If you're thinking of self-publishing via Amazon's Createspace then you have no doubt read about their Expanded Distribution option, I think I've even mentioned it here a time or two. Well if you have heard about it you have also heard the good with the bad. Or mostly the bad. Lots of blogs, websites and message boards have dedicated themselves to explaining how horrific an option it is. However I just signed up for it almost 3 weeks ago (yes almost 3 weeks of use make me a bit of a Lothario on the subject lol-no but in all seriousness read this post if you're on the fence about it) and here are my thoughts:
ED (Expanded Distribution-NOT erectile dysfunction) allows you to have your books at Barnes & Noble.com and if you know managers at your local B&N's you can have them order your book so its on physical bookshelves as well, (something I plan on doing next week, or next month, I'm telling you 2014 has me sprinting). So that's a plus. However you should know, like with any other expanded distribution channel, you do receive less royalties when people buy from anywhere but Amazon or your Createspace Estore. (The sales from those channels does effect your Amazon sales rank, so you can tell from that if you are making sales from ED channels) AND it can take up to 60 days before you see those sales and the money earned from them. My thing is, who cares? (Well if you look online, A LOT of people) But as an author who is trying to get their work out there I pose this question, isn't it better for your book to be HIGHLY VISABLE rather than less sales with higher royalties? If you look at the end game then the answer is going to be yes. #IMHO (BTW that is my least favorite hashtag because there is no way to utilize it without sounding incredibly pretentious, so sorry about that) At the end of the day you end up squabbling over pennies as opposed to getting your hard work to the reader. And lets face it, some people are brand junkies who like to buy all their books from Barnes & Noble, local bookstores, or libraries rather than a web address that they've never heard of. For instance my Createspace Estore link is www.createspace.com/4464635 (yeah doesn't look as legit as, www.amazon.com)
When I first published Harlow 1, I thought ED looked great, then I backpedalled thinking there was no money in it, but then my Facebook fans were like, where else can I get your book? And to some people your book isn't real until they can physically go buy it at their local bookstore. So for those small tried and true book lovers I think ED is fine, and you can always unclick the box and go back to making your book exclusively available via Amazon.
For book signings, like I have one coming up on March 15 at a local Indie store, having physical copies available is a requirement so ED seems like the obvious choice-the bookstore can order them via Ingram (thank you ED) and I don't have to order a ton of books and lug them around.
In short my experience with ED is that it has widened my reader base.
So that's my rant, and to those of you that are trying to file a class-action against Amazon because of ED just remember this used to be a $25 service which is now free and which remains COMPLETELY OPTIONAL so if you'd rather stick exclusively with Amazon that is still your right. Otherwise try and get a publishing deal with a big publisher and see how they treat an unknown author.