I started the week not knowing what I would post this week, but figured — with Dragoncon happening, and roughly half of my Facebook friends at Dragoncon — I would have something to talk about by the end of the week. Turns out I do have something to talk about, but it has nothing to do with Dragoncon after all.
It’s been rumored for months, but the shoe has dropped and its no longer just a rumor. The POD service that does my print editions, Createspace, is being phased into KDP Print. Now, you could go through that link to read some of the details, but honestly it’s probably more than you want to know. It won’t be happening right away, though, as apparently they’ve been having issues with the migration and the “tools” needed for authors to make the transition smoother are being restricted to specific authors in batches; I still don’t have the ability to access those tools, and it may be weeks before I get them. However, by all accounts Createspace will be no more by the end of the year.
So, what does it mean? Not much to you. Depending on how smooth the transition goes, there may be zero disruption of sales or it may be my print books will be taken off the market for as much as two-to-three days. Most likely, it’ll be offline for a few minutes and that’s it.
To me, for now, it means a little administrative work. Some of my record keeping might need to change. I don’t think this will have any effect on any of my eBooks, so if you’re like the majority of my customers it won’t matter (the ratio has improved slightly, but I’m still selling something close to a 200-to-1 ratio of ebook to print book). If you want to buy print copies of my books and you live somewhere OTHER than the United States, there’s a greater likelihood you’ll be able to get it (KDP Print and Createspace have had two different “territories” they would distribute books to; those territories are being merged along with the two companies).
This won’t effect me much, but the distribution merger can result in some oddities you might find from other indie authors. For example, IF I had a Japanese-language translation of my books, you could get it in Japan… but only if the text is written in Romaji (the English-language alphabet and not kana or kanji (the Japanese ‘alphabet,’ or rather syllabary). Japanese characters and fonts are not supported, even if distribution to Japan is.
That doesn’t mean the only changes you’ll see are a few minutes when my books won’t be on sale and some added distribution. The other changes may not show up for a while, however; they don’t need to be done right away, and they’ll take some doing, so they can wait until I’ve finished the current projects I’m working on.
From my previous experience with KDP Print, I know that they have slightly different cover design requirements (things like KDP Print is less flexible with where you place the ISBN code). So, some time in the next few months (probably to coincide with the release of In Division Imperiled, the third book of the Law of Swords series) I’ll be tweaking the cover a bit so that the designs of the new books and the old books will match better. The old cover art will be used for all of the old books (well, with the possible exception of The Kitsune Stratagem. I like the current cover art, but based on the criticism I’ve received, I’m coming to the conclusion that one big reason it has been such a slow-seller compared to my other books is the cover art), but there will be slight differences to all of my major print books to conform better to KDP Print design standards.
The interiors should remain the same, though, regardless, so if you already have a copy there won’t be a point in buying another one… though I won’t object if you do. If you were thinking of buying one, though, and haven’t, (for any of In Treachery Forged, In Forgery Divided, The Kitsune Stratagem, or The Merrimack Event), and you would like the old cover, you probably should buy one now. (It shouldn’t matter much, but if my books ever become collectables these older covers should be worth more).
Now that they’ve added many of the features I was missing the last time I tried it out, I think KDP Print will work out fine once the transition is complete… but I’ll miss Createspace.
Just two things again, this week. And I was worried this link exchange thing was going to bury my blog…
From Cyn Bagley, the third book of her EJ Hunter series (the previous two having been featured in prior blogs), Diamond Butterfly.
From Holly Chism comes a short story collection, Normalcy Bias.