One of the biggest changes to hit the independent publishing industry in 2018 was CreateSpace wrapping things up and Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) taking its place. If you’re an indie author and you haven’t already made the CreateSpace-to-KDP switch, you’re probably looking to do so. And while Amazon has done a lot to make the transition between these two services easy, many authors are still running into issues.
That’s why we at Elite Authors have put together this handy list of eight issues you might encounter when transferring your books from CreateSpace to Kindle Direct Publishing, plus some helpful suggestions about how to handle each of them.
The best thing you can do if you’re having issues with the KDP website itself is to switch to a different browser (like Firefox or Chrome). However, some people have encountered functionality issues with the KDP website that don’t go away when they switch browsers. If this happens to you, it’s best to contact KDP directly. You can also quickly check whether the problem is on your end by typing the URL into a website like Is It Down for Everyone (or Just Me)?
There are two places that the e-book and paperback versions of the same title should be linked: the detail page (on Amazon itself) and on your KDP bookshelf. The detail pages should link automatically, but it can take up to a week after you upload your books. If this doesn’t happen, you should check that the crucial information (title, subtitle, author, and so on) is the same, and if it is, reach out to KDP customer service, and have your ISBN numbers handy!
If the two versions are not linked on your KDP bookshelf, you might need to do it manually. Once you find the book you want to link, click “Link existing paperback” or “Link existing Kindle e-book.” Search for the book, and then click to link them. If you mistakenly link two books, you can unlink them as easily as you linked them.
Thank goodness for an easy one! If you’ve published more than ten books and you moved them over to Kindle Direct Publishing, you’ll need to use the dropdown menu to display the full list.
One of the issues many people are encountering with the switch is that they no longer have the original images or PDFs for their books saved to their computers. While you can pull these from CreateSpace, the files you download might not be formatted to KDP’s requirements (which are stricter than CreateSpace’s used to be). If you really don’t have the original files, you might need to enlist a professional skilled at formatting files to meet all of KDP’s many parameters.
Most authors are able to reformat their books, but some are discovering issues after the transition. Author and blogger Stephen Bentley, for example, posted about one of his recent issues with KDP and a book he had tried to mildly reformat. Though Bentley emailed KDP’s customer service representatives, he wasn’t able to receive the help he needed, and things got a lot worse before they got better.
If your reformatted file doesn’t look right (or you’re getting error messages), definitely email KDP’s customer support team. It’s still important to let them know you have a problem because it’s possible they can fix things quickly and easily. We are also happy to help you smooth out any reformatting snags, should the need arise.
When you switch from CreateSpace to Kindle Direct Publishing, check everything. In some cases, the keywords, permissions, categories, and other important elements of your book’s marketing copy and metadata might go missing in the reshuffle. It’s best to set aside some time for your transition so that you can go over everything with a fine-tooth comb and make sure you aren’t missing anything essential.
Let’s say you’ve processed your file to be uploaded to KDP. Everything seems fine—green checkmarks all around—and then you get an error message (a little exclamation mark inside a triangle). What’s happening?
This is most likely the result of a complex PDF file. CreateSpace was able to handle fairly complicated files, but KDP is less flexible and accommodating. This is one of the more frustrating issues associated with the switch, not least because you might not actually know what part of your file is interfering with the upload.
When you see this message, take a moment to analyze your book. Are there a lot of images in it? Did you use drawing tools in Microsoft Word when you included them? Do you use an unusual font or a variety of different fonts? If you can’t pinpoint the precise issue—or if there doesn’t seem to be any issue and yet you’re still getting the error message—we can help. After helping thousands of authors with their books, there isn’t much we don’t know about e-book formatting, so we can quickly help you get your book back online and ready to sell.
Unfortunately, you have to make your book live on KDP before you can order author copies. It’s possible, of course, to make your book live and then take it down after you order your copies, but this can look sloppy and cause you to miss out on benefits associated with your initial publication date. We suggest that you print your author copies with a different company and then make your book live via Kindle Direct Publishing only when you’re absolutely ready.
Even if you’re ready to publish right this second, it’s not a bad idea to get your author copies from another source because some individuals are having issues with their author copies arriving on time, especially compared to how swiftly author copies used to arrive from CreateSpace. If you need to purchase them through KDP, make sure you do so well in advance of when you need them, especially if you’re planning an event like a book signing.
If you’ve looked over all our suggestions and tried everything you can think of and you’re still having CreateSpace-to-KDP issues, go ahead and contact us. Whether you’re dealing with a little hiccup or a big bother, we can make everything go more smoothly when you’re switching your books from CreateSpace to Kindle Direct Publishing.