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CreateSpace is Finito!

Crumbly Writer

Just noticed—this time from the Amazon posting page, rather than a notice to Amazon and CS authors where more people might object—that Amazon is finally shutting down the CreateSpace POD service. That means that, once again, I'll have to look for yet another POD distributors. Lulu doesn't really have the distribution or ready recognition—though the books are actually accepted by more booksellers than the Amazon-based CS does—and I've yet to figure out how to format free-flowing pages in InDesign, so I'm guessing I may just have to bite the bullet and abandon the POD market, since I've never sold more than a handful of print books anyway (I use most as gifts (to family and editors), person-to-person sales, or for marketing (using give-away programs).

The Amazon Print service offers few formatting options (i.e. no choice over headers, footers, TOCs, etc.). Instead, they simply print out your ebook on paper and call it a day.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

No surprise there

Crumbly Writer

Well, Amazon finally admitted they were pulling the plug to all of their CS authors (probably because so many were outraged by discovering it accidentally!). Here's their 'official' summary of their actions:

We're excited to announce that CreateSpace (CSP) and Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) will become one service. As a reminder, 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 the coming 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. To learn more about the move and review the latest, visit here.

If you have a release planned soon or you would like to start the move yourself, you can move your entire CreateSpace catalog to KDP in just a few steps. To get started on your move to KDP, log in to your CreateSpace Member Dashboard. During this transition, you can contact KDP customer support by email and access phone support in English.

There are a few payment and printing fee differences associated with the move. Any royalties earned while your books are on CreateSpace will be paid according the CreateSpace's payment schedule, 30 days after the end of the month in which they were earned. After you move your books to KDP, new royalties earned will be paid on KDP's payment schedule. KDP pays royalties on a monthly basis 60 days after the end of the month in which they were earned. As a result, you'll be paid in October for any royalties earned in September on CreateSpace and be paid in November for any royalties earned on KDP. In addition, some low-page count books will see an increase in printing fees when they are printed in the UK and EU. We've already sent an email to the small number of accounts affected by this change. Learn more about KDP's printing costs here.

We'll be in touch with more updates in the coming weeks. It is still Day 1 for independent publishing. As Amazon's recent shareholder letter noted, there are more than a 1,000 authors who earn more than a $100,000 a year from their work with us. We could not be more optimistic about the future of independent publishing and this change will allow us to innovate faster for you.

In short, if you have ANY pride in your work, get your stories off of CS NOW!!! Secondly, authors will undoubtedly LOSE money with this transition, as there's NO indication anyone will save money other than Amazon! (Among other details, Amazon has always taken a bigger share of commissions than CS does, plus now there are more 'fees' involved. Finally, it's now both harder and more expensive for most of the world to order print books via Amazon than they did under CS.

Finally, I've read up on getting off of CS. Amazon has NEVER sold ANY print books outside of the U.S. Instead, Amazon subcontracts Ingram Sparks to print the books for them. That means, all you have to do to move your books there is do remove them from CS immediately, wait a week or two, and then submit them to IS using the same ISBN.

If you move the books earlier, IS will recognize it as an Amazon books and refuse to accept it. Once it's 'flagged' as being unplublished, they already have the book on their site, with the current ISBN, and should have no problem publishing it without problems.

Except … IS refuses to publish ANY BOOK not created using InDesign. Since they're already publishing many pdf's created from WORD files, it's clear this restriction is meaningless, meaning they're posing the restriction merely to be dicks about it (i.e. refusing to deal with conversion complaints). So, if you haven't always published via InDesign (which NO author ever works in themselves), you're shit outta luck!

At the moment, I'm unsure whether to halt printing print books at all, switching to IS (which is a better publisher but charges substantially more per book (i.e. POD is no longer "free" for the authors), or submit to King Amazon and allow them to mangle my print books. :(

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Crumbly Writer

Sad, but I actually read this post.

That means, all you have to do to move your books there is do remove them from CS immediately, wait a week or two, and then submit them to CS using the same ISBN.

Surely you mean "submit them to IS using the same ISBN."

I don't usually critique apparent typos in forum posts, but when technical information is being dispensed, it's important to get it right.


Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

I don't usually critique apparent typos in forum posts, but when technical information is being dispensed, it's important to get it right.

Your right. I corrected the original reference. After all, it makes NO sense removing a book from CS, only to resubmit the same book to them again!

Crumbly Writer

Well, I finally cut the cord. In transitioning from CS to IS, I 'retired' a shitload of stories. I permanently retired 7 full novels: my entire Catalyst series and my never-popular The Lad Who Poked the Devil in the Eye (which was part of a two-part series), and another 4 books I'm planning to shift to IS (the first two as a test, and if those are successful, so I can update my currently posting series as I make changes).

If that transition works, I'll move every story over. However, if I'm unable to transition the books (i.e. I can ONLY carry over the old books, but can't update them) then I'll either move everything over to Amazon Print or simply do away with printed books entirely.

But I'll let you know how my transition to IS goes. If they'll accept WORD documents saved as pdfs, I'll publish with IS, but I'm still dubious about whether they'll allow that.

Unfortunately, I'll have to wait one to two weeks to determine whether it'll work, and Amazon has set no specific 'kill' date for CS (when they plan to automatically transition everything over to the 'no-author control' print books).

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