Proof and author wholesale copies of paperback books are now available for all publishers with a full launch through the print division of Kindle Direct Publishing.
Amazon revealed in September last year that it was working to offer the service and it has launched across its US, UK and European sites.
Proof copies allow you to review a physical copy of your draft paperback before publication while author copies are the live version of your paperback that you can order from Amazon.
When you order copies of your own book, you pay the printing costs plus shipping and applicable taxes. With this new feature, KDP proof and author copies for the UK and the rest of Europe are printed and shipped from within Europe, which Amazon says is an improvement for authors who previously used Amazon’s other self-publishing print book retailer CreateSpace.
The company says that by publishing on KDP you can reach more readers through Amazon websites in the US and Europe, as well as manage your print and ebook publishing from one website.
Proof copies are snapshots of how your paperback would print. You can check for grammatical errors, typos, and formatting and review images or graphics.
Ordering proofs is not mandatory and you don’t need to wait to submit your book for publication if you order a proof. However, if your submission doesn’t pass our quality review, you will need to edit your files and resubmit them.
Proofs are different from regular copies. They have a ‘Not for Resale watermark on the cover and a unique barcode but no ISBN.
The process for ordering proof copies is:
- Go to your KDP Bookshelf and find the paperback for which you would like to order a proof.
- If your paperback is in ‘Draft’ status, the option to request a proof will be enabled in the ellipsis (“…”) menu.
- Click Request Proof Copies.
- Select the order quantity. You can order up to 5 copies at a time.
- Select the Amazon marketplace closest to your shipping destination. The cost will then be displayed. This cost doesn’t include shipping and applicable taxes.
- Click Submit Proof Request.
- Within four hours of submitting your request, you will receive an email with a link to complete your proof order. You must complete your purchase within 24 hours of receiving this email.
- Once you receive the email and click on the link to complete your order, you’ll be redirected to the Amazon Shopping Cart/Basket. You can use your existing payment information and delivery addresses or add new addresses to send proof copies to reviewers.
Proofs are eligible for all paid (standard and expedited) shipping options available to Amazon customers except Prime. You can ship proofs to multiple shipping addresses by placing separate orders for each destination.
When you order proofs through your KDP Account, you’ll pay the author price for your own books. The author price is the printing cost for your selected marketplace times the number of copies. The trim size, interior type, page count determines this price and does not include shipping charges or taxes.
On Amazon.com, any applicable sales tax will be applied at checkout. For European orders, local VAT will be applied at checkout. This price is the lowest price we can offer for your book; we are unable to offer additional discounts.
Author copies are copies of your live paperback that can be purchased at printing cost. They don’t include unpublished changes you’ve made on KDP.
Author copies are available in English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Dutch. Japanese will be added later.
KDP doesn’t currently support paperback distribution to Amazon.com.au, Amazon.com.br, or Amazon.nl. Australian users can place orders from Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk. Portuguese language users can place orders from Amazon.com. Dutch language users can place orders from Amazon.de.
The process for ordering Author Copies is:
- Go to your Bookshelf and select the paperback you would like to order.
- Click on the Order Author Copies link in the ellipsis (“…”) menu.
- Enter the order quantity and select the Amazon marketplace closest to your shipping destination from the drop-down menu.
- Click Proceed to Checkout. You’ll be redirected to the Amazon Shopping Cart/Basket of your chosen marketplace to complete your order.
You can order as many author copies as you want with a maximum of 999 units per order. If you want to order more than 999 at a time, you can place multiple separate orders. You will pay shipping charges for each order.
Author copies are eligible for all paid standard and expedited shipping options available to Amazon customers excluding Prime. Manufacturing and delivery estimates are based on the quantity ordered and selected delivery speed. The most up-to-date delivery estimate will display during checkout.
When you order proofs through your KDP Account, you will pay the author price for your own books which is the printing cost for your selected marketplace multiplied by the number of copies. The trim size, interior type, page count determines this price and does not include shipping charges or taxes.
On Amazon.com, any applicable sales tax will be applied at checkout. For European orders, local VAT will be applied at checkout. Amazon says this price is the lowest it can offer and is unable to offer additional discounts.
Based on the print options you choose, KDP automatically calculates and displays your printing cost in the Rights & Pricing section of title setup. To calculate your paperback’s printing cost, the applicable fixed cost is multiplied by the applicable per page cost:
Fixed Cost + (Page Count * Per Page Cost) = Printing Cost
For example, here’s how KDP Print calculates the printing cost of a 300-page black ink paperback sold on the US marketplace:
- $0.85 (Fixed Cost) + (300 (Page Count) * $0.012 (Per Page Cost)) = $4.45 (Printing Cost)
KDP Print cost example tables for the US and UK
|Paperback Specifications||US Marketplace (USD) Fixed Cost||Additional Per Page Cost|
|Black ink with 24-108 pages||$2.15 per book||None|
|Black ink with 110-828 pages||$0.85 per book||$0.012 per page|
|Color ink with 24-40 pages||$3.65 per book||None|
|Color ink with 42-500 pages||$0.85 per book||$0.07 per page|
|Paperback Specifications||UK Marketplace (GBP) Fixed Cost||Additional Per Page Cost|
|Black ink with 24-108 pages||£1.70 per book||None|
|Black ink with 110-828 pages||£0.70 per book||£0.010 per page|
|Color ink with 24-40 pages||£2.05 per book||None|
|Color ink with 42-500 pages||£0.70 per book||£0.045 per page|
As you can see from the KDP Print pricing tables, proof and author copies for short books up to 108 pages for black ink are at a reasonable cost while longer books really depend on page count.
A 200-page book in black ink would cost $3.25 in the US or £2.70 in the UK. Color is a lot more expensive and a 200-page book would cost $14.85 in the US for a proof or author copy or £9.70 in the UK.
You can find out more about author copies at the KDP website.
IngramSpark is the main alternative to KDP Print and/or CreateSpace and for 50 author copies of a 200-page paperback (7 ins x 4.25 ins) with black ink interior the cost would be a total of $179 (excluding shipping) which works out at $3.58 per copy. For the UK, the price for the same book would be £147 which is £2.94 per copy (excluding shipping).
For more details you can check out the IngramSpark print and ship calculator.