A while ago in this post I mentioned that it is now possible to publish paperback books using Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). Previously, Amazon’s only option for self-publishing print books was CreateSpace. I commented then:
The KDP paperback creator is still in beta and additional features are promised in due course. One major thing lacking at the moment is any way of purchasing a sample print copy of your book so you can see for yourself what buyers will receive. This is clearly a drawback compared with CreateSpace. Neither do KDP published print books currently receive the extended distribution of CreateSpace titles.
I heard recently that the first of these drawbacks has been eliminated and the second is no longer as big an issue as it was.
With KDP you can now order proof copies to check how your book will look in finished form. And you can also order author’s copies that you can sign and give away at readings, book launches, and so on.
At a stroke, this eliminates what was the biggest drawback of publishing print books on KDP. A further advantage for UK and European authors is that they can now be printed and sent from Europe rather than the US, with obvious savings in time and cost.
The distribution of KDP print books has also improved, although it’s still not as good as CreateSpace. Somewhat oddly, KDP offers distribution in Japan but not Canada or Mexico. CreateSpace also offers expanded distribution to bookstores and non-Amazon websites, which is not (yet) an option with KDP.
Nonetheless, most self-publishing Amazon authors generate most of their sales through Amazon.com. If that applies to you (or you are new to Amazon self-publishing) then KDP is now looking a better choice for print books than CreateSpace.
Also, KDP has been adding features recently, whereas CreateSpace has remained basically the same. In future, it seems most likely that these two Amazon-owned services will be amalgamated, probably under the KDP banner. That will have the additional advantage of allowing authors to manage (and monitor) all their Amazon self-publishing activities – ebooks and print – via one website.
I hope you find this article helpful. You might also like to check out this blog post by my colleague Sally Jenkins and this more in-depth one from Chris McMullen, both of which I referred to when researching this post.
As always, if you have any comments or questions about this post, please do leave them below.