What’s Going On With CreateSpace and KDP Print?

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From The Book Designer:

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.

. . . .

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.)

. . . .

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.

. . . .

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).”

Link to the rest at The Book Designer

11 thoughts on “What’s Going On With CreateSpace and KDP Print?”

    • Agreed. Buy someone doing it right, learn how they do things, make your own and test/debug it. Once the new model seems to be working properly there’s no need to keep the old one going.

      • I’ve “moved” one print book over without any trouble.

        However, Kindle customer service will need to step it up a lot to match Createspace’s customer service.

        If there’s anything I really dislike about the Kindle program, it’s the lack of real customer service. Cut and paste answers that seldom address the actual issue you’re making contact about. All the times authors have been suspended, had accounts terminated, etc. without being told WHY, and being told they can’t appeal the unexplained decision.

        I really don’t understand why Amazon has such great customer service on the front side (for purchasers), but have failed so badly on the backend for content providers and other sellers.

        • “I really don’t understand why Amazon has such great customer service on the front side (for purchasers), but have failed so badly on the backend for content providers and other sellers.”

          All things are relative, too bad we’ll never know the real/true numbers or percentages of happy/unhappy buyers/sellers/workers (and how many of the unhappy were actually upset that Amazon caught them/wouldn’t let them get away with their tricks/scams.)

          If Amazon was so ‘failed’ on sellers I’d expect those sellers to not bother with Amazon – which would then cause buyers to leave and follow the things they want to buy.

          As to the:
          “All the times authors have been suspended, had accounts terminated, etc. without being told WHY, and being told they can’t appeal the unexplained decision.”

          We normally see that after a blogs of writer rants stating that ‘Amazon needs to do something about those scammers!’ and Amazon then did do something that (surprise surprise) caught some of those writers doing some of the same/similar tricks the scammers were using.

          And of course Amazon isn’t going to tell those they’ve cut off ‘why’ or how they were caught – why would they tell scammers how to get around the latest roadblock? (Before you complain all those writers weren’t ‘scammers’ – how can Amazon tell the difference if they were using the same tricks to bump up their ranks to make more sales?)

          Amazon knows they can’t be perfect and please every single buyer/seller/worker, so they go with a ‘good enough’ meter and there’s no reason for them to change things unless that meter dips into the cation or red. (And we’ve seen on these very pages what happens when they tighten the noose on cheats and scammers – and those that get too close to that line …)

        • Createspace’s customer service, especially in the beginning, was *stellar*. It’s less so now. I’m not looking forward to that trendline continuing. :,

          I wonder if KDP Print will start doing better covers, though? The quality of CS’s covers has consistently disappointed me. I want to see more options. And hardcovers. :,

        • I really don’t understand why Amazon has such great customer service on the front side (for purchasers), but have failed so badly on the backend for content providers and other sellers.

          Because they are competing to get consumers, while suppliers are competing to get Amazon.

        • Amazon is not always great for their customers either…. if you are doing exactly what they expect you to, it works fine.

          But when there is a problem, you get the same run-around. My customer account was accidentally mostly deleted (some kind of technical glitch) and it took an email to Jeff Bezo, 2 people in that group and over a month before it was corrected. (I did give regular customer service a chance –5 or 6 calls– before the email to Jeff Bezo)

          I really suspect that is how it works on the author side too…. If you do exactly what they expect it works but if you have an issue, it is difficult to resolve.

      • They did that with mobipocket.
        But not with Audible. At least not yet. But if Audible keeps messing up…

  1. I’ve printed 50 books so far for sale at cons with KDP Print and I’ve been very pleased with the quality.

  2. The biggest pro that KDP Print is offering to me as a European author is that I can finally, finally (!!) get my author copies printed over here. This saves me a lot of time and money. In fact, I used to order copies for full price from Amazon because it wasn’t worth the hassle, the wait and the import tax to order author copies from the US.

    (And let me tell you, EU printers are better than the US ones. I know. I have copies from both.)

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