What Do the KDP Print Changes Mean for Indie Authors?

By Lee Warren - author, editor, and EMoon team member

Amazon announced recently that KDP Print will now make proof and author copies available to all publishers on the platform for the cost of printing, plus shipping and all applicable taxes. Previously, these features were only available on Amazon’s Createspace platform.

This announcement comes on the heels of two others from Amazon about Createspace.

Last fall, Amazon announced it was closing its Createspace e-store. Books published on that platform would continue to be available through the Amazon.com store, as well as redirecting there.

Early this year, Amazon announced it plans to lay off all 58 employees in its Createspace editing, marketing, and design division, saying it was getting out of the author services business.

This restructuring would seem to indicate that Amazon is intending to move all of its self-publishing print operations under its KDP Print umbrella, giving indie authors access to all of their information on one dashboard. Some in the indie author community speculate that Amazon’s ACX audiobook program might follow suit at some point.

Previously, the drawbacks of using KDP Print included the inability to order proof and author copies, as well as not being able to opt for expanded distribution. Presumably, expanded distribution will be available through KDP Print in the future.


What does all this mean for the indie author?

If you haven’t used the editorial, marketing or book cover design services offered by Createspace, you might simply consider familiarizing yourself with KDP Print or IngramSpark now. That’s not to say Createspace is necessarily going away soon. But given Amazon’s recent actions to bolster and promote KDP Print, you have to wonder if the writing isn’t on the wall.

If you have used the editorial, marketing or book cover design services through Createspace because you aren’t interested in handling the technical aspect of publishing, you’ll need to find an alternative. You can either contract with freelancers or choose a custom publisher like Electric Moon Publishing (EMoon). We can handle everything for you, giving you the control you want while maintaining the publishing rights you deserve.

Current Createspace authors need not fear being left behind during this future possible transition. Industry professionals believe current Createspace users will be grandfathered into the KDP print program. Createspace remains a primary place to publish books as a print-on-demand option and publishers like EMoon, will continue to assist indie authors to use the Createspace platform, moving to KDP Print only as the interface becomes more user-friendly and comprehensive.