Is anyone else having these issues?
My book was published in July and I requested the "Search Inside" feature on Amazon. Although I have inquired to CreateSpace about why this hasn't occurred, the feature still has not been activated. I put up a few of my own images, but would still like to have the "Search Inside" feature available. I think it makes a difference.
I promote my books by offering money back to non-profits that sell my book via their website and/or e-mail list. I started doing this by giving each group a special code to enter in the "Company" box when ordering. CreateSpace assured me that the "Company" information would be included in my sales reports. I was very disappointed to find out that CreateSpace did not include this information in the sales reports, as promised. After many e-mails back and forth, I was never able to get through to anyone who was willing to help me with this. They then recommended that I ask customers to put the code in the second line of the address. I was reluctant to do this because I thought it might create problems with credit card verification. But I finally tried it as a last resort. It was working earlier in October, but now when I create a sales report NONE of the customer information is included. This is causing lots of problems with much time spent trying to reconstruct information from customers so that I can keep my promises and not ruin my reputation. It has been a HUGE headache for me, not only in all the time spent trying to make things right for my customers, but plain frustration in trying to find someone at CreateSpace who cares enough to help me out. CreateSpace just doesn't seem to care much about this issue, but it now is affecting my sales and I would think that would matter to them. I am about to launch a big Christmas book promotion, but don't know if I will be able to get the sales information, even in the form that CreateSpace told me to do this. Any suggestions, other than finding another place to publish my book (I won't be able to do this in time for Christmas sales)?
I have one customer who ordered a book at the beginning of August and still has not received a book from CreateSpace. I finally sent her a book myself. I felt so bad. She could have been a key person for helping to promote the book and she became so frustrated trying to deal with CreateSpace.
Has anyone else had similar problems? Any solutions out there? Not being able to get someone on the phone or even deal with the same person consistently online is disappointing and I think makes a situation without as much accountability.
Activation for Search Inside seems to be a different experience for everyone. Check out this thread: https://www.createspace.com/en/community/message/2394#2394
I had to create an account on Amazon and contact CreateSpace so they could set it up. It wasn't automatic for me, but has been for others here. My first book was also published on 18 July, but Search Inside only became available less than three weeks ago.
I haven't dealt with sales reports at all, so cannot offer any advice here. I sell almost all my books through my website using Paypal, and order wholesale copies so I can manage fulfillment personally. Mostly I do this because I'm from Australia and shipping from the US for individual books is a huge turn-off for my customers. It is extra work and I have to factor additional postage into my retail price, but it means I can be sure customers get their books and that they only receive good quality copies - not misprinted ones. Importantly, I also have access to all their contact details. This could be an option to consider if you want better control over sales and information.
I have a love-hate relationship with CS right now. I love the product but hate the service (or lack thereof). I can't get my books printed anywhere else at the quality and price that CS can provide, but the fact that there is little communication available and you rarely get the information you need, not to mention how slow response times have been (in my own experience), means I cannot put a lot of faith in the service. I just publish and hope for the best.
Thanks for the info. I went to Amazon.com and also requested the Search Inside feature there. Maybe that will get things moving, although CreateSpace doesn't seem to be holding up their end of the deal.
I agree that CreateSpace appears to be one of the best places to buy quality books at a great price. If I weren't working a full-time job, I might consider filling orders here. Maybe I can find an order fulfillment place to work with that would be more responsive and more customer-service oriented. The CreateSpace customer service seems to have gone downhill a lot since July. All the going back and forth with no real solution ends up being a waste of time.
Also, in the past I have been paid for the previous month's sales by the 15th of the month, although the agreement gives Create Space until the end of the month to pay. I have not been paid yet this month and hope that I will be paid by Friday. Has anyone missed a payment?
Email the person in charge of the search inside at amazon. I did that and he told me that CS never sent in the info. I then had to cotact CS to resend it to Amazon. The guy at Amazon also told me it does not really take the 6 weeks for it to activate once hey receive the info. I could look for the email and get the name of the person if you like.
I like CS' pricing and royalty amount, compared to other publishers, but I have an issue with my royalties. I've sold every single book through Amazon.com, but only the recent orders are appearing on my accounting report. The book titles that sold way before the recent ones still don't appear in my reports. I keep getting the same reply from CS (about 3 already). They say that royalty reports are listed at different times depending if they're sold through Amazon or CS. I don't get it because ALL may sales have been through Amazon! The reports from September and the beginning of October don't appear and these were shipped to customers weeks ago, but the ones towards the end of October do. I've had sales on 3 titles out of 5 book titles I have and only sales for 2 titles show. Go figure!
