How Kindle and CreateSpace’s changes affect my book

Sigh.

In June 2017, I talked about how Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing platform was beginning to allow authors to create paperback versions of their books. As you probably know, Kindle is big for their e-book readers as well as publishing e-books.

CreateSpace, of course, is also owned by Amazon and, among other things, produces paperback versions of books as well. For years, CreateSpace served as the preferred method of choice between these two sibling divisions for indie authors.

My first experience with CreateSpace was back in 2011, with my first book showing up in 2012. Wow, time has really flown. Anyway, I think it was 2015, maybe 2014, when it was introduced that you could transfer your print info from CreateSpace to Kindle and automatically publish over there.

That was the start.

So, again, we reach 2017. Kindle announces they are doing a beta version of CreateSpace. My initial thought (and many agreed with me) was that CreateSpace would eventually be absorbed into the bigger brand Kindle and indie authors would slowly be pointed to KDP instead of CS (CreateSpace).

Then, in January 2018, we got another huge update that finally forced my hand. CS announced that they were laying off parts of their staff, mainly the professional service parts. What I also noticed was they shut down their e-store.

Yes, not many people knew this, but CS had a store where, essentially, all of the indie published books from their platform were up for sale. I’m willing to bet plenty of authors encouraged their prospective readers to go there since you got the biggest chunk of royalty share.

Yes, there were three levels of royalty. Depending on where people bought your book, you’d get a certain amount of money. CreateSpace’s store gave you the most. Amazon.com gave you the second most. And then, anywhere else gave you the least amount.

Fine.

The thing with me was, I had my book published exclusively on CS. So, that means my book, as of this writing is unavailable.

So, why didn’t I do the Kindle beta program? Well, as the name suggests, it was in beta. For me, specifically, when they first launched the beta, they didn’t allow proof and author copies to be made. That was a HUGE deal for me, and I bet it was for many other authors too. You NEED that proof copy. I’m not sure why Amazon didn’t include that.

The thing is, Kindle allowed you to move your CS title to the KDP platform easily. However, this was and is an irreversible process. You would lose all of your CS functions and features and status and would be with KDP. You wasn’t going back. I wasn’t ready to take that leap.

But, now, I have no real choice. I, and I bet plenty of seasoned indie authors see how this story ends. Slowly, CS will shift more and more staff and resources to KDP. Eventually, they will give CS authors a date and some sort of “move your title over or risk losing your work” or more like “move your title to KDP or we’ll move it for you” and then that’s time’s up.

I’m going to go ahead and get it out of the way now. If you have a book published with CS, I suggest you log into your account and make the transition now, while it’s not so painful. If you had you book published and chose CS store as part of your distribution package, you’d better let your readers know it’s all over.

I noticed, for titles that are published on Amazon and CS stores, the CS stores links will take you tot he Amazon listing. Like, for real, this is happening.

I can’t say I don’t agree with any of this, either. This is very smart business for Amazon. Consolidate your indie author platforms into one place. I swear ACX (audiobook) is next. Kindle is a HUGE brand name today and it just sounds better to say “I used Kindle to publish my book” People know what that is. Shucks, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to say “they’re owned by Amazon” when referring to CreateSpace. You won’t have to with Kindle.

So, I’m in the process of moving my books to KDP. KDP has a lot of programs and stuff for their readers. Will I allow you to lend the book? Will it be part of the MatchBook program? So many options.

When everything is live, I’ll let you know and break it all down on the various buying options. It’s been pretty hectic trying to get it all under control and running through the publishing process again.

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