May Is The New September

Posted by Jason McIntire | Oct 24, 2015

If you're not a writer or you don't use Createspace, you might want to skip this post. Don't unsubscribe, though (please!) - just wait for our next post, which will be another installment in the Flight School Q&A series.

So, authors and techies, here's a riddle for you. The official release date of Flight School was September 1, 2015. Why, then, does the following appear on the Amazon print listing for the book?

Amazon listing screenshot showing publication date for Flight School

That's right. May 1. What gives here? Am I on a different planet from Amazon? (In a sense, yes - but that's another story.)

The "published date" shows May 1 because that is the date I approved the proof of the book. I approved the proof because you can't order books until you've done so. And I needed to order books so as to have copies on hand for review and pre-release sales.

While most "title information" fields on Createspace are locked for you and me, there are some things that Amazon customer service will override at your request through phone or chat. For example, I recently decided to go ahead and define my two books as a series, called Sparrow Stories, so as to better associate them in the minds of Amazon shoppers.

Unfortunately, the published date is not something that can be revised - at least not according to the information I was given. (It should perhaps be noted that you may get different answers from Createspace staff depending on the day you call and the person you talk to.)

So keep this in mind, writers: The minute you click "approve proof" (which alone is scary enough already), you have just set the "published date" for the print version of your work, and that date can never be changed.

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