The CreateSpace to KDP Print Migration: Issues to Watch for

herding sheep createspace to kdp printThe indie publishing world has been abuzz since authors received an email from CreateSpace stating CreateSpace would be closing and KDP Print would take its place.

Some authors have been greeted with a pop-up on CreateSpace that tells them they can move their entire catalog with one click. Other authors haven’t yet received the pop-up but should soon, since CreateSpace said the option would be rolled out slowly over the next few weeks. If you don’t yet have the pop-up, don’t worry; CreateSpace has said within a few weeks, if an author hasn’t moved books from one account to the other, CreateSpace will do it for us.

I must have been in the first group to see the option, because the pop-up appeared in my CS account shortly after I received their email. Because I didn’t trust the company to do the migration for me, I decided to click and see what happened. For the most part, everything migrated smoothly, but there were a few issues I’d like to warn others to watch out for.

Before we get to that, if your CreateSpace account uses a different email than your KDP account, make sure to enter the correct email address for your KDP account after clicking the pop-up. If you don’t, the system will be confused. I don’t know exactly what will happen, only that authors in a few discussion threads have mentioned running into problems because they forget to enter the correct email address and CreateSpace couldn’t find their KDP account to begin the transfer.

One you’ve made it past that, even if it looks like everything has transferred smoothly to your KDP dashboard, you’ll want to be sure to check on the following:

1. Keywords. Several of my books lost keywords along the way.

2. Categories. All of my books lost a category. We get to choose two, remember. Mine arrived with only one.

3. Rights. All of my books arrived with world rights de-selected. Rights for some countries had been selected, but I wanted world rights selected.

4. This one may be hard to catch, but check to make sure the newest edit/revision of your book is the one that migrated over. In a couple of instances, my books transferred with an earlier cover or internal file. The only way to be sure is to preview each one.

5. This issue was more complicated, but looks as if maybe it’s been resolved across the board. I had several novels that were second editions. When I published the second edition, I “retired” the first edition through CreateSpace so we wouldn’t have two editions of the same book confusing people on Amazon.

After the migration occurred, I searched for one of our titles on Amazon and it brought up both editions – the one I’d retired and the second edition. I went back to my KDP dashboard to see what it said, and the retired first editions weren’t there.

To summarize, my retired editions were showing up as available on Amazon, but they weren’t on my dashboard so I couldn’t do anything about it. I ended up emailing KDP to explain the issue. I received a nice email back that they were sorry that had happened and were checking into it. Several days later, the old editions showed up on my dashboard and I was able to retire them again. (Actually, the option on the KDP dashboard is to unpublish, which is what I’d wanted to do to begin with.)

If you have retired editions, make sure they’re showing up on your dashboard and that they haven’t been un-retired.

6. Linking eBooks and paperbacks. If they haven’t automatically linked (most of mine had), hover your mouse over the three dots to the right and select to link one to the other. When you do that, you’ll probably see the title of the other edition in the box that pops up, but if not, type it in the search bar. When it shows up in the box, you can’t simply click to link them. You have to first click on the title, and then click to link them. Several authors – including me – initially thought the “link” option wasn’t working. It was, we just hadn’t first clicked on the title, and then clicked on the button to link them.

This may look like a lot, but really, the migration was pretty painless. I expected a few snafus, but while all of the issues I saw needed to be corrected, nothing was earth-shattering.

I did, however, want to make other authors aware, because most of the issues I came across weren’t easily seen, but could still negatively impact sales if not caught and addressed.

Feel free to share any issues you all have run across during the transfer. The more information we share, the easier the migration will be for all of us.

Author: Melinda Clayton

Melinda Clayton is the author of the Cedar Hollow series, as well as a self-publishing guide. Clayton has published numerous articles and short stories in various print and online magazines. She has an Ed.D. in Special Education Administration and is a licensed psychotherapist in the states of Florida and Colorado. Lear more about Melinda at her Amazon author page

43 thoughts on “The CreateSpace to KDP Print Migration: Issues to Watch for”

  1. One other issue with the changeover is that creating covers is different under the new system – not necessarily better or worse, just different, and it can be a bit unsettling at first. Also, unlike CreateSpace that, when you took the free IBSN, gave both forms, the new platform only does the 13-digit version. Not a big deal, but just another change that comes at you unexpectedly.

