Amazon's POD service Createspace is going to shut down its eStore at the end of the month, and in the future will be directing all sales queries to Amazon.
Amazon should be sending an email to affected authors, and you can read the official notice on the Createspace website.
While this is certainly less hassle for Amazon, Chris McMullen notes authors are going to take a hit in the pocketbook. Createspace now pays an 80% royalty on copies sold through its site, but only 60% for copies sold through Amazon.com.
This means that any author with active direct print sales will make less per sale. On the other hand, Chris also noted how authors might benefit:
- Some customers who would have visited your eStore, but who would not made a purchase through CreateSpace (because they didn’t qualify for free shipping, had to setup a new account with CreateSpace, or didn’t trust CreateSpace like they trust Amazon), might now make a purchase from Amazon. The redirection might help a little with a higher percentage of sales.
- Some customers who would have purchased one book from your eStore might buy a few of your books on Amazon (because your Amazon page features your author page, or because your other books show up on your customers-also-bought list).
- When a customer buys your book from Amazon.com after being redirected from your eStore, your Amazon.com sales rank will improve, whereas eStore sales had no effect on sales rank.
- When a customer buys your book from Amazon.com after being redirected from your eStore, the customer’s review will be a Verified Purchase (except for the rare customer who chooses not to let this designation show), whereas reviews from eStore sales were unverified.
Amazon is also going to soften the blow by offering better selling authors an "adjusted" royalty rate. Starting on 1 November, for the next six months Amazon will pay authors a royalty rate based on the ratio of past POD sales an author made through the Createspace eStore versus POD sales made on Amazon.com.
More sales in the eStore means a higher royalty - for the next 6 months. After that it is catch as catch can.