Good-Bye CreateSpace, Hello Problems

Those who keep up with the Indie publishing scene will likely know that Amazon is closing CreateSpace and shifting its paperback publishing arm to Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). I’ve gone through CreateSpace for my self-published print-on-demand paperbacks and used both KDP and Smashwords for my eBooks. Recently, KDP started offering paperback printing services to it’s eBook authors. Now Amazon is closing CreateSpace. In the announcement email, we were told that we could either transfer our books from CS ourselves, or they would do it automatically in the near future.

I’ve been extremely happy with CS, so like most of the other authors who have published through them, am sorry to see this turn of events. Because of that I expected to see grumblings on the CS community forum, but it’s worse than that. People are having significant problems with KDP to the point of looking for different printing venues. Common complaints include dropping book sales, limited font availability, awkward author dashboard, decreased royalties, books suddenly becoming unavailable on Amazon, and little to no technical support. Both cover and interior book files which passed CS’s reviewing process are being rejected by KDP.

Everyone is scratching their heads over the whole thing. and authors’ speculations are not flattering. The most common sense explanation is that Amazon rushed into a business decision without taking the time to analyze potential problems and properly prepare for the move. Considering that so many authors are having problems but can’t get help, it looks to me as though Amazon has simply lost interest in POD book publishing.

None of this instills confidence in the direction Amazon is taking its print-on-demand publishing service. I used to be an enthusiastic promoter of CreateSpace, but suddenly find myself considering other options. That will take some work, but apparently, so will transferring my print books to KDP. At this point I’m thinking I may as well save myself the headaches of the latter.