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KDP - Kindle Direct Publishing on Paperback and E-Book (1 Viewer)

Raevenlord

Senior Member
Hey, guys. This has probably been touched upon already, and I did do a quick search, but couldn't find any thread directly relating to this.

An e-mail just hit my inbox regarding Kindle Direct Publishing. You can find the bulk of what this means and what they offer here.

I had already looked into this E-book direct publishing, but I believe at the time Amazon didn't offer the paperback printing option.

I suppose there is a minimum for which you can sell your book so that Amazon can recoup the printing costs; they claim we can earn up to 70% royalty on sales from our book, from which you then subtract printing expenses.

Now I'm not looking for living off my writing - I simply don't want to have to dig myself into a hole just so I can publish. Like one particular portuguese label that wanted me to give them 2000€ for the publishing and printing of my book, with comission on sales being paid on multiples of 200€ (meaning, if the comissions owed to you were at 399€, they would pay you the first 200€ but you'd be left burning with the remainder forever IF it never sold past the 400€ mark... AND their book materials were cheap; AND their covers sucked; AND they were simply poo).

This seems to me like sensible, fair business.

Of course, one also has to take into account marketing, cover design, and all of that whazzoo, but...

What do you guys think? Had you heard of this?
 

Jay Greenstein

Senior Member
There's no charge for the print service because it's print on demand. You order a hard copy and what amounts to a high speed laser printer that prints both sides of the page spews out your book. It prints a cover and glues it on. Then, since they already have the money for the book it's packaged and mailed.

The KDP part says that those who have thew Amazon Direct service can read it free (though you get paid). You need to give them a 90 day exclusive to qualify for KDP, so if you were thinking of also releasing it on Smashwords (which puts you in the iTunes store and B&N you have to hold off.

But be aware that you do need to design your own cover, or at least supply it, and do your own editing. Plus, they do no promotion. So you'll have an Amazon page, along with millions of other self publishers, but must generate your own sales. And you cannot take hard copies to your local bookstore and expect them to put them out for sale.

In other words, it's easy to self-publish but not to move product. Remember, you're in competition with the thousands of professionally written and polished books the publishers produce each year.
 

Terry D

Retired Supervisor
KDP doesn't handle the print version of the book, just the e-book. Print copies are printed by the Createspace arm of Amazon, which works just as Jay described (except they do offer some stock cover designs and options you can choose from for free). The basic services of Createspace are free, but they also offer other services like custom cover design and editing at extra cost. Submitting your book to Createspace is a bit different than to KDP (just a few formatting differences) and will need to be done separately. At least that's the way it worked when I published through them last.

You can get your book into local book stores as a paperback, but you need to buy copies from Createspace and convince the stores to place them, which is not hard to do, as local stores love to feature books by local authors. The advantage to this is you get to set your cover price -- per-copy cost from CS + bookseller's commission (20 to 30% of cover price) + whatever profit you choose to make. Doing this I can sell my books through the store cheaper than the Amazon retail price and still make a profit. One thing I'd warn about, however, is getting too enthusiastic about your initial buy from Createspace. You don't want to end up with a lot of money tied up in unsold inventory sitting in your closet while the books are trickling out of any local stores you might have them in.

Good luck!
 
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TKent

Retired Chief Media Manager
You are going to be hardpressed to get a self-published print-on-demand into bookstores unless it looks and feels and is the general quality of a traditionally published book. But that doesn't mean you can't. I have gotten them in bookstores (bought a $40 list from John Kremer of 700 bookstores and did direct email marketing). But I had it all setup in Ingram as returnable and available through Ingram wholesalers. Problem is, many were returned and then you pay fees for the return and have to give the money back. So if you don't have an audience, you aren't going to sell books in bookstores. Your book will be crammed into a shelf with a bunch of other books at best. The odds are so bad that someone will pick up your book based on a spine and choose it over all of the other books, that, well...

You may find some "local" bookstores that will take them on consignment but it isn't going to be a huge number of books you'd sell that way. I will tell you that without your book being sold into bookstores by distributors, you'd probably make more per hour cleaning houses than you would trying to sell those books into bookstores once you consider the time you put in, an estimated 15% (or more) of returned books, etc. It takes a lot of time, and honestly, I wouldn't worry about it if I were you.

Many people, me included, buy our print books and ebooks online. So if you have it created at Createspace and it is on Amazon, people can get the print book without it being in a bookstore. There are a lot of people who buy this way. My advice is to focus on that and don't worry about the bookstores if you are self-publishing.

John Kremer has a book out that is a bit pricey but I will tell you that it is all the nuts and bolts of book marketing. Just reading his website has lots of very informative information as well. I highly recommend this one.

Best of luck!!
 

Raevenlord

Senior Member
KDP just added that option. There are pluses and minuses -- you're locked into Amazon as a platform for a year.

Taken at face value and analyzing my current situation, I don't feel that would be such a detrimental fact - I'm still young, and unpublished, so a year with one of my works locked in a platform but accessible to some readers... Seems better to me than locked in a drawer. A point to consider further, though.

There's no charge for the print service because it's print on demand. You order a hard copy and what amounts to a high speed laser printer that prints both sides of the page spews out your book. It prints a cover and glues it on. Then, since they already have the money for the book it's packaged and mailed.

The KDP part says that those who have thew Amazon Direct service can read it free (though you get paid). You need to give them a 90 day exclusive to qualify for KDP, so if you were thinking of also releasing it on Smashwords (which puts you in the iTunes store and B&N you have to hold off.

