If you publish with Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) you’ve seen the option to create a paperback underneath your Kindle Ebook option when you create a new title. Have you tried it?
To date, I haven’t, because I’m confused about what the difference is between KDP Print POD and Amazon Createspace. Createspace has more features — some of which will be coming to KDP Print, Amazon says, but why the new Print On Demand (POD) option?
Why is Amazon offering a new print program?
The only reason I can figure out is that KDP Print is an easy, one-click (more or less) option for those self-publishing authors who find Createspace intimidating. I admit that I’ve been meaning to get around to publishing on Createspace POD… as soon as I can find the time. 🙂
I did a little research, and couldn’t find many news stories on Amazon’s new beta POD Option. Not that the option is that new, it’s been available on your KDP dashboard for months, but Amazon sent out an email promoting it last week:
You can now publish paperbacks with KDP’s new beta feature
Publishing a paperback can help you reach new readers. KDP prints your book on demand and subtracts your printing costs from your royalties, so you don’t have to pay any costs upfront or carry any inventory. You can use the KDP website in English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Portuguese or Dutch. KDP automatically updates your title metadata based on information (book description, categories, keywords) you’ve already provided when setting up your eBook and vice versa. It also enables you to receive consolidated royalty payments for paperback and eBook sales. You can view combined reports and manage your print and eBook publishing from one website.
Since Amazon is now actively promoting the new program, which is still in beta, you can assume that most of the bugs have been eliminated.
All well and good, but are there any benefits to publishing paperbacks of your ebooks?
Benefits of Amazon’s option to publish your ebooks as paperbacks on KDP
Here are some benefits I’ve managed to think of:
- You can reach more readers — some readers aren’t aware that they don’t need a Kindle device to read ebooks. Others prefer print. And of course, your ebooks will now appear in Amazon’s standard bookstore — more visibility, and with luck, more sales;
- You can save time: KDP’s “print a paperback” option is a no-brainer when you release a new ebook. After you upload a new title, Amazon gives you the option to publish a paperback;
- It seems easy (I’ll need to try it to assess exactly how easy, but judging by the Help document it couldn’t be easier.) Amazon will even provide you with an ISBN.
POD and ISBNs: what is an ISBN?
An ISBN is a book’s International Standard Book Number. It’s used for print books, to identify books for bookstores, libraries etc. You can get the gist on ISBNs here.
Authors often ask me about ISBNs. The short version of my response is always: “if you’re publishing an ebook, you don’t need an ISBN.”
Here’s Amazon on ISBNs:
An ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is not required to publish content with Kindle Direct Publishing. Once your content is published on the KDP website, Amazon.com will assign it a 10-digit ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number), which is unique to the eBook, and is an identification number for the Kindle Book on Amazon.com.
If you already have an ISBN for your eBook, you’ll be able to enter it during the publishing process. Do not use an ISBN from a print version of your book; eBook ISBNs must be unique to eBook versions. You can purchase an ISBN from multiple sources on the Web, including the official ISBN body.
Publishing an Amazon KDP paperback version of your ebook has benefits
I’ve added “create Amazon KDP paperbacks” to my long To Do list.
I can’t see any downsides to the process. The huge benefit of course is that your books are available in another format, giving readers more opportunities to buy them. 🙂
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