You made it! You’re an indie author who published your paperback books with the help of CreateSpace. What do you do now that CreateSpace no longer exists? You may be concerned about your books and your future as a self-published author.
No need to worry! CreateSpace didn’t disappear. It just moved to Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). If you worked with CreateSpace in the past, you can still access your work and continue to sell with KDP print. With CreateSpace moving to KDP, this is what authors need to know.
CreateSpace was one of the first programs for self-publishing paperback books. Operating out of South Carolina, CreateSpace was founded in 2000. As the need for self-publishing increased, CreateSpace books became known as a premier service and got the attention of Amazon.
Amazon purchased CreateSpace in 2005 and allowed it to continue functioning while they perfected KDP. In July 2018, CreateSpace merged with KDP, creating just one platform for publishing both e-books and print books.
In 2007, Amazon introduced the Kindle, and the sale of digital editions of books took off. Suddenly, a Kindle e-book was a hot commodity, and indie authors had a new desire to publish each manuscript as an e-book and a printed book.
Originally, CreateSpace and KDP had two different functions. CreateSpace was the premier tool for developing a paperback book, and KDP was the go-to platform for creating an e-book.
KDP got stronger and stronger with added capabilities. One of those added capabilities was the ability to publish and distribute KDP print paperbacks. Now, any author can easily self-publish both a KDP paperback and a KDP e-book all in one location. Amazon combined the abilities of both programs into your single KDP account.
Authors now can focus on publishing and distributing digital and paperback books through one KDP account. You don’t have to develop a CreateSpace print book in one place and e-books in another. If you had previously published on CreateSpace, you can transfer those files to KDP in a few steps.
Another thing authors need to know is that CreateSpace was intended to help prepare manuscripts, but KDP is not. KDP is more for publishing and distribution. When a book is sent to KDP, the expectation is that it has already been proofed, edited, formatted, and packaged, a process that can prove difficult for writers. There’s a lot to know about correctly preparing a professional-looking manuscript.
KDP is the self-publishing platform for Amazon. It allows you to bypass the difficulties of traditional publishing. You don’t have to send hundreds of queries to find an agent. And you don’t have to wait for an agent to find a big publishing house. Finally, you don’t have to split your proceeds with the agent and the publishers or negotiate rights and contract terms.
If you publish to KDP, you own the rights to your book while selling your book from the biggest book retailer in the world. You can also get an author copy for the cost of printing.
Publishing to KDP is a simple process. You simply upload your files to your KDP account. Then you publish them to the platform. Whenever you receive an order for an e-book, KDP will send your e-book immediately to anyone who orders it.
If the order is for a paperback, KDP print will publish it on demand and ship it to the customer. This is good news. You do the writing, and KDP will do the rest, taking care of the orders, the printing, and the shipping. All you have to do is wait for the royalties to roll in!
CreateSpace had been in existence since 2000 when it was originally marketed as BookSurge. Amazon purchased it in 2005 and maintained it while they refined and bolstered the Kindle Direct Publishing service. Thirteen years after Amazon acquired CreateSpace, they announced that CreateSpace would merge with the KDP platform.
While CreateSpace didn’t exactly close up shop or go out of business, it was rolled into KDP and is no longer available to authors as a separate entity. What this means is that authors must migrate their CreateSpace books to a KDP account.
Twenty years ago, CreateSpace was the go-to program for authors ready to self-publish. The purpose of CreateSpace was to aid authors with the preparation of their book manuscript for printing.
Since KDP now allows for the publication of print books, there’s no need for a separate CreateSpace platform to publish paperbacks. Amazon owns both CreateSpace and KDP, and it was most efficient to roll the two services into one.
Kindle Direct Publishing offers extensive benefits to its authors. KDP allows you to do optimized book listings, adding in metadata that helps search engines find you. You can do book descriptions with keywords to get more hits on customer searches. KDP even gives you a free ISBN.
With KDP, you can create a cover design using Cover Creator to attract sales through Kindle Direct Publishing’s massive distribution service. If you’re patient and artistic, you may be able to create a professional-looking book cover design, but that often requires the help of a professional!
KDP takes the orders, sends the e-book, or delivers a copy of your KDP print book to your customer. The print-on-demand system eliminates the cost of expensive inventory since print books are published when they are sold.
Royalties with KDP authors’ earnings can be as much as 60 percent of the sale and are paid out after sixty days.
You can also order author copies at cost, but delivery time is running slow. Be sure to order ahead of time.
If you want to publish with a company other than Kindle Direct Publishing, there are options. Barnes and Noble has its own press, and then there’s Kobo Writing Life and IngramSpark.
Kobo Writing Life is a self-publishing platform that delivers books to 190 countries and does not require exclusivity. You own the rights and can set whatever price you want on your books. Kobo adds your book to their catalog within seventy-two hours, and they’ll send you reports on your sales.
