Self published books are all the rage today, with countless bloggers and internet marketers striving to grab a piece of the proverbial, multi-billion pie of the ebook self publishing market. If you have one or more manuscripts sitting in your drawer or if you aspire to becoming a prolific e-author then you should know that by far the largest online provider of self publishing solutions is none other than online retail giant Amazon.com. Thousands of authors self publish with Amazon each month and Amazon’s self published book selection is more than three times larger than their biggest competitor’s. It is not hard to publish your book by yourself on Amazon, but there are certain aspects of self publishing that are surrounded by a lot misinformation and outdated advice; confusing newbies in the self publishing arena.
Being a self published author myself and having worked in several other self publishing projects on behalf of my clients has given me an insider’s understanding on how this whole self publishing deal with Amazon really works. Through this article, I aim to dispel some common misconceptions and explain how anyone can self publish with Amazon.
First of all, when people say “Amazon self publishing”, they can be talking about two totally different and quite unrelated things! Amazon self publishing may refer to Amazon’s “CreateSpace” services or to Amazon’s “Kindle Direct Publishing” or KDP for short. CreateSpace has been Amazon’s self publishing platform for a long time, while KDP is Amazon’s latest method to self publish books mainly for Amazon’s Kindle electronic book reader. Let’s see the differences between CreateSpace and KDP below.
Self Publishing with CreateSpace
CreateSpace is a subsidiary company of Amazon and as such, has been handling Amazon’s self publishing solutions for many years now. CreateSpace offers self publishing solutions not only for books but also for CDs, Videos, MP3s and more. Until recently, “Amazon self publishing” meant only CreateSPace.
CreateSpace works principally with a manufacture-on-demand model for physical products (including printed books) and standard digital downloads for all ebooks and digital products. Manufacture-on-demand means that products are actually produced only when a customer orders them (no stock) so there is no capital investment required. As with all Amazon services, the company takes care of order shipments, customer service and other logistic details so self published users can focus on creating and promoting their titles.
The process of publishing with CreateSpace is not too complicated but compared to other self publishing methods, CreateSpace is quite more sophisticated and demanding than most. Nonetheless, CreateSpace allows users to set their own royalty fees and offers every self published author a non-exclusivity agreement, meaning that authors are free to publish with other houses if the chance presents itself.
Nowadays, CreateSpace is used by many semi-professional authors and authors that have been previously published elsewhere, with the bulk of unpublished and beginner authors opting to publish with Kindle Direct Publishing instead.