But be aware that you do need to design your own cover, or at least supply it, and do your own editing. Plus, they do no promotion. So you'll have an Amazon page, along with millions of other self publishers, but must generate your own sales. And you cannot take hard copies to your local bookstore and expect them to put them out for sale.

In other words, it's easy to self-publish but not to move product. Remember, you're in competition with the thousands of professionally written and polished books the publishers produce each year.

This is the gist of it, isn't it... (though I am confused about the 90 day exclusive you mention. Is it in any way related to moderan's 1-year platform lock, or is it a different beast altogether?

I have a design for the cover already (an amazing piece drawn by an artist friend of mine) but it needs professional work to turn into a book cover. I mean, I could do it myself, but... I'd have to invest so much time in tutorials and such, that I would murder my writing. Much better to have it done professionally, small amount of work it would actually take. I'll probably have to look into some professional designers for that.

But the marketing is another beast in itself. Especially when I consider my book is written in portuguese, and from my understanding of my country's readers, online platforms don't make up the bulk of buyers - much less sites like Amazon and such, much more towards English literature than anything else. I may be incorrect, though.

Also, a little tangent: I have to say I followed the link on your signature, Jay. And after reading your first article, I immediately added it to my bookmarks. Thank you for that, and you can be sure I will haunt that site until I've gobbled up every piece of information.

Also, so many books you've written! ahhhhhh! =)

KDP doesn't handle the print version of the book, just the e-book. Print copies are printed by the Createspace arm of Amazon, which works just as Jay described (except they do offer some stock cover designs and options you can choose from for free). The basic services of Createspace are free, but they also offer other services like custom cover design and editing at extra cost. Submitting your book to Createspace is a bit different than to KDP (just a few formatting differences) and will need to be done separately. At least that's the way it worked when I published through them last.

You can get your book into local book stores as a paperback, but you need to buy copies from Createspace and convince the stores to place them, which is not hard to do, as local stores love to feature books by local authors. The advantage to this is you get to set your cover price -- per-copy cost from CS + bookseller's commission (20 to 30% of cover price) + whatever profit you choose to make. Doing this I can sell my books through the store cheaper than the Amazon retail price and still make a profit. One thing I'd warn about, however, is getting too enthusiastic about your initial buy from Createspace. You don't want to end up with a lot of money tied up in unsold inventory sitting in your closet while the books are trickling out of any local stores you might have them in.

Good luck!

I think I would prefer to find someone in the graphic design department (probably someone still at the university too) to do some cover design. But I don't even know what the file type and general format is usual for a book cover.

I think what you mention regarding getting my physical copies into some bookstores is the best approach to selling in Portugal, honestly. Though I'd have to take it really, really slowly at first (I'm thinking 15 copies for a given bookstore) to see whether or not it works. But the scale of it would be so small... So daunting.

I have to look into marketing over here...

Is it possible for me to simply order a printed copy of my book to see the quality and as a "test run" instead of publishing it to the platform right away? This also goes towards what Kent said after you, quoted below.

You are going to be hardpressed to get a self-published print-on-demand into bookstores unless it looks and feels and is the general quality of a traditionally published book. But that doesn't mean you can't. I have gotten them in bookstores (bought a $40 list from John Kremer of 700 bookstores and did direct email marketing). But I had it all setup in Ingram as returnable and available through Ingram wholesalers. Problem is, many were returned and then you pay fees for the return and have to give the money back. So if you don't have an audience, you aren't going to sell books in bookstores. Your book will be crammed into a shelf with a bunch of other books at best. The odds are so bad that someone will pick up your book based on a spine and choose it over all of the other books, that, well...

You may find some "local" bookstores that will take them on consignment but it isn't going to be a huge number of books you'd sell that way. I will tell you that without your book being sold into bookstores by distributors, you'd probably make more per hour cleaning houses than you would trying to sell those books into bookstores once you consider the time you put in, an estimated 15% (or more) of returned books, etc. It takes a lot of time, and honestly, I wouldn't worry about it if I were you.

Many people, me included, buy our print books and ebooks online. So if you have it created at Createspace and it is on Amazon, people can get the print book without it being in a bookstore. There are a lot of people who buy this way. My advice is to focus on that and don't worry about the bookstores if you are self-publishing.

John Kremer has a book out that is a bit pricey but I will tell you that it is all the nuts and bolts of book marketing. Just reading his website has lots of very informative information as well. I highly recommend this one.

Best of luck!!

Glad I'm not looking to make money from my writing then - simply to break even :p

You raise very good points regarding that physical distribution effort. But my idea of the portuguese market (for my portuguese book, naturally; let's not even speak about the marketing fort of an hypothetical english-driven book I might want to publish through Createspace and such and the difficulties of reaching its intended market...) is that people still go a lot to book stores and that that's were they mostly get their books. I have to research a little, but I doubt there are statistics on that. At least open source. (though I myself now only buy books from book depository...)

I'll have to look into John Kremmer's book and website as well, sound interesting.

Damn... So much to do, so little time....
 

Terry D

Retired Supervisor
I would prefer to find someone in the graphic design department (probably someone still at the university too) to do some cover design. But I don't even know what the file type and general format is usual for a book cover.

The Createspace website will walk you through their requirements for cover art.

Is it possible for me to simply order a printed copy of my book to see the quality and as a "test run" instead of publishing it to the platform right away? This also goes towards what Kent said after you, quoted below.

Yes. you can order as many, or as few, books as you would like. Of course there are price breaks for larger quantities.
 

TKent

Retired Chief Media Manager
Okay, so all my research (lots) and experience (several years now) on publishing has been US/Canada. So take it with a grain of salt when it comes to other markets. :)
 
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