What’s Going On With CreateSpace and KDP Print? [Updated]

by | Aug 23, 2018

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=”https://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.

Best Regards,

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.

What Happened

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:

  1. 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.)


  2. 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!


  3. 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.
  4. 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


  5. 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.

  6. 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!
Photo: BigStockPhoto



  1. Mahendra bhatt

    On The kindle platform(paperback) If they do not include more languages It will be definitely effect on their business. like Creatspace better.

  2. Tom

    I also confirm that KDP is a nightmare. Fortunately I have an Ingram account and I might take the royalty hit and distribute to Amazon through ingram because I trust there numbers more. I have had missing sales, and other issues, KDP reps being incompetent, and more. I HATE dealing with KDP… I finally filed a complaint with the Attorney General’s office about missing sales numbers and hopefully if enough people do that, Amazon will start being more transparent.

  3. alis

    Just leaving my comments. I used Createspace for years and it was fantastic.

    I’m not happy with KDP. Some reasons are:
    Slow dispatch times – it can take 1-2 weeks for my author copies to be dispatched
    Poor customer service – they don’t understand the problem or they suggest a solution which is completely impractical and silly that misses the point of the problem
    KDP staff uncertainty over whether any problems are to do with KDP or Amazon (since books are ordered through the normal Amazon shopping cart)
    A lot of bugs using KDP – for example I’ve not been able to order the number of author copies I want as got messages on multiple books saying “only 1 left in stock” or “only 2 available”. This meant I couldn’t order stock I needed for my events to sell them at but KDP customer service didn’t seem to appreciate the severity of this problem, simply telling me the problem would be fixed and to try again in a few days

    Not happy so far! :(

    • Sharon Love Cook

      Greetings: I’ve been ordering copies of my book with no problem, although as you say, it does take longer for them to arrive. And though you can’t call KDP as you could Createspace (and get a helpful tech), I’ve found that emailing KDP support results in a quick and detailed response. All in all, there’s not the hand-holding that I experienced at Createspace (sob), but so far it’s workable.

  4. Suzanne Young

    I’ve just run into my own problems with the CreateSpace merge to KDP. It seems that KDP assigns an ISBN as soon as you complete the first step of entering a title. I was automatically taken to KDP print publishing at the completion of uploading and publishing the Kindle edition of my book. Realizing my mistake, and preferring CS where 4 of my paperbooks were published (and which has a much friendlier user interface!), I left KDP and uploaded/published my paperback edition via CS (no warning at all from KDP or CS–both Amazon companies–that this wasn’t wise because of future plans for the 2 companies). Since the merger this past month, I have been told that the draft copy with an assigned ISBN cannot be deleted because the ISBN assignment is permanent. Because of the existence of the draft, the completed book in CS (with sales since April 2018) cannot be moved to KDP, apparently — and I can no longer access CS to order copies, revise or even unpublish my book that seems to remain in limbo. (Nice design, KDP techies, to assign a permanent ISBN at the front end instead of at the completion of a project. I’m guessing this has created lots of garbage in your database.)

  5. marie

    I miss create space and hope that Kdp create space will be the same. I am patient

  6. Randal S. Chase

    I have been with CreateSpace for years, and my indie publishing business prospered under their model. When I was forced to KDP this year (2018) I entered into an absolute nightmare. These guys have absolutely no idea what they are doing. Here is just a sample of what I have encountered:

    ORDERING AUTHOR COPIES: The process is clunky and time consuming. They end up being entered as if they were regular orders under Amazon.com.

    PRINTING AND SHIPPING: Printing takes more than 10 days in most cases, and even if you pay for two day shipping you’ll be luck if you get it within three weeks. Most times, it’s four weeks. Orders are not shipped at once, but are spread out over 5 or 6 packages that arrive over a two week period. It is nearly impossible to keep track of it all. Books placed in boxes have NO shipping bubble or paper stuffing and often arrive bent or otherwise unusable. Some books are shipped via the Post Office in single bubble wrap shipping envelopes, and nearly ALL books shipped this way arrive with some kind of exterior damage or bent corners. Then, you’ll have to fight your way through Amazon.com customer service until you get to Direct Publishing customer service (and then to a manager) before you can get them replaced.

