Moving Paperback Files to Draft2Digital

I don’t know how many authors read my blog posts, but a discussion came up yesterday in a writing group where the question was posed, “Which is the best place to publish paperbacks?” Hands down, I’d say Draft2Digital (D2D). The process is easy, the author copies are reasonably priced, the dashboard is nicely set up, and the paperbacks are good quality.

I started out publishing paperbacks before I got into ebooks. This was back in 2008 when CreateSpace was around in the US. Back then, CreateSpace was what D2D is now. Sadly, Amazon decided to drop CreateSpace, and now authors have to use the KDP dashboard in order to make paperbacks. I know they recently added a hardback option, but they can’t even get a paperback cover right, so what makes me believe they’ll make the hardback look good?

In the comments of the writing group I mentioned above, an author friend, who is more marketing savvy than I am, made a comment that convinced me it was time to get serious about moving my paperbacks from KDP to D2D. In a nutshell, she said she lost money in paperbacks using KDP’s Expanded Distribution option. I had noticed that since Amazon switched from CreateSpace to KDP that my paperback income plummeted. I was getting about $100/mo in CreateSpace, but once KDP got put into place, I’ve been lucky to make $20/mo. Considering I have more books out, that’s not good. I knew KDP had done something to put the nail in the coffin on my paperback sales, but I didn’t know what that nail was. Could KDP’s Expanded Distribution be the nail? I don’t have any proof to say it is, but considering how smart my author friend is, I have to consider it a real possibility.

All I know is that I am not happy with the quality of the paperbacks, and I am definitely not happy with the way Amazon bullies authors around. I understand there is no perfect retailer, but I’d rather put my time and attention into places that don’t jump on authors for the littlest thing. (If you’ve been reading my posts for a while, you know I’ve been hassled by Amazon quite a bit to prove my copyright after I’ve done minor things like making a price change on my book.)

I like D2D a lot. The people running it are nice to authors. So I’m taking all of my paperbacks off of KDP and moving them to D2D. I did have an author ask me yesterday about making more money per sale on Amazon if the files were in KDP. Yes, it’s like anywhere else you choose not to go direct. If you use a distributor for your books, that distributor will take a percentage. That’s how the distributor makes money. Every retailer you upload directly to will take a percentage of the sale, too. I understand when you use a distributor, that distributor AND the retailer takes a cut from the sale. But sometimes it’s worth using the distributor to eliminate the hassle of being direct everywhere AND to have a good quality product. To me, the crappy quality of the paperbacks KDP produces just isn’t worth it. KDP is like a flip of the coin. Sometimes their printer does a good job, and sometimes it doesn’t. You don’t know what you’re going to get until the book is at your door. With D2D, I’ve never had a bad experience. With KDP, about 70% of the books were “off” in some way. If a reader buys one paperback that is poor in quality, chances are, they’ll decide not to buy any more paperbacks from the same author. They’ll assume all of the author’s books will look terrible. Considering how expensive paperbacks are, who can blame them for not wanting any more paperbacks?

Anyway, this morning I went into my KDP dashboard and unpublished over half of my paperbacks. (I plan to get to the others later.) It took a surprising amount of time to create my list, so I don’t forget which books to work on. I am going to start uploading files to D2D soon. This is going to take me a while to do. I have a few paperbacks already on D2D. But I have over 100 books out in all (when you count my Ruth books and my Barbara books). I believe I have about 80ish books to upload to D2D. I’m just going to take my time. When this project gets done, it gets done.

In the meantime, I’m still working through my catalogue to put my AI audiobooks up on Kobo, and I’m still writing the Marriage by Obligation Series. The writing is the priority, so my word count goals for the day gets done before anything else does. On some days, I’m unable to get around to anything but the writing.

About Ruth Ann Nordin

Ruth Ann Nordin mainly writes historical western romances and Regencies. From time to time, she branches out to other genres, but her first love is historical romance. She lives in Omaha, Nebraska with her husband and a couple of children. To find out more about her books, go to
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7 Responses to Moving Paperback Files to Draft2Digital

  1. My friends and I were going to use D2D to publish our anthology of Ohio horror, but the fact that the paperback program is still in a beta stage and approves books to participate on a case-by-case basis forced us back to KDP. Otherwise, I think we would have used D2D.

  2. Lorna Faith says:

    Hi Ruth 🙂

    Thanks for sharing! I always appreciate reading about what you’re up to with your writing. 🙂 That is helpful to know about print books in what was formerly Create Space.

    I think I still have 2 print books from the original Create Space. I will be removing those books from Create Space soon. I’ve been in the process of setting up a website where readers can buy from me direct so print books is something I’m working on. It’s a big job and so the setup is not finished yet… lol 😉

    For my pen name, I have been uploading books to Ingram Spark. Normally it’s $50 per book to upload, however when writers pay for virtual attendance to 20booksto50k(usually in January of each year), then authors get an email from Craig Martelle from 20Booksto50K with one code(at the start of each month) to upload 5 new books to Ingram Spark for free. But, any revisions to the book cover or manuscript file, authors have to pay a $50 fee.

