TIPS AND TRICKS FOR NEW AUTHORS PART 2
[KDP and CreateSpace]
Not sure how to publish your book or with whom? Here is my take on Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) and CreateSpace. FYI — Amazon owns both of them. How to differentiate between the two:
- CreateSpace is for paperback only
- KDP is for e-books only
The way I went about publishing is I went through CreateSpace first and published a paperback form of “Vampire Next Door”. I have heard from many people that it’s less difficult to publish the paperback first and then have CreateSpace format (for free) a version and create an e-book that will be readable for the Kindle. So if you want a paperback or think you will want a paperback, work with CreateSpace first.
CreateSpace is very easy to use and extremely user friendly. You are basically going to create a new title, and they use a step-by-step process to get you through it. The first step is to go to http://www.createspace.com and sign up for a new account. You will go to your Member Dashboard and Add New Title. You will then complete the categories of Setup, Review and Distribute. After you are done creating your paperback, CreateSpace will send all of your files over to KDP, and that makes it so easy!
You can create a cover through CreateSpace or you can go through any number of other sources for a cover. The important thing to remember is that your cover should be one of the last things you do, because the cover is a wraparound cover. That means that your trim size, bleed and page count all come into account. So if you are in the early stages of creating your book, you will have no idea what your page count is. If you want to save money on a cover, search Google for “pre-made cover”. You can find cheap pre-made covers for both paperback and e-books. It is a lot easier to go with a cover through CreateSpace, but their stock photos will not always suit everybody’s needs. The number one best thing about picking a CreateSpace cover…? If you need to edit your book later on and your page count changes, CreateSpace automatically formats your cover to fit your book. That’s not so easily done through another channel. That is why it’s very important to make sure you are totally satisfied with your book before going through the process of creating a cover.
You will run into the option of “expanded distribution” while publishing your book on CreateSpace. There has been a lot of debate over whether it’s worth the $25 or not to have your book available to Barnes and Noble, libraries, etc. Well, now CreateSpace offers expanded distribution for free. The big thing to remember about expanded distribution is that your royalties will be extremely low. Speaking of royalties, let’s do a breakdown. Let’s say your book is $10 on CreateSpace. Your royalties would be as follows:
- Amazon.com – $2.63
- CreateSpace eStore – $4.63
- Expanded Distribution – $0.63
As you can see, your are going to make the most money from your paperback from your eStore. Here is my eStore – https://www.createspace.com/4153084 When people buy straight from your eStore, you make more royalties. I have sold only a fraction of paperbacks from my eStore compared to Amazon.com, however. Amazon offers the free super saver shipping when the customer buys your book and whatever else that adds up to $25. That is appealing to a lot of customers. I still try to push the eStore because of the higher royalties, but it’s harder to get people to purchase from there when Amazon.com is so convenient.
Kindle Direct Publishing is, like I said earlier, only for e-books. You can sign up for Kindle Select. That means your book is basically under a contract with KDP for three months. That might seem like a long time, but it goes relatively quickly. Being under the contract means you cannot publish your e-book anywhere else. You cannot go to Smashwords/iBooks/Nook Press, etc. This contract has nothing to do with your paperback on CreateSpace. So if your paperback is on Barnes and Noble’s website, don’t worry. It only applies to the e-book, and KDP will not end your contract.
One of the benefits of being enrolled in KDP Select is the free promotion. Basically your book is listed as FREE on Amazon.com. The biggest benefit of this is that your book jumps to the top of the free e-books list. After the free promotion is over, Amazon pushes your book over to the paid e-books list. If you are high on the list, you get more exposure. For a new author, that is great news. The downside? The exposure is short-lived and you just gave away hundreds, if not thousands, of your e-book to potential future buyers. I would only recommend the free promotion if you have a series of books. List the second book or the first book for free. If you list the second book for free, people are more apt to buy the first book in the series. If you list the first book for free, if people enjoyed the first book in the series, they will buy the rest of the series.
KDP now offers Kindle Countdown Deals. You can find more information here: https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/help?topicId=A3288N75MH14B8 It allows authors to run limited-time discount promotions on their books, which can help earn more royalties and reach more readers. Basically it marks your book down and people think they are getting a really great deal for a limited time, so they buy your book before the promotion is over.
My KDP Select contract is over in the beginning of December, and I will be publishing my e-book with Smashwords. Smashwords will distribute your e-book to various places like Barnes and Noble (Nook) and iBooks for Apple products among many others. People can even read your book on their computers in different formats. The royalty percentage is really great too! You earn 60% of List Price from Major Ebook Retailers and 85% Net at Smashwords.com. I will write part three based on my experience with Smashwords.