    LOUSY CUSTOMER SERVICE: If you try to get replacements, they tell you they can’t replace them (the customer service people at Amazon.com) because they were sold by a third party! After many arguments with them, I finally found that to get a replacement you have to find some way to get to their Direct Publishing customer service agents (there is no direct phone, email, or chat link for this). And after you finally get to them, you find that you have to speak to a Manager. It’s a total joke.

    SALES TAXES: KDP charges sales tax on all orders, even though they are for resale by the publisher, author. It took me three weeks before somebody finally found a way to make sure my orders were not taxed.

    LACK OF OVERSIGHT: The above list is only a sample of what I’ve encountered. And there does not seem to be any oversight of any of this by Amazon management. They shut down CreateSpace and forced us all over to KDP before KDP was ready for such business. Managing ebooks is NOTHING like managing and idie publishing service on paperbacks. And the management has been totally clueless about all the problems.

    LOST REVENUE: I personally have lost $2,000 worth of business in just two months because of their inability to deliver reliable, quality books to me. I do more than $10,000 worth of indie publishing per year, and I am now ready to take all of it to Lightning Source. They are more expensive at the front end, but then I won’t be losing all this money at the back end.

    I would definitely NOT recommend KDP to anyone looking to do indie publishing. They are a total disaster.

  7. Nicholas Anderson

    The migration from Createspace to Kindle Direct Publishing was an absolute disaster for me! So many things went wrong that I could write a book on the subject and, in the meantime, I had zero sales. I have left Amazon now, lock, stock and barrel. Never again will I allow that to happen. In my opinion, there was something disrespectful towards independent authors. It was like talking to a brick wall about all the corrections that needed doing.

  8. AnssiR

    I have heard that if you try to update your CreateSpace paperback cover in KDP, it won’t update the Amazon.com thumbnail listing. This seems to be true, I updated one of my books in kDP that I originally published through CS, and the Look Inside has updated but the cover and backcover thumbnails have not. So customers will get a different cover from what they see on the Amazon website.

  9. Jeffrey Dudgeon

    I much preferred the CreateSpace sales details which were by title and numeric.
    Am i just missing it or does Amazon offer this?

  10. Nico

    Up until 10/19/18 orders I placed through Createspace for my book (to ship directly to customers) were shipping within 1-2 business days. Since 10/19 it’s been taking over a week, and I have a couple of orders at 10 days+. The estimated delivery date was that far out, but had been for a while, so I’d just gotten used to ignoring that and assuming 1-2 business days. Anyone else have this issue and have any luck figuring out why? I have emailed CD customer support.

    • Karen A. Wyle

      My order for author copies took far longer to ship than it would have from CreateSpace, but once shipped (or once I was notified of shipping), it arrived quickly.

      • Joseph Janson

        I agree. I currently publish more than 50 titles with KDP many of which are both print and eBook. On the print side, I have seen a huge degradation of the service level at KDP vs. CreateSpace. As the above commenter states, and I concur, orders are taking a LOT longer to ship and the service level seems unpredictable. For example, I am trying to place an order for 50 author copies of a title to be shipped out for an upcoming signing. I am quoted a delivery window of more than 2 weeks by routine delivery and even if I choose the 1-business-day option, I am still quoted delivery at 11 days. The net effect is that in many situations where better service levels are needed, I am sending orders to Ingram/Lightning Source even though the net cost is slightly higher, just for faster, more predictable service levels. I wonder if KDP knows (or cares) that they are losing hundreds and thousands of print copy sales from publishers like me because while many aspects of KDP vs. CreateSpace are on par or better, the print service levels for publisher orders/author copies and publisher/dealer orders (since we also used CreateSpace to ship many of our dealer orders, especially non-bookstore entities) are often unacceptable, and much of that business is now going to Ingram/LSI.

