sang under the conductor Leonard Bernstein in Vienna (1976). OMG, did I just date myself?!

Answers to the survey:

Are you a “pet person” or prefer no pets? No, I spent so much time caring for my daughter with multiple diseases, homeschooling and in and out of doctors, that I ended up giving my dog to my lonely sister. Kittys are cute though!

Would you rather travel or stay at home? STAY HOME! Done roaming. I have clients who keep begging me to come to their home for a weekend slumber party, or event for their book, and my editor nags me into attending a book conference here or there but I’m still in survival mode, hiding away in the mountains after moving across country, after many family crisis’s and loss.

Do you read more or write more? Neither.
Prefer cake or pie? Cheesecake or Tiramisu! Or is that a psychological question with hidden meaning?   

Would, or do, ride a motorcycle or prefer to ride/drive a car?

Bus or taxi or walk?  none of the above! Can’t walk far but my husband thought that I needed a big 4-wheel drive up here in the mountains, considering the hills and snow. The neighborhood knows when I start that diesel and I can’t park anywhere, so I stay home more. AND I get too much notice! What is it with men and bright big shiny trucks?!

Are you part of a big church congregation or a small church? TINY, but who have a heart for worship, and the youth, and a ministry to those on the street. My healing site ministers to many and we pray for healing for those who want it. We also have a ministry to lead the kids at the RAVES to the Lord ( and so I’m so blessed to see the Lord moving and move in that anointing towards the advancement of the Kingdom.

Do you like to telephone people or prefer to use e-mail? Email, but people want to talk and I’m always available, but I do ‘hide’ from time to time.
Are you happy or joyful? I’m an artist. We’re never totally joyful all the time but are tortured souls. I do have joy in the Lord way more than I ever have in my life so I guess I could say I’m up and down. J

Do you eat at home or eat out? HOME! After gourmet cooking for years, I’m whooped, and as empty nesters and my husband on the road much, I’m thankful to be released from my food addiction.
Listen to music or prefer quiet? Quiet…enough noise already. I DO listen to prophetic worship in the mornings as I get into my “Daddy Presence” time, for worship, prayer and to listen and wait and receive from Him.

Prefer sunrises or sunsets?  I’m usually up only for sunsets, however I think it’s amazing to experience a part of the day that you don’t usually experience, whether it’s 3 am and you step out to see Orion right above you, or a sunrise like the one I captured on the way to the doctors’ one morning (attached). Being so not used to the California dry climate and yet amazed at living above the clouds, every time I get up in the middle of the night I quickly step outside on my balcony and breath deep and enjoy the night air that is not bitter like it is in Wisconsin, where I’m from.  I think both sunset and sunrises are God’s reminder of His light and power, something apart from ourselves that shows beauty beyond what we can control, and yet signaling new beginnings, and what needs to be put to bed (the past). I know, sappy, but since my spinal surgeries, I’ve not been able to see the past or the future, only able to focus on today. It may be a brain-thing but I choose to see it as a GOD-thing.

Please leave a comment this week for a chance to win a free print copy of How to Launch a Best-Selling Christian Book!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Fearless Friday - Meet Michael Duncan!

About the author:
Michael Duncan or follow me on Twitter - @luvtogolf1
Christian author and pastor, Michael Duncan has served the Lord and the church for nearly 25 years preaching and teaching God's Word. He has shared God’s message across the U.S. and beyond and is currently the pastor of his church in the Pacific Northwest and a co-host on the Alive in Christ radio network. He is also on the executive board of the Northwest Baptist Convention and a board member of the Northwest Christian Writer’s Association. Given the opportunity, he may be found on the golf course! Michael has been married to his wonderful wife, Patty, for almost 20 years and they have three amazing children – all in their teens (which is the reason for the greying hair).
I have three novels in print, and two non-fiction books. All my books can be purchased through my website at
About the book:
My latest novel is called Shadow Remnant.
(ISBN 9781480168268)
When truth is lost, liberty dies.
For a hundred years the United States has been gripped by martial law, with freedom and faith a forgotten memory. In the summer of 2132, Peter Sheridan learns this the hard way when he finds himself on the wrong side of the government–but the right side of freedom.
All he wants to do is escape the notorious education center and find his parents. But when he is shot and left for dead, he is rescued by a mysterious recluse and finds himself drawn into a world of chaos and intrigue.
Racing against time and the government to try and complete his father’s mission—Peter must reignite the call for freedom. To do so, he turns to the last hope for America, the mysterious group known as the Shadow Remnant.
Your unique talent
I don’t know if I have a “unique” talent. I sing, play guitar, piano and saxophone (but not all at the same time). I preach and teach God’s word every week at least three times or more in various services of the church or conferences. I have no gift to repair a car, but I can fix just about anything electronic. I love finding solutions to problems and improvising when no immediate solution is available. I taught myself to read Greek, and I make an absolutely delicious grilled hamburger!
Share something not many people know about you:
The first time I ever preached at a church was in South Korea – and only one person was in the audience that day.
Answers to the survey (Which best describes my personality):
Are you a “pet person” or prefer no pets?
I’m okay with pets – as long as they stay outside.
Would you rather travel or stay at home?
I enjoy traveling – but I love to stay at home.
Do you read more or write more?
I write more. I wish I had more time to read, however.
Prefer cake or pie?
Unless Cheesecake is counted as a “cake” I would prefer pie.
Would, or do, ride a motorcycle or prefer to ride/drive a car?
I much prefer a car – in fact, you’d be hard pressed to get me on a motorcycle!
Bus or taxi or walk?
I think I would rather walk – unless I had a LONG way to go.
Are you part of a big church congregation or a small church?
I pastor a small church, nestled in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest.
Do you like to telephone people or prefer to use e-mail?
I’d rather talk with someone face to face – but as the telephone or email are my choices, I would prefer the telephone.
Are you happy or joyful?
I’d like to think I’m both. J
Do you eat at home or eat out?
We eat at home – nothing better than being with the family.
Listen to music or prefer quiet?
I don’t listen to much music, but I’m not one for too much quiet. I have either a sermon from another preacher going, or listening to the news.
Prefer sunrises or sunsets?
I prefer sunsets, definitely! I am not a morning person.

