I nearly cracked when I read about Waterstones. It's been rumoured for a while now that they would swing behind the Barnes & Noble Nook eReaders, but now it seems that B & N's alliance with Microsoft has changed both the playing field and Waterstones' opinion as very recently they were highly critical of Amazon's apparent world dominance of all things book related. Perhaps the $300 million Microsoft invested in B&N changed their strategy, or maybe Waterstones just had a change of heart?
However, it was the email from Createspace I opened an hour ago that finally tipped me out of summer retirement. Because now Createspace books can be printed in the United Kingdom and Europe. This has been a critical gap in the Createspace model for some time - they print your books to a fine standard, you have great control over the process but you have to pay international shipping charges and find yourself a hostage to the various postal services between the US and the UK, with Germany's DHL somehow finding itself literally if not geographically in the middle!
So, how hard is it to enable? Well, not hard at all. You need to provide Createspace with some banking information that you should be able to get from your bank. My bank, HSBC, provides the information on their paper statements so I was able to provide it to Createspace in minutes, however I'm not convinced all banks provide the same information so readily.
The information you will need, assuming you already publish with Createspace in the US, is the International Bank Account Number (IBAN) which you will recognise as your normal account number combined with the bank sort code along with some code letters that identify the bank itself. You will also need your Branch Identifier Code which I guess is the unique code that identifies your bank branch. I'm not sure how that works for many banks in this virtual banking world we live in, but luckily for me I've retained at least one real branch, even if it is on the opposite side of the country.
Once you have provided that information you have to edit the channels for each of your books - there doesn't appear to be a one-stop shop for multiple books, but don't worry, despite being a tad repetitive, the process doesn't take long. It's also a good opportunity to review your book pricing. Initially each book is shown with the US price you set previously with the UK and Euro equivalent prices based on it. You also get to see how much of the price will be paid in royalties for each region.
You can decouple your UK and EU prices from the US price, which is probably the right thing to do. It's actually a facility I'd like to see Amazon (and Smashwords, Apple, etc) adopt for eBooks as pegging to the US prices is a bit artificial.
I've opted to price all of my books to end in 99 (cents or pence) in line with normal bookselling protocols. For example, I've set Digital Life Form at $7.99, £5.99 and 6.99 Euros. Now all I have to do is wait for them to appear in the various UK and EU Amazon bookstores.
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Digital Life Form is available on Amazon.com in paperback for $7.99
The Journeymen is available for $8.99
Skin is available for $9.99
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