In the last few days, I’ve had lots of panicked phone calls, texts, and emails from authors about an email from Amazon they received on Aug. 28. It has thrown people into a panic, but don’t worry. Amazon is NOT stopping the printing of your paper books and they will still list them for sale on the Amazon website.
What is happening, is this: The CreateSpace portal is closing and services will be combined on KDP. If you have used KDP in the past few years to upload an e-book, you may have noticed that it also gave you the opportunity to upload your paper book through this site. However, there were still some differences in the options offered on CreateSpace and KDP. Such as, at first, as an author, you could not order books at a discount on KDP, while you could on CreateSpace.
I’m not going to bother to list all the differences in the sites here. They have slowly been changing those options, but it has been obvious for a while that CreateSpace would eventually go the way of the dinosaurs. It was the older site and was clunkier and more difficult to use than KDP, so people unfamiliar with the KDP should be pleasantly surprised.
What Amazon is Saying
I’ve seen a couple of different letters that people have received, but here is the copy of the one I was sent:
We are contacting you because you have books currently enrolled in CreateSpace Direct and we will not offer this distribution channel on KDP. To maintain uninterrupted enrollment in Expanded Distribution and keep your books available for online retailers and bookstores to purchase in a few weeks (when the move from CreateSpace to KDP begins), you will need to select another channel. Please log in to your CreateSpace account and select an alternate Expanded Distribution channel.
If you do not take action before the move begins, your CreateSpace books enrolled in CreateSpace Direct will move to KDP in a ‘draft’ status and will no longer be enrolled in Expanded Distribution. To re-enroll in Expanded Distribution you will then need to make your book available for sale on Amazon.com by publishing and enabling Expanded Distribution through the KDP Bookshelf.
Keep in mind that after you enable Expanded Distribution it can take up to six to eight weeks for your book to become available in Expanded Distribution channels.
Learn more about Expanded Distribution on KDP and how to enroll here .
Stay up-to-date on the latest information about the CreateSpace move to KDP here.
The CreateSpace and KDP Team
One of the most important things about this change is that KDP is now offering expanded distribution for paper books (as it used to on CreateSpace) so authors should be able to sell to bookstores through the site. You will also be able to list books on Amazon.ca and Amazon.com.au, among others. Not all of these features may be available immediately, however. To quote Amazon, “KDP’s paperback distribution will be on par with CreateSpace’s distribution. KDP also offers features that aren’t available on CreateSpace.” The most important of these is the ability to promote paperbacks on Amazon.com.
Amazon also states that “On KDP, your paperbacks will still be printed in the same facilities, on the same printers, and by the same people as they were on CreateSpace.”
What You Need to Know
If you are a CreateSpace author, you do need to log into your account and according to the email: “If you do not take action before the move begins, your CreateSpace books enrolled in CreateSpace Direct will move to KDP in a ‘draft’ status and will no longer be enrolled in Expanded Distribution. To re-enroll in Expanded Distribution you will then need to make your book available for sale on Amazon.com by publishing and enabling Expanded Distribution through the KDP Bookshelf.”
I have several books on CreateSpace, by the way, so I did the same thing for each of my titles.
I went to CreateSpace and looked at my member dashboard. I went to the “channel” section (see the screenshot) and added as many channels for each of my titles as I could. This was not the same for each title, however. The eligibility requirements listed for each of the five categories is complex. Here is a link to check them out. I suggest that to start with you click everything that your book is eligible for, then wait for the books to be moved to KDP and see what you need to do at that time.
The material I’ve received from Amazon says that the books will automatically migrate to KDP. But what if you don’t have a KDP account? I suggest you set one up now, even if you don’t move your books there right away.
While books are supposed to remain available for sale throughout the move, and you’ll continue to earn royalties, Amazon is moving literally hundreds of thousands of individual books. Keep checking both your CreateSpace and KDP sites often in the next few months to make sure that everything is progressing properly and that your royalties are still being recorded.
A Differences to Note
CreateSpace pays monthly royalties 30 days after the end of the month in which they were earned while KDP pays monthly royalties approximately 60 days. Some books with small page counts may see increased fees for printing in the UK and EU. But if your book is affected by this, you should get a specific email from Amazon.
What You Should Do Now
If you don’t have a KDP account, open one. Click here to open one.
Keep an eye on both your CreateSpace and KDP accounts.
Check your Amazon book listing weekly to make sure that it is still listed and available.
If you see a problem, contact Amazon customer service immediately.
If you are planning on releasing a new book in the next few months while CreateSpace is still available, skip CreateSpace and go directly to KDP.
When uploading a new book to KDP, read all instructions carefully. Don’t assume that everything works in the same way it did on the CreateSpace site.
Keep watching the Open Door Publications blog and twitter for more updates on the changes.