I’m sure most of you have heard the news by now, but if you haven’t, Amazon has announced some major changes to its KDP Print program. Only two days after I was telling people in this blog’s comments that I wouldn’t even consider moving to KDP Print from CreateSpace until Amazon addressed its two most glaring issues, the company announced it had. On top of that, it addressed my major problem with CreateSpace, thus making it a whole lot more likely that I will soon be moving over.
Problem #1: No Physical Proofs (Solved)
The first problem with KDP Print concerned its means of proofing your manuscript. Well, you can now order printed proofs from KDP. Proofs allow you to review a physical copy of your draft paperback prior to publication.
Note, however, that the process is a bit more cumbersome than the one CreateSpace uses. Specifically, here’s how you can order a proof:
- Go to your Bookshelf and find the paperback for which you would like to order a proof.
- If your paperback is in “Draft” status, the option to request a proof will be enabled in the ellipsis (“…”) menu.
- Click Request Proof Copies.
- Select the order quantity. You can order up to 5 copies at a time.
- Select the Amazon marketplace closest to your shipping destination. The cost will then be displayed. This cost doesn’t include shipping and applicable taxes.
- Click Submit Proof Request.
- Within 4 hours of submitting your request, you’ll receive an email with a link to complete your proof order. You must complete your purchase within 24 hours of receiving this email.
- Once you receive the email and click on the link to complete your order, you’ll be redirected to the Amazon Shopping Cart/Basket. You can use your existing payment information and delivery addresses or add new addresses to send proof copies to reviewers.
Proofs are eligible for all paid (standard and expedited) shipping options available to Amazon customers except Prime. You can ship proofs to multiple shipping addresses by placing separate orders for each destination.
You can find out more on Amazon’s website.
Problem #2: Author Copies (Solved)
When you order copies of your own book, you now pay just the printing costs plus shipping and applicable taxes. The author price is the printing cost for your selected marketplace times the number of copies. The trim size, interior type, page count determines this price and does not include shipping charges or taxes. On Amazon.com, any applicable sales tax will be applied at checkout. For European orders, local VAT will be applied at checkout. As this price is the lowest price Amazon can offer for your book, no additional discounts (e.g. for volume) are applicable.
Ordering is as easy as with CreateSpace. Specifically, to order your author copies:
- Go to your Bookshelf and select the paperback you would like to order.
- Click on the Order Author Copies link in the ellipsis (“…”) menu.
- Enter the order quantity and select the Amazon marketplace closest to your shipping destination from the drop-down menu.
- Click Proceed to Checkout. You’ll be redirected to the Amazon Shopping Cart/Basket of your chosen marketplace to complete your order.
- You can order as many author copies as you want with a maximum of 999 units per order. If you want to order more than 999 author copies at a time, you can place multiple separate orders. You’ll pay shipping charges for each order.
Author copies are eligible for all paid standard and expedited shipping options available to Amazon customers (excluding Prime). Manufacturing and delivery estimates are based on the quantity ordered and selected delivery speed. The most up-to-date delivery estimate will display during checkout.
You can find out more on Amazon’s website.
Problem #3: European Copies (Solved)
Not only has Amazon now addressed both my main concerns, it has also solved another problem I’ve been having for ages. Ordering author copies from CreateSpace and having them delivered to Greece had proven to be a nightmare, as CreateSpace prints the books in the US and not Europe.
I’ll never forget how I had ordered some $80 worth of books, only to have them stopped at the customs, thanks to the idiots over at DHL. Adding insult to injury, I had to pay DHL an extra $90 for screwing up plus another $120 for the Greek customs–plus lose a whole day trying to sort things out over at the airport! After that, I started ordering my copies at full price from Amazon UK. Never having to go through such an experience was worth the extra money, but it also meant I couldn’t afford to stock up on my books. And having to send someone an autographed copy proved ridiculously expensive.
With this new feature, however, KDP proof and author copies for the UK and the rest of Europe are printed and shipped from within Europe. Which means, no Greek customs for my books, which means I can finally stock up on my books. Woot!
For all my love of CreateSpace–especially its awesome support and ease of creating and publishing your book–its use also has some drawbacks. Specifically, when it came to royalties, as they’d need to be over $100 before they sent you your money. This is per marketplace, which means I receive monthly payments from the US, but with, say, Japan, I might never see any royalties. With KDP Print, you’ll receive monthly payments regardless of their size.
You will also need to check a single reporting platform (my daily routine starts with me checking out KDP sales, then CreateSpace ones), which will also save you some time. And CreateSpace’s reporting is inferior to KDP’s one, as it has no daily reporting or easy-to-read graphs.
So, will I be moving my books to KDP Print? I now believe so. It may not happen right away (I always prefer not to jump into a new platform until the unavoidable teething problems have been sorted out) but yes, I think I eventually will.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Also, you may wish to visit Chris McMullen’s blog for a detailed comparison of the various options available to Indies.