Createspace penalises international self-publishing authors.
If you are a self-published author, who has the misfortune to reside outside the US or the UK, or a small handful of selected European countries, and publish paperbacks on Createspace, you will know that Createspace treats international authors in general like, well, there’s no other word, so why should I censor this? Createspace treats most of their international authors like shit, as they have ripped them off for a very long time.
If you live for example in Ireland, Australia, South Africa, Brazil, India or like me in Switzerland, Createspace does not offer electronic payment of royalties (EFT), and will only pay by check for royalty balances over US$100, £100 or Euro 100. This is archaic, discriminatory and close to predatory. For EFT, where it is offered, the minimum payments are US$10! (Update: There is now no limit, so all balances are paid in full each month by EFT.) Not only are these balances uneven, as US$100 is only worth about half of £100, paying by check means that authors suffer from bank clearance fees, so they lose a lot on the deal. In my case, every US$100 check I receive costs me $10 to clear. With EFT, there are no charges whatsoever. This is UNFAIR!
Createspace has done nothing in six years, except to make false promises.
Now, if this were a new problem it wouldn’t be so bad, but Createspace has been promising to address this issue for over six years, as their Community message boards on this subject prove. But nothing has been done, except for Createspace to keep making as yet unfulfilled promises. I sent yet another message only yesterday about this unfair situation, and received the same stock standard reply I have been receiving for years, in that Createspace value their customers and are working on it! Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Let’s get something clear. Createspace is an Amazon company. Amazon KDP has no problem at all in paying by EFT to authors in most countries, but for some unfathomable reason, Createspace can’t manage to do it. Worse still is that Createspace is sitting on a huge pile of unpaid royalties that have not managed to get to the minimum amounts payable by check. So how many books do I sell in France, Spain and Germany? A few, but at my current balance of around Euro 20, I’ll be waiting ten years to see a check.
I imagine a hell of a lot of authors have similar outstanding balances. But if EFT were available, I would have been paid already. Theft? Hoarding? Stupidity? Ineptitude? Whichever, it amounts to a lot of money Createspace is sitting on that should be paid to authors!
This is not an isolated problem either, as I have written before about International Self-Publishing Hurdles, and Is Self-Publishing Only For Americans?. If you are not American, you are almost always at a disadvantage in one way or another with Amazon.
If you are an Amazon Associates member for example, there is the same $100 minimum problem for non-US residents, but at least Amazon Associates offer an Amazon Gift card for balances over $10. Not a fantastic solution, but it is more than Createspace can manage to do.
If you are an international self-published author, who is suffering from the reluctance of Createspace to change their discriminatory payment options, all I can suggest is hitting them with a message every month, complaining about the unfairness of their payment system. Mind you, on their Community Boards; this topic has been hit by the same complaints since two thousand and nine! That’s only 7 years!
Amazon is a company that started with books, and still owes a lot of their success to books and ebooks. But isn’t it high time that it treated (all) their authors with a little more fairness?
Footnote: Since writing this post, Createspace has finally acted after six years and now offers EFT payments to a few more countries.