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Why Bookvault is the ideal alternative to Amazon KDP

It’s no secret that many indie authors opt to use Amazon KDP to print books on demand. The allure of reaching millions of readers worldwide, the convenience of self-publishing, and the simplicity for first-time authors have made it an appealing choice for many. However, as the publishing landscape continues to evolve, it is crucial to explore alternative paths that offer greater author control, creative freedom, and a fairer distribution of profits. Enter, Bookvault, the next-generation print-on-demand service, designed with the indie author in mind.

Limited print quality and binding options

Amazon KDP offers a somewhat limited range of paper options compared with other POD alternatives. KDP’s paper options can be sufficient for the average author, but they will not give customers the idea that they’re holding something unique when they read your books. KDP currently only offer 90gsm paper in either cream or white. At Bookvault, we have a wide range to suit a variety of genres and preferences:
Bookvault offers a range of paper stocks, making it an alternative to Amazon KDP
Paper stocks at Bookvault

Amazon KDP offers perfect bound and hardback options for print. These bindings work well for most books but may not be suitable for certain book types, such as notebooks, journals, or books with complex layouts that require alternative binding methods like wiro and spiral. Bookvault strives to meet the needs of all types of authors, so regardless of the genre you operate in, we will have the binding for you!

Bookvault's 6 binding choices for authors
Binding options at Bookvault

For indie authors, customisation is key. Why get drowned out in the crowd of generic-looking books when you could have a product that gets people talking?

Bookvault has a plethora of custom options to suit your needs as an alternative to Amazon KDP.

If all of that wasn’t enough to convince you, it’s worth noting that Bookvault allows all standard print sizes in addition to the option to select custom sizes. This is available in both portrait and landscape on all of our bindings. The orientation of your books can communicate a lot to your potential readers, so having sizing that fits your genre is important.

Bookvault's custom sizes and standard sizes make it an excellent alternative to Amazon KDP
Custom print sizes at Bookvault

Customer support

 Another reason why Bookvault is an alternative to Amazon KDP is their lack of personalized support for authors. While KDP provides basic support resources, such as FAQs, guides, and community forums, some authors may find these resources insufficient to address their specific needs or resolve complex issues.

Unlike traditional publishing houses or dedicated author support teams, KDP operates primarily as a self-service platform. Authors cannot directly access customer services to address their concerns or provide one-on-one guidance. This can be frustrating for authors who prefer or require direct assistance.

KDP’s support resources often provide general information and guidelines about publishing rather than specifically tailored advice for individual situations. While this information can be helpful for basic inquiries, it may not adequately address specific questions or challenges that authors encounter during the publishing process. The support system for Amazon places a large amount of emphasis on the ‘self’ in self-publishing. A glance at the reviews of Amazon KDP tells the story of the general sentiment of the business within the industry. For a system regarded to be the first step into self-publishing for many authors, Amazon’s KDP lack of guidance and slow response time via forms can be off-putting to many authors.

The Bookvault system has a help centre fuelled by the feedback of previous authors, as well as a live chat with a trained expert who can solve any queries you may have. If either of these mediums isn’t right for you for any reason, you can also book a meeting to discuss any issues you are facing. This level of support makes us a great alternative to Amazon KDP.

Amazon KDP reviews, criticising the business
Trustpilot reviews for KDP

Discoverability

Authors may favour the likes of KDP given the fact that Amazon is a force in the world of books. Authors often expect that a listing on such a large retailer will lead to a high number of sales.

Unfortunately, the sheer volume of books on Amazon, including those published through KDP, makes it challenging for new or lesser-known authors to gain visibility. Established authors, traditionally published books, and those with strong marketing strategies may dominate search results and top-ranking lists, leaving smaller or independent authors with limited exposure. Certain genres, such as romance and mystery/thriller, are highly saturated on Amazon, with numerous books competing for readers’ attention. Standing out in these crowded genres can be particularly challenging for authors, as the competition is fierce and readers have a vast selection to choose from.

KDP’s promotional opportunities, such as Kindle Countdown Deals and Free Book Promotions, can help generate temporary spikes in sales or downloads. However, these promotions are often limited in duration and reach, and authors must rely on the visibility they generate during the promotion period to sustain long-term sales. Without dedicated marketing efforts, sustaining visibility can be difficult.

To break through to customers on Amazon you will need to undertake a considerable marketing effort. With such an investment of time and effort into your book marketing you would likely be better off directing customers to an alternative retailer with higher profit margins, or to your direct store to retain maximum profit.

Scepticism surrounding Amazon

Amazon is no stranger to controversy and criticism within the self-publishing industry, with numerous faux pas in recent years damaging their reputation. Amazon have become notorious for shutting down users accounts with incorrect reasoning. Authors commonly claim to receive somewhat aggressive emails from Amazon with little to no justification as to why their account has been closed. The most frustrating part of this process is that there is not a dedicated customer support team to help clarify or rectify these actions.

In addition to account closures, KDP has had issues on multiple occasions where huge percentages of their authors failed to receive their royalties on time. For authors who rely on royalties as their primary income, this is a huge issue. Bookvaults very own retailer, The Great British Book Shop pays royalties in as little as 15 days as opposed to Amazon’s 60-90 days.

Conclusion

Amazon’s dominance in the book world means they are often the first choice of self-publishers. While they do offer a range of benefits due to the weight that their name carries and the scale of their operations, they also fall short of what we believe indie authors should expect from their chosen platform. Bookvault serves as a great alternative to Amazon KDP with a complete platform for authors who feel underserved in the industry, through high-quality print and service.

5 thoughts on “Why Bookvault is the ideal alternative to Amazon KDP”

  1. You missed a vital element…… QUALITY. Amazon just cannot compete with the quality I have seen using Bookvault. Print quality and finish is second to none with you guys. Postage, packaging and all round care and attention to detail. I cannot recommend you highly enough.

  2. I think the only real thing bookvault is missing is the preview window, so we can approve what we upload to your specs.

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