Susan Grossey

Taking cover

Things have been a bit quiet on the Sam front in recent weeks as my day job – in the anti-money laundering world – has been very busy.  New legislation in Guernsey has required me to update five of my non-fiction books and negotiate the new publishing process (since migration from CreateSpace to KDP).  It seems to work fairly smoothly but the proof will be in the pudding – or rather, in the printing.

You see, I am in the middle of a frustrating discussion with KDP about the quality of their printing.  Whatever my gripes about their postage charges and time-frames, I was always been delighted with the print quality of books from CreateSpace.  After the migration I placed an order for twenty copies of “Fatal Forgery” with KDP, thrilled to see that the postage cost has dropped significantly because (a) they are now printed in Europe [Poland, as it turns out – at least in this instance], and (b) you get a discount on the postage for ordering multiple copies.  So twenty copies of an average paperback book cost me just £7.28 in postage (compared to US$32.99 for the same order from CreateSpace).

Sadly, it seems that the savings are being made elsewhere, as the books I received from KDP were not up to standard.  Of the twenty I ordered on 8 November 2018, eleven had to be sent back because the books were trimmed 5 mm too narrow, making the cover art fall off the edge:

WP_20181118_07_51_32_Pro    WP_20181118_07_51_25_Pro

KDP offered to send a replacement set of eleven copies – and they were worse!  They were not only printed wrong again (in exactly the same way – indeed, I’m not convinced that these aren’t the same copies coming back again), but packed loose into a large box with no packing material, resulting in knocked corners and bent covers.  And what’s that ugly bar-code sticker they have added?  For a month now I have been waiting for a resolution, with emails coming from KDP twice a week assuring me that my complaint is of great concern to them and that they are looking into it as a matter of urgency…  Thank goodness I always keep a few copies in stock, otherwise I’d now be finding it impossible to meet bookshop orders.

So I am reserving judgement on KDP as a worthy successor to CreateSpace and am investigating alternatives – other authors have good things to say about Ingram Spark.  I’ll keep you posted.

Published by


  1. Graham Avatar

    Dear Susan

    How frustrating for you, especially in the run up to Christmas.

    I do hope that KDP can turn promises of a resolution into reality before too long.

    Best wishes


    1. ihatemoneylaundering Avatar

      I’ll certainly keep you up to date – I know that lots of people who are considering self-publishing search blogs like this for war stories and recommendations, and it’s nice to be able to help other people to avoid timely and costly mistakes.

  2. Roy McCarthy Avatar
    Roy McCarthy

    I can’t blame KDP for the horror show that is the miniscule printing in my latest book – I just didn’t upload the correct parameters and had to unpublish PDQ. Now I need to summon the enthusiasm to do it again 😦

    1. ihatemoneylaundering Avatar

      I feel your pain, Roy – you should see the GIGANTIC list of book tasks that I have for the “quiet” Christmas period. I’m hoping to de-list from Amazon, republish with new ISBNs, add to Ingram Spark, explore Amazon Ads… I may need a lot of Quality Street to get me through it.

  3. Be careful what you wish for | Susan Grossey

    […] November 2018: Order arrives – and eleven out of the twenty copies are trimmed far too meanly, with the title disappearing off the edge of the cover.  Using the fab new call-back facility, I explain the problem to a nice person at KDP and they […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s