Okay, as mentioned, I’ve been busy. So I hadn’t checked some of my emails. When I did get around to that, I had an email from Kindle Direct informing me that they have merged with CreateSpace, the publishing platform I’ve used as an indie author and privateer to publish my wares. I also use KDP for some titles. According to KDP, the fact that I already have accounts with both should make this a seamless transition for me and all my titles should continue to be available without interruption. Both are Amazon companies.
I liked the way CreateSpace functioned. It was easy to use, produced good looking books, and I could sell everything on Amazon, or not. I could also utilize KDP, or not. But here’s something I didn’t realize about Kindle Direct Publishing prior to using it, once you upload your manuscript to Kindle Direct, you cannot delete it. You can change it by uploading a different version, you can unpublish it, which makes it unavailable for future sales, but you cannot delete it. So if you decide that you really don’t want whatever title it is out there anymore on KDP, ever, you can unpublish it, but you cannot remove your manuscript from the service. That keeps you tied to KDP indefinitely. On principle, I don’t care for that. It puts the ball completely in their court. I’m sure there are ways to completely divest one’s self from KDP, but to my mind, it ought to be as simple as deciding you no longer want to sell your book there, deleting the manuscript forever, and moving on, if those are your druthers. I’ve unpublished my poetry books from KDP because there seems to be no way to get the unusual formatting for poetry to look right, or at least the way I want it to look, electronically. The fiction I’ve published on KDP I’ve kept published, having decided to only publish in paperback form, through CreateSpace, going forward, because I don’t like this KDP policy. Now, KDP and CreateSpace have merged. Keeping in mind as well that I’ve no issue with electronic publishing itself other than if you only publish in electronic form, as in no paperback or hardback copy of your book, then it has no chance of ever ending up in a thrift store or on the dusty shelf of some last stronghold bookstore, or in some box in someone’s attic, where some future wanderer may happen upon it and experience the joy of discovery of the fantastic and wondrous creation you’ve bestowed upon the world. I’ve found some of my favorite books that way.
In terms of using KDP to publish, I’ve looked at the step by step process, and they’ve included a guide and templates that really make it so incredibly simple that I think anyone could use it. That’s a great thing, and not a great thing, depending on your perspective, and keeping in mind that Amazon is in this to make money. To put it nicely, I will offer the opinion that Amazon likely doesn’t necessarily care quite so much if the quality isn’t there, as in, if every person who can figure out how to use the self-publishing option does so, well, that’s probably fine with them. In terms of using KDP versus how CreateSpace functioned, there doesn’t look to be much of a change, if anything, they’ve over simplified to the point of it being somewhat confusing if you’re used to uploading your already completely formatted, ready to go, book.
My other issue, however, in addition to KDP’s not allowing the deletion of manuscripts/books, is that Amazon is verging on being a monopoly. Amazon also, depending on whom you ask or which source you care to consult, may or may not be at the forefront of some censorship issues. You may search up “Amazon Censorship” and inform thyself about that if thou so choose. Opinions seem to vary as to what practices a privately held business or company can engage in. Historically, monopolies and censorship aren’t good things for consumers, or those in the arts. Don’t get me wrong, obviously I use Amazon, and I like Amazon, it’s great, but it shouldn’t be the only option for buying or selling books. I’m a fan of bookstores. I miss old time newsstands, if you’ve ever known of one, they’re pretty great. I’m certainly taking that into consideration. When I first began this publishing adventure, I used Lulu. At the time, the process was quite a bit different, and it wasn’t as easy to sell your books from the Lulu platform as it appears to be now. I think I’m going to check out some other publishing options, other than KDP, for my next book, knowing of course that Amazon remains the main online distribution option, at this time, for reaching the widest audience possible, especially for privateers like myself. I’m looking at this with an open mind. I’m learning more things about how to conduct the business of my books, and hey, maybe now that KDP is taking over CreateSpace, I’ll get that $1.70 royalty that’s been sitting in my CreateSpace account for over a year. You didn’t think all authors were getting wealthy, did you? Anyone who cares to can look those things up too. I’m sincerely grateful to have be able to publish my own books at all. This is exactly what I wanted to be doing before I knew this was what I wanted to be doing. Things change. Life isn’t stagnant. Got to keep on rolling with it. This could bring about some greatness.
Note: I was able to successfully request a title be removed from CreateSpace/kindle publishing having stated a good reason and as the title was never electronically available. Had the title been electronically available, as an E-Book, it would have had to remain so for those who had already purchased it. An important thing to be aware with regard to E-books.