  11. Andrew Chapman

    Now that the CS-KDP transition is nearly 100%, please update this article (or write a new one) to reflect the many problems that authors are experiencing. For example:

    • Proof covers have a large watermark preventing you from truly evaluating the cover quality. Why? Is KDP afraid we’ll resell a book that, technically, we have every right to resell?

    • Books containing “unsupported languages” (e.g., Chinese) are prevented from even being in the KDP system, unless they were already live under CS. However, even in this instance, the book and description cannot be updated in any way or it will become unavailable. This makes no sense being that an unsupported language under KDP previously (for Kindle purposes) has no bearing on a print file that’s created from a font-embedded PDF. As a result, I have a client whose English-Chinese book series is in limbo because he doesn’t want to have to open an account elsewhere, like Lulu, and transition everything over there.

    • In order to buy author copies, a title must be live on Amazon for sale to the public. This completely precludes many legit situations in which a book is “privately” for sale — e.g., ARCs, special limited editions, custom books, books for sale within a private organization or association.

    • The digital-proof reviewer is insanely slow. I recently had a book take 23 minutes to process for review. During much of this time, you have no idea whether the system is actually doing anything or has stalled.

    • During the digital-proof reviewer process, it states it’s “creating a print-ready file”… why? I’ve uploaded a print-ready PDF with bleeds, etc. What is the system doing?

    Those are just a few examples among those I’ve experienced or have read from other clients. This last point makes me suspicious that KDP’s system is not actually using our PDFs but further converting them, for whatever reason. This would explain why the process takes so long and why “unsupported languages” aren’t an option for print.

    Having been a CS customer for nearly 10 years, and very happy, I say this transition to KDP has been disappointing to say the least. They’ve had a long long time to get this right, and insisted in their communications that things would be quite seamless. Given that CS has been a subsidiary for all this time, why would we not believe the transition would be nearly seamless?

    Unfortunately, KDP’s customer service — probably due to overwhelm — has only made matters worse. They have no idea when any of these things will be fixed, and can only reiterate company talking points that they’re “working on resolving them.”

    Incidentally, I’m not among the Amazon bashers. I’ve been nothing but a great customer of Amazon and have benefited immensely as an author and publisher from their efforts. So, my comments are purely from this transition experience and not a reflection of anti-Amazon bias. In fact, it’s precisely my great history with Amazon (my first Amazon review was 20 years ago) that makes me extra disappointed in how this CS-KDP situation has unfolded. I’d expected much better.

    Again… please update this article or write a new one, with whatever insights you can offer on this. Thanks!

  12. DS White

    Having a problem with the description. After transfer from CS to KDP, my book description lost all formatting. It’s a block of text. When I edit it into paragraphs, none of the changes stick. I asked Amazon and they matched my paperback description to the e-book. But only in one market. Now I have to ask them to fix the description in all markets. CS never did this. I discovered I can use html, so I’ll try that next. Otherwise, I can never edit my description.

  13. Emma

    Happy to hear that creatspace and KDP are becoming one service. Is cost will be different or same? other than that any changes will be included?

  14. Jeanne M Felfe

    Yeah, that was my goof. It’s all fine now.

  15. Jeanne Felfe

    Never mind – this was my own oopsie. I’d forgotten about setting up tax info using my CS id. Apparently I tried logging into KDP with that one.

  16. Jeanne Felfe

    I had something weird happen this morning. I logged into KDP just to look at reports. I got a message Your account information is incomplete.
    To publish a book, you will need to complete this. Update Now

    It’s asking me to re-input all of my info, including banking info, which btw has been in there for 2+ years. Has anyone else had this happen? Is this normal or have I have hacked?

    • Amy Collins

      Are you SURE you are using the same email and login info?

  17. Alexandra

    Hi Amy!

