KDP vs CreatSpace

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KDP vs CreatSpace

Post by PeteTheGreat » Sun May 14, 2017 11:35 pm

I have a question for Megan. I saw that you did an article on the freelance with us website that was Lulu versus createspace. A Kindle direct publishing and create space the same thing? If they're different, what is the advantage of using one over the other?

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Re: KDP vs CreatSpace

Post by Jade » Mon May 15, 2017 6:39 pm

pete, i was wondering the same thing. for that matter, though, why wouldn't i just do barnes and noble or the apple store? what will sell the most books and require the least amount of marketing and promotion of my books?

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Re: KDP vs CreatSpace

Post by MegStewart » Tue May 16, 2017 3:03 am

Great Question! Thanks for asking! You'll actually see several individual reviews forthcoming on FWU in the coming weeks including ones for CreateSpace, Lulu, and Smashwords as well as one on Best Self-Publishing Companies and Ones to Avoid. So keep checking the site for more info but I'll try to answer some of your questions below:

CreateSpace, KDP, and KDP Select are all Amazon companies, just different programs. I didn't realize the difference either until I researched them. CreateSpace is a POD service so they focus on printing and formatting services. In fact, I'm told they use the same printer as IngramSpark, another company that offers printing services.

There are multiple components to the self-publishing process and each can be offered by different companies or the same company. As a self-publishing author, you're in control of what services you choose but you also have the greater responsibility of making sure you understand how all the pieces work together and how to make them best work for your goals. So always do your own research, ask questions, and read any contract or digital agreement (the fine print) before signing or clicking Accept.

For Any Self-Publishing Company Ask About: (1) Printing or POD services and formats like hardcover, paperback, E-book, audio, podcasts, etc. as well as fees for any revisions pre and post publication. (2) Distribution services and expanded distribution networks (this dictates what stores can get access to your book and what readers will find it easily--sometimes there are fees for expanded distribution)

Also Research and Understand: (1) Pricing Structure including cost per book to print, and pricing to your readers, and to different booksellers (wholesale, independent, etc.) and to you as the author. (2) Marketing services, things like how visibility and ranking work, search optimization, pricing, cover design, blurb text, genre and book categories, organic traffic, ads, etc. This all impacts book marketing and is basically up to you, and (3) Promotion services such as giveaways, discounts, look inside features, etc. (Amazon does this well but there can be trade-offs)

Even if you choose to pay someone to do these services for you, in most cases it does make sense, you need to know what you're giving up in income or rights, potentially missed audience, etc.

KDP and KDP Select are two of Amazon's distribution, promotion, and marketing services. I know KDP Select requires your book be exclusively available through Amazon, but I believe KDP offers you the ability to sell your book through your own website and third party book distributors but double check by asking about exclusivity. To reach the largest number of readers and retail/wholesalers many authors go through more than one distribution service.

There are benefits to being exclusive through KDP Select because Amazon does hold 40-60% of the total book market and many of their promotions and systems are automated. BUT Amazon's expanded distribution network doesn't include a lot of booksellers like Barnes & Noble, iBooks, or others that are partnered through other distribution networks. All those other retailers and wholesalers make up the OTHER 40-60% of the book market. If you're writing a book called "iPhones for Dummies" and you aren't available through iBooks, you're virtually invisible to a large number of potential customers. It helps to know your audience.

One person I love to learn from when it comes to self-publishing is Derek Murphy. You'll find him on YouTube. He has some great tutorials and insights on the self-publishing process. He's had quite a bit of experience and done well in the past with Amazon (he provides tips on optimizing cover design and your Amazon author page, etc. to maintain visibility) and has used other companies. One of his books was recently removed from KDP Select because it was inadvertently available with another retailer. He talks very candidly about that process which I found helpful. He seems very sincere in his desire to help others figure out the self-publishing and book marketing process. I look for him to do more videos on other distribution platforms soon.

No matter which services you choose, the process involves the investment of time and money. Which you invest more of is totally up to you and your preference if you do your homework first. So, keep coming back to FWU for more insights and do your own research too.

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Re: KDP vs CreatSpace

Post by FWU Editorial » Sun May 21, 2017 1:01 pm

Megan's piece on self-publishing went live yesterday and we'll have some more self-publishing guides published in the next week, so be sure to check the FWU website for more info.
Looking for new work? Check the Job Board or apply to "Write For Us".

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