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.
Progress! I know what you mean about shipping. My last order of books where I pay a ransom for shipping and US dollar conversion, also got nabbed at our border and I got hit with another $30 duty. It’s ridiculous. I don’t think I’m moving my books from CS, but will consider future books on KDP. I hope they allow us to use a different format download for our paperbacks, not just converting the ebook file. Do you know if we have the option to download a separate paperback file (as per Diana’s question).
Also, if CS closes completely, will we have to redownload our paperbacks to KDP? Thanks.
You can upload your own PDF on KDP Print, so it’s just the same as with CS 🙂
I don’t know what will happen if/when CS is absorbed into KDP. I suspect you won’t have to re-upload anything, but that’s just a hunch.
I just got a reply back from CS. Apparently, we do have to reload our paperback on to KDP and once up, remove the CS file and outstanding royalties will be paid out.
Thank you so much for sharing this! Any chance you could forward me their response? I’m preparing a post on the subject and it would be of great help!
Sure! I’ll send it off to you tomorrow. 🙂
Got it! Thank you!!
Great! And you’re welcome! 😉
This is a good development. I wish I could ship locally in Japan (where I live) but you can’t have everything.
Hmm… I take it Japan has the same problem with customs as Europe does?
I haven’t tried getting copies of my paperbacks in the new setup, but I’m sure they would ship from the U.S., which still adds significantly to the cost.
The printing in Europe sounds great.
It’s such a relief!
Great news! Thank you for sharing it. I will be launching from Germany in late summer of this year, and your post couldn’t have come at a better time!
Yay! I’m so glad you found the info here useful 🙂
Thanks for keeping up with these changes – I appreciate it!
Yay! I’m glad you found the info here useful 🙂
Thanks for the clear updates. I currently order my print books from CS and use IngramSpark for expanded distribution. I don’t see a problem switching to KDP Print for the most part, except that KDP has had *horrible* customer service to this point. Not even a phone number to call. While CS will give you a live person who helps when you need it. If KDP can add customer service to their repertoire, I’m all for it. If not, it’s rather scary.
I couldn’t agree more; CS’s service is exceptional!
Change, they say, keeps us vibrant. You make the switch sound fairly easy, Nicholas. Having just gone thru the CS process, I’m telling myself I can adapt w/o tearing out all my hair. Thanks for your clarity as always.
Lol- I hear you. I haven’t performed the switch myself, but I’ll share when I do 🙂
Well, this is all good news! I have a question… when I create a book in Createspace, I upload my pdf which is usually “fancier” than my kindle upload in terms of fonts, drop caps, spacing, margins, etc. I’m a little OCD about it. Does Amazon print do it the same way? All I’m noticed is a kindle to print conversion and that sounds like the end product could end up with some dull or odd formatting. Does amazon allow an upload of a pdf? Thanks!
Do you know anything about KDP templates for print copies? CreateSpace has pre-formatted templates that make it easy to ensure everything is aligned properly. The same thing for cover templates. That’s one thing that’s kept me from switching.
Well, you can always use your CS template, since the print size should be the same.
I’m feeling better and better about the apparently inevitable change that’s coming, though, like you, I’m going to wait a bit longer before making the change. I have very much enjoyed working with CreateSpace, with only an occasional blip here or there, but it looks like that option won’t be available much longer. The more we learn about the new process with KDP, the easier switching over will be.
One question. Will we have to start from scratch with the titles we already have on CreateSpace? I’m guessing yes.
Thanks for all the information, Nicholas. I have been really worried about this, largely because of the idea of paying full price to buy my own books. I now think it will all work out fine in the end. Fingers crossed. 🙂
I’m guessing you had already created PDFs for uploading to CS, so resubmitting them for KDP Print should be easy enough 🙂
Sorry, I just saw this, Nicholas. Nope. Never had to use a PDF for CS. I’ve always just uploaded my Word .doc, then checked it carefully in their online checker to be sure there were no problems. (It alerts you to anything that could be an issue, plus, I look through it, too.) And then, of course, I order a physical proof to check, as well. But converting a doc file to a PDF is no biggie. If that’s what KDP Print wants, I can do that.
Thanks! No, I don’t think you *have* to upload a PDF. It works just fine with a Word doc, too 🙂
CUSTOMER SUPPORT is the MOST IMPORTANT thing that doesn’t seem to be addressed here. At present, I can call CreateSpace and, in a matter of seconds to minutes, be talking with a helpful human being. AND I don’t need to spend a half hour pressing a bunch of numbers to get to the right person at CreateSpace. So why would I want to voluntarily leave CreateSpace? All that said, you are very much appreciated for keeping us updated on Amazon’s Viking-like raid on every business they can slaughter or acquire. May Odin and Thor be on the side of Indie authors . . . while Jeff Loki continues his world domination tour.
Lol-fair enough. And I’m 100% with you on CS’s support prowess!
I’m waiting one other issue before I jump; that is, ability to format my paperback book to match the formatting of my eBook using a Mac. Right now, you have the option only on a PC. There are work arounds, but there options missing. Thanks for keeping us informed.
Ah, yes. That’s a strange one.
Really useful info & insight – timely too because our writing group is going to be publishing an anthology this year and I wanted to get it on Amazon (Kindle version) and have some hard copies. I was a bit wary of Createspace only printing in the US so this makes it easier as a first step.
Oh, it’s a godsend for European authors!
Thanks so much for all of this information. I’ll need this for when my book is published (not sure when that’ll be some time this year, God willing). I’ll be sharing your blog again.
This is great news! I’ve been wary of switching over, but it sounds like they’re finally trying to get their services up to snuff.
Indeed they are. But they don’t share their publications in Canada like CS’s expanded network does.
As you mention, one of the great things about Createspace is the customer survive. With KDP it is practically non-existent at best, and negative at worst. I have had more than one on-going struggle with KDP whereas Createspace actually had a real person who resolved my issue. I hope that hasn’t changed as it’s bee a while. I’ll rue the day they eliminate it.
It hasn’t changed. Every time I call CS, I know they’ll sort everything out,
I noticed the changes as well. I’ve already moved all my print over to KDP and I couldn’t be happier. The royalties thing on CS was so frustrating. I, too, had issues with DHL.
Thanks for sharing that 🙂