    I have just moved all my books from CS to KDP.
    Some of my books are written in an unsupported language by KDP. I discovered that I can’t change anything in those paperbacks (price, content, covers). They are absolutely blocked.
    Also, I have just found out that I can no longer publish paperbacks with KDP in this unsupported language (Romanian in my case).
    Do you know if this is a permanent decision? Or maybe it is a temporary one until they will set up their BETA program?
    I am thinking to move to IngramSpark.
    I would highly appreciate your answer. Thank you in advance for your help and understanding.

    Warmest wishes,

    • Amy Collins

      I would MOST definitely duplicate your printing and distribution efforts with IngramSpark. I always recommend that option.

      As for Romanian, Latin, and Chinese… and other languages that are not covered by KDP… they ARE coming. We just need to be patient.

  18. Elizabeth Burton

    My distrust with this process is also service-related, in that one receives canned emails saying there’s “a problem” with an uploaded file but no information on what the specific problem is. I understand they’re mainly dealing with people unacquainted with the technical details, but when one then asks for specifics and receives yet another canned response, that becomes irritating. I also had them literally “fix” my files without asking permission or explanation of just how the trim size of a cover was off.

    I’ve been publishing books for more than 20 years, and I expect to be treated like a professional. This has been the ongoing problem since Amazon went into the publishing business and lumped small and micro-presses in with self-publishers. All the customer service is based overseas on the lowest common denominator—that the inquirer knows squat about the business and technology—with predictable results.

    • J.L. Callison

      Truth! And that canned response may take over a day to be sent. With CreateSpace you can find a human to speak with. With KDP, it is all email, none of it is responded to by the same person as the one before, and little of it is actually specific to your issue.

      I just published my latest with them, but have little interest in using them again. CreateSpace was great to work with. KDP, not so much. IngramSpark, here I come.

  19. Adrijus G.

    Would be sad to see Createspace go but looks like that’s the future. Esp.since wasn’t CS an acquisition Amazon made rather than what they created and it doesn’t make sense for them to have two brands doing the same thing essentially. No loss for them to lose CS if they built their own tool.

    Not to mention KDP Print is directly named brand for them to match KDP. Small details, but could be a thing.

  20. Glenda Manus

    I’ve decided to stay with Createspace until I’m forced to change. The problem I’ve had before with delayed shipping doesn’t seem to be a problem anymore. I ordered some copies of my previous books two weeks ago and they were delivered within a week. This past Friday I ordered 50 copies of my newest book and they were delivered this morning! I think part of the delivery problem was with USPS shipping. I requested UPS shipping with these last two orders! I’ve never had them printed and delivered so quickly!

  21. Susan Vaughan

    All of my books in print, 13, are at CS. I used a Word template to format them and upload. Will I have to reformat for KDP Print? Or can I simply upload the current file?

    • Karen A. Wyle

      CreateSpace now has a note on their page saying that we have to migrate to KDP Print. It’s a simple, three-click process, and then you can check the Amazon US, UK, etc. pages to make sure everything looks as it should, including all your prior reviews.

  22. Kaye George

    If CS goes away, something not related to Kindle and Amazon will have to take its place.

  23. Ariane

    Thank you so much, everyone, this is incredibly helpful! I am about to set up my POD book (CS without extended/Ingram Spark for all else) as an ebook. Main concern is for the reviews and ranking to carry over – I have 137 organic verified purchase reviews. I really don’t want to lose them. For the ebook and print book to be combined – what can be done?
    Thanks again for this valuable information!

  24. Ravi Rikhye


    Do we pay more using a non-KDP trim size?

    Do the printing charges per page change with trim size?

    Can anyone kindly direct me how to insert my PDF cover into the KDP Cover template? The only layers I know are cassatta icecream layers!

  25. Tom Blubaugh

    Thank you for this information. I’m wondering about reviews. Will they move with the book from CreateSpace to KDP?

