What you need to know about the CreateSpace and KDP merger



“In a few weeks, we'll start automatically moving books to KDP. Your books will remain available for sale throughout the move and you'll continue to earn royalties. If you have a release planned soon or you would like to start the move yourself, you can move your entire CreateSpace catalog to KDP in just a few steps. Get started on CreateSpace Member Dashboard or your KDP Bookshelf.” https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/GSJULX3WGP36HQ3R#general_info

Updated Information


It has long been rumored that KDP would finally shut down their publishing counterpart Createspace, but as KDP struggled to create a compatible offering for their print distribution, we’ve endured rumor, misinformation, and fear-mongering.

CreateSpace is owned by KDP but they are not Amazon. Amazon acquired the printing and distribution channel in 2005 to produce music and video. You may remember Booksurge as the original name of the publishing arm that was merged in with CreateSpace. They have largely operated independently since they were acquired.

In late 2017 CreateSpace announced they were discontinuing author services: editorial, lay out, design, and cover work. This move came as no surprise to most independent authors who were largely using freelancers at a much more affordable rate to handle these necessary services. They were no longer a cost-effective service for the publishing distributor to offer and made the cut cleanly and almost quietly. Following their discontinuing of services, speculation spread like wildfire of CreateSpace's imminent demise.

While all this was happening, KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing), Amazon’s in-house ebook distribution channel expanded their beta transition into full-ish service print media. The ish is there because while they were working closely to adopt a similar model to CreateSpace, they had not quite hit the mark on reach and quality.

If you’ve ever seen one of my talks on self-publishing you’ll remember my rant about the big band reading, “not for resale” across proof copies. I still maintain as an independant author and small press publisher that if I am paying for a product, even a proof, I had better damn well be able to use it for sales to recoup cost at a later time. I can't sell something clearly labeled "Not for Resale."  But that is an argument for another day.

It does point to an important issue however. KDP service has not matched quality and reach during their Beta phase. Now that this merger is happening, and authors have no choice but to make a move, will this pose more production problems for indie authors?

The answer is not clear, however I will say KDP has come a long way since their initial offering. Let's break down what you can expect if you make the move from CreateSpace to KDP.



KDP Print - Offers Interior Templates in Word and Cover Creator tool which should be comparable to Createspace. (I have not tested this feature.)

If you used Cover Creator on CreateSpace, the design won't be compatible with Cover Creator on KDP. We'll move your CreateSpace files and print your book use the existing cover. However, if you want to update your cover after the move to KDP, you'll need to design a new one with KDP's Cover Creator.


KDP Print - Offers an all-in-one sales tracking system. If you’ve published ebooks with them you are familiar with their reporting. Which, in KDP’s defense has come a long way in the last year. Still could use more fine tuning tweaks but over-all gives lots of good information.


KDP promises to offer the same distribution as Createspace. This is important as earlier this year some channels were not included in their distribution network. Pay very close attention to your channels when porting the books over from Createspace.

KDP doesn't currently support paperback distribution to Amazon.com.au, Amazon.com.br, or Amazon.nl. Australian users can place orders from Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk. Portuguese language users can place orders from Amazon.com. Dutch language users can place orders from Amazon.de. https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G202132360

KDP offers the same royalty rates as Createspace. 

KDP offers 60% royalty (minus printing costs) for retail sales and 40% (minus printing costs) for Expanded Distribution. Based on the print options you chose, KDP automatically calculates and displays your estimated royalty in the Rights & Pricing section of title setup.

Payment schedules differ between the two platforms. CreateSpace pays monthly royalties 30 days after the end of the month in which they were earned. KDP pays monthly royalties approximately 60 days after the end of the month in which they were earned.

KDP Print offers non-standard trim sizes, including the option to input your own trim size.



KDP Does not remove books from circulation during alterations. This is a good thing. Often when updating print books there is a 2-3 day gap in sale ability while new version were being reviewed and proofed under the Createspace model.

KDP Print offers the ability to use one of their ISBN’s for free. Remember that if you chose to do this KDP owns that ISBN. Cost-wise, it may seem like a no-brainer, but should you ever want to change distributors later in your career, you will have to relinquish that ISBN and the associating metadata and reviews for that book in order to re-publish it later.

KDP Print offers you the ability to schedule ads for your Print edition through AMS.


The switch from CreateSpace to KDP Print is permanent. There is no going back once you either complete the manual transfer, or wait for KDP to do it for you. Either way the end is here for Createspace and you must decide where to place your books.


Some indies out there are unaware of other options, so before you jump to make your decision, take a few minutes to look into a third, very big option. Ingram Spark. https://www.ingramspark.com/



IngramSpark - At a glance
Offers hardcovers.
Cheaper color printing.
Better expanded distribution.
Ability to control pricing, discounting, and return-ability to big box stores.
Not associated with Amazon but does include them in network.
Requires ISBN - Additional cost
Setup Fees - Look for coupons, they're out there. 
No hand-holding - Know your stuff before you publish.

Bottom Line: You're going to have to make your move soon. Do your research and make sure you're making the right moves.

What am I going to do? 
I'll make the move to KDP for Amazon distribution. But, for extended reach, I'll also be publishing those same books through Ingram Spark.

Because I own my ISBN's I can do this.

And so can you. If you take anything away from this, please make sure you always have control over your books. ISBN's might seem expensive at first, but they will give you freedom in the long run if and when printers change hands or go out of business.


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