KDP Print Enters Public Beta

Historically speaking Amazon has had two distribution platforms, Createspace (for POD paper books) and Kindle (for ebooks), but starting last summer Amazon has been beta-testing a combined platform called KDP Print.

The closed beta was limited to only KDP users who had been invited, but today Amazon told KDP users that the beta test is now open to all.

It can be accessed from the KDP admin pages, and yes you can create a print edition for a new title or a previously published ebook.

I just got the email from Amazon:

Publishing a paperback can help you reach new readers. KDP prints your book on demand and subtracts your printing costs from your royalties, so you don't have to pay any costs upfront or carry any inventory. You can use the KDP website in English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Portuguese or Dutch. KDP automatically updates your title metadata based on information (book description, categories, keywords) you’ve already provided when setting up your eBook and vice versa. It also enables you to receive consolidated royalty payments for paperback and eBook sales. You can view combined reports and manage your print and eBook publishing from one website.

Benefits of publishing paperbacks with KDP include:

• Reach paperback readers through Amazon websites in the US, Europe (amazon.co.uk, amazon.de, amazon.fr, amazon.es, amazon.it), and Japan (amazon.co.jp)
• Earn up to 60% royalties on the list price you set, minus printing costs.

We'll add more print features in the future, including the ability to order proofs and author (wholesale) copies at cost, and expanded distribution to bookstores.

Learn more about using the beta to publish paperbacks on KDP.

According to user reports, KDP Print doesn't offer as many options as Createspace. I have been told that KDP Print doesn't have color print options, and does not offer proof copies or expanded distribution.

So anyone who already has books in Createspace should probably leave them there.

But if you are a small publisher who has ebooks in the Kindle Store and no print edition, KDP Print is a way to add a print edition with minimal effort.

About Nate Hoffelder (11211 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

6 Comments on KDP Print Enters Public Beta

  1. The two biggest problems I see with it at this point are:

    1. You can’t buy discounted author copies. (IE, you can buy a bunch of books at print cost to hand out to family and friends or try to stock up your local bookstore.)

    2. Killer problem, you can’t switch back to Createspace if you change your mind.

    There’s some other little points, but number two is the biggest issue because you can’t go back. The only reason I can see to use it is if you’re not comfortable creating your own PDF for printing (or don’t want to pay). If you don’t intend to have print versions, there’s probably no downside letting Amazon offer one for you. I still haven’t tested out their automatic formatting, but I would assume it’s acceptable or they wouldn’t offer it.

    I suspect they’re working toward phasing out Createspace. Hopefully they’ll offer author copies in KDP before they do that.

    • I suspect they’re working toward phasing out Createspace. Hopefully they’ll offer author copies in KDP before they do that.

      What makes you say that? I need CreateSpace so I want to be prepared with an alternative if they do shut it down.

      • I don’t know for sure if they’re going to phase it out, but the fact that you can’t switch back seems to be a hint. Also, why have two separate services? Why not combine them into one? Especially if they both allow for print books.

        My hope would be they will eventually bring all the features of CreateSpace into KDP (including author copies) so you won’t lose anything when it’s gone.

        Just reading the tea leaves.

    • 2. Killer problem, you can’t switch back to Createspace if you change your mind.

      That.

      I began the process just to see what I could see (I’ve had the option for weeks now), and stopped cold at that point.

  2. I, too, tried the process. The lack of ability to buy discounted copies stopped me cold. I sell most of my print books at events. I also notice there is only one “royalty,” 30%, no 70% option.

    I fear this will only put more bad self-published books on the market, making it hard for all of us. If a writer is unwilling to learn to format a proper print book or hired it done (yes, I know it cost money), the product may not be worth printing.

  3. I wonder if print copies bought by the author for events cuts too much into Amazon profit? Maybe Amazon’s margin of profit on author copies (and I do not think they send them to us at cost) is so small they are thinking of cutting that out.

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