    • Nancy O'Neill

      Not 100% sure about reviews but I do know that the ranking disappeared when an author friend moved a book form CS to KDP. So in my opinion, that’s worse than losing reviews because your ranking is what moves you to the top of search results.

      Like I’ve been saying, KDP has a lot to work out before Amazon would ever be able to dissolve CS. And as of 3 weeks ago, CreateSpace has a job posting on GlassDoor for QA people. So clearly they’re not going away anytime soon.

      • Harald Johnson

        “…So clearly they’re not going away anytime soon.”

        That’s good to know because I like working with CS, especially considering the phone support, which has been excellent.

  26. Donald Bueltmann

    Will KDP offer POD?

    Don B

    • Nancy O'Neill

      KDP already offers POD. Scroll down to my comment. I added a lot of extra information to what Amy already said in the article. It’ll answer all of your questions and then some. :)

  27. Jean Cogdell

    If CS goes away will KDP transfer be automatic or will we still need to do it manually?

  28. Judy Penz Sheluk

    All true, but not available in Canada, yet, I’m afraid. So for us Canadians, CS is the way we have to go beyond Ingram. I’m hoping Amazon allows Canada to come into the KDP print realm soon. I’m not a fan of Create Space.

  29. Laurie Boris

    Hi, Amy,

    Thank you for the update and the great information. When you moved your book over, did you use the same PDFs you’d made for CreateSpace? Or did you have to reformat and get a new ISBN?

    • Amy Collins

      I used the exact same file. I also used the same file as I used for IngramSpark

  30. Catherine M Wilson

    I formatted my CS books using InDesign to produce a print-ready pdf. Will KDP use the same file as CS? Some things I’ve read seem to indicate that I will have to use one of their templates or convert from my .mobi ebook. Why would I do that, when I already have a print-ready pdf?

    • Amy Collins

      Just upload your PDF. If there are any margin or font issues, they will tell you. Converting for you is only an offer for those who uploaded a word doc and had it turned into a ebook by KDP. You are way ahead of the game.

  31. Alexandra

    Hi Amy!

    Thank you for your article.
    Do you know what it will happen with the non-English paperbacks published with CS? There are a few languages that KDP doesn’t support.
    Thank you in advance for your answer.

    • Amy Collins

      I am very confident that KDP WILL support ALL the same languages and formats very soon. Just hang tight…. they are coming.

      • Alexandra

        Thank you very much, Amy, for your answer. If there is nothing to lose, then why not? :) :)

  32. J.J. Overton

    Does the final result of both the KDP text block layout and the cover quality look identical to the CreateSpace print version? Have any issues been raised about differences?

  33. Michael W. Perry

    Bjorn Larssen quote: “May I ask a question? Why is it better to get an ISBN locally (I’m in the Netherlands, for instance) rather than from Amazon? This is the first time I read this suggestion.”

    There’s a string of numbers in the ISBN that indicate who the publisher is within the ISBN record keeping. The number of digits owned is based on how many ISBN’s were purchased. In the case of my Lord of the Rings chronology, Untangling Tolkien, the full ISBN is:


    In those numbers, 978 means books as opposed to food or clothing. The 1 that follows means a English/US publication. For the Netherlands the 978 would be followed by a 90. The 58742 is unique to my Inkling Books, as its publisher. The next four digits are for the 1,000 ISBNs I can assign. The final digit is a checksum based on the other numbers and is used to make sure the barcode was scanned or entered correctly.

    Here is the key factor. The entity who owns those publisher digits is the only one who is allowed to enter and amend the ISBN records. If you get your ISBN via Amazon, then those are Amazon’s numbers and it controls the content of your ISBN record. You can’t change that record. I have not heard of Amazon abusing that to get at authors, but they could. That would force you to get your own ISBN, which might hurt sales for a time.

