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Createspace is No More

There’s been rumors flying about this for some time, now, but the email I got from Createspace earlier this week cemented the reality – that particular publish-on-demand model is done and gone in just a few weeks. There’s nothing on the Createspace website yet, but I’m not sure that has been updated in months if not years. So where does this leave the newly fledged publish-on-demand marketplace? That remains to be seen. It does not, however, leave Indie Authors like myself high and dry. I have all my print books through them, but the email they sent is reassuring. 

We’re excited to announce that CreateSpace (CSP) and Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) will become one service, and in the coming days, we will give CreateSpace members the ability to move their account and titles. To ensure a quality experience, we will add links to the CreateSpace member dashboard in phases so authors may see it at different times. As a reminder, Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) now offers Expanded Distribution to sell your paperbacks to physical bookstores in the US, as well as the ability to sell your paperback books on Amazon.ca and Amazon.com.au (Amazon.mx coming soon). With these features, KDP’s paperback distribution will be on par with CreateSpace’s distribution. KDP also offers features that aren’t available on CreateSpace. These include the ability to purchase ads to promote paperbacks on Amazon.com and locally printed author copies in Europe.

As a result of these enhancements to KDP and our ongoing efforts to provide a more seamless experience for managing your paperback and digital books, CreateSpace and KDP will become one service. 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.

In a few weeks, we’ll start automatically moving your CreateSpace books to KDP. Your books will remain available for sale throughout the move and you’ll continue to earn royalties. Once we begin this process you’ll be unable to edit existing titles or create new titles on CreateSpace.

There are some differences, of course. And some things I’d have liked to see them change, but I understand why they didn’t. To address that latter bit: I’d have liked to see them move to a US based printer. One that wasn’t quite so… quirky. I encounter the cover layout crew over there a lot, because I’m not only doing my own books, which happen once or twice a year, I’m working as a cover designer with clients every month or so to get covers through Createspace, and one thing I’ve learned is that even if you follow their guidelines out to the fourth decimal place and precise DPI, they’re going to occasionally boot it back with request for changes. And the spines, dear heaven make up your minds! Over the last five years of working with them, I’ve decided it depends on the print tech you get, and their grasp of file handling. So I’d have liked to see it go to a printer who hired people with half a brain. But hey, that would cost more and then we’d pay more for books…

Which we will be doing anyway, at least with books that have a low page count. “Some low-page count books will see an increase in printing fees when they are printed in the UK and EU.” I received a separate email about this, since evidently at least one of my books fits this category – no surprise, as I have a 40 page (90 if you count blank sides and back matter) coloring book on the market. Also, the payment schedule is going to change to align with how KDP already pays for ebooks, which again makes perfect sense. “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 after the end of the month in which they were earned. As a result, you’ll be paid in September for any royalties earned in August on CreateSpace and be paid in October for any royalties earned in August on KDP.”

I will probably keep publishing through Amazon for my softcover needs. I’m used to the system – quirks and all – and I have flat no time to be messing around with other venues that offer appealing options. Also, for the next little while I’m, um, let me put it this way: I now have three out of four kids in college. Yeah. So! While I have seen Lightning Source’s hardcovers – Christopher Woods uses them – and they are great, just like you’d get on the shelf in a bookstore with dust jacket and everything, I’ll hold off on that experiment a while. And while I met a nice young entrepreneur with a printing press and a dream of beautiful books, I’ll hold off on that art book for a while, too. Although I am so tempted to use Outlandish Press for some retro posters.

Speaking of books… I have some. You might want to check them out. Maybe buy one… or several!

27 Comments
  1. I haven’t gotten my letter yet. But I’m as prepped as I can be for the transition. I hope it’ll be smooth. I have eleven paperbacks to put through the system. (And one I need to put together as a paperback still. Ugh.)

    Good luck!

    September 1, 2018
    • In theory you won’t have to do anything. So it should be painless.

      September 1, 2018
      • Mary #

        Should. sigh

        September 1, 2018
        • Mary #

          Not had any problems yet. Just am not trusting that all will go smoothly.

          September 1, 2018
  2. …people with half a brain

    Ox always amused in most horrified way by people slower (being kind, not say ‘dumber’) than ox.

    September 1, 2018
    • See, I don’t think I’m smarter than other people. They just think differently. And I read a lot, always have. So I pick up odd bits of trivia that people find interesting.

      September 1, 2018
      • I actually am smarter than most people. I test out in the top 5%. I’ve never found it particularly helpful in life.

