Kindle Paperback Books: Not Ready for Primetime


[NOTE: Since this post was first published, KDP has made significant changes to its site.  I no longer have concerns about using KDP for print books as well as ebooks. –HB]


You may have gotten this announcement from Kindle recently: Make life easier by publishing both your ebook and your paperback with Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), and you get a 60% royalty on your print book (whereas Createspace generally pays 40%).

What’s not to like?

One of my authors and I jumped on this offer early—and quickly found that KDP is not ready for primetime.

Leaving out all the pleasantries, here’s what happened after we uploaded our book files.

• • •

KDP: Sorry. Files rejected. Text must not be present in the barcode location.

Us: Hmmm…that’s strange. Createspace wants text in the barcode location. Are we not able to use our own ISBN with this new process? Oh, well.

[We remove the barcode and resubmit.]

KDP: Sorry. Files rejected. Text must not be present in the barcode location. And the disc reference should not imply that the disc is packaged with the book.

Us: Disc? What disc?

[We submit a help ticket with a screen shot of the cover with a blank space where the barcode should be. And we assure them there’s no disc in play.]

KDP: [No answer. For over a week.]

[We decide to give up and upload the files to Createspace. They reject the files because KDP has our ISBN number locked in their system. Now we can publish on neither platform.]

Us: Free our book! Give us back our ISBN number!

KDP: Sorry. We can’t help. We recommend you publish on Createspace using one of their free ISBN numbers.

In the end, we did publish on Createspace, but we did not use their free ISBN number because we did not want Createspace to be listed as our publisher. We purchased a second ISBN number of our own.

And by the way, if this isn’t enough to make you think twice, KDP is also currently unable to send you a proof copy of your print book to review before you publish.








3 thoughts on “Kindle Paperback Books: Not Ready for Primetime”

    • Hi Beverly,
      Yes, things have gotten much better over at KDP since this post. We were early in testing it, and the bugs hadn’t been stamped out yet. The KDP print book site is much better–and KDP print books are the best competitor to Ingram Spark print books.


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