    If you get it your ISBN locally, then you will control that record. You will be in charge of what its records say about your book and amend that data at will. Check and see if the price for the number of ISBNs you need is reasonable in your country. In most countries outside the U.S. with its gosh-awful monopoly Bowker it is. If so, you’d be well-advised to buy locally. You’re also more likely to get support if problems arise and that support will be in Dutch.

    Here is the link for the Netherlands.


    Hope that helps!

    I’ll also answer a question on your website: “I write exclusively in British English. Do any of my American readers find it jarring?”

    No, we’re quite used to it, even the few quirks in spelling. Just take care not to use jargon we may not understand or words that have a differently meaning. For instance, “The last homely house” in Tolkien as a reference to Rivendale is based the British meaning where homely means warm and comfortable. Unfortunately, in American English, homely is typically applied to a woman is neither pretty nor ugly. In short, in British English, homely is a compliment. In American English it is almost an insult. You want to avoid those sorts of mistakes.

    –Michael W. Perry, Inkling Books, USA

    • Bjørn Larssen

      Thank you very much! I checked isbn.nl and it’s reasonably priced (€ 54,23 initially, then € 9,53 per every ISBN I request).

      As for the words with different meanings, I’ll have to run this past an American reader – I am so used to British English I don’t notice/know these things. I’ve already had the trousers/pants problem :)

  34. Patrice Williams Marks

    Months ago I wanted to move my book, but the cover dimensions were off and I would have been forced to create a new cover to fit. Has that issue been addresses?

    Thanks for the great article!

    • Amy Collins

      They now offer a LOT more cover sizes that they didn’t a few months ago. Check them out!

  35. Janet

    Was going to say that David Gaughran wrote about this several days ago, but Karen beat me to it. He says that titles will automatically go over to KDP, but he suggests consider the 2 million titles that will be trying to get approved at KDP when that happiness. I’m going to test with one title. The customer service at CS has been fantastic. I have a meta data share with Ingram Spark for one of my titles. I’ll have to ask KDP about that.

  36. Jana

    Amy, thank you for the explanation about CS and KDP.

    There must be a typo in the pricing chart, because a full color book of 42-500 pages shows as 85¢! The larger B&W book price is also 85¢ per book. Or is there something I am misreading here? (I haven’t gone to their website because my book isn’t ready yet. . .)

    • Elizabeth Burton

      That’s the base fee for printing the book. The total cost would then include the number of pages x the per-page cost.

  37. Nancy O'Neill

    This article is good in general but let me clarify a few things that are incorrect so authors have the right information.

    A bit about my background and experience. I’ve been using CS since 2010 and have published a children’s series, adult fiction, coloring book, as well as other books so I’m very familiar with their process. In the past three months, I’ve switched gears and started publishing no-content and low-content books (i.e. sketchbooks, school composition books, blank journals, prompted books, log books, etc.), all using CS. Last year, I also experimented with moving one of my children’s books over to KDP print but since they were still heavily in BETA, there were lots of glitches and bugs so I cancelled the switch.

    Even though most of my low-content books are with CS, I have a few with KDP print and have also talked with many authors who are publishing these types of books using KDP print. So here is a bit more information to help authors.

    1) CS DOES offer interior templates in Word format and also has their Cover Creator tool as they always have. An author never had to use their editing or formatting services because the DIY option was always available. It’s true that KDP also offers these templates and tools but the article’s first point makes it seem like an author didn’t and still doesn’t have that choice with CS. As far as creating the book, CS and KDP are exactly the same.

    2) Regarding trim sizes. You’ll see that the only difference between CS and KDP is one non-standard trim size. CS does not offer the 8.27 x 11.69 whereas KDP does. But CS has always had the Custom option as well. It’s just not on the build your cover template page in CS. In order to input your own custom trim size, you have to start a title and when you get to the trim size section, there’s a place to input a custom size. I’ve done a 4×6 mini book for address books. It’s possible. Of course, they have limitations on how small and how big as most POD printers do but this custom option is available in CS.

