I am seeing a lot of people panic over the upcoming move from CreateSpace (CS) to KDP. Authors are talking about removing all of their books from CS and generally freaking out over the transition. I’m sure it won’t go perfectly smoothly (It’s too big a change for that.) but there is no reason to panic. So take a deep breath, sip your tea, and we will go over what to expect.
Why? Why? Why?
Probably the biggest issue (and the main reason for the switch, IMHO) is that CS pays within 30 days after the end of the month when books are sold, and KDP pays 60 days after the end of the month when books are sold. All that means is that for one month after the transition your cash flow will be disrupted. The first month after the transition, you will be paid 60 days after the close of the month. After that, you will be paid every 30 days, just as you are now.
If CS provides a significant portion of your income, you need to be prepared for that one month when your cash flow will be disrupted. If CS isn’t a significant percentage of your income, it shouldn’t matter at all. If this creates a major problem for you, it is a reminder that income fluctuations are a part of being in business and you should have something in place (e.g., savings, alternate income sources) to manage them.
Okay, So What Else?
What happens to books with CS ISBNs once CS no longer exists? CS is not going away. It is changing to KDP. Publishing companies change names and ownership all the time and the ISBNs go with the books published under the previous structure. In this case, the ownership of the publishing company (CS) isn’t changing. It is still Amazon. The ISBNs will just transfer from CS to KDP. Don’t believe me? Look it up.
CS sent a badly-worded email implying that books enrolled in CS Direct would be set to draft status in KDP and would then require steps that could take six to eight weeks to implement. Here, read for yourself what they said:
We are contacting you because you have books currently enrolled in CreateSpace Direct and we will not offer this distribution channel on KDP. To maintain uninterrupted enrollment in Expanded Distribution and keep your books available for online retailers and bookstores to purchase in a few weeks (when the move from CreateSpace to KDP begins), you will need to select another channel. Please log in to your CreateSpace account and select an alternate Expanded Distribution channel.
If you do not take action before the move begins, your CreateSpace books enrolled in CreateSpace Direct will move to KDP in a ‘draft’ status and will no longer be enrolled in Expanded Distribution. To re-enroll in Expanded Distribution you will then need to make your book available for sale on Amazon.com by publishing and enabling Expanded Distribution through the KDP Bookshelf.
Keep in mind that after you enable Expanded Distribution it can take up to six to eight weeks for your book to become available in Expanded Distribution channels.
Clear as mud, right? I had lots of questions when I read this. It sounds as though anyone who is in CS Direct would have their books put in limbo for six to eight weeks, no matter what other distribution channels they have selected. That doesn’t make sense. I thought about calling CS to try to get an answer, but decided I didn’t want to rely on some random customer service agent who probably wouldn’t even understand the question. Individuals who did contact CS about this were told that it applies to books that are ONLY in CS Direct. That makes more sense than what the email implied. (And it is consistent with what has appeared on the KDP website. See below.)
After revising all of my books, I found a better explanation on the KDP website:
Yes, Expanded Distribution is available on KDP. To maintain uninterrupted enrollment and availability in Expanded Distribution and keep your books available for online retailers and bookstores to purchase in a few weeks (when the move from CreateSpace to KDP begins), you’ll need to make your books available for sale on Amazon.com. To make your books available for sale, please log in to your CreateSpace account and choose “Amazon.com” under the “Standard Distribution” channels.
If you don’t take action before the move begins, your CreateSpace books that aren’t available for sale on Amazon.com will move to KDP in a “draft” status and will no longer be enrolled in Expanded Distribution. To re-enroll in Expanded Distribution, you’ll need to make your books available for sale on Amazon.com by publishing and enabling Expanded Distribution through the KDP Bookshelf. It can take six to eight weeks for your book to become available again in Expanded Distribution channels. Learn more about Expanded Distribution.
However, even if you assume the worst (as I did), all that would be necessary is to take your books out of CS Direct (and choose Amazon distribution, if you haven’t already). I did that for 219 books in less than an hour. It was probably unnecessary, but better safe than sorry.
There is a lot of talk going around about having to re-price short (<110 pages) books because the cost of printing is going up. Here is what the email I got says:
In addition, some low-page count books will see an increase in printing fees when they are printed in the UK and EU. This affects a small number of titles. If your titles are affected by this change, you will receive a separate email on this topic. Learn more about KDP’s printing fees here.
According to the print pricing information at KDP, prices to print short books in the US will be the same as they are now. Prices to print books in the UK or the EU will go up slightly. The print pricing is given in GBP and EUR, so it appears that costs may change with the exchange rate. Currently, the price is the US is $2.15. It is a few (e.g., $.04 to $.08, depending on the exchange rates) cents more in GBP and EUR. So the bottom line is that US printing prices are not changing and the changes in the UK and EU are minimal.
If you have books with covers created in CS Cover Creator, they will transfer to KDP. However, you will not be able to edit the cover. If you want to make changes at a later date, you will need to start over with the KDP Cover Creator. So if you have cover changes planned, make them now.
The bottom line? It is certain that there will be glitches and problems in this transition. Your account may not be affected by the glitches and gremlins, or it may. In any case, it doesn’t mean the world is ending.
What should you do?
I recommend that you look at your account to make sure everything is in order. Is all of your information correct?
Download anything from your account that you want to keep. For example, you might want to download your sales reports. Amazon says they will be available after the transition, but as always, better safe than sorry.
If you have books in pending status that have not gone live, make them live. If you are preparing to publish new books, either upload them to CS right away or go ahead and publish them directly to KDP. Amazon says they will transfer in draft status, but that seems like inviting problems to me.
Have you selected CS Direct as one of your distribution channels? You probably don’t have to do anything, but you could go in to the Distribution information for each book and Deselect CS Direct. And make sure you have selected Amazon as a distribution channel.
Once you have done those things, you can sit back and wait or you can initiate the transfer. CS will gradually transfer all of their accounts to KDP, so you can wait for them to get to your account. Or you can watch for the link to appear on your CS dashboard, then follow the instructions to initiate the transfer yourself.
Still have questions? Don’t panic when you get a badly-written or incomplete email. Check out the FAQ on the transition here.