    1. Thank you, Charles! One thing I like about KDP Print and covers is that if you have the dimensions even slightly off, KDP won’t accept it but will tell you what the dimensions should be. For example, “Your expected cover size is 9.0 x 12.002, but the cover you uploaded is 9.0 x 12.1.” That makes it easy to fix. CreateSpace would give a message like, “We resized your cover for you,” which always made me nervous, because I was never quite sure what they’d done.

  2. I found the process works more reliably if you do the migration from the KDP page, not Createspace.

    Also, a note for Australian authors. You can’t ship author copies to Australia once they’re on KDP (Amazon decided they wouldn’t ship from Amazon.com to Australia any more after spat with the Australian tax authorities about collecting VAT – unfortunately author copies on KDP are fulfilled as it they’re an order from Amazon.com).

    1. Thanks for including that, Daniel. Regarding orders fulfilled as if they’re from Amazon.com, I’ll just add that they take forever. Weeks. It’s been over a week since I last ordered author copies, and they haven’t even shipped yet.

    1. This was written a few weeks ago, so I think the pop-up may be gone by now. They’d initially said they’ll be moving everyone who hasn’t already migrated by the end of November. I guess that’s still the case.

  3. we also migrated before they said their robots would do it for us. However, it’s not as easy to publish directly on KDP, my guy had to fiddle with the cover sizes a bit, and when i went to order a proof copy, it published before I could stop it. I had to unpublish while I waited for the proof the double check and then upload the e.book version. I also wanted to have A post proof copies to an address that was not mine (I’m going away) but it refused even though it took in the new address. You also have to publish through your local area (for me it is UK) and they would not send proofs to the US (Where I am going) – I found that frustrating. also, proofs take longer to arrive only one delivery speed offered.

    1. Good information, thank you, Lucinda. Interesting that they wouldn’t ship the books to a different country. I’ve noticed when I order copies there’s a drop-down menu for me to select the store I want to order from (Amazon US, UK, Canada, etc.). Did you try selecting U.S. from the drop-down? I’d be curious to know what happens.

  4. I have found delivery speeds notably slower since the changeover. Hopefully that will improve with time.
    Thanks for the tip about needing two clicks to get the links to function. I was one of those authors who had a problem.

    1. I’m waiting for books and it’s taking longer than it used to—I didn’t expect that problem and I have a presentation in three days time! I’m still hoping the books will arrive before then! Wow—this could upset the apple cart for me!

  5. My transfer wasn’t perfect either, and I suspect the world rights issue may have something to do with a rather imperfect free promotion that came soon after. I’m going to check that setting right now. Thanks. 🙂

  6. I just started looking at mine, and the 2nd category was dropped and the rights were relegated to territories, not world, so obviously I have a lot of fixing to do. I have 32 titles out there! Sheesh. Thanks for the head’s up, Melinda. I doubt I ever would have checked.

  7. Thanks for sharing these observations. My books migrated over yesterday and now I have a guide of things to go in to check on.

  8. I’m glad I didn’t get around to putting my books on CreateSpace, so I don’t have the problem of switching. I had some technical things I didn’t know how to overcome, but finally figured out how to do it and I just uploaded my first couple of books to KDP Print over the past couple of days. I, too, like the fact that they give you the cover size it should be. Only one of mine had a slight problem and it was easy to correct. It is quite a simple process once you get used to the site. I’m looking forward to getting my proof copies. I had an e-mail today to say they will be here between next Monday and the following Tuesday.

    1. It really is quite simple, isn’t it? And I, too, love that they tell us what to fix regarding cover size. I really think, in the long run, KDP Print could be more advanced than C/S was – but they have a few things they need to figure out first, such as the issues Daniel and Lucinda mentioned above.