    3) As far as delivery times, keep in mind that Amazon has two printing facilities. The main one is in Charleston, South Carolina and there is a second smaller one in San Bernardino, California. Since CS and KDP both use the same printing facilities, delivery times are the same as they would be for CS. However, delivery times depend on how busy the plants are, which one they print your book at, and obviously where you’re located. In the 7 years that I’ve used CS, there has only been one time when my books were delayed. It was late November. I’d ordered 50 coloring books to donate to a children’s hospital. Because of the holiday season and increased shipping issues everywhere, my box of books got misrouted so they were delayed by a week but it was no fault of CS. If anyone has an order which goes longer than their expected delivery date, they should be following up with UPS, Post Office, or whoever the tracking number belongs to. To the person who said they’ve had orders take 4 weeks, if that happened more than once, I’d be calling CS so they can follow up on whatever issue is causing that.

    4) KDP is still in BETA and although they have fewer glitches and bugs than they did previously, there are still plenty of them so just be aware. And it could be many months or even a year or more until they pass BETA.


    1) CS and KDP have different restrictions with subtitles. With content books, there often isn’t a subtitle except for certain genres like business books that will usually have one. However with no-content books, if you look at any of those, the subtitles are more like other product listings where it gives details about the book (i.e. page count, trim size, who or what it’s for, etc.). CS is wide open as to what they let you put in the subtitle whereas KDP has restrictions.

    2) CS only gives you 5 keywords compared to KDP that gives you 7 so that’s a benefit.

    3) With CS, you can’t run a sponsored ad but with KDP you can. And in the ad setup, you are allowed to use competitor’s names as keywords. Plus, you can ad hundreds of keywords and also input negative keywords.

    4) CS pays every 30 days whereas KDP is on a 60-day cycle.

    5) The CS main dashboard is very easy to see which books are selling because of the layout whereas the KDP reports dashboard has the chart which isn’t as easy to see which books have sales, especially if you have hundreds of books, which many people do when they’re making low-content and no-content books.

    As the article said, no one knows what Amazon’s timeline is for dissolving CS or if they even will. And if or when that happens, I suspect there will be some type of automatic transfer for all books that are currently with CS to move them over to KDP. From a business point of view, it wouldn’t make sense for Amazon to expect every author to do a manual move for too many reasons to go into here.

    My bottom line after trying KDP with a book move and also new ones I’ve set up with them is that I’ll be sticking with CS until we have to switch. The ONLY reason I see to use KDP at this time is if you think you’re ever going to run an ad on your book or books. If you are, then I’d suggest to set up your book with KDP right from the start so you don’t have any issues with a transfer. While some people haven’t had any issues with moving CS books to KDP, I’ve talked with MANY authors whose books are now in limbo because there were issues and the transfer got stuck. This was usually due to the different rules about subtitles but even so, if KDP doesn’t have a way for an author to correct an issue or their system doesn’t have a way to release a book stuck in limbo, then that’s the biggest issue I see at this point because it means potential lost sales.

    Again, bottom line for me is stick with CS until we’re forced to move. Plus, in general, I stay away from programs and systems that are still in BETA, especially when I see critical bugs.

    That’s my two cents.

    • Joel Friedlander

      Nancy, I want to thank you for taking the time to educate readers on this important topic, your observations are very helpful.

    • Amy Collins

      Nancy, This is AMAZING! I am blown away by your generosity and spending the time to add to our understanding of this situation!

    • Elizabeth Burton

      Amazon also maintains printing presses in many, if not all, of its distribution centers; it’s how they avoid having to shelve thousands of on-demand books for single orders. One would assume those presses are also capable of printing off at least small multiple orders, since an Amazon customer might order same to give copies as gifts.

      You’ll find that small orders (five copies and under) will ship within two business days or thereabouts. Slightly larger orders of 10-15 copies the time frame differs, apparently depending on how many titles are in the order. Anything over that will be done at the regular printing facilities, so shipping time will depend on how busy they are.

