Createspace

www.createspace.com
Profile Unclaimed

Createspace Reviews

Updated February 8, 2015
Updated February 8, 2015
11 Reviews
2.5
11 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
(no image)
Jeffrey P. Bezos
3 Ratings

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Freelance Editing Vendor - So-So Experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Contractor - Freelance Editing Vendor in Seattle, WA
    Current Contractor - Freelance Editing Vendor in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at Createspace as a contractor (more than a year)

    Pros

    I like that I can work from home, virtually from my own office. The on-the-job training is excellent; I improved greatly as an editor. When the money is good, it's great.

    Cons

    The content media coordinators do not answer the vendors' emails, which can be frustrating. CS does not pay on time, though it has the money upfront from the customers. It says it processes invoices on the due date and pays a week to two weeks later. This doesn't happen. Oftentimes, the invoice is processed a few weeks later and the vendor is paid a week to a month after that. Some months, the work flow is great; others it's nonexistent. The pay is based on the manuscript's word count, instead of the word count *and* the condition of the manuscript. For example, some manuscripts are in great condition, while others are English-as-a-second-language messes. It's the same price for both, if the word counts are the same. Thus, you could be making $5 per hour or $35 per hour, based on the manuscript's condition. My advice to new freelance editors: I've seen work dry up in an instant at many of these editing companies, so beware when signing a contract. Remember you're an independent contractor, so you have to pay your own taxes; save to do so.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please answer vendors' emails to improve communication. Pay on time, according to the contract and esp. since the money is already there. Pay editors based on the word count and the condition of a manuscript, not just on word count alone.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Competitive stressful environment -- everyone acts touchy-feely, but advancement procedure & evaluations are cut-throat.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Manager in North Charleston, SC
    Former Employee - Manager in North Charleston, SC

    I worked at Createspace full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Relatively good management salaries for the area, especially when hired into a management roll (not quite as much when advanced from within). Benefits are very good, even providing some not required by law. Nice new offices with outdoor break area, walking path around the retention pond, separate smoking area (outdoors), small break areas on each floor and larger "cafeteria" room on ground level, monthly perks from HR/employee relations group like free pizza or bagels. Healthy food options available in the "cafeteria" machines, although they are pricey.

    Cons

    Overtime is a given unless you're an hourly customer service phone answerer.
    Customer service has hourly goals for number of calls handled, length of calls, length of customer wait time, and it's all tracked and used during evaluations to weed out the lowest performers -- who are put on a ridiculously difficult-to-accomplish performance improvement plan so they will eventually quit rather than be fired.
    Quality isn't considered -- such as how helping some customers might take longer, but they get the help they need and don't have to call back the next hour/day. It's all about answering the call fast, getting off the phone fast, and answering the next call fast.
    Bar is constantly rising based on numbers -- so a great performer from last year might maintain their level but still fall below the bar this year cause others have performed faster. Management looks at it as keeping the best and brightest workforce and continuous improvement. In reality, they are keeping the fastest, the most likely to brown-nose, and the least likely to assist customer to 100% satisfaction. It feels like survival-of-the-fastest, dog-eat-dog, and throwing people under the bus to make yourself look better.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Ditch the complete evaluation of your company and employees' performances based on numbers and extra-curricular volunteer committees, activities and projects. Especially if you really are buying into the Amazon "be the most customer-centric company in the world" goal.
    Don't you know, faster is not always better.
    I don't care if I get the book tomorrow if my last set of corrections were not all made, or it's the wrong book, wrong color, torn or crushed during shipping cause you packaged it so fast to get it out the door. I don't care if you answered my call in 4 seconds and got me off the phone in 3 minutes if I do what you told me to my manuscript and it still won't load to the platform, or I order another sample and the spine text is still too small.
    Quality is only a quantifiable measurement if you base it on customer satisfaction evaluations of whether the problem is resolved on the first call, whether the customer has to call back regarding the same issue -- or one actually caused by the initial "resolution" being incorrect, and by customer satisfaction survey responses shortly following the point of contact - but not so soon that they haven't had time to figure out if the solution worked yet.
    Evaluating customer support staff and the corresponding technical support staff on how many calls/emails/queu items they can get through in an hour is ridiculously counter-productive to quality customer service. Your repeat call/email figures must be through the roof. The "we only answer what they ask" attitude is so annoying. Your staff knows the customer can't really proceed without further information, but they won't take the time to provide it because that would take longer, and they are evaluated on how fast they get to the next item, not whether they really helped the customer.
    Basing promotions on whether people volunteer for extra projects, serve on committees for continuous improvement, or are well-known by management outside their department is discriminating against those who quietly do well at their jobs and don't have the desire to be in the spotlight; not to mention those who have further responsibilities outside of CreateSpace -- like a family to care for, or another job to work because the pay is not high enough to sustain a lower-middle class life, or pursuit of educational advancement since you won't promote people from within into some positions unless they have a college degree even though they are clearly the best/most qualified person for the position.
    There is so much potential for this to be a wonderful place to work. Ditch the numbers. Ditch the current evaluation and grueling internal-promotion procedures. Care more about the quality of your product, the quality of your customer service, and the quality of the lives of your associates.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    High stress with high turnover

