kdp paperback versus createspace publishing

KDP Paperback vs. Createspace Publishing

It’s high time I covered one of the newest editions of the Kindle Direct Publishing platform – the KDP paperback option. 

Rather than go on about how it’s essentially another version of Createspace publishing with the convenience of one dashboard for ebook and paperback books, I’ll give you a point-by-point comparison of the two platforms.

That way you can make an informed decision on which platform is the best fit for you.  In the battle for paperback supremacy, today I pit KDP Paperback versus Createspace Book Publishing. You don’t wanna miss this one, so stay tuned! 

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Have you published a paperback book yet? And, who do you think is the best option in paperback publishing? Createspace, KDP or another completely different option. Leave your open thoughts in the comments. 

What’s the Deal with KDP Paperback?

kdp paperback

Late last year, Kindle Direct Publishing began rolling out an updated dashboard to a select number of accounts. Within the new dashboard was what we all see now in the KDP paperback option. 

As of the time of this post, KDP labels the paperback option as beta. And for good reason. But, before I give you my thoughts on the good, the bad and the ugly, I’d like to address KDP’s current counterpart, Createspace publishing. 

You’ll notice I didn’t say competitor because Createspace falls under the Amazon umbrella. In fact, were you aware that you can migrate any current publications on Createspace to your KDP account?

KDP Paperback & Createspace Issues

KDP paperback vs Createspace

The catch? When you want to publish your Createspace book through KDP, then you lose out on privileges you normally have with the Amazon subsidiary.

If you migrate a Createspace book to KDP for printing, then Amazon removes the book from your Createspace account entirely. And, if you had your book opted into expanded distribution on Createspace, then you can kiss that goodbye. Where you lose one avenue in Createspace, you open another on KDP. The cool thing is you get global distribution on Amazon through KDP and are not just the limited US and European channels. 

For those of you accustomed to Createspace’s upload process, you will find KDP just as easy. However, I must warn you, once you upload your book and KDP approves it, the book is live. Why is that so special? Well, you get a bit of a safety net with Createspace. When you submit a book for approval through Createspace, you still have the option to order proofs and review your content before it goes live worldwide. 

KDP doesn’t have that luxury and with that said, I think we can compare and contrast the pros and cons of Createspace and KDP. 

Now for a side-by-side comparison of KDP paperback versus Createspace book publishing.

The Pros & Cons of KDP Paperback & Createspace 

pros and cons of KDP paperback

For distribution, KDP and Createspace have equal footing in the US and European Amazon sites. That’s only common factors in distribution. The rest gets to be a toss-up. 

KDP currently has exclusive distribution to Japan’s Amazon site while Createspace has exclusive distribution to Canada and Mexico’s Amazon sites. So, if you plan on distributing to KDP, be prepared to lose out on three different avenues in Amazon’s Canada and Mexico sites AND the expanded distribution. Wow! 

Proofing Process for Each Platform

KDP paperback proofing

And, the proofing process is considerably abbreviated on KDP leaving your physical book open to more room for error should you or KDP miss anything in the publishing. That’s where Createspace gets it right. Yes, the proofing process is thorough and oftentimes requires a couple extra steps, but it’s worth it and greatly diminishes the risk of you publishing mistakes. 

In the defense of KDP, they have a TIGHT vetting process for interiors. So, if margins or bleeding is even slightly off, you will not be allowed to process your files for approval. 

Createspace has a more lenient interior vetting system that’ll detect margin or bleed issues, but still allow you to push forward. If the Createspace team can’t address those issues after you submit your project for approval, then they’ll send it back to you. I’ve uploaded scores of books to Createspace and have rarely had a project returned due to the interior. 

Also, where you can order wholesale author copies or proofs through Createspace, you cannot through KDP paperback. 

The royalty structure and upload process are nearly identical between Createspace and KDP paperback except for one key feature.

The KDP Paperback Advantage: Keyword Slots

KDP paperback keywords

I freaking love having seven keyword slots with up to fifty characters per slot with KDP. This means you can really narrow down your audience with optimized keyword stemming. Createspace has only five keywords slots with up a twenty-five-character limit per slot. 

Not sure how to optimize your keyword slots? Then be sure you catch my video on keyword stemming. 

Final Verdict on KDP Paperback vs. Createspace

It should be noted that KDP still openly claims the paperback program in its beta phase. They plan to offer expanded distribution, as well as wholesale author copies and proofs. 

What do you think about KDP paperback versus Createspace book publishing? Who do you think is the better of the two? KDP paperback? Or Createspace? Drop your opinion in the comments. 

That’s all the time we have for today and remember if you dug what I discussed, then share it with at least one person you know in self-publishing! Till later, this has been Self-Publishing with Dale and I’ll see you guys soon. 

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P.S. Check out my other posts on Createspace publishing at this link.

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