Welcome to my premiere edition of The Buzz on Books & More! These will be interviews with book publishing insiders and writers on issues, trends, methods, etc.
The first edition’s topic?...
The CreateSpace to KDP Publishing Transition
Change is often disconcerting when you’ve used a particular product or service for a long time. That’s what customers of the self-publishing service CreateSpace are facing, as Amazon transitions them over to Kindle Direct Publishing.
For the inside scoop, I turned to one of my favorite people in book publishing, Gerald Everett Jones, author of Bonfire of the Vanderbilts and host of the GetPublished! radio show (https://getpublishedradio.com/).
Highlights: Changes after the move include having paper books and ebooks on one dashboard, proof copies now having “not for sale” on cover and special barcodes, royalties paid every 60 days instead of every 30, and greater access to Amazon’s AMS ads.
Interview with author Gerald Everett Jones
How did you learn that you needed to migrate your books from CreateSpace to KDP?
My first notice was when I logged into my CreateSpace dashboard and there was a message saying migration of POD paperbacks was going to happen to Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) kdp.amazon.com.
Amazon also sent me emails from time to time advising that the move was coming up. A particular warning was that if I’d chosen CreateSpace Direct distribution as one of my Expanded Distribution options, I’d have to go into each book for which I’d selected that option and deselect it. That’s because your selling direct to customers is no longer supported in that way. If I did opt out of that, Amazon advised that my paperbacks would be moved automatically to KDP and remain LIVE.
Was the process complicated? How long did it take you?
The migration is or is intended to be automatic now. I didn’t do anything to move my book files from CreateSpace to KDP. All I did was go into CreateSpace and disable the CreateSpace Direct option in Expanded Distribution. Doing so made those books eligible to stay LIVE through the migration process. But, once I saw them on the KDP dashboard, I went through all the selections as if I were publishing them as new titles. That’s how I’d recommend doing it.
Also, my LaPuerta Books and Media imprint has 15 different titles on KDP, all in Kindle and some in POD paperback. The migration from the CreateSpace dashboard to KDP was just a matter of days, but then I was fine-tuning the metadata and other details for about a month, including the migration to the Videodirect platform for the streaming videos.
How does the process work?
The Amazon instructions tell you to start the process from the CreateSpace dashboard and just click the migration notice you see at the top. The process will no doubt take a few more steps if you don’t already have a Kindle Direct Publishing account. Also, I believe Amazon expects that the account ID you use for CreateSpace will be the same login credentials you use for kdp.amazon.com. But I don’t know if that’s mandatory. As you probably know, Amazon is like Google in that once you log in, they regard you as the same entity across all their platforms.
Whether you explicitly opted to migrate from the CreateSpace dashboard or you just wait because you already have a KDP account associated, Amazon’s invisible robots do the work of porting your titles to the KDP dashboard. If all your book’s specs and settings are correct for KDP, its status on the dashboard should show LIVE printed in green. If there’s a glitch of any kind that you need to resolve, the status will show as DRAFT printed in black. LIVE books are on display in the Amazon catalog and available for order. DRAFT versions are not (unless you had a prior LIVE version that the DRAFT is updating).
Are there any tricky parts?
My advice would be, whether your book shows as LIVE or DRAFT, click through all the detail and metadata settings for it as if you were publishing it for the first time. You don’t need to upload the ported cover or the guts unless you’ve made a change – or unless Amazon has flagged some error in those files. (You will have the opportunity for Live Preview of the book pages before you’re done.) Make sure your Description and Keywords are up-to-date, and here’s an opportunity to make changes. It shouldn’t take any longer to publish if you do. As well – and I think this is crucial – carefully review the Expanded Distribution and pricing options. Here’s a perfect opportunity to reprice your list, especially right before the holiday shopping season.
I experienced a glitch on one book that was totally unexpected. Choke Hold had been LIVE on Amazon via CreateSpace POD for some time. However, after porting to KDP, I got a notice from Amazon support asking me to prove my copyright. I assume this was because there are several books with that title (Choke Hold or Chokehold), but of course none have remotely similar content. I replied to the email with a PDF of the copyright registration certificate, and after about a week the book went from DRAFT to LIVE on KDP.
Are there any downsides to the move?
One difference is payment terms. CreateSpace pays monthly, 30 days after month-end closing. KDP also pays monthly, but 60 days after closing.
What are the upsides to the move?
It’s a convenience to see and control all your Amazon book titles on the same KDP dashboard. And on the sales results charts, you’ll see the ebook results right alongside the paperback results, color-coded. You can get a good sense that way of how the sales and pricing of the two products are working or not working. For the industry, you’d expect to see ebook sales about 25% of the total, but in self-publishing, ebooks typically are a much higher percentage of the mix, if not all of it.
Has Amazon issued any deadline that you know of by which this move has to take place?
The migration is well underway. If you want your CreateSpace titles on KDP, don’t hesitate to check their status and get involved in the process.
But if you start a new paperback, it’s simple. You’ll have to create a new title through the KDP dashboard.
Gerald Everett Jones has been a professional writer all his working life. He is the author of more than thirty business and technical books (including How to Lie with Charts), and seven novels (including Bonfire of the Vanderbilts). He currently hosts the GetPublished! Radio show (getpublishedradio.com) and has been a regular book reviewer on KRLA-AM in Los Angeles.
For further details and insights, check out the following links:
CreateSpace (where you can log in to your account)
Moving from CreateSpace to KDP: A Simple Guide [Alliance of Independent Authors]
KDP & CreateSpace Merger | What You Need To Know [Video]
CreateSpace and KDP to Become One Service [KDP page with info and related links]
Robin Quinn is a book coach, editor and publishing consultant. She has provided editorial support to the independent publishing community for over 25 years. Recent clients include Ayn Cates Sullivan (multiple award-winning Legends of the Grail: Stories of the Celtic Goddesses and the forthcoming Heroines of Avalon: Legends of the Grail 2), Tami Shaik (novel Ocean in a Drop and self-help title Detox Your Soul-A 30 Day Roadmap to Loving Yourself), Kristen Falde Smith (self-help title Artichokes & Grace: Getting to the Heart of Aging) and Ian Brooks (forthcoming self-help audiobook in progress). To ask for a free book editing quote or inquire about book coaching, email Robin at firstname.lastname@example.org.