The original blog post below was published in January 2018 when it was rumored that CreateSpace was ending its author services. Since that time, CreateSpace has merged with Kindle Direct Publishing, or KDP.
CreateSpace’s current role in the self-publishing world is as a platform for authors to publish their books to Amazon. CreateSpace seems to be continuing this service for now.
Up until April 2018, it was also a platform where authors could hire the self-publishing services needed to produce the book, such as editing, cover design and typesetting.
If you’re a client of 1106 Design, whose book is being designed, edited and typeset by us, you can breathe a sigh of relief. The end of CreateSpace’s self-publishing services does not impact you.
Second, there are a lot of rumors and an absence of facts regarding the situation, so what we will attempt to do here is clarify the services that CreateSpace provides and how they fit in with what we do here at 1106 Design. And as updates become available, we will pass them along to you.
First the facts.
As reported by a local newspaper The Post and Courier, Amazon has laid off fifty-eight employees in its North Charleston, South Carolina office. The services division will close in July 2018. The article says:
Amazon’s self-publishing service, Createspace, is laying off workers in its editing, marketing and design division in July because the company is getting out of the business of offering services to writers.
“After a thorough review of our service offerings, we’ve made the decision to discontinue Createspace’s paid professional editing, design and marketing services,” Amazon said in a statement. “We will work closely with impacted employees through this transition to help them find new roles within the company or assist them with pursuing opportunities outside the company.”
This announcement comes on the heels of CreateSpace shuttering its e-store in the fall of 2017.
While there is no announcement on their home page that they will no longer provide self-publishing services, CreateSpace is advising authors via email that after April 20, 2018, they will no longer fulfill any paid professional services, including any text or design changes to cover or interior files that have been completed.
Print books and eBooks currently available for sale on Amazon are not affected by this announcement.
What this means to you:
[For the latest “what to do next” suggestions, see the top of this blog post.]
If you plan on uploading your prepared files (i.e., a PDF of your book) to CreateSpace for POD, you can continue to do so.
If you have an editing, cover or interior layout design, or eBook conversion project underway with CreateSpace, they will continue to work with you until April 20, 2018. If the project cannot be completed by that time, CreateSpace will offer a refund for the full purchase price of any incomplete services, including the services that have started.
And, if you’re stuck with a half-completed project come April 20, please contact us. We’ll do our utmost to help you out and get your book published. There are many other service providers out there as well. Check out this listing on the ALLi website of trusted (and not-so-trusted) publishing service providers.
At CreateSpace, changes to completed files must be purchased and submitted no later than March 15, 2018 and work must be finished by April 20, 2018.
Now for the rumors.
What if you’ve used CreateSpace’s self-publishing services in the past to edit and design your book files?
Rumor has it that CreateSpace is making application files available indefinitely through a Project Services Toolbox. Application files are the original design files as opposed to the print files (PDFs). If true, this is good news; I’m glad they’re not stranding authors who hired them to edit and design books. Update on February 12, 2018: It seems this is not the case. CreateSpace will not release application files. Please read our blog post on this issue and what it means to you.
This next bit almost belongs in the “facts” column. Amazon is making no secret of the fact that KDP—Kindle Direct Publishing—is now offering a service to print paperbacks. While they have yet to launch a full advertising campaign on the availability of this service, it does make us wonder if CreateSpace will fold eventually and move all indie publishers over to KDP. Here’s what Amazon is saying about KDP:
Move your CreateSpace paperback to KDP and consolidate your paperback and eBook publishing on a single website. You’ll receive combined royalty payments for the marketplaces where you sell your eBooks and paperbacks. You don’t need to do anything extra. Your current account, payment, and tax information don’t need updates.
Translation: When you fill out the form to transfer your files over, it picks up your information from CreateSpace.
Note that KDP doesn’t currently support Expanded Distribution. Rumor has it that they will in the near future. They do not currently support distribution to Amazon.ca (Canada) or Amazon.com.mx (Mexico).
Amazon is offering KDP Jumpstart, a step-by-step guide to preparing your Kindle and paperback files for print. The guide includes instructions on using the Kindle Create Add-in for Microsoft Word, which provides you with several templates to use. You can read more about it here and also watch the video. Why am I telling you about an obvious competitor of ours? Because as you’ll see, the short video provides evidence that their current page layouts are dull and boring, and the program ignores most of the typesetting rules that make a book beautiful and readable. And because I laughed as the lady in the video pressed “publish” with SO many typos highlighted in red by Word! Please don’t depend on Word to be your editor and proofreader.
What this means to you:
Search your inbox for emails from CreateSpace; if you use Gmail, their emails may be ending up in your Promotions inbox. These emails will contain important announcements and updates with regards to your files.
If you’ve never used CreateSpace for publishing services—only for POD—you may not be receiving any emails from them. In that case, monitor this newsletter for future updates on the status of POD through CreateSpace.
If you don’t need to sell your book on the Canadian or Mexican Amazon websites, and if the idea of combining your royalty payments appeals to you, then you can visit your KDP account and start the process of transferring your files over. I’m not saying yet that I recommend or don’t recommend that you do this; we have not been able to do the necessary research to compare author compensation between the two platforms, nor do we know anything about print quality.
You don’t need to do anything about your IngramSpark account, if you access POD through them. Through IngramSpark, your book will continue to be available to brick-and-mortar retailers and online retailers other than Amazon.
[As CreateSpace is no longer an active website, see the latest news and our suggestions at the top of this blog post.]
Your published book on Amazon is not impacted by the closure of CreateSpace’s publishing services division.
1106 Design will continue to upload completed books to CreateSpace for distribution to Amazon for the time being.
If you are using CreateSpace or were planning on using CreateSpace for publishing services, ask 1106 Design for some guidance and an estimate. We’re not going anywhere.
If you’ve used CreateSpace for editing or formatting, download your application files immediately.
Perhaps hold off on consolidating your CreateSpace and KDP accounts until we know more about how their royalties will be calculated.
Beware of using KDP Jumpstart if you are publishing a nonfiction book or a novel that you would like to be unique and error-free.