Amazon.com has taken some big steps in the publishing world in 2011 and, while a lot of the news admittedly swirls around equal parts industry news and speculation, there is no doubt that the retail book giant has huge plans.
Some of those moves have been a long time coming, indicated by the 2010 Bowker’s report that its self-publishing imprint CreateSpace leaves the other self-publishing houses behind with more than three times as many titles in print, not surprising since the Amazon add-on has moved ahead to see an 80% increase in growth of titles released since 2009 and more anticipated later this year.
These accomplishments have been a long time coming, and the praise is finally due considering that CreateSpace was born out of two separate companies, BookeSurge, Inc., created in 2000, and CustomFlix Labs, Inc., launched in 2002. Amazon purchased both organizations in 2005 but they were not blended to form CreateSpace in its present form until 2009.
“We have a wide range of people who choose to publish through CreateSpace,” says Aaron Rosenstein, Senior Manager at Amazon.com of CreateSpace’s eye-opening success. “We’re seeing big growth in indie publishing and believe it’s really hitting its stride.”
The self-publishing and make-on-demand company meets the same publishing need for authors that other sites can offer, but it also boasts higher royalty rates, low member book pricing, and distribution to thousands of retail and wholesale outlets. Perhaps the most enticing feature that CreateSpace brings to the table for authors is its wiser older brother, Amazon.com. The brand recognition that Amazon has literally worldwide goes a long way towards alleviating some of the questionability of a DIY publishing venture.
“Some [of our authors] are established writers who want more control over their content and higher royalties, like Bill Rasmussen and Tanya Wright. Others are just starting out, like Maria Murnane, and want to gain recognition and build a following…they look to CreateSpace to help them with that,” continues Rosenstein.
And it’s not only the indie authors who benefit from CreateSpace’s accessibility and engaged peer community. There’s a fast-to-market publishing concept in the imprint’s business model, and the print-on-demand technology means readers never have to wait for backordered copies of books to arrive.
“For readers, CreateSpace brings more books to market from more authors, so there’s more selection to choose from.” Being the online bookselling giant no longer appears to be enough for Amazon; through the site’s self-publishing model, as well as the recently formed New York-based Amazon Publishing, the focus is now shifting to advocating the creation of the books as well.