CreateSpace used to be the print-on-demand service of choice for self-publishing authors who wanted a paperback option listed on the same Amazon page as their published ebook.
They made it so easy! And they even provided helpful resources like the following:
Not only that, but CreateSpace had expanded distribution to help you get your paperback into libraries and brick-and-mortar bookstores, as well as booksellers all over the world.
And they gave authors the option of ordering a printed proof of their book before publishing it.
When KDP Print first came onto the P.O.D. scene, they didn’t have the same distribution options, nor did they offer a printed proof; if you liked what you saw on the virtual book previewer, you published it and hoped for the best.
When the rumors started going around about KDP Print, you probably heard questions from your fellow authors like “Is CreateSpace closing?” and comments like “But CreateSpace works fine.
Why change things? KDP is for ebooks!”
And when CreateSpace started making some noise about stepping aside for KDP Print, folks were asking, “What happened to CreateSpace? What went wrong? And what if KDP Print isn’t as good?”
What happened to Createspace?
Now that KDP Print has completely taken over all of CreateSpace’s core services, they’ve taken on some of the features authors love about CreateSpace and discarded other less profitable ones — like the professional (paid) assistance with cover design and formatting.
That last bit was not a crowd-pleaser. But it had to be done.
In order for those services to be profitable, CreateSpace would have had to charge a lot more than they did — which would have made those services unaffordable to those most likely to use them.
Time for some good news: If you’re strapped for cash and looking for some help with your book’s formatting and cover design, there are plenty of freelancers out there who are just starting out and looking to build their portfolios by doing basic formatting and cover design jobs for less than more experienced formatters and designers charge.
It’s a win-win if you can help them gain valuable experience while getting the help you need at a rate you can afford.
As you become more successful, you’ll likely want to pay more for professional cover design and formatting.
But if you have to choose between getting your well-written book out there with a decent cover and basic formatting and waiting until you can afford to pay a professional, no one will blame you for choosing the budget-friendly option.
As long as your cover and formatting look comparable to the professional-looking covers and interiors of your book’s biggest competitors, you’re good.
You can always upload a better cover later on.
That’s another great thing about both KDP and CreateSpace: you can improve both the cover and the interior (as you’re able), upload the new files, and republish your book without losing your reviews.
More good news? As transitions go, the switch from CreateSpace to KDP Print is seamless; the process of moving printed books from CreateSpace to KDP Print takes around ten minutes per book.
And, if it helps to know this, the switch isn’t about a rivalry or bad blood between CreateSpace and KDP Print.
There is no KDP vs. CreateSpace. KDP Print is just the next stage in Amazon’s print-on-demand evolution.
What happened to my books on Createspace?
When CreateSpace started moving books to KDP Print, they alerted the authors with accounts and provided helpful instructions on how to make the switch.
Authors who didn’t immediately act on those notices received periodic email reminders, along with a note at the top of their KDP dashboard – which is still visible.
Once the switch was underway, authors could no longer edit their books on CreateSpace; they had to transfer them to KDP Print and make their edits using the KDP Print setup pages.
Once authors completed the transfer, there was no going back. Their CreateSpace books were no longer available on the CreateSpace website, and the option for creating new books on CreateSpace also disappeared.
As of the writing of this article, if you try to access CreateSpace, you get a web page that directs you to KDP Print. It’s unclear how long this page will remain online.
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What should self-publishers do in the future?
Since CreateSpace is no longer an option for print on demand services, self-publishers who want their books to appear on Amazon — on the same page as the ebook option — now go directly to their KDP dashboard and select “+ Paperback” under “Create a New Title.”
The process is as simple as setting up an ebook on the same dashboard, and since you now have the option of ordering a printed proof before publishing, you no longer have to worry about missing crucial details while looking over your online book preview.
After all, there’s just something about the experience of holding a printed copy of a book you wrote, and you’ll no doubt notice things the previewer couldn’t show.
What is the new payment schedule going forward?
Whereas CreateSpace paid authors their royalties 30 days after the last day of the month in which they earned them, KDP provides the same payment schedule for its print book as for its ebooks: 60 days from the end of the earning month.
I don’t know any authors who are pulling their hair out in anticipation of their CreateSpace payday (mostly because it’s not their primary source of income).
So, while it’s disappointing to have to wait another month for your book royalties, once they’re synced with your ebook royalties, the benefits of having all your books on the KDP dashboard and royalty reports outweighs that small adjustment.
If you use the KDP Reports beta, you now see your daily royalty earnings for both ebook and print options on the same page. I highly recommend bookmarking it.
One of the best things about the switch is the ease of setting up both your ebook and paperback options on the same site, which saves you time and allows you to make edits to either one without your book being removed from Amazon until your edits are approved.
Keeping your book live is critical when you’re promoting your book and don’t want any of your potential readers to click on over to your Amazon page only to see that one or both options are “currently unavailable.”
You know how annoying that is as a customer; just think how annoying it would be as an author grateful for every sale.
Good thing Amazon didn’t keep that feature from CreateSpace.
Change can be a beautiful thing, and I hope this article has shown that the switch from CreateSpace to KDP brought more benefits than problems.
All your Amazon books (except audiobooks) are under one roof, now — and they look great together!
So, celebrate the good changes, and keep writing those books! If Amazon has found a way to make publishing even easier than before, smile and be grateful that you’re a self-publishing author now rather than ten or twenty years ago.
A lot has changed. Use it to your advantage.
And may your creativity and initiative influence everything else you do today.