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Antellus Makes The Move To Lightning Source
The independent publisher of science fantasy adventure and nonfiction books and ebooks has changed its distribution model in light of a major issue with its existing publisher service.
"We started to see a pattern of slippage with respect to content control and print quality in the last few months," Antellus owner and CEO Theresa M. Moore said. "Along with that, clear issues with CreateSpace's offering of distribution to libraries and other private institutions. We found that our own ISBNs were not eligible, thereby rendering any prospect of full service for the same rate as books with CreateSpace ISBNs unfair and lacking consideration to us. The decision to move was not an easy one but necessary for us to compete in the book marketplace on an equal footing. Therefore, we are renewing our relationship with Lightning Source and Ingram and closing our CreateSpace account. Since the responsibility of maintaining consistent metadata for Bowker's Books in Print is ours alone, we saw that there was a conflict of interest between our objectives and those of CreateSpace as long as we continued to work with them. They had even blocked our books from being made available for printing by Lightning Source without respect to our ownership of the ISBNs involved and the treatment of our titles in distribution."
Recently delivered proof copies of the galleys involved with editions published with the new ISBNs showed that "nonblocking issues" included moving the cover images so that the spines did not center properly, covers were relocated too close to the trim edges which were already adjusted for, and other interior errors. Further investigation in the last few weeks revealed that other authors and publishers had seen similar problems and that the overall quality of the print service had declined; for example, cover lamination was substandard and shipments were delayed. This created an atmosphere of distrust that publishing standards at CreateSpace would not be consistent and professional at all times. Antellus has tried to mitigate the problem by removing the paperbacks from sale on its site in the interim. The ebooks continue to be available in a variety of formats until the paperbacks are republished.
Further, distribution to Barnes & Noble reflected a distinct lack of respect for the listings originating from CreateSpace. The titles, cover images and the prices would be correct, while the books' descriptions were worded inaccurately. In one instance a title was rearranged on the listing, while in another the description was for a completely different book. The only conclusion which could be drawn from this is that the battle between Amazon and Barnes & Noble is being waged on the backs of suppliers to both companies. Not wanting to be caught in the crossfire, Antellus is but one of many publishers who have made the choice to leave CreateSpace rather than continue to be subjected to this indignity. A subsequent message sent to Barnes & Noble made it clear that Antellus is an independent publisher and that the listings were egregious. To date there has been no response from Barnes & Noble corporate. "Had CreateSpace not been an Amazon company, there would have been a chance to work around our issues," Moore said. "But there it is. We must move forward."
As of 9/5 in the morning the account with CreateSpace has been closed and the ISBNs in question were released from all distribution channels.