IngramSpark for POD and Book Distribution?


There are some good reasons to choose IngramSpark for POD: They offer stunning colors, sharp graphics, and crisp text, such as for children’s books, travel guides, cookbooks, graphic novels – all at prices comparable to black-and-white.  And: they produce even hardcover books!

Book distribution is via LightningSource/Ingram which is connected to a global distribution network of 40,000+ booksellers around the world – in stores and online. Ingram has printing facilities in the UK, Australia, and partner agreements in other countries.  However, most brick-and-mortar stores will order it if a customer requests the title, but they won’t stock it automatically.

Another Benefit is that IngramSpark Bought
This acquisition is a great opportunity to sell on your own website and allow Ingram to do order fulfillment. The Bookseller wrote last month how Ingram’s concept works out:

  • For standard Web operations: “Embed a storefront on your site. Share and sell in social streams. Add Buy buttons to existing pages.”
  • For social media in-stream sales: “Share products on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more. The cart and checkout are included.”
  • Even for brick-and-mortar stores: “Extend your product selection with an storefront. We’ll pick, pack, and ship to your customer’s door.”

Prices for POD at IngramSpark are slightly higher than at CreateSpace, as they charge a set-up fee, but customers say their print quality is pretty good, plus international distribution is really excellent!  There is another perk at IngramSpark: Once the book is approved for production, they will automatically send a pre-order information to their list of retailers, libraries, and more. Ingram will start scheduling the book to be printed ten days before the launch date to ensure that pre-orders are received by then.

Discount for Book Stores
At IngramSpark you can choose between 40% or 55% discount for distribution to bookstores – while CreateSpace takes 60% (and only for Amazon 40%).  If you don’t want to have your book stocked in every brick-and-mortar store, choose your 40% discount at Spark.  That means with every book sold, you will earn way more than with CreateSpace.

If you want to see your title in bookstores, you will need the 55% discount – as stores want to get a true industry-standard discount and also: the books are then returnable. Which might be a bit of a risk…  Another solution – which quite a few self-publishers use – is to have CreateSpace for Amazon sales, but IngramSpark for distribution to other stores.

Excerpt from Guidelines to Upload Your Book
Interior files:

  • Must be uploaded as a separate file from the cover PDFs created using the “save as” function from MS Word are not supported!
  • Use single-page format (1-up per page) Do not include crop, registration, or printer marks
  • All fonts must be embedded Make sure the final page is blank
  • Must include CMYK images at/72dpi or higher.
  • CMYK value should not exceed 240%. Elements should not be built in “Registration”.
  • All spot colors with/without transparencies must be converted to CMYK.

Cover Files:

  • Resolution 300 dpi
  • Color Space: CMYK

A very detailed instruction manual helps authors to navigate the uploading of their manuscripts.

One Important Advice
Buy your own ISBN!  Unless this will be your only book you ever publish or unless you don’t care if you are considered the publisher, and unless you don’t want it to list in the worldwide list of books available.

Read also:

Author G. Giammatteo’s comparison of IngramSpark and CreateSpace

Author Melinda Clayton: Moving Print Book Files from CreateSpace to IngramSpark



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