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Dealing with KDP

My experience with dealing with KDP has been an unpleasant one.

First, they hacked the price of my first publication without ever alerting me. They insisted that I charged a minimum beyond what I am willing to pay as a consumer, only for them to turn around and cut the price lower than the price they initially insisted I list it for.

Recently, I've been dealing a bigger issue.

I downloaded their templates (all of them) and set up my Microsoft Word documents to their specific trim sizes. In this case, 5x8. I reformatted everything to fit within those parameters.

When it came time to uploading the file and reviewing it before print, they gave me a ton of errors because 1) the little curly parts of the letter f and the letter j extended beyond the gutter and outside margin. So, I had to put an extra, unnecessary, space in front or behind those letters so that they don't stick over to imaginary line. Sometimes, doing so will push a line down across my document, and with Microsoft Word Windows / orphan control setting on, it broke an entire paragraph (or mid dialogue) and shoved it to the next page. I learned the hard way that all you have to do is turn that off to eliminate that problem.

And 2) I have a map on the inside cover that takes up two pages. I wanted them displayed in full, edge to edge. To resolve that issue I simply had to select "bleed pdf" in KDP.

I edited everything perfectly to my liking. The he cover was right. The alignment of the text on the page was right. Everything was spiffy. okay. cool. Let me upload my documents and order a proof copy for myself so that I can review it and make sure everything looks good before I actually go live with it. It's happened before with two of my previous publications.

Got my copy. It looks grand. Let's goooo!

I don't really want to release the book into the wild without a little fanfare. I want to have a release date and fraw some attention to it before it actually drops BUT I want a private copy for myself, ahead of time, before that happens. Ordering a proof is cool but it comes with the big ugly bar that says Not for Resale. Yikes.

I would very much like to have an official copy in my hand without the gray bar across my cover. I decided that I should silently publish the novel, grab a copy, and then unpublish it. THIS is where the problems began... again.

Amazon kept giving me an error saying that my text and my images were beyond the trim.

Well that's odd. I have a printed proof copy in my hand and everything looks perfect. why all of a sudden is it a problem when I want to go live?

It turns out that Amazon prints proof copies themselves but fir the live copies they are printed on presses "all over the place" (that'shat they said on the phone) and that those copies require extra space in the margin. So, my 5x8 book actually needs to be 5.125 by 8.25. unfortunately, doing so increases my page size and reduces my page count... which reduced my doc by a good 40 pages.

A thinner book means a thinner spine for the cover. A thinner spine means my cover that I painstakingly designed and adjusted to fit their template will be too big. At least the section i designed for the spine will be too thick and extended over to the front and back covers.

The lady on the phone insists that it wont s up my cover. We'll see.

I finally uploaded the document without error. It passed the review phase and is now LIVE but I wont able to buy an Authors copy for a up to 3 days. Hopefully no one will notice until I am ready to advertise, and hopefully no one will pirate it like they did in Denmark with my kid's coloring book.

Fingers crossed.

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