      1. The one issue that really caused me a big problem (only because I didn’t know what it was at first) was that somehow a straight line sat along the actual outline at the top of two pages. I couldn’t see it, but it had a read arrow pointing to it, so I went to my original, pointed the cursor to the top edge, clicked and it highlighted, so I deleted it and all was fine. I have no idea how that could have even been there. Also it wouldn’t accept my footnotes, but I think that was probably because I had my page numbers in a header. One ms had the page numbers in a footer, and the footnotes didn’t cause any problem at all. I only used CreateSpace once a few years ago to upload someone else’s book and cover, and I can’t remember the procedure though I didn’t have any problem with it that I can recall.

        1. Interesting. I suspect KDP Print is like Ingram (IngramSpark for small presses and self-published authors), in that it won’t forgive some of the errors CreateSpace would forgive. It sounds like you had some sort of weird Word code in your document that KDP Print picked up on.

  9. I transferred in what seemed a seamless operation but now I will have to take another look after everything you’ve listed.
    I have ordered books and am waiting for them to arrive soon. I hope they look good and don’t have any problems!
    Thanks so much for all the valuable information and help over the years. I love IU!

  10. I am confused. It says on the KDP site that if you used Cover Creator to upload your print book cover to Createspace, it won’t work once it’s migrated to KDP. The trouble is, I can’t remember using anything called Cover Creator when I uploaded the pdf of my book cover designs, and now I’m worried that when they are moved to KDP the covers won’t be compatible. Can anyone enlighten me? What exactly is Cover Creator?

    1. Cover Creator is the option CreateSpace gives you to create your cover on site. You choose from different templates, upload (or choose) a photo, choose your font, etc., and in the end, that’s the cover your book will have. If you didn’t use Cover Creator to create your cover, I’d contact them and let them know.

      My understanding (from what other authors have shared elsewhere), is that your books will migrate over without any issues regarding the cover, but if you ever want to do a revision, you’ll need to upload a new cover. In other words, the old one will migrate, but it has to be left alone once it does. Any changes or revisions, and you’ll need a new one.

  11. Mid-August, before my books moved over I received an email from CreateSpace informing me I had to select extended distribution for the move and if the book price was less than the minimum for extended distribution I would have to raise the price and click on publish for each book. Also, any books left as a draft or unpublished status might not move over. So I went through all my books and selected the extended distribution and raised my prices and made sure no book was in the draft. Everything pretty much moved over in Mid-September and I checked all my print books one by one. I had to readjust my book prices. The 5 keywords and category did not come over, so I picked 7 new better keywords and 2 new categories, which seem to have helped sales in October. I issued a new book in October, KDP has two cover templates a pdf and ping but only accepts the PDF over version. Other than that there seems to be only minor differences from CreateSpace.

    1. I received that email, too, but I didn’t select Expanded Distribution because we use IngramSpark for that (I think the email warned that our books wouldn’t be available in other stores if I didn’t select Expanded Distribution – but they already are, through IngramSpark). Thankfully, our prices were fine.

  12. Thanks for the heads up! I did the conversion, but have been ultra busy, so hadn’t noticed that they went total FUBAR on me. Just like you said, I had just a couple of key words, a handful of territories and no categories. Going to work on fixing it over the next week. The whole point of doing the “easy” conversion was to save time. And this is just a complete time waster.

  13. This is not about the migration in particular, but since our books switched over, the number of expanded distribution sales has dropped precipitously. In our case, it was not a huge amount of sales, but every little bit helps. I wonder if brick and mortar bookstores are even less willing to buy from Amazon than they were from CreateSpace.

  14. I read the moving comments from my email and moved them over. It didn’t do anything to them once they appeared on my paperback side. Is there anything else I have to do to them?

    1. Larry, do you mean you clicked to have them automatically moved from CreateSpace to KDP Print? If so, and you can now see them on your KDP dashboard, you may want to just check them to make sure none of the issues in my post are showing up for your books.

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