CreateSpace and KDP Are Merging

CREATESPACE MERGES WITH KDP

It’s a logical business decision.

The one significant change has to do with when royalty payments are made. See the section entitled Royalties towards the end of this article.

In 2008 I published my first book with CreateSpace, and in 2009 I published my first Kindle eBook.

When I was learning about publishing with Kindle, I asked myself the following question:

Why does Amazon use a different company for publishing eBooks than it does for publishing paperbacks?

It seemed like it would be convenient for authors and cost-effective for Amazon to have a single self-publishing service.

This is finally happening in 2018.

This is the way it should be, and should have been all along.

THIS IS GOOD FOR AUTHORS

It benefits authors for CreateSpace to merge with KDP.

  • It’s convenient to check royalty reports at a single location.
  • It’s convenient to have a single account for logging in.
  • It’s convenient to publish both paperback and digital editions at the same site.
  • Migrating titles from CreateSpace to KDP will actually improve Expanded distribution, with Amazon Australia, Japan, and Mexico as examples.
  • Migrating titles from CreateSpace to KDP offers the option to advertise paperback books through AMS.
  • Authors based in Europe will be able to order proof copies and author copies printed in Europe, which will save time and money.

NOTHING TO FEAR

You shouldn’t be worried about CreateSpace merging with KDP.

You probably aren’t losing anything.

You’re probably gaining a few little things.

Overall, this is better.

The few losses have already occurred months ago. That’s now in the past.

  • It’s been a year since CreateSpace discontinued the CreateSpace storefront (called an eStore) whereby customers could purchase books directly through CreateSpace. Few authors sold books through their eStores (almost all sales came through the Amazon.com sales channel instead, while a few came through Expanded Distribution). The few authors who were significantly affected by this change have already had to adapt.
  • It’s been months since CreateSpace discontinued their paid services. If you really need to pay for editing or illustration services, for example, even when CreateSpace offered these services, in many ways you were better off shopping for freelance services instead.

You really aren’t losing anything:

  • Your paperback books will still be available for sale through the Amazon.com sales channel.
  • Your paperback books will still be available for sale through Amazon’s European sales channels.
  • If you enabled Expanded Distribution, your paperback books will still be available through the Expanded Distribution channel. (In previous months, KDP print’s Expanded Distribution wasn’t quite as wide as CreateSpace, but things have changed. KDP’s Expanded Distribution is actually on par with CreateSpace now.)
  • KDP print now offers Expanded Distribution through Canada, Japan, and Australia (with Mexico coming soon).
  • The one significant difference has to do with when KDP issues royalty payments. (See the section entitled Royalties below.)
  • KDP has a community help forum (much like CreateSpace has).

THE QUALITY WILL BE THE SAME

According to Amazon:

“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.”

Over the past few months, I’ve already migrated some of my CreateSpace titles over to KDP.

I haven’t observed any difference in quality.

ROYALTIES

The royalties paid for KDP paperbacks are virtually identical to the royalties paid for CreateSpace paperbacks.

One exception has to do with very short books sold through Amazon UK and Amazon EU. If you have a very short book that sells through the UK and EU channels, you may wish to compare the printing fees and royalty rates between KDP print and CreateSpace. Visit the KDP help pages for paperback printing fees here: https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G201834160.

There is one significant difference between KDP and CreateSpace: That has to do with when royalty payments are made.

  • CreateSpace pays for royalties 30 days following the end of the month. For example, at CreateSpace you get paid on September 30 for royalties earned in August.
  • KDP pays for royalties 60 days following the end of the month. For example, at KDP you get paid on October 30 for royalties earned in August.

From now on, Amazon will pay royalties based on KDP’s royalty payment schedule.

This means you will see a one-month delay for CreateSpace royalty payments once the transition begins.

It looks like we’ll still be paid on September 30 for CreateSpace royalties earned in August.

But after August, you can expect a one-month delay.

WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO DO?

Amazon is making updates that will allow you to move your entire CreateSpace catalog to KDP in a few easy steps.

You can already move books one title at a time. My advice is to wait until you can transfer your entire catalog at once in a few easy steps, instead of manually transferring titles. However, if you still want to do this, log into KDP, add a paperback book, and check the bottom box to indicate that the book has already been published at CreateSpace. KDP will then automatically transfer your book’s information to KDP while you wait (just a couple of minutes). If you do this, if you had Expanded Distribution at CreateSpace, double-check that this box is checked on page 3 of the publishing process.

