This week’s post is about using two different companies for Print-On-Demand publishingIngramSpark and KDP.

Ever since Amazon began offering services to authors, there’s been a question in the indie author community: should I use them? My answer, initially, was a little bit different.

You see, I published my first three novels a million years ago. Well, not really. It was only four years ago. But a lot can change in four years.

At the time I put those novels out, it didn’t seem to make much sense to use Amazon’s KDP program, then called CreateSpace. Why? Because I’m an independent author who created his own publishing company. Why would I want to be an Amazon author, and therefore under Amazon’s control?

 

But Then Things Got Really Weird

As Amazon’s CreateSpace system became more and more popular, it also bogged downa lot. I felt totally vindicated in my choice. As an author, I had set up my books to be available on Amazon (via IngramSpark’s Print-On-Demand option), along with Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo, you name it. I was in the driver’s seat.

But the “bogging down” process meant a lot of other authors were getting royally screwed by Amazon. Not only were they stuck under Amazon’s large, greedy thumb for their e-books, but they were also forced to use Amazon’s POD services for paperbacks. I read about shoddy production, royalty problems…all sorts of problems.

Unfortunately, there was another issue afoot: Amazon’s plan to control the book business didn’t exactly backfireat least, not from a reader standpoint. Many readers buy all their e-books from Amazon, and a fair number of readers get their paperbacks from them, too.

 

So, You Can Do Both?

Enter Amazon’s new version of CreateSpace, confusingly called KDP Print, or KDPP. According to the Alliance of Independent Authors, as of today it’s actually feasible to use both Amazon and IngramSpark for your Print-On-Demand needs.

Why would you do both? Well, it seems that it can now be beneficial to have an Amazon-only version of the paperback, in case someone orders your paperback from Amazon directly. That way, Amazon uses their own service instead of going to IngramSpark.

Of course, there’s still no compelling reason to use Amazon alone. After all, there’s a whole world of non-Amazon distributors out there for books, like the above mentioned B&N, iTunes, etc. When I published Whizzers this past July, I looked into creating a paperback version using the KDPP platform. In the end, though, I decided to stick with my current setup.

What do you think? If you’re a writer, are you satisfied with your Amazon distribution experience? And for my non-writer readers, is Amazon your go-to for buying paperback versions of books? Let me know in the comments below.

coronavirus

Nobody Likes Being Sick—But The Coronavirus Is Making People Scared Of Even Getting Sick

​Readers of this blog undoubtedly know I sometimes create Monday posts geared toward providing helpful info, but also sometimes use it as my personal ranting space. Today's post is the latter, but it's going to be a short one. No, I don't have the coronavirus, but...

The Marketing Thing Vs. The Working Thing

Last week, I took a vacation with my lovely wife, and missed doing a blog post entirely. I see where WordPress has an option of writing and scheduling posts, but frankly, I was too busy doing that with my monthly newsletter. I figured I could ignore the blog for a...
run

The End of a Good Run

I’ve had a pretty good run the last five or six weeks: last week’s blog post, entitled What Books Cost Their Authors: A Tale of Blood, Sweat & Tears, had the best “headline quality score” I’ve ever attained (yes, I run my headlines through an analyzer for SEO, to...
marketing

Why I Don’t Want You to Buy My Latest Book—Yet

​One of the biggest challenges indie authors face is that of marketing. We ask ourselves a million questions when putting together a marketing plan, often with answers that are hazy at best. Who is my audience? Where do they find books? What marketing services should...
process

Create A Process That Works For YOU

This week’s topic: create a process that works for you. I can’t tell you how many times a fellow author’s quote has upset me for the simple reason that their opinion is presented as fact. Here are a few examples: “Write every day, line by line, page by page, hour by...
racism

Would You Like A Side Order of Misogyny, Prejudice, or Homophobia With That?

I didn’t intentionally set out to write a new novel addressing the rampant intolerance, Islamophobia, and racism in America today. I really didn’t. My novels always start with a character, or characters. Sometimes their actions get pretty hectic right out of the gate;...

Who Are Your Greatest Connections?

When it comes to networking, making connections with people who have a greater influence in your industry can be beneficial in ways that go on and on. This has proven true for many people, I'm sure, and I know I've seen it in my own experience. Two recent examples...
fictional world

Creating a Believable Fictional World

When it comes to writing fiction, many authors sweat the small stuff. "Do I have what it takes to write realistic dialogue?" they wonder. "Am I creating a believable fictional world?" Or, most dire of all, "Will anyone care about my books?" These concerns are all...
healthcare

Our Broken Healthcare System Vs. The Decent, Affordable Healthcare of a Developing Nation

​Is your country’s health care system an egregious scam that bilks patients out of their money? Mine is. I didn’t have a blog post topic planned for today, but a bill that showed up in my mailbox changed that in a hurry. I’ve been talking about this anecdotally to...
service

What’s It All About, Anyway?

As far as service goes, it can take the form of a million things. To do service, you don't have to be a doctor working in the slums for free, or become a social worker. Your position in life and what you do doesn't matter as much as how you do what you do. —Elisabeth...