NOT FOR RESALE (AUTHOR PROOFS)
Ever since I made the switch from CreateSpace to KDP Print, when I order a proof copy there is a horizontal “Not for Resale” strip running across the front cover, spine, and back cover.
CreateSpace didn’t add this strip, but KDP does.
(To be clear, this is just for PROOF copies. Once you publish your book, you can order AUTHOR COPIES that don’t have this strip. It’s just the PROOF copies that are affected.)
Sometimes, that strip interferes with part of the cover that I’m trying to proof. In particular, it often prints over words on the spine or back cover.
My solution is to open the PDF of the cover in Photoshop, crop the image to just the back cover, and print the back cover on my home printer. Similarly, I crop the cover to take a magnified close-up of the spine text and print that. (First save a new copy of your cover file so that you don’t accidentally change the original.)
Today, I received a large envelope from Amazon. I was surprised to find a proof copy of one of my books and two pairs of pants in the same package.
That was odd. I placed the orders separately and didn’t expect a KDP proof copy to be delivered with my pants. Even though I have Amazon Prime, I paid shipping on the proof copy from KDP. But Amazon obviously saved money by delivering the products together.
(In fact, with past KDP proofs I had tried to purchase the proof along with other products, but wasn’t able to do it.)
That doesn’t actually bother me. With CreateSpace, I had always paid shipping. It’s no different now. Amazon KDP is evolving, so maybe in the future…
Rather, I realized something important about that “Not for Resale” strip when this happened.
It reminded me that KDP print makes their proof copies, author copies, and Amazon resale copies in the same facilities.
Imagine this scenario, which may have happened with CreateSpace and which could happen with other POD publishers.
Imagine that an author has piles of books at home. These are mostly author copies, but a few proofs are mixed in. The author sells a copy, or maybe gives a copy away, or maybe a family member sells a copy or gives a copy away. Maybe the author forgot to check if it was a proof copy. Or if it’s a friend or relative making the transaction on the author’s behalf, maybe this person doesn’t know to check if it was a proof copy.
Now someday the person who received this proof copy (by mistake, of course, but mistakes happen) decides to sell the book on Amazon.
If it happened to a KDP author, that proof copy would have a clear notice on the cover, and might help to avoid this undesirable scenario.
I appreciate this label. There have been many times when I have been fumbling through dozens of author copies, inspecting the last page to make sure that they weren’t proof copies. This “Not for Resale” label makes it easy to tell proofs from author copies. And now it’s much harder to forget.
How do you feel about this label? I’ve heard a few authors complain about it. I was surprised at first, but have come to appreciate it.
Write Happy, Be Happy
Author of the Improve Your Math Fluency series of math workbooks and self-publishing guides