Ever Had Your Book Suppressed by CreateSpace?

I was going to do a behind the scenes blog post but this bit of annoyance needed its own post. You’ll still get that behind the scenes look on Monday.

I like CreateSpace. The printing is of great quality. I’ve never been dissatisfied when I ordered books. Publishing on the platform is really easy. The one downside has been trying to get into more traditional publishing areas like libraries and bookstores. My publisher has found that bookstores and libraries don’t like Amazon so they won’t consider books published by CreateSpace. They’ve come out and said we don’t carry books from CreateSpace.

Keep that in mind when you’re publishing your book.

Side note: Yes, I have a publisher and yes I still use CreateSpace. I’m totally fine with that. I may blog about that another time.

Anyway, I wanted to resize Chains of the Sciell. The book is a doorstop at 600+ pages. It’s dimension, trim size, is 8.5 in x 5.5 in. Recently I figured the book would look better, smaller, if I made the trim size bigger, set it at 9 in x 6 in.

I changed the book’s dimensions in InDesign, Of course, making the book bigger threw off my formatting. Chapter titles didn’t line up and I had a lot of blank pages at the end. They were minor time-consume fixes. Soon,  my book was ready to be updated.

I went on CreateSpace and tried to update the book’s trim size only to find that option locked. You can’t change the book’s trim size after publishing. CreateSpace recommends publishing a separate edition if you want a different size. That was annoying but I was okay with it.

I submitted Chains of the Sciell 2nd Edition and waited. And waited. They said reviewing the book would take about 24 hours but I usually hear back way before then. Eventually, I logged onto CreateSpace only to find my book status marked as Suppressed.

I never heard of that before so I called them. The person said I should receive an email from them and responding to it would un-Suppress my book.

Here comes the real annoyance. The email:

 Thank you for publishing with CreateSpace.
I am contacting you regarding the following content:

 Title: Chains of the Sciell:
 Author(s): Auden Johnson (AUTHOR)
 Title ID: 9034147

 During a recent review, we found that you have uploaded material through
 your account for which you may not have the necessary rights. Copyright is
 important to us – we want to make sure that no author or other copyright
holder has his or her books sold by anyone else. To publish your book,
please respond with documentation confirming your publishing rights within
four days:

Examples of acceptable documentation are:

-If you are the author and you are republishing your book after your
publication rights have been reverted to you, a signed reversion letter
from your former publisher

-A signed contract between you and the author granting you the rights to
publish the book in the territories, languages and formats you have

– An e-mail from the address listed on the author’s (or their agent’s)
official website confirming that you have the rights to publish their book
in the territories, languages and formats you have selected

 Examples of documentation we cannot accept are:
-A personal statement by you that you have the publishing rights
– A copyright application for which registration has not been confirmed
– Contracts that have not been signed by all parties

Apparently, CreateSpace believed I was stealing someone’s content. I couldn’t submit any of the acceptable documents because none of those scenarios applied to me. I could not believe I had to prove Chains of the Sciell was mine. 

I called CreateSpace but they couldn’t tell me why my book was Suppressed. They said I should respond to the email. I did that, explaining why I couldn’t submit the documents they asked.
I’m happy to say, a few hours after I sent the email, I got a reply from CreateSpace that my book has been un-Suppressed and would enter the review process within 24 hours.
I did some research and apparently, this is a common occurrence. One the one hand, I can kind of understand CreateSpace’s reasoning. Since publishing is so easy, It’s probably fairly simple to publish someone else’s book under your name. My ebooks get pirated all the time.  
On the other hand, that was really annoying. I was wracking my brain trying to figure out how I could prove the book was mine. Am I going to have to formally copyright all my books now? That’s not cheap.