Now and then, I check my sales on the Amazon KDP platform where I publish my Kindle titles. A couple of days ago, I noticed a new feature: you can now publish paperback versions of your books with KDP.
‘OO!’ I thought. ‘You don’t say!’
It’s a beta version, so they’re still developing it. On the face of it, it looks worth doing if you haven’t self-published before, but I personally have a few questions:
- Can I use my own ISBNs? Apparently you can, but only if they’re issued by Bowker and that’s a US company; I’m British and my ISBNs came from Neilsen, so for me the answer is no – for now, because I have five left to use. Bowker has operations in the UK, but I can’t tell from their site if British SP authors can buy Bowker IBSNs, otherwise it’s an Amazon issued ISBN. I used a Lulu ISBN for Goalden Girl and this effectively makes Lulu the publisher of that book.
- Will my paperbacks be available in other stores? This is a promised feature for the future, but I’m unsure whether this means popular bookshops in the UK like Waterstones, WH Smith or The Book Depository
- Any chance of free book promotion? Not mentioned at this time, but if they’re going to do that will it be the same as the eBook where you can’t have your book on other sites?
- What size are the paperbacks? The information doesn’t say, but probably 6 x 9 inches like Lulu’s (yuk!), the standard US trade size.
- Will this eventually take over from Amazons existing print publishing platform, Createspace? Watch this space.
There are bound to be benefits as well as drawbacks (setting your own price being one, but comments have been made about proof copies being unavailable for authors, which would be a problem; without the proof how can you check it prints all right or that the cover looks OK?). It will be interesting to find out how it develops and what the reported pros and cons are, but I’ll give it a few years before I think about giving it a go myself.