Thursday, August 30, 2018

Hey Indie Authors! Create Space is Closing Down.

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy 

Part of the Indie Author Series

If you’re an indie author, odds are you’ve already discovered this simply by logging into your Create Space account. But I spoke to some writer friends this week who were unaware this was happening, so I figured a quick shout out couldn’t hurt.

Amazon is closing Create Space and merging it into KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing). Amazon KDP has had the option to publish print books as well as ebooks for a while now, but with Create Space handling the print side of things, few authors seemed to use it (at least in my experience and conversations with authors). But that’s over now.

Amazon has made this entire process fairly painless. They have a nice “before, how to, after, and FAQ” section that will answer your questions and tell you what you need to do.

What This Means for You

Odds are, not a whole lot will change and things might even be a little easier in some ways. For example, it’s nice to have all my sales information and royalties in one spot, and I really like being able to see a fully history of everything I’ve sold in one chart. KDP’s interface is a little easier to use than Create Space, and it has more options. It’s also nice not to have to deal with two completely different sites and processes.

While it’s easy and fast to move all the books over, you will have to go into each book and update a few things, such as:
  • You’ll probably need to re-upload your files (I did). This took the most time, since they automatically check the file as it uploads, and you need to approve it. But they have a nice viewer that’s easy to use.
  • You get two categories now instead of one.
  • You get seven keywords instead of five.
  • You’ll want to double check your distribution and expanded distribution, as the default isn’t Worldwide rights.
I moved my books over Tuesday, following the prompts given when I logged into Create Space. I did take the time to copy over any information I wanted from my Create Space dashboard, as I’d read earlier that this information vanished once the book was moved to KDP (for the record, it does. I have no titles with Create Space anymore). But it seems like all the information transferred.

Not only was it easy to do, but it gave me an nice excuse to reevaluate my keywords and change a few that needed it—something we all ought to do and probably don’t do often enough (grin).

The Differences Between Create Space and Amazon KDP

There’s a full list here of the differences, but I’ll highlight the things most folks care most about (based on questions I’ve seen floating around).

1. Getting Paid: KDP does pay monthly royalties, they just hold back payment for the first 60 days before they start paying out. So after the first 60 days, you’ll get a check for the first month, then the next the next month and so on. They “hold back” a month so to speak. This is what they do for ebooks as well, so if you have ebooks with them, you’re already doing this anyway.

2. Book Costs: Some smaller books (under 30 pages for color and 110 pages for black and white) will cost a little more to print. My Show, Don’t Tell book is a tad larger than that (136) pages, and my cost to print went up 3 cents. So no big deal, really. You’ll have to check the site for those smaller books, but they give you an easy calculator to check costs.

3. Making Changes: When you change or update your files on KDP, the book stays “live” and for sale. With Create Space, it wasn’t “live” while in the proofing/review process.

There are more difference of course, but this seems to be what most people are concerned about.

Overall, moving to KDP has been painless, and while I’ve had to make a few tweaks and re-upload files, it hasn’t been a hassle. And those issues are due to things most people won’t experience anyway (such as a book with an interior bleed), and I also had the same issues in Create Space.

Unless you don’t use Amazon KDP for your Amazon ebooks (a rare few I’d imagine), this merge doesn’t seem to be more than a few days of upkeep to get moved over.

Have you moved your books yet? Did you run into any problems or have any tips to share about the process?

Janice Hardy is the award-winning author of the teen fantasy trilogy The Healing Wars, including The Shifter, Blue Fire, and Darkfall from Balzer+Bray/Harper Collins. The Shifter, was chosen for the 2014 list of "Ten Books All Young Georgians Should Read" from the Georgia Center for the Book. It was also shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize (2011), and The Truman Award (2011).

She also writes the Grace Harper urban fantasy series for adults under the name, J.T. Hardy.

She's the founder of Fiction University and has written multiple books on writing, including Understanding Show, Don't Tell (And Really Getting It), Plotting Your Novel: Ideas and Structure, and the Revising Your Novel: First Draft to Finished Draft series.
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  1. I went to my account at create space to start the process. I watched the video they provide as instruction, but when I go into mine, the window doesn't pop up for me to click on to start the process.
    They also suggest we download our book files, but I can't figure out where to do that either. Any suggestions?

    1. Oh no. Have you tried going into KDP? You can try starting the process there. I *think* I saw something on "is this a CS book?" or the like button when you clicked "create a paperback" of the ebook.

      I didn't have a window per se, but there was a banner right across the front.

      They mean any report files (such as your royalty reports) or files saved in "Project Toolbox," not the book files. To the best of my knowledge, there's no way to do that.

  2. I have gone to KDP, but it wasn't clear to me where to start. I've contacted them for help. I'll go back to KDP and click around again and see what I can figure out. Thanks for your help and the clarification! :)

  3. I haven't been notified yet either. Funny I asked them this months ago and they said wasn't happening.

    1. They may not have been allowed to mention it.

  4. If I may be the contrary one...I have spoken personally with the Createspace team on numerous occasions over the past few days (unrelated issue). When asked if CS was "shutting down," they laughed and said, "No way. We are just commuting over to KDP world with the rest of you." They assured me that service/printing quality/etc would not change. Let's hope it's truth!

    1. So I wonder if they are simply giving us as authors an "option" to go totally with KDP. I've been happy with Create Space so I guess I'll see what I hear from them.

    2. From what I understand, there will no longer be a CS. It's likely the folks working there are moving over, and it did say on KDP's site they're still using the same process and everything. This looks like it's more consolidating and streamlining.

      From what I've read, after a certain date, all CS accounts will be automatically moved to KDP. So I don't think there will be a "Create Space" after that.

  5. The transfer of files from Createspace to KDP is not as straightforward as Amazon would have you believe. Of my 8 titles, only 1 transferred across completely. All of the remaining 7 had lost their interior files, and 6 had also lost their cover artwork files.

    Three days later (and a couple of testy emails to Amazon support) and the files are slowly appearing.

    Moral? Check obsessively and meticulously.

    1. That happened to me as well, but I just re-uploaded the files the next day. They went right up. Sorry you had a different experience.