Chris Gardner

The joys of self-publishing.

Thanks Createspace


No, I’m not being sarcastic. I’ve done plenty of complaining about Createspace and Amazon, while acknowledging most of my problems are self-inflicted, and I feel I should give credit where it’s due. When I ordered two copies of Stony Creek, my latest book, one of them arrived with a corner on one page not trimmed properly. It was turned up and obviously missed the cut and looked a bit shabby. I sent an email and a photo to Createspace and had the replacement copy in my hands within a week. Given I live in Australia and it was the week before Christmas I was surprised and delighted with their prompt service and no quibbles replacement. To make it even better I had changed the cover just after I bought the first copies and the replacement copy had the new cover. I trimmed the page on the original one and sent it off to my sister, who’s in hospital for a lengthy stay. So kudos to Createspace.

Now back to complaining . . . I’ve been changing some of the formatting and covers on my books already published with Amazon, partly because I’m learning more about the design process and want to improve them. Also I intend to gradually publish them all on Smashwords as well, as soon as the KDP Select period runs out on each, and I presume I can’t take across the covers I used Createspace Cover Creator for. Some I might just leave as they are on Amazon with different covers on Smashwords but if I’m no longer happy with the covers I figure I may as well re-design them now so they’ll be ready when I can take them to Smashwords. 

The problem is making changes with Amazon and Createspace always seems to cause problems. At the moment I have one, Beast of War,  showing up on my author page with the old cover but showing the new cover and formatting when you click on the Look Inside feature. It’s different again on my UK author page. Then another children’s book, Last Chance, shows the new cover on the author page, the old cover when you click Look Inside, and the new cover again when you click, that one. 

Does anyone have any knowledge about this problem? I always email and eventually it gets sorted but I’m wondering if my emails actually have any effect or if, in fact, it just takes time (days or even weeks) for it all to go through the system anyway and I should just ignore it and wait?

We had a lovely Christmas, with all the family, and a BBQ at our son’s with lots of friends on Boxing Day. New Year will be quiet I expect–not a big event for us now. I hope yours will be safe and happy and all the best for the year ahead.


Author: cmsgardnerblog

I'm a writer of fiction and non-fiction, for teens and adults. I live in Central Victoria, Australia and my books are available at

11 thoughts on “Thanks Createspace

  1. In regards to your author pages, the thing I would do is to simply go to my author pages and delete the old one, and then enter the link to your book again. Remember, the author pages are a separate file from the page which shows your book. So if you change the cover your author doesn’t know anything about the change.

  2. Chris, Your advice please. I’m about to start the whole printing/kindle version process. You seem to be critical of Create Space but have chosen it over other available options.

    Can you tell me why you finally opted for Create Space for your books if you’ve hit so many problems?

    Steve B.

    • Steve, I don’t think anything’s perfect. I’ve had a book on lulu for years with very few sales and could never have figured out their formatting myself. (Still had a couple of techie sons living at home then!) I also had some on Smashwords with little result, apart from the freebies. When I decided to try Amazon, because that seems to be the biggest in terms of sales, I wanted PODs as well as ebooks, primarily so I could have copies myself. I was pretty sure local historians would prefer print copies too, of my non-fiction, Not Guilty.
      What we, as self-published authors, have to come to terms with, is that everything is our responsibility. Createspace is just the printer and, although they pick up some errors, most will be printed as is. Formatting is hard for most of us and editing essential but I think, if you plan on doing quite a few books, it’s good to persevere with doing it yourself.

  3. I used CreateSpace for my book, “Don’t Judge Me”, and I liked it. I like that you took ownership of your issues and didn’t blame I did the same thing with the size of my book…it’s bigger than I wanted it to be because I fudged on the dimensions.

  4. I would love to know if experience tells you that changing a cover makes a big difference to sales. My book covers pictures are very much DIY jobs, with rather mixed results. All the ‘experts’ say you need proper professionally designed covers to attract attention to your books in the Kindle store, but I really don’t know if this is true. My sales aren’t bad, and don’t seem to be related to the quality of the covers. But maybe if I had better covers the sales would be even better.

    • My friend just self published his book, and it looks really nice. He gave me some pointers on the picture and size and font. I think it’ll help. I need something sexier to catch the eye.

      Question…would you want to read your book based only on the cover?

      • Obviously I have to say yes! I do like some of my covers better than others but I’m not my target audience for all of them; some are for young adults and children. And, actually I wouldn’t read/judge any book solely on its cover–the first page has to grab me but the cover needs to get my attention first.

      • To answer my own question, I would pick it up and read the back. And since it’s the Detroit skyline, I would want to read a Michigan based story.

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