Yesterday, after I started corresponding with Amazon, the "Search Inside" feature appeared. I think this was because I had requested it a second or third time through CreateSpace, although I had already started the process directly with Amazon. I did go to my book's page on Amazon.com and enter suggested keywords. I hadn't realized that CreateSpace didn't take care of this either. For the past three months, people who searched basic terms related to my book didn't have it come up in their list (unless the term was part of the title). I hope I've changed that now. Thanks for your help everyone. Now I need to get that sales report data restored for the E-store sales.
Today my access was restored to the online sales reports from the CreateSpace E-store. I hope I will continue to have ongoing access to these sales reports since I use them to track my E-store customers and give rebates on sales to non-profits. Just to clarify, I don't receive detailed sales reports for Amazon sales.
So...some of these CreateSpace issues that "never seem to get resolved" seem to be getting resolved!
how did you get the address of a specific person at Amazon? I've been trying to get some search issues fixed for weeks, but can't get beyond boilerplate automatic responses.
Search inside appeared on my book WITHOUT ASKING FOR IT. Go figure. I thought I read that the search inside feature is supposed to be automatic for every CS book on Amazon.
even my new book has search inside feature enabled, which I published in October and not in previous books.
Regarding "search inside," for me it was automatic but took a few weeks. I can't say exactly how long because I wasn't really tracking it -- in the beginning it wasn't there, but at one point I noticed it was.
I've been pretty happy with CS EXCEPT for the fact that now, when I should have begun receiving royalty payments, I haven't yet. Everything else in the process has come pretty smoothly.
I recently contacted CS because my "search inside" had not been activated in the "official timeframe". I was told there had been an identified "glitch" in the process and they were working on correcting it, and would bump me up the list to get it fixed.
I'm not sure about the return policies of CreateSpace since their books are made to order only. You agreement with them is non exclusive though. You might want to take your nice, finished product to another publisher. They'll just have to create a new ISBN for the book. I'm having similar problems getting into places like Borders and Barnes&Nobles. they want to be able to return unsold books.
We published the first three of our books to CreateSpace without a hitch, but the fourth is stalled, dead in the water.
We have about 30 titles on Lulu, all published without incident, so we cautiously believe we have a tad bit more experience in POD than most publishers. Before the stock market crunch hit, and sales slowed down everywhere, we were selling ... uh, lots; and Lulu is extremely fast in the print-and-ship department. They're just too expensive to make it possible to use them to supply Amazon. Hence, we went back to the beginning of our list, using CS. We're holding off on our advertising till the new year, so we're honestly clueless about how good/quick (or bad/slow) CS will be print-and-ship department -- and we've hit bad problems long before we got that far.
Right now, we have a jammed, gridlocked shopping cart; back on Nov 19th, we ordered the mandatory proof of title #4. The cart seemed to hang halfway through. It sent us an email order confirmation, but the "phantom" book remains in the cart and we get error messages if we try to delete it -- error messages, too, if we try to pay for the second, unwanted copy, just to get it out of the cart! All you can get from the cart is the "report this error" message page, and the link --
So, we've reported it. Three times, so far. It's 9 days down, and counting, waiting for a fix. Meanwhile, the proof copy has not been shipped (ie, no notification of shipment has been emailed), though the order confirmation came through ... which means our credit card was certainly billed!
We're in the middle of the Thanksgiving holiday now, and don't expect a solution to this problem for several more days. We're living in hopes that this can be fixed, because we have a loooong list ahead of us, and "all roads lead to Amazon.com" ...! (And, being in Australia means we're extremely restricted in our options. It's CS or nothing, so -- patience is the key. sigh)
So, our experience is that it's very hard to get a response from Customer Support ... and a significant amount of the time, the person dealing with your problem has mis-read the question, so you cycle back to the beginning of the "support" process and start over ... and over ...!
I'm from Australia, too - Melbourne.
I hope you get resolution of your problem soon. I haven't had a problem with CS's reponse time. They've been very helpful.
What sort of books are you going to publish through CS? Are they non fiction books?
Bets of luck with your endeavours