IngramSpark is also a self-publishing service that will distribute your work to over 40,000 book retailers and libraries around the globe. IngramSpark provides 24/7 support, resources for authors, print-on-demand technology, and a free ISBN.
If you are an author who formatted a CreateSpace book and have existing files there, don’t worry. Amazon KDP provides a process for transferring your books from the CreateSpace platform to KDP. After transferring, you need to check your books to make sure the formatting is correct before publishing them. Also check your keywords to make sure they haven’t been truncated.
Simply verify your CreateSpace account. If you don’t have a KDP account, create one. If you do, then log into your KDP account so that you can link your CreateSpace files. Once you’ve linked your files, you’ll be able to access your self-published books within minutes.
It’s not hard to get a KDP account. If you already have an Amazon account, just go to KDP and sign in. If not, create a new account. You’ll be asked to fill in your name and information about your publisher. Then you’ll set up an EFT payment method. Finally, you’ll provide information about taxes.
You’re on your way to sending your book out to the world.
When CreateSpace was moved to KDP, you may have worried about accessing your previously published books. Don’t worry. All of your previous CreateSpace books are still there and available to you.
You can access them by verifying your CreateSpace account. Once you’ve done that, you simply have to link your KDP account to your CreateSpace files. In a few minutes, your books will appear, and you will be able to access them on KDP.
One of the wonderful aspects of our modern world is that we get so much done in a short amount of time. Becoming a published author is no exception. Moving your CreateSpace files to Kindle Direct Publishing doesn’t take days or hours. In most cases, the files are transferred within minutes.
While KDP has a built-in process for transferring files from CreateSpace, writers report that the process is not always as simple as it sounds. Moving books from one platform to another can be a bit tricky, and authors can get frustrated and overwhelmed with the hidden problems in transferring CreateSpace files to KDP.
New systems are rarely rolled out without a glitch, and the merging of CreateSpace with KDP does present some problems. Authors have reported that the e-book version and the print version of their books don’t link correctly. Others have said that not all their books show up in their KDP account.
Occasionally, the metadata is missing, and sometimes there have been reformatting problems. The most worrisome problem is that some authors report that they have lost their original files or PDFs.
Since CreateSpace was focused on manuscript preparation, it allowed for more complex PDFs than KDP does. Because KDP doesn’t have the same ability to process complex images, some files don’t migrate correctly.
Much of the electronic side of self-publishing—like uploading files and processing customer orders—happen very quickly. Some elements of self-publishing don’t. Authors have reported that getting author copies from KDP takes longer than it did with CreateSpace.
In order to avoid printing delay and missing important dates for book signings, some authors have gone to outside publishers for faster delivery.
Here’s a great troubleshooting list for CreateSpace authors who are having issues transferring their books to Kindle Direct Publishing.
Getting your book out into the world sounds great, but it does take expertise and effort. If you’re busy, you may not have time to plan for the marketing that launching a successful book takes.
You may have great ideas, but grammar and proofreading aren’t your strong suit. Let’s face it: after you’ve poured your all into a book, it’s hard to spot errors in it.
Consider hiring professionals who can do those tasks that lie outside your expertise.
You should look for certain qualities in a publishing consultant.
First, find a reputable company with years of experience. The publishing industry is changing rapidly, and you need a consultant who understands what it takes to be successful now, not a year ago.
Secondly, research the scope of the consultant’s services. Find a firm who can help you in every area of the publishing process—or at least in the areas where you need help.
If you’re not a grammarian, find a consultant who is. Look for someone who offers book proofreading services. If you’re great at writing but terrified by translating your book via technology, get a consultant who can.
You want a publishing consultant who listens to your vision for your book and who is willing to collaborate with you, not control you. Look for a person who believes in you and thinks that together, you can create a little “book magic.” A good consultant must understand the industry completely and know what success means.
Remember that your books will be around for decades, not days. Make sure you work with a consultant who will be around for the long haul. Don’t settle for someone who believes that relationships are short-term. Find a firm that establishes lifelong bonds.
Consultants are skilled and experienced in every step of the publishing process. The advantage of working with a consultant is that you won’t risk losing your files in the transfer between CreateSpace and KDP.
A publishing consultant will know exactly how to fix formatting issues and how to access your original images. They will guarantee that your manuscript looks better in the new format than it did in the old.
It’s not just about the transfer of your files from CreateSpace to KDP. A good consultant will help make your book successful by offering expert advice in every stage of the process. They’ll improve your manuscript and help you successfully market your masterpiece.
If you’re not an expert on cover design, social media posting, finding reviewers, and developing a publicity strategy, a consultant will help. You’ll never be alone. You’ll have someone to guide and encourage you every step of the way. And they’ll cheer with you when your book reaches heights you never thought possible.
Self-publishing has come a long way from the early days of CreateSpace to the newer, streamlined KDP platform. While it’s easier than it used to be, successful self-published authors have gotten more sales and increased recognition with professional help.