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Charleston, SC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Charleston, SC

    I worked at Createspace full-time

    Pros

    Great benefits. Great people. Creatspace is owned by amazon. There is a lot of room for growth as amazon is extremely innovative.

    Cons

    The company has worked hard to become profitable, unfortunately this meant getting rid of a lot of employees, but not lightening the workload for the employees still there. After a while you can start to feel like a robot as there is little room for creativity.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Good employees need to be valued.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5.  

    Fast Pace, lots of opportunity, great people

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Manager, IT in North Charleston, SC
    Former Employee - Senior Manager, IT in North Charleston, SC

    I worked at Createspace full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Lots of opportunity in many directions
    Great Pay and Benefits - *really* great
    Amazon subsidiary - extreme customer focus

    Cons

    very high expectations - can eat up your personal life if you let it

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  6.  

    Definitely just a job! Nothing to make a career out of.

    Former Employee - Member Services in North Charleston, SC
    Former Employee - Member Services in North Charleston, SC

    I worked at Createspace full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    A very lax environment. Employees are able to come to work in casual wear. Encouraging environment for young professionals looking to build up their resume.

    Cons

    Communication between teams are horrible. Those in management seem to be so focused on themselves that they aren't taking heed to others. Training isn't the best and if you have a ton of questions you are basically on your own.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Freelance Editing Vendor

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Contractor - Editor in Charleston, SC
    Former Contractor - Editor in Charleston, SC

    I worked at Createspace as a contractor (more than a year)

    Pros

    Consistent flow of work. Steadily improving workflow process what made the work more logical during my time there. Upbeat, timely, and responsive interactions with vendor contacts. The process was also very flexible--I could turn down work if already busy with no pressure to take on more than I could really do. Also gave me the chance to see some really superior work by some smart, interesting, imaginative writers.

    Cons

    Manuscripts sent to me for editing were wildly inconsistent in terms of the amount of editing/proofready required, and the pay was the same regardless of the condition of the manuscript. For many of these, my rate of pay ended up being under $5/hr, which was demoralizing and costly, but simply "going faster" wasn't an option. Also, to my knowledge, the pay never went up over 3 years. The QA process certainly improved over time, but at times it was inaccurate.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Recommend giving vendor editors more flexible access in the workflow portal.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    My experience with CreateSpace has been a rollercoaster ride, and not in the fun amusement park kind of way.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Member Services in North Charleston, SC
    Former Employee - Member Services in North Charleston, SC

    I worked at Createspace full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    The benefits are great. The pay is also decent because it pays more than most places in the North Charleston area.

    Cons

    Constant changes to employment policy and general operating procedures makes work life hard to deal with. Upper management is clueless. They operate by personal vendettas against employees and use unprofessional tactics when trying to fire an employee.

    Horrible work hours. The employees practically have to have no personal life when working here. Expect to go through "shift bids" every 6 months. Once you get your schedule, you are stuck with it. The shifts that are offered are based on "your monthly" stats and customer surveys.

    The way the stats and customer surveys are measured are so mathematically complicated, even the managers have difficult time explaining it. This has raised concerns with several of the employees for the past few months. As these stats are tied to the employee's jobs and are tired to how the employees are punished or rewarded.

    However management basically told us to "deal with it." The majority of people work until late into the evening and on weekends. Leaving no time for family or friends. Once again, you have to "deal with it" for 6 months until the next shift bid. God help you if you need to take time off for any reason, it's a headache to have someone cover for you.

    The employees that rub elbows with management are the ones that take first priority and are held in high regard. If the managers don't like you, you are on their hit-list. Watch out or you will lose your job for no reason. (I've seen this many times.)

    The morale is extremely low. Most employees dread going to work daily. It's to the point where the employees have anxiety the night before going to work. Management tries to have 'cheer up' events in the office ever so often, however, the employees still feel jaded. Free food will only fill your belly for a day. It is merely a band-aid on gash. The attrition is high as well. Most people feel burnt out after being there for a few months. This is primarily due to the customers and the managers.

