By Amy Collins
Editor’s Note: We didn’t have to wait long for the subject of this post to appear in headlines. Amy Collins forwards this notice from CreateSpace and the KDP Print Team:
We’re excited to announce that CreateSpace (CSP) and Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) will become one service, and in the coming days, we will give CreateSpace members the ability to move their account and titles. To ensure a quality experience, we will add links to the CreateSpace member dashboard in phases so authors may see it at different times. As a reminder, Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) now offers Expanded Distribution to sell your paperbacks to physical bookstores in the US, as well as the ability to sell your paperback books on Amazon.ca and <a href=”http://amazon.com.au/” target=_blank”>Amazon.com.au (Amazon.mx coming soon). With these features, KDP’s paperback distribution will be on par with CreateSpace’s distribution. KDP also offers features that aren’t available on CreateSpace. These include the ability to purchase ads to promote paperbacks on Amazon.com and locally printed author copies in Europe.
As a result of these enhancements to KDP and our ongoing efforts to provide a more seamless experience for managing your paperback and digital books, CreateSpace and KDP will become one service. On KDP, your paperbacks will still be printed in the same facilities, on the same printers, and by the same people as they were on CreateSpace.
In a few weeks, we’ll start automatically moving your CreateSpace books to KDP. Your books will remain available for sale throughout the move and you’ll continue to earn royalties. Once we begin this process you’ll be unable to edit existing titles or create new titles on CreateSpace.
If you have a release planned soon or you would like to start the move yourself, we are making updates that will allow you to move your entire catalog in just a few steps. During this transition, you can contact KDP customer support by email and access phone support in English.
There are a few payment and printing fee differences associated with the move. Going forward you will be paid on KDP’s payment schedule. CreateSpace pays monthly royalties 30 days after the end of the month in which they were earned while KDP pays monthly royalties approximately 60 days after the end of the month in which they were earned. As a result, you’ll be paid in September for any royalties earned in August on CreateSpace and be paid in October for any royalties earned in August on KDP. In addition, some low-page count books will see an increase in printing fees when they are printed in the UK and EU. This affects a small number of titles. If your titles are affected by this change, you will receive a separate email on this topic. Learn more about KDP’s printing fees here.
To learn more about the move and review the latest, visit here. We’ll be in touch with more updates in the coming weeks.
It is still Day 1 for independent publishing. As Amazon’s recent shareholder letter noted, there are more than a 1,000 authors who earn more than a $100,000 a year from their work with us. We could not be more optimistic about the future of independent publishing and this change will allow us to innovate faster for you.
The CreateSpace and KDP Team
Are you curious about all of the changes going on at CreateSpace and seeing new offerings being announced at Kindle Direct Publishing? I have been, too.
I will admit that I have not paid as much attention to KDP Print as I should have. I have been happy with CreateSpace for my Amazon printing and distribution and just did not have the bandwidth to turn my attention to yet ANOTHER platform for my paperbacks. Knowing that CreateSpace could get my paperback on Amazon while IngramSpark/Lightning Source was handling the wholesalers/bookstores/libraries, I thought I had all my bases covered.
Well, a few months ago, CreateSpace announced that it was discontinuing all author publishing services. Authors and publishers would no longer be able to use CreateSpace for editorial, lay out, design, or cover work. The staff in those departments was let go. This all happened SO quickly and the hue and cry from the self-publishing community was enormous. Yet, CreateSpace and Amazon moved ahead knowing that the profit margins on working with authors and micro-publishers on editorial and design elements were not in line with Amazon’s business model or goals. Authors and micro-publishers are not big enough to keep a design and editorial division at CreateSpace viable. To stay profitable, a company would have to charge a LOT more than CreateSpace was charging.
Years ago, CreateSpace was in the business of attracting authors and getting them to use their POD business (CreateSpace). Offering covers and interiors and help with editorial were wonderful carrots to entice all those authors at the beginning. But like many Amazon programs, once those carrots had done their job, the carrots had to go away. The rates for the services rendered at CreateSpace were not enough to cover what it cost to DO the work.
What Happened Next
This year, KDP, the ebook platform for authors and publishers wanting to get their Kindle files into Amazon, announced that they were branching into paperbacks with KDP Print.
So What Is Happening Now?
At first glance, the KDP Print Division looks an AWFUL LOT like the CreateSpace Division. But over time, there have been some HUGE changes to KDP that we should all pay attention to:
- KDP Print offers Interior Templates in Word and a Cover Creator Tool.
If you were dependent upon CreateSpace formatting your cover and interior before they stopped offering those services, you are now in luck. KDP Print offers Templates for the interior downloadable in Word and cover templates using their Cover Creator Tool. KDP also offers free KDP ISBNs just like CreateSpace (but do yourself a favor and GET YOUR OWN from the proper organization for your country.)
- KDP Print allows you to track your sales and downloads for ebooks and print books together all in one convenient place.
In the past, KDP sales reports were only downloadable by individual month. This messy, time-consuming system was a HUGE pain. But now you can download entire lifetimes of sales history that breaks down the elements for you!
- KDP Print now offers the same distribution and royalty as CreateSpace.
In the past, KDP did not offer expanded distribution for bookstores and libraries. Nor did they offer the same royalty options or international distribution. But all that has changed. Now, KDP Print DOES offer international distribution, expanded distribution to retailers outside of Amazon and the same 60% of retail price set by author/publisher.
- KDP prints paperbacks, author copies, proof copies for the same amount as CreateSpace.
The printing prices shown at KDP Print are right in line with CreateSpace
- KDP Print offers many nonstandard trim sizes and options that CreateSpace does not.
CreateSpace has a limited number of color and trim size option. But KDP Print seems to allow authors/publishers the opportunity to choose a number of nontraditional trim sizes and even set their own.
- KDP Print does not take down the existing book while approving new versions like CreateSpace does.
This is HUGE. According to KindlePreneur.com in their article CreateSpace vs KDP Print:
“Every time you upload an update, CreateSpace takes down your print/paperback version, which is an entirely separate entity from your Kindle book as far as ranking is concerned.
On the other hand, KDP – both Print and Kindle – keep your old version up and available for purchase until the new version is approved.
Having your print version taken down can be a big deal when that version is selling well (e.g., when you are “riding the algorithm,” and Amazon naturally promotes your paperback book).”
What Is Going To Happen Next?
Amazon is not addressing the rumors that CreateSpace may be closed down or absorbed into KDP Print, but the rumors are out there saying just that. We have contacted Amazon at the corporate offices and will update you the moment we hear a confirmation or any official word. But the movement at KDP Print does make switching over LOOK like a good idea. They seem to have worked out most of the upload kinks and have moved the elements of CreateSpace over to KDP Print over the last few months.
Keep in Mind That This Is a Permanent Decision
The switch from CreateSpace to KDP Print is permanent. This is a one way street I am afraid. Once you make the move with your title to KDP Print they will not be letting anyone go back. (This, more than anything, has me wondering how long CreateSpace has…)
What I Did
Again, we have no way of knowing if and when CreateSpace will make any announcements or changes to their systems. But with KDP Print ramping up, I thought that now might be a good time for me to take my head out the sand and put my paperbacks with KDP Print. SO I did.
I moved my latest book over to KDP Print. It took 11 minutes. There were no mistakes or hiccups in the upload and the reports are already showing my book in the system. My book was never down for a second and so far, so good! Seamless!