      Now, if they would only add an actual address book so those of us who ship to multiple customers don’t have to keep putting in the shipping information over and over. You’d think a company with the alleged technological savvy of Amazon could manage that.

    • Rochelle

      Hello, you seem to know a great deal about this stuff. :) Thank you for all the information. I have designed a website for a customer that uses CS/KDP and it has been hard to figure out what the shipping rates should be. It has been hard to get the rates to match what Amazon charges with what she charge her customer. It’s either too much or not enough. Would you have any advice on that?

  38. Bjørn Larssen

    I’ve also seen complaints about KDP Print customer service… Hopefully it will improve.

    May I ask a question? Why is it better to get an ISBN locally (I’m in the Netherlands, for instance) rather than from Amazon? This is the first time I read this suggestion.

  39. Amy Collins

    These comments have given me an idea. I will call my contacts at Amazon to see if they can comment on the customer service pacing and service. Truthfully, I did not think of the customer service aspect because I have not had to use it yet. I am on the case!

    • Glenda Manus

      Amy, please ask about delivery times. I would switch in a minute if I could get my author copies faster than with Createspace.

  40. Lorna Collins

    I tried KDP Print when it first came out. The big issue at the time was the author did not get any special pricing when they ordered their own books. There simply was no mechanism for it. (I unpublished the book on KRP Print and republished it on CreateSpace.)
    I presume (hope) this has changed. I’m keeping everything with CreateSpace for now. I hope when they eliminate CS, they will transfer all CS books to KDP Print. I can’t imagine how they wouldn’t. They would lose a lot of revenue with all those books out-of-pirnt.

    • Amy Collins

      KDP now offers print costs for author/publishers at the same cost at CreateSpace.

  41. Beth Camp

    Thank you for a very helpful review of this change for indie writers from paperback POD from CreateSpace to Kindle. I’m glad your transfer went well. In a routine updating of front matter to list latest books, I ran into formatting problems. When I contacted customer service, I was told to wait 72 hours. Two weeks later, my books have still not been updated. But I should be grateful. Two of four books have gone through correctly. Perseverance furthers.

  42. Frances Caballo

    Like the other people who have commented here, I worry about customer service. CreateSpace calls immediately while KDP is frustrating to deal with. I also wonder if authors don’t move their books from CreateSpace to KDP, what will happen. Will they receive an email from CreateSpace to move their books? It’s too bad CreateSpace may be getting out of the business because their customer service was great.

    • J.L. Callison

      You are so correct! CS was a dream to work with. I got notice CreateSpace will be closing down and everything moved to KDP when I was in the process of setting up my new novella, so I went ahead and put it on KDP. I am so sorry I did.

      You cannot speak to anyone on the phone with KDP. You have to email and you will get a form email in return a day or so later. When you continue to have problems, they will have to “investigate” and say you will have a response three days later. Five days later, you will get a form letter telling you the problem is with your computer, even though you used the exact same file for the eBook that you used for the paperback.

      I hate the loss of CS. There is no chance I’m making the change of my previous book from CS to KDP voluntarily. There is also no chance I will return to KDP with my next one, even if I make 85 cents a book more than I will at IngramSpark. Working with Amazon once was good. No longer. Screw me once, shame on you. Screw me twice . . . not gonna happen.

  43. Glenda Manus

    My biggest peeve with Createspace for the last year has been delayed shipping. When my first book was published in 2013, I could order books and count on them being delivered within two weeks, but since 2017, I’ve had orders that have taken up to four weeks to be delivered. I even had to re-schedule a book launch party because of one extremely late delivery. Would love to know if KDP Print times are faster. If so, I would be happy to change over.

  44. Yvonne Hertzberger

    My big concern is the customer service of each. Createspace always had good service – not the least of which was a phone number. KDP uses only email and each time I contact them they do not read the thread of what happened previously. The result is a canned response to every inquiry and no progress on the issue. I have been very happy with Createspace and hope that, when it goes, the service at KDP will change for the better.



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