Since 2007, Amazon-owned printing and distribution company CreateSpace has been offering authors the ability to create, design, and print self-published books on demand to sell via the Amazon website or through wider distribution channels (for a higher price-per-book cost) like libraries and bookstores.
Earlier this year, Amazon launched another paperback printing service through their Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) platform aptly called KDP Print, which allows self-published authors who have published their e-books on the KDP platform to subsequently publish the paperback version on the same platform, rather than a separate website.
What is KDP Print?
KDP Print is an adjoining feature through the Amazon e-book platform that allows authors to design and launch a print-on-demand paperback through the same site where they manage their e-book titles. Authors are able to upload cover PDF images, interior files, choose book size and trim size, page color, be assigned an ISBN or use your own, designate distribution channels, select keywords/categories, and order printed proofs before publication. For more details and step-by-step instructions on launching your book through Amazon’s KDP Print feature, you can go to their website here.
Print Self-Published Books with KDP or CreateSpace?
KDP Print was reportedly in beta testing and available to all KDP authors for use in February 2017 and has continued to add features and updates since then. Several websites and bloggers have examined the two different services for potential pros to using one or the other, and nothing major in the form of improvements have been identified with KDP Print that would set it apart from CreateSpace in terms of book quality or distribution options.
Both CreateSpace and KDP Print offer paperback distribution to the U.S., Canada, and Europe, while readers in countries such as Australia and New Zealand and even continents like Asia and Africa continue to lack the ability to buy printed copies of your book via Amazon. KDP Print is reportedly the only platform of the two that offers distribution to Japan, so that could be a deciding factor regarding your intended market (especially if you are publishing manga, anime, etc.). However, in terms of expanded distribution (to libraries, academic institutions, and physical bookstores) CreateSpace is still the only one to offer this feature.
It appears the wholesale printing costs are virtually the same between CreateSpace and KDP Print, except for books that are under 110 pages (in this case, CreateSpace costs slightly less for European production). All books between 110 and 828 pages have a fixed cost of $0.85 USD per book, plus an additional $0.012 per page for both platforms; shorter books with 24 to 108 pages cost $2.15 per book with no additional page costs for both platforms.
**Note: proofs or wholesale orders have an additional cost for shipping, and the total varies depending on the number of print-on-demand books ordered, total weight, and destination.**
Both platforms offer the same royalty rate (60 percent return on the list price of the book). In addition, there are minimum and maximum list price guidelines based on the wholesale cost of the book, page number, whether there are color images, etc.
Overall, is there a “better” option between the two? It really comes down to ease of management—do you prefer to have your e-books and paperback book titles in the same place? If so, KDP Print may be the way to go. Conversely, if you desire the ability to select more distribution avenues or have published a book that would benefit from access to libraries and academic institutions specifically, CreateSpace would still be the best choice for you. KDP Print is by no means “revolutionary” in terms of print-on-demand book publication, but it’s also in the beginning stages and may offer exciting features in the years to come.
Midnight Publishing is a Phoenix-based editing, writing, and marketing service assisting authors all over the world to refine their books and pursue publication. Contact us today to tell us about your book project and hear how our professionals can help you on your author journey today!