In a few weeks, Amazon will begin automatically transferring titles.

My advice is to be looking for the option coming soon that will allow you to move your entire catalog in just a few steps. Will this option show up at KDP or CreateSpace? Look for it at the top of your member dashboard at CreateSpace. I saw a message there earlier, but not it’s gone, so it will probably show intermittently for a while (and possibly not always in the same place).

During the transition, your books will remain available for sale and you will continue to earn royalties.

Your reviews will stay intact, and your sales rank history will remain. (There may be a little fluctuation in sales rank during the transition, but if so, it’s temporary and then it should behave as usual. This may be the case if you migrate a title manually. Perhaps by transferring your entire catalog with the new option the transition will be seamless.)

After the titles are transferred, log into KDP, visit your bookshelf, open one of the titles, and visit page 3. Make sure that Expanded Distribution is checked or unchecked as you prefer. Just in case this changes on you, you don’t want to be caught by surprise. I’m not saying it should change: It just seems like a wise precaution.

GOOD NEWS ABOUT INDIE PUBLISHING

According to Amazon’s email announcement on the consolidation of CreateSpace and KDP:

More than 1000 authors earn more than $100,000 per year from their work with CreateSpace and KDP.

When you think about it, that’s actually a pretty large group.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

The number grows rapidly when you ask how many earn more than $10,000 per year, and even more rapidly for earning more than $1000 per year.

It’s a positive indicator. Use it as motivation. If others have done it, so can you.

This good news about indie publishing means that you shouldn’t be worried about the merger. It’s not a sign of difficult times coming for indie authors. (But no matter how good the times are, it’s always wise to have a back-up plan in mind, just in case.)

Write Happy, Be Happy

Chris McMullen

Author of the Improve Your Math Fluency series of math workbooks and self-publishing guides

50 comments on “CreateSpace and KDP Are Merging

  1. Pingback: Reblog: CreateSpace and KDP Are Merging | ARMAND ROSAMILIA

  2. Reblogged this on Sally Jenkins and commented:
    I’ve posted previously about facility to publish paperbacks on Amazon KDP as well as Createspace and the pros and cons of each one. Now you no longer have to make that decision, Createspace and KDP are merging. Chris McMullen has written a very informative article on this. I’m re-blogging it here so that you have the full story. Thanks, Chris!

  3. Hi Chris,

    Great summation regarding the CreateSpace KDP merge. Will we still be able to log-in to our original CreateSpace Login page, or will that eventually disappear?

    Thanks

    Richard T. Banks

    ________________________________

  4. This is so helpful, Chris. Thank you. I’ve been a bit freaked out by the change, wondering when I would have the time to manage it for my books, but it seems it won’t be that big of a deal, according to this post. Whew!

    The thing that concerns me most is that CreateSpace has always had amazing customer service. In many ways, that made it the anti-Amazon for authors. All of that being under Amazon now means it’s going to go downhill fast.

    But hopefully the shipping costs for book orders will come down substantially.

    I have to order a large number of books soon for upcoming speaking gigs. Was going to wait until closer to the gigs, but do you think I should order now, just to be safe? I’d hate to have that much stock sitting around my house, but I’d also be screwed if they have shipping delays from this transition. Your thoughts?

    • Thank you, Valerie.

      I prefer to order as early as possible and more than I need. Just in case I need to request replacement copies of replacement copies, although unlikely.

      I ordered a proof from CreateSpace over a week ago and it still doesn’t even have a tracking number. KDP has been speedy sending out proofs. Though everyone is likely to be busy with the transition right now.

      I’ve been getting good customer service from KDP recently, so let’s cross our fingers.

  5. Hi Chris,
    First, thank you for an informative post and good advice. I have a question. Why do you recommend waiting to make the move until CreateSpace has a mechanism to do all of our titles? Would it not be safer to do one at a time just in case there is a transfer problem? Like other authors, I’ve got my thumb in my mouth and worried Amazon will botch this up and we will be left with no support.

      • Hi Chris,
        I went to the link, watched the CreateSpace video on to move your book to KDP Print. I got stopped when on the first setup page there was not a selection to indicate my book is on CreateSpace. Something isn’t right or KDP Print isn’t ready to accept CreateSpace books yet. Your input would be appreciated.

