by Lee Warren - Author, Editor, and EMoon Team Member
This week, Createspace (CSP) sent an email to indie authors, announcing it was merging with Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) to become one service. Going forward, indie authors who want to pursue print will need to begin using KDP Print.
The writing has been on the wall regarding CSP for some time. Our projections and those of others were a bit blind and based on speculation due to the fact Amazon kept it all behind closed doors until recently.
Last fall, Amazon announced it was closing its CSP e-store. Then, early this year, Amazon announced it plans to lay off all 58 employees in its CSP editing, marketing, and design division, saying it was getting out of the author services business.
CSP’s email this week said CSP would give members the ability to move their account and titles to KDP Print manually, but that they were taking steps to allow members to move their entire catalog in “just a few steps.” You might want to wait until that option is available. But you don’t necessarily need to move your titles manually.
“In a few weeks, we’ll start automatically moving your Createspace books to KDP,” CSP’s email said. “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.”
One of the main sticking points for indie authors has been a lack of expanded distribution on the KDP Print platform. CSP addressed that in its email.
“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 Amazon.com.au (Amazon.mx coming soon). With these features, KDP’s paperback distribution will be on par with Createspace’s distribution.”
The email also says KDP offers features that are not available on CSP, including the ability to purchase ads through the platform “to promote paperbacks on Amazon.com and locally printed author copies in Europe.”
Another small benefit includes only needing to visit one dashboard (via KDP) to review all sales.
At the same time, CSP is trying to alleviate any concerns over quality, saying paperbacks “will still be printed in the same facilities, on the same printers, and by the same people as they were on Createspace.”
As is the case with any transition, a few things will change.
Once your books are migrated to the KDP Print platform, you will be paid on KDP’s payment schedule. Previously, CSP paid royalties 30 days after the end of the month in which they were earned. KDP, on the other hand, pays royalties 60 days after the month in which the royalties were earned.
CSP sent a separate email to authors who have “low-page count books,” indicating that they will see an increase in printing fees when they are printed in the UK and EU. More specifically, the email says, “Paperback printing costs are higher on KDP than Createspace for Black & White titles under 110 pages printed in the EU, Black & White titles under 100 pages printed in the UK, and color titles under 30 pages printed in both the EU and UK. Based on this change, you may want to update the list prices of your books.”
What does all this mean for you as an indie author?
First, you’ll need to decide whether you want to move your books manually from CSP to KDP Print. That may or may not be a seamless process. Time will tell.
Second, this is a good time to consider whether you might want to use Ingram Spark (IS) for print instead of, or in addition to, KDP Print. It boasts “one of the industry’s largest global distribution networks.” If you choose to go with IS, you’ll need to pay a title set-up fee and purchase an ISBN. If you want to know more, you can find out how to set up an IS title here.
Third, if you have low-page count books, you’ll need to consider raising your prices to accommodate the higher printing costs.