        Of course I also test out dumber than most people on a couple of measures, that’s never been helpful either. 🤣

        September 1, 2018
      • See, that’s just it. I *expect* people to at least as smart as I am – and usually much faster about it. It’s always a bit of a shock and disappoint when the situation occasionally turns out otherwise.

        September 2, 2018
  3. There is always Ingram Spark, as well. And Draft2Digital also offers a print option.

    September 1, 2018
    • And I suspect there will be other options in the near future. It’s a big market and only growing.

      September 1, 2018
    • Uncle Lar #

      When I helped a published author take her new series indie we did our print books through Ingram Spark. Hundreds of copies and only ever had one production error that required replacement. They do a nice job.
      Two caveats with them though. I don’t recommend letting them place your e-book versions with the usual vendors as IS keeps a 30% cut for providing that service, and the proceeds from any sales through them get paid to IS and held for 90 days before coming to you the author.

      September 1, 2018
  4. 23 skidoo

    September 1, 2018
  5. Never mind the books; what about the T-shirt? 😀

    September 1, 2018
    • That’s a Mystik Waboose design! They do sell online, not just at cons.

      September 1, 2018
  6. I haven’t gotten the official notice yet, either, but some days I suspect they send things out in reverse alphabetical order. ‘Twill be interesting to see how this affects my next print-and-e-book release (November, if all goes well.)

    September 1, 2018
  7. Thank you for posting this up, I’d heard absolutely nothing about this from Createspace. Took me some searching on their site to find ANYTHING about it… under Contact Support. Which has some FAQs that take you to the KDP site. *Facepalm*

    Currently skimming those and noting links to read in detail later when I’m not banging my head off desk, because I’m in the middle of what I hope is the final edits of Pearl of Fire, which I was hoping to publish in Oct-Nov myself. Argh. (Murphy, what’d I do to tick you off?)

    …So. Again, this is much appreciated, at least I know I’ll have to deal with this mess before Createspace finally gets around to an email. 🙂

    September 1, 2018
  8. Interesting. I have received no such email. I’ve gone back through my emails and nope, didn’t just overlook it. Not received.

    And, of course, this would happen while I’m in the middle of releasing something.

    September 1, 2018
  9. Max #

    I wonder if they’ll be able to raise the page limit at long last. That 900 page restriction is too small!

    September 1, 2018
    • I suspect that’s structural limits. If you want a larger book, look at the hard bound. It should hold up. But the tradepaperback spine is just going to crack and fall apart.

      September 1, 2018
    • Jamie #

      A while back they said their limit was 1200 — not that I was going to aim for it! At your page length, if you want to stay with CreateSpace, then you might need to rejigger some of your layout settings (font choice / size, word spacing, glyph size) to get a smaller page count without sacrificing readability. Publishers do it all the time with series’ books, altering font-size/line height etc. just to make sure all the books fall within a certain page range.

      Keep in mind that CreateSpace uses thicker paper than the tradpublishers do. I tested their cream paper. The test copy, 165K words and 570 pages (6×9)***, has a spine just a little thinner than “A Storm of Swords,” which at 6.14 x 9.21 and 424k words (per one source) is 992 pages, including front/back matter. The latter book is using thinner paper. “Pillars of the Earth” and “Shogun” are similar size to “Storm” and use similar paper, and are each about 1000 pages. As a rule I *don’t* crack my spines, and so the books are still in mint condition. I really don’t think I’ve seen a “prestige” tradpub book of that page range with paper as thick as CreateSpace’s.

      Otherwise, if you still want to offer paperbacks, you might look into those off-set printers who partner with indies to do Kickstarter campaigns to fund the printing. I’m noticing that unlike say, Barnes & Noble or Randy Penguin, the printers are embracing the new age of indie publishing.

      ***I rejiggered the typography a bit, and even with adding a chapter and some scenes I got it down to 558 pages. This is not counting front or back matter for either of them. Take another look at your layout settings first, it might be the easiest route, or at least the cheapest.

      September 1, 2018
  10. Draven #

    well, better bought and merged than dying on the vine i guess…

    September 1, 2018
    • Amazon always owned Createspace. This is just consolidation.

      September 1, 2018
      • Draven #

        ah ok

        September 1, 2018
  11. Christopher Chupik #

    I never had a chance to use it, but at least I can see how it’s replacement works from the ground up.

    September 1, 2018
  12. As Cedar reports, perhaps with nightmares about Against Three Lands, the exact size for covers object is a nuisance. I confess that my paperbacks almost never sell. If I were doing this for money, I likely would not bother.

    September 2, 2018

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