In January, Amazon announced the rollout of Kindle Paperbacks. That’s right. The pioneering e-book platform is now set up for print-on-demand publishing. This is a game changer.

Before this, to publish paperbacks on Amazon, you had three options. Use a third-party print-on-demand provider such as Lightning Source or Lulu, outsource the printing and take care of supplying Amazon with the books yourself, or use Amazon’s CreateSpace publishing platform separate from Kindle.

The option most independent authors use is the third. It is less hassle, you don’t have to worry about having enough books on hand, and you can get the books on the “shelves” at Amazon faster.

However, even though CreateSpace was an Amazon company, the platform was separate from Kindle. That meant you had to set up a separate account and use a workflow that was quite different from what you did with Kindle. You could link the books together through a simple request, but sometimes that took quite awhile to accomplish.

Those problems are solved with Kindle Paperback. You can publish your ebook at the same time as your paperback. You can track sales right on your Kindle dashboard. And you get a statement each month combining both ebook and print sales.

If you have a book currently published only as an e-book, you can easily publish it as a paperback right from your Kindle dashboard (I will be teaching an in-depth course here at Savvy on how to do this). Much of the data from your book will be automatically filled in.

There are a few drawbacks at the current time. First, there is no extended distribution option for Kindle publishing at the time. Unlike CreateSpace, Kindle paperbacks are published only through Amazon. So, if you want to distribute to other companies, you will still need to use CreateSpace.

Kindle paperbacks offer an online proof copy for review. However, you cannot order a proof copy in advance. Likewise, if you want to order several print copies at the basic print costs, for local bookstores, book signings, or personal appearances, you cannot do that through Kindle Direct as of this writing. However, Amazon suggests that all of this will eventually be available through the Kindle Paperback platform.

So, the final word is that if you primarily want to publish your book directly to Amazon for quick sale, Kindle Direct Paperback Publishing is probably your best bet. On the other hand, if you need author copies or expanded distribution, for the time being, you should go with CreateSpace.

Terri will be presenting a workshop, Paperback Publishing on Kindle at SavvyAuthors starting on April 24.


Terri Main has more than 40 years experience writing for publication. She has written novels, short stories, nonfiction books, magazine articles, video scripts, even a radio play. She is also the education director of The Writing Academy ( ). In addition to writing, she has also taught written and oral communication for more than 30 years at all levels from beginner to graduate level. She lives in Reedley, California, with her four cats. “Hey, what’s a mystery writer without a few cats?” she asks.

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