It would appear that a lot is happening with Amazon, print-on-demand, and quality. (3 things which always get my ears twitching!)

It seems that CreateSpace are introducing a ‘No more custom barcodes’ policy. The following article says it’s because of printing errors and related issues (click here to read:

Not that it’s a problem, of course, but when you’ve forked out money for your own software, as I have, it comes as a wee bit of a blow. But, never mind, it’s progress – of a sorts. At least where CreateSpace are concerned. I think. But then I’m not 100% sure of that, either.

What’s Amazon’s Plan?

What is it that Amazon’s doing? See, with Amazon opening up its own Print-On-Demand publishing arm, where does that leave CreateSpace? Moreover, I don’t think anyone outside the upper echelons actually knows. It all seems rather secretive at present. Maybe rightly so.

But, for us as authors, how does this effect us; what’s the difference?

This is what Amazon’s own page say about the differences:

“8. What is the difference between CreateSpace and Amazon Print-On-Demand services?

CreateSpace is a service through which both independent authors and publishers using POD can upload and manage their titles. For publishers uploading titles in bulk and with more specific requirements as a publisher of multiple titles, Amazon’s Print-on-Demand services may be more appropriate. For authors, signing up to Kindle Direct Publishing is the best option for publishing titles in both eBook and paperback.”

(Link to page)

Mmmm, what more specific requirements would they require?I guess time will tell.

In all honesty, my initial thoughts when Amazon revealed they were permitting print books direct on their platform was that the CreateSpace part of their Publishing Empire was going to be phased out. There’s still no firm news on what’s happening, though I can’t see there being any other option. Personally, as far as self-publishing goes, I’ve been a bit lackadaisical on that front of late, so I haven’t actually tried the Kindle-to-print route myself.

But from what I see, it’s not going to be pretty.


Amazon, Print-On-Demand, and Quality


(Hey, Amazon Print-On-Demand,) Print and Ebook Requirements Are Vastly Different

Knowing what is required for both print books and for ebooks on Kindle, I can’t see quality being the winner here.Quite simply because each has different requirements. The problem is, a lot of these requirements aren’t even close.When you think that for a print book you need to set the following:

  • Inside margin/gutters (they’re different, but the end result is the same)
  • Page numbering
  • Headers and footers (running heads and running feet, if you want them)
  • recto/verso pagination for chapter starts
  • and many other print elements

None of these are required for the Kindle. In fact, if you submit your book with these in, you’ll likely fail submission. Even worse, you’ll pass submission and then your customers will contact Amazon and make sure your book is pulled for quality issues and you get banned. Floating Images and Tables Are a No-No

Then when you also consider that if your print book has floating images and/or tables – both of which Kindle can’t handle at present – then you’re on a hiding to nothing.

It’s not going to look good. For the Industry, for Amazon, for the author, and – worst of all – for the reader.

But, in all honesty, I don’t think Jeff Bezos and the team at Amazon care.

How do I know?

If they did, they’d have placed more stringent controls on what books can actually be published. Yes, these new ‘quality’ flags and all are great, but it’s too late in the process for my liking. They these need to be in place long before people are spending time and money on them.

Many decry publishing houses, but at least everything they released had seen an editor and not merely the whiff of one.

Anyway, I digress…

Yes, it would appear that unless Amazon move away from the KDP-to-print route that they’ve undertaken, quality will continue to suffer.

Sure, you could argue that it’s the author’s responsibility not theirs. And I can’t argue with that.

I can only ask what are you doing about it?

If you struggle with using Microsoft Word, the first thing you need to address is how you use what are called styles. I’ve written a post or 2, here’s the first one: Microsoft Word Styles.