Saturday, March 31, 2018

Using KDP Print

Update: While I struggled to work with this new method, I did get it done and the paperback went live the next day (29th).
Blood Ties Tested Paperback Only $4.99 AND you get the ebook free.

Amazon Kindle has an option to drag the ebook self-pubber through the process of setting up a print book.

I hoped they'd do the formatting with the headers and footers, but no such luck. Essentially, the self-pubber (maybe I should just say "I" here) has to do all the same stuff as in CreateSpace, Lightning Source, and other print on demand assistants (no, they are not publishers).

So, I proferred my latest little book as an offering to the Amazon God of You-Are-On-Your-Own.

The first thing I discovered is that I had to stop and format the text into print format. Okay, I've done this more than a few times. The hard part is keeping the headers and footers out of the front matter, then having them start on page 1 with the actual book text. If you don't understand what I'm saying, then catch up on your own like I did.

After I got that done, I had to figure out how to use the Cover Creator. It's kind of like CreateSpace, but not as good. One HUGE problem I had was the fact I was trying this out on a little book. Under 100 page books do not have spine text. The first time into Cover Creator at KDP, they don't look at the number of pages, so the system puts in this big fat worthless spine.

Okay. I stop, leave the process, then return. The second time in the system says, "Oh no! Your book doesn't have a spine (being less than 100 pages)" so I have to redo stuff to account for the disappearance of the spine. Now, this might also be a problem if your book is over 100 pages and will have a spine. Why? The Cover Creator does not know how wide the spine should be. If it didn't know under 100, then it also doesn't know 300+ pages spine width either.

Lost yet? This post would have to be a book (probably without a spine) to explain all this to you if you've never done it before.

Here's the take-away: Go to CreateSpace where you don't have to pay a dime to learn the process and create a print book out of anything you have handy. Rough draft, whatever. It's nice if you do have an actual book, but it's not necessary to do a practice run. Just DO NOT APPROVE a final. You can go in and out of the designer practicing how to do this stuff. This is a good learning experience. I recommend you do this with a pile of garbage writing with at least 101 pages or more. It can be anything. Doesn't matter, but learn how to format that garbage into a print format (templates are available) and apply a decent cover.

When you have an actual ready-to-publish book, you'll be comfortable with the process. It will then be in the easy-peasy category. Have fun! Do not publish until you know what the hell you're doing. I also suggest that you do not need a professional cover designer to do this. Just try to come up with something that's not too ugly and kind of follows the rules for cover design. Personally, I despise canned covers. They all look alike and are needlessly dull because of rule-based repetition.

So, up there is my print cover for that little book. At a reasonable $4.99, you also get a free ebook copy. Will anybody buy it? Yeah. I will, because it's all about the practice. Find the ebook and print book on Amazon.


  1. I've used CreateSpace so many times that I know it backwards and forwards, although it's always possible for some new glitch to appear. And CS's Cover Creator knows exactly how wide to make the spine because after you upload your text, it knows how many pages are in the book. And you can put your cover in before the text but not finish everything about it, and it saves it for you so you can go back and edit it at any time. Why learn something new?