So I like Createspace. It’s simple, efficient, and powerful. There have been problems in the past (as a company) but they’ve mostly been ironed out in recent years. And now… they are disappearing, pending a migration/merger with KDP which now will print physical books. All recent communication from Createspace claims it will happen “within the next couple weeks.” I suspect the process will finalize around the new year.
Here’s the details and what it may mean for you:
If you have books at Createspace you will need to migrate them to KDP. Your KDP dashboard will now handle all of the sales and be a one-stop-shop for all of your publishing via Amazon’s services. No official word yet on whether or not they will forcibly migrate your files into the new system or under what conditions they will or do that. I assume that they will eventually enact a forcible relocation.
My primary beef with KDP is that, compared to CS, their customer service is garbage. I’ve had some issues with them in the past (and have an ongoing one even now). The worst part is that KDP support does not have a phone line to speak with a human and get a timely response. I have seen mention of phone help for the migration, but I assume (that if it exists) it is only for CS/KDP migration issues. I was speaking with someone at Amazon support the other day, and even they could not connect me to someone at KDP. That’s not a thing I’m very fond of.
There is no price increases, except for where there are price increases. Royalties and print/author costs will remain the same except for in Europe. The UK assesses an increase which will amount to a necessary couple dollar increase in UK titles that are printed there—but only if your book is less than 110 pages. Pay extra attention to their online calculator’s as you publish any book under that margin.
Another change is the payment schedule. Expect a delay in royalties. CS paid out every 30 days. KDP pays on a 60 day schedule, so be aware that there is a 2 month delay from the point of sale until deposit day.
There is a loss of direct help/services for those needing to enlist the help of editors and cover designers. CS’s service, from what I’ve heard, were higher than the norm. It had originally been theorized that the migration was a ploy to force renewed interest in these services which may be available at KDP. CS shuttered their service division many months ago, and there may be some truth to the theory. I’m not qualified to say, but I will recommend that you get involved in writing groups to find quality services from users who would give endorsements of people they’ve used. Additionally, there are many sites like fiverr.com which have low cost alternatives and I have used many folks there with only little disappointment.
There are two big changes which I do like. When you made changes in CS and then authorized them (when the book was locked for review) it switched to Out of Print on the Amazon customer side making it temporarily unavailable. KDP Print will not do that. They retain the previous files and will simply create the previous version of the files eliminating a couple-day period of unavailability, which can be big, especially if you wind up travelling or out of network access for a period which can amplify the length of unavailability.
The other thing I like is that KDP distributes print books in Japan (I didn’t even know CS did not). I have a decent following on my sci-fi (Dekker’s Dozen series) from Japanese readers via Wattpad. Hopefully this will open some additional doors without closing others.
If you are not down with everything happening over at KDP, the next best shot is to use IngramSpark. CS was more powerful in its setup system but also extremely easy to use. IS is a step up from CS in power, and several steps up in ease of use, so look for plenty of guidance if you go that route. I do fully recommend IS if you’ve got the capability to use what it offers.
I have not yet migrated my files over, but I plan to do so soon using the process KDP customer support detailed in an online video. Hopefully this will be a good thing (fingers crossed.)