    So that’s what I’ve been doing. It’s seems to be okay. I always order the print book, to double check that I like how it looks. Sometimes I do have to make a revision, because it doesn’t turn out like how I like it to look. But overall, I think I’m happy with the process.

    I agree that KDP print books it’s sort of hit or miss, sadly. I just received a paperback book from them and the title and the spine of the book was messed up fairly badly. ;( Hopefully they will do better in the future.

    That’s great that you are uploading your print books to D2D. Sounds like a very big job because of all the books you have available! I’ll be interested to learn how your paperback books look when you get them — if you’re happy with how they turned out.

    Again, thanks so much for sharing thoughts on your writing journey. It’s always good to read about what you’re up to and your thoughts on different aspects of the writing and self-publishing journey.

    Have a wonderful week Ruth! 🙂

    • Hi Lorna!

      Setting up a website, especially one where you sell direct, is a huge undertaking. I think it’s great you’re doing it. It’s not a bad idea to have a way to reach readers in case something goes wrong at a retailer. I know it’s not likely that problems will come up with a retailer, but having another egg in the basket never hurts. I’d like to know how things go for you, if you don’t mind sharing in the future. 😀

      Ingram Spark makes excellent quality paperbacks. The thing that held me back was their fee. If you can get that waived, that’s awesome. How much useful information do you find in the 20booksto50K group? Are you in their FB group? I was considering joining.

      As you said, KDP is hit or miss. You have no idea how things will go. I’ve had plenty of books turn out okay. I just wish it was consistent. If it was, I’d keep the paperbacks currently there on KDP. As you know, it takes time to get these paperbacks together. I’ve already been using D2D this year for the newer books, and I’m very happy with them. Like you, I order the proof first to make sure everything is okay before I hit publish. But I have a lot of catching up to do to get my entire back list there.

      Thank you for taking the time to read my ramblings about writing and self-publishing. 😀 If there’s anything you ever want to know my opinion on, I’ll be happy to make a post on it.


      • Lorna Faith says:

        Hi Ruth!

        Yes, setting up a website where I sell my books direct is a big job. I didn’t really know how long it would take to get everything setup when I first decided to do it, but bit by bit I’m working out the kinks. And I agree with your thoughts on that, I wanted to have the option to be able to sell direct to my readers. It might take sometime to train readers to buy direct from me first, so that’s something I’ll need to figure out how to do better, lol 😉

        I am setting up print books on my new website with the Book Vault App so readers can easily order print books too. It’s way cheaper than the Lulu direct app(they just raised their prices 20%… ouch!). With Book Vault, it will take up to 2 weeks for readers to get their print books, but I will let readers know those details directly on the buying page and then in the email that they receive after they purchase a print book… so they aren’t surprised. Book Vault’s print books look really great, so I think it’s worth it.

        But, I will also give readers the option that if they want to buy the print books from Amazon I’ll add a link there also. I decided to use BookFunnel to deliver the ebooks to customers (as well as audiobooks when I have the audiobooks ready to go… lol). I’ll, let you know how it turned out when I have the website basically ready to go.

        I am really enjoying using Ingram Spark for my print books. For most of my print books so far, I’ve been able to get the fee waived when I upload the files. It’s great that Ingram Spark is working with 20Booksto50K to give a coupon code for authors to upload their books. I really enjoy the 20booksto50k Facebook group. I’ve learned a lot from different indie authors in the group — on marketing books as well as writing craft and helpful tips for the business side of writing. I’ve found it helpful, I think you would find it helpful too.

        I’m glad you’re happy with D2D for your print books and that you like how the print books turn out when you order the proofs. That’s really great that D2D is working out good for you. I hope all goes well, as you upload the rest of your backlist for print books there.

        Thanks for writing all these inspiring blogposts for writers, Ruth. It’s been very helpful to me in my own writing journey, as I realize I have so much still to learn. But, I do try to make some progress every week in my author business.

        I am trying to figure how to connect better with my readers. Do I use email automation better to reach more readers? Do I use a Facebook group and invite new readers on my email list to that group and chat with them weekly? Or do I use social media(like Instagram) to reach readers and chat with them there? Or is it better if I use a combination of all of the above? So many questions… lol 😉 If you have a chance to write a blogpost on that topic Ruth, I’d love to hear your thoughts on that.

        Anyway, before I talk your ear off… I’ll sign off. Hope you have a wonderful week in all your writing and uploading your backlist to D2D, Ruth!

        Lorna 🙂

        • Please do keep me updated on how this goes because it all sounds very interesting. 😀

          I haven’t heard of Book Vault. I appreciate you letting me know about it. In the US, we tend to miss stuff that is in other countries. (Or at least, I do.) It looks awesome. The more places we have to get our books out into the world, the better.

          So many authors say good things about BookFunnel. I need to get over there. I’m going to make that my goal after January 1. I wish I could do it all at once. I’m sure you do, too. 🙂 As long as we’re making progress, we’re still ahead, even if it is a little at a time.

          I’ll go over to FB after submitting this comment and see if I can be accepted into the 20Books group.

          Thank you for the ideas on what questions I can address in a future blog post. Give me about a month. I want to mull over these things so I can make the best post possible.

          Thanks, Lorna! 😀

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