Please leave a comment this week for a chance to win a free print copy of How to Launch a Best-Selling Christian Book!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Retweeting Using the John316Author Hashtag

I was able to quickly retweet all the tweets up above because the authors included the hastag #John316author in their tweet. Sometimes seeing how something works is easier than trying to explain it on the forum. Don't forget, the handle for the John 3:16 Marketing Network is @John316Network.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Fearless Friday - Lisa Lickel

Lisa J. Lickel

Lisa Lickel is a Wisconsin writer who lives with her husband in a hundred and sixty-year-old house built by a Great Lakes ship captain. Surrounded by books and dragons, she writes inspiring fiction. Her novels include mystery and romance, all with a twist of grace. She has penned dozens of feature newspaper stories, short stories, magazine articles and radio theater. She is the editor in chief of Creative Wisconsin magazine and loves to encourage new authors. Lisa also is an avid book reviewer, a freelance editor, an editor at Port Yonder Press, a writing mentor, a hostess at Clash of the, and enjoys blogging at and Find her at

My latest novels include:

The Last Bequest, book one of the Buried Treasure series
Pages: 186
MuseItUp Publishing (September 17, 2012)

Just how high a price does rumors of buried treasure command?

School teacher Judy Winters sets out to solve the mystery surrounding her only living relative’s murder. Back on the farm where Aunt Louise grew up, Judy encounters Hart Wingate, a young man renting the adjoining farm who helps with farm chores. When Judy learns that her boyfriend, Graham, had been secretly visiting Louise, Judy takes the opportunity to move away from him for the summer and think over the situation.

The Map Quilt, a cozy mystery, Book 2 of the Buried Treasure Series
MuseItUp Publishing, May 2012
AISN: B00802VRK2
Pages: 187
ISBN: 978-1-77127-038-0
Price: $5.95
Purchase links: Muse Store:
E-book - Amazon:
P-book – Amazon

Paperback: 274 pages
Five Loaves and Two Small Fish (September 1, 2012)
ISBN-10: 0985621508
ISBN-13: 978-0985621506

Just how high a price does a family secret command?

Death in rural Wisconsin is only the beginning to new chaos in Robertsville. What do a stolen piece of revolutionary agricultural equipment, a long-buried skeleton in the yard, and an old quilt with secrets have in common? Hart and Judy Wingate, who met in The Gold Standard, are back to solve the mystery of The Map Quilt. Hart’s new battery design could forever change the farm implement industry. But after the death of Hart’s most confrontational colleague in a fire that destroys Hart’s workshop, the battery is missing.

Model for Murder, a short story
December 20, 2012

When two happy-go-lucky beach-cleaners find a strand of pearls attached to a dead body, they’ll do anything to keep from becoming murder suspects—even calling Connor LaFoy’s little sister Stella who’s about to graduate college with a degree in criminal studies—to help solve the murder of former jewelry model Jennifer.


Just released from Whimsical Publications e-book out; print coming soon
Whimsical Publications,
LLC/paperback, 2
Jan 2013
$4.99 & $1

ISBN-13: 978-1-936167-

Ivy Preston keeps other people’s secrets for a living. When a small town mayor invites Ivy Preston and True Thompson, along with their Egyptian Mau cats, to move their businesses to Apple Grove, can their love survive the sudden rise in crime?

Your unique talent: I am slightly compulsive about patterns and making things that are supposed to match consistent, like spaces in manuscripts, and opening and closing parenthetical phrases. And font size. And the height of shades.

Share something not many people know about you: I toured Moscow a few months after we boycotted the winter Olympics in 1981.

Are you a “pet person” or prefer no pets? I like cats. My husband is allergic.

Would you rather travel or stay at home? I like to travel holding onto someone’s hand.

Do you read more or write more? Read, especially when I’m editing for someone else.

Prefer cake or pie? Yes.

Would, or do, ride a motorcycle or prefer to ride/drive a car? I like to ride in a car with my eyes closed.

Bus or taxi or walk? Walk.

Are you part of a big church congregation or a small church? Small church.

Do you like to telephone people or prefer to use e-mail? E-mail!

Are you happy or joyful? I’m more of a moment-by-moment person so I have to admit to being happier than joyful.

Do you eat at home or eat out? Home, especially when someone else is cooking. Unless I’m trying a new recipe.

Listen to music or prefer quiet? Much prefer quiet – music is so emotional.

Prefer sunrises or sunsets? Sunrises are so quick; I seem to be able to linger over sunsets.

Please leave a comment this week for a chance to win a free print copy of How to Launch a Best-Selling Christian Book!