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1,896 Views 2 Replies Last post: Nov 2, 2017 7:27 AM by olgaobvs RSS
Level 4 1,539 posts since
Aug 30, 2010
Currently Being Moderated

Oct 31, 2017 4:51 PM

Barcodes with price add-on barcode with actual price

Hi All,


As we know, some little time ago CreateSpace began replacing "custom" barcodes on the back cover with their own. It doesn't matter if you use a free bookow barcode, or if you buy one for US$25 from Bowker, CreateSpace will replace it. Their barcode will include the five-digit price add-on barcode, but without the actual price encoded in it. Instead, it will have the generic "no set price" code, which is the number 90000.


There is a way to get the price on there, if you want it. Not everybody does, because it means updating the cover if you change the price, but if you do, there is a way. I was emailed recently, by someone who used one of my barcodes:

It's crazy, but this is what they do. I'll put on your barcode with a  price, like 51595 per the usual, and your barcode will also have the  "pretty" $15.95 at the top. CreateSpace will remove this barcode  completely and regenerate their own with 51595 and the US $15.95 on it.  Theirs is ugly as sin. If I don't put any barcode on the cover, just  leave the blank box for it, CreateSpace will put on their own barcode  that is coded 90000 (i.e., not priced) but there will be a tiny US$15.95  price on it at the top that, I suppose, they pull from the list price  we've entered for the book.

So, it seems that if you place a bookow barcode, with price, on the back cover, then the CreateSpace replacement will also have the price.



Steve - - painless print & e-book formatting


Level 0 4 posts since
Feb 5, 2015
Currently Being Moderated
1. Nov 2, 2017 3:17 AM in response to: stevoz
Re: Barcodes with price add-on barcode with actual price

Thanks for that, Steve.


I have my own ISBN, which I will use with IS first, alongside the barcode (incl. the price). So I'm thinking - why not upload the same cover, but barcode-free, to CS, then let them do whatever..? As I'm only uploading to CS for Amazon presence, anyway. Would this work?


And now that we're all here...:) May I also ask you if there is a way to generate a multi-currency barcode? Namely USD and GBP.


Oh, and one more question, I swear: do all barcodes come in one size only? I'm doing a small trim, 5.06 x 7.81".


I have no head for all this book admin. Hard to believe, I know...


Thanks... Olga

Level 0 4 posts since
Feb 5, 2015
Currently Being Moderated
2. Nov 2, 2017 7:27 AM in response to: olgaobvs
Re: Barcodes with price add-on barcode with actual price

Errr... all sorted now, thanks to a cup of coffee, further research - and


And - for what it's worth, I don't feel like going with Ingram Spark no more.


Especially after reading the following:


#1 – When you set up your book on Ingram Spark, you’re asked how much of a discount you’re willing to offer to bookstores to stock your book. Your choices are from 30% to 55% discount. Most authors choose 55% because they want to appear competitive to bookstore buyers who are used to that kind of discount from the big publishers. But here’s the kicker: even when you choose 55% discount, your book will not be offered to bookstores at that discounted price. Why? Because Ingram Book Company (the parent company of Ingram Spark) routinely takes 15% off the top. That means that the highest discount that a bookstore will see for your book will be 40%–and even that discount is often reduced because you’re a small publisher. I recently worked with a writer who set up her book with a 55% discount, and when we asked our local bookstore to check on the discount offered to them for this book, we found that Ingram was offering it at a 20% discount. Not what we had expected!

#2 – When a bookstore purchases copies of your book for an event where you’ll be talking, they have to guess at the number of books they’ll sell. Let’s say they purchase 30 books from Ingram and sell 20 at the event. If they decide to return the 10 books to Ingram, they’re charged a 15% restocking fee. And at the same time, you’re charged both for the production of those 10 books and for the return of those books (assuming you’ve set up your account so that you accept returns–as most authors do because bookstores won’t buy books that aren’t returnable). That can eat into your Ingram Spark profits quite a bit.


Whoopsie daisy.

Not saying that Amazon publishing is in it solely for the love of literature, but these Ingram guys seem to be fleecing the author every which way... and kind of sneakily, too, it would appear.

Just ran their "Publisher compensation" for $9.99/ 260-page book with 55% wholesale discount - it comes to $0.35. So no, you don't get to feed your cat; what you do get is to send your ma and your best cuz downtown where all the indie bookshops live, and pull on the assistant's beard until he/ she orders a copy of your book from Ingram The Global Distributor.

Seriously though, I'm still thinking.



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