Does KDP Paperback Publishing Really Solve Anything?

Never one to be a naysayer, we at GoodEReader ordinarily go fan-girl level crazy over a new startup that innovates anything to do with digital publishing. But a new beta program from Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing seems to solve a problem that no one has.

Until now, authors who wished to create an ebook for sale on Amazon went through a fairly straightforward upload process on KDP. (NOTE: the straightforward process only refers to the upload, not the formatting. That process can be daunting for the uninitiated, although there are step-by-step guides available online. For “fancy” formatting with a professional look, a lot of authors choose to hire a formatting expert.) If there was no need or desire to create a print book, then this was all it took.

Years ago, Amazon bought a small platform for print books, Create Space. Once Amazon incorporated CS into the process, all an author has to do is take their print-formatted file and upload it to; at the end of that process, the site will offer the option to publish it as an ebook on Amazon as well. Simply log into your Amazon account before you click that button, and everything from your converted file to your book’s description and keywords gets ported over in a nearly seamless process.

But Amazon has now announced the beta launch of KDP Paperback Publishing, billing it as a one-stop option inside KDP. The list of features in this print-on-demand option seems to be almost identical to the previous process, with some glaring exceptions. The announcement states that LATER ON authors will be able to order proof copies and wholesale copies at cost; that’s a feature they’ve been able to enjoy at CreateSpace all along. The email to authors also said they can earn UP TO 60% royalties on their print editions–again, it’s those words “up to” that don’t mean a lot–and that they can eventually have access to list their books in expanded distribution to bookstores, something they’ve been able to do all along through CS.

Apparently, nothing is changing except the ability to see all of your royalties in one dashboard instead of logging into both CS to check your print sales and KDP to check your ebook sales. There will now be one direct deposit per global market instead of one from Amazon for ebooks and one from InDemand Publishing (CS) for print. It just sounds like Amazon is finally ready to take the plunge and absorb CreateSpace into its family, or that some contract item in the original purchase of the company is finally going to expire.


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