    The type of customer the average employee deals with is your garden variety erratic customer with every complaint in the world regarding the free publishing service and very inexpensive books for printing. If there is a problem with a customer, be advised the managers will not support you, as it is "only about the customer" and the "customer is always right." The managers don't have a clue as to how difficult it is to deal with customers, let alone difficult, irate, overbearing,and harassing customers.

    Human Resources is unhelpful when it comes to dealing with management to employee relations. If you have an issue with upper management, you have to "deal with it." Going to human resources is a waste of time. You may even lose your job going to HR complaining about a manager.

    The hiring process is abysmal. You have to a temp for a few months to year before even applying to become permanent. Even then, there has to be an actual opening for the position. Normally, there is. Basically, you will have interviewed 3 times to even become an employee here. As a temp, you are just that, a temp. You are easily discarded and can be replaced.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Clean house management wise. They are clueless and make working there similar to working a sweatshop.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Just a job with a very disorganized company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Coordinator in North Charleston, SC
    Current Employee - Coordinator in North Charleston, SC

    I have been working at Createspace full-time

    Pros

    benefits that is about it.

    Cons

    Terrible disassociated management. There are people in managerial positions that do not have the experience to back their jobs or people who obtained their jobs by rubbing elbows with the right people after createspace absorbed other companies.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Headquarters needs to re-evaluate this branch and the monetary waste that sits in the excessive number of managers and specialists.

    Be honest about this place. The turnover wouldn't be as high if jobs were marketed with a clear definition of what this place is. It is a call center through and through. And a second rate printing company with declining quality due to the lack of good management.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Don't expect a regular position

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Contractor - Coordinator in North Charleston, SC
    Current Contractor - Coordinator in North Charleston, SC

    I have been working at Createspace as a contractor (less than a year)

    Pros

    Overtime is acceptable. Friendly co-workers

    Cons

    Management is disorganized, even if you have scheduled training, your manager may not even know where you are. They want you to keep your metrics up while concentrating on multiple tasks that essentially hurt your metrics, saying each is a priority. They are constantly reevaluating their process in workflow, because the company has been in the red for 3 years. This causes management to only focus on numbers and not quality. Mandatory overtime is used to help with the company's numbers.

    You have to work at least 1 Saturday out of the month. They require meetings before and/or after business hours, because they believe the meetings will detract from productivity if they are during business hours.

    Pieces of jobs are being outsourced. This has caused a few positions to be obsolete. In only 3 months they have removed/ outsourced the editorial coordinator position and content processing position. This outsourcing has caused quality issues with the work that is assigned.

    Training program that was originally 3 months is now 1 week. You go in with little knowledge and are evaluated as if you have been there for years. The company has their own programs and expects you to learn them quickly, while at the same time learning other positions. You must be able to know your position and other positions, even though senior management doesn't have full knowledge of the processes or positions.

    Some of the managers have never held an actual management position. If you have trouble with something, do not expect a manager to always be at their desk, they are in meetings throughout the day and are hard to reach most of the time. Even then, most of them will tell you that you should be able to handle it and may submit a “coaching” (training on something like researching information) because they don’t believe it is possible for you to not handle something on your own. This can even happen if a client is asking for a manager to speak with. My opinion- since the few that were promoted to manager positions no longer ‘have’ to be on phones, they try to avoid being on phone. This is also why other positions that never had to be on phones to take incoming calls, have to be on phones now. This goes back to your metrics, being on phones doesn’t allow you to do your tasks and essentially hurts your metrics. And when tasks can’t be completed, then they will get on to everyone asking why they are so backed up.

    Everyone starts as a temporary employee, and being in the red, they do not expect to hire "a regular" in the near future. It has been over a year since they have hired a full-time "regular" employee for a design coordinator (There is no permanent position, they call it regular). Management is always open to new ideas, only because they have no ideas of their own. If you find a problem, they expect you to meet together and fix it and not “whine”. But with rapid change with processes and the need to concentrate on your tasks, there is no time and in reality you can't make suggestions on something that changes so often.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    You don't do something perfectly? Too bad for you

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in North Charleston, SC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in North Charleston, SC

    I have been working at Createspace full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great benefits - that is all.

    Cons

    One manager makes protocol on the fly - not a way to run a business. Managers do not know what they are doing - not enough experience with managing people. They do not care about anyone. One manager is out to get you fired if you are not perfect.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get rid of the manager that is bringing everyone down. CS.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

Work at Createspace? Share Your Experiences

Createspace

 
Click to Rate
or

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.