As a self-published author, keeping up with industry changes, including the recent shift from CreateSpace to Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), is key. Discover how to stay ahead with insights on navigating the transition to Amazon KDP.
The world of self-publishing has evolved significantly in recent years, and one major shift was the merger of Amazon’s CreateSpace with Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) in 2018.
As an independent author, you may wonder how to navigate this transition seamlessly and effectively. In this blog post, we’ll help demystify the process by discussing what this change means for you as a writer, exploring the benefits KDP offers over its predecessor, and guiding you through essential steps to ensure a smooth migration.
The Move to Amazon KDP Paperback
In 2018, Amazon merged CreateSpace with Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), allowing a more streamlined approach to managing paperback and eBook versions of authors’ books.
This change occurred as the publishing giant recognized the increasing importance of digital and print-on-demand services in transforming the self-publishing landscape.
The shift from CreateSpace to KDP Print aims at simplifying various publishing processes. It offers a single platform that caters to all aspects of an author’s journey, including manuscript formatting, book cover design, metadata management, and royalty tracking.
This consolidation offered many benefits regarding accessibility and ease of use; however, it also necessitated adjustments by independent authors accustomed to using separate systems for their eBooks and paperbacks.
What to Do if You Previously Published Through CreateSpace
If you already have books published through CreateSpace, you’ll need to transfer them over to KDP so that they continue to be available on Amazon. Fortunately, this process is simple. Most of the work will involve migrating data from your old account into your new KDP account.
You should see no significant changes in royalties, how much you earn as an author, or how many books are sold due to this transition. All existing titles should still be available for purchase without interruption.
Benefits of Moving From CreateSpace to Amazon KDP
The shift from CreateSpace to Amazon KDP has provided independent authors several advantages that can help elevate their self-publishing journey. These benefits include:
- Streamlined publishing process: Amazon KDP combines eBook and paperback publishing under one platform, simplifying the overall experience for authors.
- Expanded distribution options: Besides Amazon’s extensive reach, KDP offers expanded distribution channels, making your book available to more potential readers worldwide.
- Enhanced royalties and pricing flexibility: Authors have greater control over their royalty rates and book pricing with the option of choosing different payment plans.
- Comprehensive author platform: The KDP dashboard provides various tools and resources for authors to manage their published books, track sales, and access helpful marketing insights.
- Advanced promotional tools: Independent authors can use various marketing strategies available on the KDP platform, like Countdown Deals and free book promotions, to boost visibility and enhance sales.
- Functional print-on-demand system: Like CreateSpace, KDP Print offers a convenient print-on-demand service that ensures books are printed only when needed, reducing upfront investment costs for independent authors.
Integrating these benefits into your self-publishing venture can improve efficiency and a higher likelihood of success as an indie author in today’s competitive digital publishing landscape.
Changes To The Publishing Process
The transition from CreateSpace to Amazon KDP brought several significant changes to the publishing process that independent authors should be aware of. One notable difference is how royalties are calculated and paid out, with KDP operating on a 60-day payment schedule instead of CreateSpace’s 30-day period.
Another critical change is the need for authors to become adept at managing their Bookshelf within the KDP interface. This is a vital hub for tracking sales performance, updating metadata, and monitoring reviews.
The move also necessitated learning about new formatting requirements for KDP Print, such as adjusting paperback manuscript templates and handling cover design elements like spine width according to updated guidelines.
Steps To Follow For A Smooth Transition
Here are the steps you can follow as an independent author to navigate the transition from CreateSpace to Amazon KDP:
- Create a KDP account: The first step is to create a Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) account to upload your paperback and Kindle eBook files.
- Check book metadata: Review and update your book metadata, including title, author name, description, categories, keywords, and pricing.
- Migrate CreateSpace account: You must migrate your existing CreateSpace account or create a new one on KDP.
- Upload and create Paperback manuscript: Format your manuscript for print according to KDP’s guidelines, then upload it onto the platform.
- Set up Paperback details: Once your manuscript is uploaded, enter additional information about your paperback version, including trim size, paper type, cover finish, and spine color.
- Review proofs: Request proof copies of your paperback to check for formatting errors or other issues before publishing.
- Publish Your Book: Once everything is set up and approved in KDP Print for both paperback and Kindle versions of your books, choose a launch date and publish.
By following these steps carefully and reviewing book metadata provided by Amazon KDP over CreateSpace–you can ensure that the transition from CreateSpace to Amazon KDP goes smoothly without any major issues or significant delays in publishing your next book.
Common Challenges And Their Solutions
- Uploading previous CreateSpace files to KDP can result in formatting issues such as the loss of page numbering or inconsistent margins. Before uploading your files, ensure they meet KDP’s formatting guidelines and make necessary adjustments to avoid issues.
- Moving from CreateSpace to KDP may require your book’s metadata changes, including ISBN and publication date. Review and update your book’s metadata in the KDP dashboard before publishing to ensure accurate information is displayed on Amazon.
- The transition process may cause delays in book availability or sales ranking updates on Amazon. Be patient during the transition process, and regularly check your sales dashboard for updates.
- New features on KDP may require authors to adjust their previous marketing strategies. Research and implement new marketing strategies that align with KDP’s features, such as promoting Kindle Unlimited reads.
- Pricing and royalty structures on KDP may differ from those on CreateSpace. Familiarize yourself with KDP’s pricing and royalty structure to set fair prices for your books and maximize earnings.
- Authors who previously used CreateSpace’s expanded distribution may need to adjust distribution settings on KDP. Review KDP’s distribution options and choose the appropriate channels for your book based on its genre and target audience.
- Understanding new terms of service agreements between authors and Amazon is crucial for a successful transition. Carefully read through all terms of service agreements before agreeing to them, and seek legal advice if necessary.
Navigating the transition from CreateSpace to Amazon KDP may initially seem daunting, but it can be seamless with the proper guidance and approach. By understanding the reasons for change and utilizing the benefits of Amazon KDP, independent authors can continue to self-publish their books successfully.