September 2018 Update: Also see my article about KDP Print ISBN Options: How to Choose and Converting from CreateSpace. Don't be fooled by the notices Amazon is mailing out regarding your CreateSpace books.
The convenience of managing your Kindle eBook and paperback in a single account is undeniable. Using a single login, you can upload book files, access sales reports, create and manage AMS ads (Amazon Marketing Services) and manage book metadata using KDP Print.
But is using KDP Print better than using Amazon’s CreateSpace to produce your paperback? What do you give up, or gain, using one vs. the other?
Many of the early shortcomings of KDP Print (beta) have been addressed, so this post focuses on outstanding issues as of 2018.
Here are the key differences between CreateSpace and KDP Print. If something like royalties isn’t mentioned, it means it is a wash—it is the same for both so it doesn’t matter which you use.
- Selling books in other Amazon country-specific stores. Both get your book on Amazon.com (US) and Amazon’s European stores. However, only CreateSpace will get your paperback into Amazon’s stores for Canada and Mexico. On the other hand, you must use KDP Print to make your paperback available in Amazon’s store for Japan.
- Distribution of your paperback to non-Amazon stores. This is accomplished on CreateSpace by using Expanded Distribution. It is not currently available with KDP Print. That means your paperback will not appear in the Barnes & Noble online store, for example. Nor can someone walk into the store and order it. Click here to learn more about Expanded Distribution.
- Using CreateSpace files with KDP Print. Newer CreateSpace files for standard book sizes will work for KDP Print. Contact CreateSpace if they created your original files. Note: we create print-ready files for all printers. Read this article about how to protect your writing investment.
- ISBN options. You get the same 3 options with both (bring your own, buy one for $99, or use a free one). If you opt for the free one, KDP Print will show the publisher as Independently published while the free one from CreateSpace shows the name as CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. Read this article about choosing CreateSpace ISBN options and read Register Your Book: The Essential Guide to ISBNs, Barcodes, Copyright, and LCCNs to understand the pros and cons of using free ISBNs.
- Custom paperback book dimensions. CreateSpace allows you to print books with non-standard dimensions while KDP Print does not. For example, we’ve used this feature to create Kevin Donlin’s 5” x 7” book and this 4” x 6” “mini-book” for Steve Lawson.
A final note is that you cannot return your book to CreateSpace once you’ve moved it to KDP Print. Nor can you move a book to CreateSpace from KDP Print. Be certain you can live with KDP Print’s current limitations, notably the lack of Expanded Distribution.
Are you looking for help formatting your manuscript for paperbacks? We provide a full-service solution that is guaranteed to keep authors in control of their rights, branding, and royalties.
Contact us for a free consultation about your book project.
Photo credit: Jackson Hirsch