CreateSpace is part of Amazon, the largest book retailer in the world. Through CreateSpace, anyone can upload the text and cover files for a book and have it available for sale on Amazon in minutes. No books are held in inventory, since the books are not printed until the order is received from the buyer. This is the key feature that differentiates a true POD printer from an ultra-short run book printer. See our white paper on POD printing for more details. CreateSpace allows authors and publishers to quickly and at very low cost make their books for sale on Amazon. You can also sell books on Amazon that you have printed through more traditional printers through the Sell on Amazon and Amazon Advantage programs.

  • The books printed through CreateSpace are printed using a variety of digital printing equipment. While this is very acceptable for the black text in most books, color printing, including covers, may suffer from significant color variation. We have seen significant quality issues with books printed through CreateSpace. You also have very little choice on text paper quality and color.
  • The binding of books produced by CreateSpace may not be as durable or as accurate as books bound by the Top 5 Book Printers.
  • CreateSpace does not produce hardcover books.

In spite of these quality limitations, Print On Demand may offer significant cost savings over using traditional printers for ultra-short runs. However, the most significant advantage of using a true POD printer is the direct tie-in with the distribution system which allows your books to reach markets otherwise unavailable to most self-published authors and small publishers. We recommend you read our white paper on the Print On Demand services before using IngramSpark, Lightning Source, or CreateSpace.

For print runs of more than 50 copies, you should get quotes from some of our Top 5 Short Run Book Printers. Never use Lightning Source or CreateSpace for offset printing or print runs over 250 copies. They out-source all offset printing to traditional book printers.

Please note that this review is for CreateSpace as a POD printer only. The design and editorial services offered by CreateSpace is reviewed under CreateSpace Publishing Services. Please see our discussion on how to use CreateSpace as a book printer only as part of our POD discussion.

Overall Printer Evaluation

Print Quality
Binding Quality
Customer Service
Bind and Print Options
Self-Publishing Support
Value for Your Money

Best Print Run Lengths

True P.O.D.
25 to 100
100 to 500
500 to 5,000
 5,000 and up

Printing Capabilites

  • Offset Black Text
  • Offset Color Text
  • Digital Black Text
  • Digital High Quality Color Text
  • Digital Standard Quality Color Text

Binding Capabilities

  • Softcover (Perfect bound)
  • Hardcover (Case bound)
  • Mechanical Binding (Spiral Wire, Plastic Comb, Etc.)
  • Flexible Binding (Otabind RepKover™ or similar)

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