Tuesday, February 21, 2017

KDP Offering a Beta Paperback Program? UPDATED

In the process of updating the interior file for my novel, The Predator and The Prey, I noticed Kindle Direct Publishing is now offering a Beta program for paperback versions of your Kindle book.

I have always used CreateSpace to provide a paperback edition for my books using print-on-demand. Since my books are already available in paperback, I quickly glossed over the link to learn more about this new option.

That is until my cursor stopped on the link on its own accord one day and my eye caught the 60% royalty figure! KDP offers the author 60% of the net after printing costs and the author sets the price for the book. That's a better deal than the 40% I get now from CreateSpace!

There are some drawbacks you need to be aware of. At this moment, KDP does NOT offer physical proof copies. That's a deal breaker for me at the moment. I have to be able to get printed proof copies for a variety of reasons. But that 60% is so alluring.

At the time of this post, KDP does not offer the ability for the author to purchase bulk copies at wholesale, offer expanded distribution to bookstores and non-Amazon sites and it does not offer professional services.

If you are used to using CreateSpace, this really isn't that big a deal. Set your book up on CreateSpace. When it is ready to release, move it to KDP.

It is pure speculation on my part, but I have a hard time believing KDP isn't using CreateSpace to provide this service. When I speculate though, I generally get myself in trouble so perhaps this is another internal to Amazon POD service, set up to compete with its own CreateSpace. See where speculation gets you?

For now, I plan to experiment by transferring a few of my existing non-fiction titles and seeing how it works out.

You see, there's a catch. Once you transfer the files to KDP - you're committed.

If anyone has used this service, please comment about your experience.


In the comment section Denise Gaskins pointed out this might be much ado about nothing. I posted a screenshot of her comment below.

This brought to mind a quote I value from General Douglas MacArthur, "Don't give orders that can be understood. Give orders that cannot be misunderstood."

Here is a screenshot from the CreateSpace website showing how royalties are calculated for a B&W 184 page book priced at $8.99.

Based on the example provided and the chart shown above the amounts below are what the various parties will earn.

Here is my math for this example.

$3.60 is 40% of the list price
$3.05 is the total per unit cost for printing a single copy
$2.34 is the author's share of the proceeds in the form of royalty payment.
Sixty percent of the list price goes to printing and author royalty payment.
Based on that math, Denise is indeed correct in her statement.
This leaves me to wonder if KDP has either issued a statement that is deliberately vague to recruit authors to the new KDP paperback program OR is the statement poorly worded and actually does mean author's will receive a higher percentage of the net profits per sale (see MacArthur's quote above).
What would the math look like if the author really is getting a higher percentage of the net?
Based on the example the cost per unit for printing will remain the same at $3.05.

The change would be in the amount paid to authors. Out of the remaining $5.94, my calculator says 40% equals $2.38, or .04 cents more than the example listed for the author royalties.

I interpret this to mean the author is being paid a 40% royalty, give or take a few pennies.

Again, using the example provided by CreateSpace, a 60% royalty would be $3.56, a difference of $1.18, which IS something to crow about over multiple sales.

The question is, which example is the model KDP is using?

Denise, thanks for pointing this out.

KDP's language in regard to the actual amount is vague. An easy to understand example like the one CreateSpace provides would have been helpful, especially considering KDP is basically poaching from a fellow Amazon company and once you make the switch, there is no going back.