      • It has vanished. It’s not there now, though it had been a week or so ago. Either they don’t want authors manually transferring books at this time (perhaps so as not to double up any that may get automatically transferred), or the feature has been temporarily removed… If I see it come back, I’ll try to remember to return here with an update. You might ask KDP support.

      • Today, I saw a link at CreateSpace offering to transfer all of my files to KDP. It was a big message with a yellow message at the top of the screen. I saw a similar offer at the top of the page at KDP (but not in yellow). However, if I add a new paperback, I don’t see the question asking if it had previously been published with CreateSpace.

  6. Thanks for the helpful information, Chris. You so often answer questions I didn’t even know I had until I read your answers. 🙂 You’ve made the transition a lot less scary.

  7. Thanks very much for your views. They are always interesting. The merger isn’t quite unadulterated good news though. I have a couple of children’s book which will sell about 20k in a year in the UK. They are 78 pages and sell for £3.99 and the profit with Createspace is 91p. As a KDP paperback the profit will be 69p which is a fall of about 25%, or £4,400 pa. I could increase the price but think I am at the profit maximising price. Not sure if there are any alternatives.

    • Shorter books that sell frequently in the UK and Europe are unfortunately affected by the transition. With KDP, you can order author proofs and author copies printed from Europe, which saves on time and shipping, but it’s not enough compensation for affected books that sell in large volume in Europe. Thanks for sharing your experience with the change. Good luck with your books.

  8. Pingback: CreateSpace — Where Are We Now? – The Many Pieces of Chuck Jackson

  9. Hey Chris, thank you so much for your post.
    I have one question:
    I have already Is there a way to merge the royalties of Createspace and Kindle? I see both the royalties are still separated even after the transfer has been made.

    • CreateSpace will pay you at the end of October for CreateSpace royalties reported in September, whereas KDP will pay you at the end of November for KDP royalties reported in September. They can’t be merged, although CreateSpace royalties do show up in the KDP reports.

  10. This is great information; but I have to respond that your flippant comment that the print and eBooks in one place “it should have been done all along” betrays your lack of experience or ignorance of what it takes to pull off the merger of two corporate entities and their systems. The CreateSpace database was the original BookSurge database and the Kindle eBook structure was Amazon’s from the beginning after they purchased Mobi. I might have preferred that the combining had happened earlier than it has, but I’ve also overseen a database conversion and programming process, too.

    • I meant that philosophically, as that seems ideal, with the intent of presenting the merger as an inevitable outcome rather than a sudden and unexpected change. Thinking practically rather than philosophically, I’m grateful that Amazon took ten years to implement the merger rather than rush into it; in fact, I would have preferred the actual transition from CreateSpace to KDP to occur slower and over more steps than it has. (When I first published with CreateSpace, we still had the option of choosing Book Surge.)

  11. Pingback: My Publishing Journey: – GJ Stevens

  12. Hi there, I run into this blog entry searching Google for a problem I’m having with CreateSpace right now. I published a book with them in mid-september: it is a math textbook for my college course at my university. By the end of september I had accumulated already a few hundred euros in royalties and considerably more in october. I was expecting a payment for the first days in november but haven’t got any yet and–what is more worrysome–a mail sent to the customer service more than 48 hours ago remained unanswered. You say that the merging with KDP–of which I knew nothing–should delay royalties payments. Should I then not be worried in your opinion? Also, I do not publish regularly (I will eventually produce a second edition of the textbook, but certainly not in the next few months) so do I have any real reason to switch immediately to KDP?

    • For royalties earned in September, if you are signed up for direct deposit, ordinarily you would receive a deposit from CreateSpace at the end of October; I did. For royalties earned in October, ordinarily CreateSpace would pay this at the end of November. Once your title is transferred to KDP, there will be a one-month delay.

      CreateSpace was very good at responding to inquiries in the past, but as they are transitioning to KDP, it may be better to visit kdp.amazon.com and use the contact us option there instead. Customer service is probably swamped with questions, so it might take some time to get this resolved.

      Your title will eventually transfer to KDP automatically.

  13. Pingback: My Publishing Journey: The Home Straight – GJ Stevens

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