How does Createspace merging with KDP Paperback affect you?

Chris Stead
 | Updated March 8, 2021

How does Createspace merging with KDP Paperback affect you?

Chris Stead
 | Updated March 8, 2021

In news that no one is surprised to hear, this week Amazon announced that  Createspace and KDP are going to be merged into one operation. Effectively with KDP taking over Createspace. Whilst predicted since the roll out of KDP Paperback, now that it's here, what does it mean for you?How is Createspace merging with KDP Paperback?

The Amazon announcement indicated that Createspace as it currently exists will soon stop. Amazon's help page says that "in a few weeks" authors will be unable to set up new titles or edit titles. At that time titles on Createspace will be automatically migrated to KDP Paperback.

Most indie authors that sell on Amazon will have at least one title on Createspace and will need to keeps tabs on the migration to ensure a smooth transition. If you wish to get ahead of the curve (highly recommended) you can move your titles over now. Amazon is promising it will ensure this is a very easy process with lots of help available from the company's help section. However, that help team will likely be swarmed with concerned authors.

At Old Mate Media we'll be migrating our titles across, as well as those of the indie authors we have published. As we go, we'll share any tips and issues we discover. Do reach out via email or social if you are struggling and we'll see if we can help. To find out more about what's involved, have a look at the Amazon help page. While  you're at it, you may also like to read our guide on how to create an Amazon book series.

What are the positives of Createspace merging?

The main advantage of KDP Paperback is that it brings the whole process into the one Amazon system. Rather than having to look at your Amazon book sales and then your Createspace book sales to get a good picture of sales and revenue, it’s all in the one spot. This also means one set of payments, effectively reducing some of the administration (and administration fees) for authors.

KDP Paperback also allows you to order author copies from six different Amazon territories including UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the USA. For authors outside the USA, this is a big advantage over Createspace, which shipped all author copies and proofs from the USA. That came at a cost!

Createspace logo

What are the negatives of Createspace Merging?

Createspace did have some advantages over KDP Paperback. We initially tested KDP Paperback for our beloved first Willy Nilly adventure two years ago and found the production quality quite poor.

Since then we have printed other colour books via KDP Paperback, including recently a 70 page colour cookbook (Eat Well, Feel Great). So far the reception to those has been positive, so I am hoping the production quality has improved as KDP Paperback has matured.

Createspace also pays you a lot faster than KDP paperback. Createspace pays royalties 30 days after the end of the month whereas KDP pays royalties 60 days after end of the month. This means there will be a payment delay for authors as the changeover kicks in. Makes it harder to action that sequel!

Kindle Direct Publishing logo

What if KDP Paperback doesn’t work for you?

There is a small chance that your book size may not be supported by KDP Paperback. (See this full list of trim sizes at KDP to check.)

If this is the case for you, there are a few options:

  1. Move away from POD to printing your books yourself and shipping to Amazon to sell. This will require an investment. You'll generally need to commit to a minimum print run of 250 copies. It is likely that you'll gain some benefits in better print quality if you choose this path.
  2. Consider shifting your book to IngramSpark. The disadvantage of this is that IngramSpark books can be given less preferential treatment compared to KDP paperback books. In particular, within the Amazon search result algorithm.
  3. Redesign your book to fit a KDP Paperback trim size. This option is best for those who sell a lot of paperback books through Amazon, but want to stick with POD. If you need help converting your book to a new trim size, or creating a Kindle version, we can help.

Goodbye Createspace

Ultimately this is done, so we all have to learn to live with it and adjust as necessary. What about you? Have you started moving your books over? Let us know, we’d love to hear from you. Do leave a comment, drop us a line or find us on FacebookInstagramTwitter or LinkedIn. You can also flick through our range of free publishing guides or check out our current catalogue of books.

Chris Stead

Chris Stead is an award-winning author and editor with over 26-years of experience in the publishing industry. After publishing over 1000 magazines and launching a dozen commercial websites, fatherhood saw him turn his attention to the world of children's picture books and self-publishing. He now makes books for himself and countless indie authors around the globe.

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