Unsold Createspace Books Sold Used on Amazon

Have you ever noticed your new CreateSpace book for sale on Amazon as used despite no sales on your end?  

Are you starting to wonder if someone is pirating your book or Amazon is pulling a fast one on you? 

Well, I’ve got your answers and more today, so stick around. 

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Not too long ago, a concerned self-publisher reached out to me about recent issue he discovered. 

Being a newly published author, he followed all the right steps to launching his CreateSpace paperback book.  

He uploaded, proofed, and published his paperback and within a few days, his book was live on the Amazon marketplace.  

Yet, he was horrified to discover his book was available for sale as used. This wasn’t so much a hit on his ego as it was on logic. 

The fact was he hadn’t sold a single copy of his CreateSpace book. He kept waiting to see a sale pop up in his dashboard yet nothing ever came. 

So, what exactly happened? Was his Createspace book pirated? Had Amazon pulled a fast one on him and distributed used copies without his consent? 

Well, not exactly. In fact, the fault was right under his nose and if you’re like him, then you probably breezed right past the option that makes this possible. 

Quite some time ago, I briefly addressed this issue in my YouTube videos of How Does Expanded Distribution Work on Createspace? and Is Expanded Distribution on Createspace Worth It? 

But, it bears worth in revisiting today since quite a few people have missed the option. 

When you upload your manuscript to Createspace for approval, distribution is your next option. Naturally, you’ll want to utilize the Amazon US and European marketplaces. 

Right below the Amazon distribution selections are the three expanded distribution options of: 

Bookstores and Online Retailers 

Most industry standard sizes are acceptable through this option and you can even expect to see your book through online retailers like Barnes and Noble, Walmart.com or any number of platforms Ingram services. 

But, this isn’t quite the issue since that’s not where the used copies appear. 

Libraries & Academic Institutions 

Though it’s highly unlikely to break into these markets unless there’s enough demand for your book or niche in the community libraries or schools. 

Once again, this isn’t quite the issue since these two avenues don’t correlate with Amazon. 

Createspace Direct 

BINGO! Here’s the deal, this option is available to authorized Createspace resellers. They get to buy your book at a wholesale price and resell it where they see fit. 

In Createspace’s words: 

By enabling this channel, you can make your books available to certified resellers such as independent bookstores and book resellers.  

The CreateSpace Direct program allows eligible resellers to buy books at wholesale prices directly from CreateSpace. 

Though I’m sure there are more service terms for them than I care to research, Createspace resellers are the ones posting your book as used at either a deeply discounted cost or an astronomical figure. 

Now, I’m sure there are a select few who aren’t Createspace resellers and are merely posting books that don’t have permission to sell.  

That’s okay, because you’ll still collect earnings when they make a sale. After all, where will they get the book? It’s only available through Createspace and they have to fulfill the order through them. 

Now, why WOULD they mark it as used? Does it serve any real purpose, or do they see greater sales doing that?  

I’m not sure since I don’t know anyone who is in the Createspace Direct program or resells books. What do you think? 

Why would resellers mark a book as used despite having to buy a brand-new book when fulfilling their sales? Drop me your thoughts, I’d love to hear from you. 

Till later, if you enjoyed today’s content, make sure you share it with someone else who’ll like it too. This has been Self-Publishing with Dale and I’ll catch you soon!