Ingram Spark for Indie Authors

Ingram is one of biggest book printers and wholesale distributors in the world. In 1997 they founded Lightning Source which provides services to mainstream and small-press publishers and is particularly good for short-run and print-on-demand books. In 2011, Lightning Source opened offices in Australia. More recently they’ve offered an ebook distribution service to publishers.

In the middle of last year, Ingram started Ingram Spark, which provides a Lightning Source-style service to independent authors. The key difference between Ingram Spark and companies like Amazon is that Ingram Spark isn’t a publisher and doesn’t have its own publishing platform. However it does have a huge global reach and connections with every book distributor, bookshop and library you could imagine.

Because it’s global you can take advantage of local printing of your print-on-demand books in Australia, America, UK and Europe, which means you only pay local postage. You can order single or multiple copies to be delivered to your address or a customer’s address – you pay the print cost and postage only. Ingram Spark will also take orders and supply books on your behalf to distributors (including Amazon), bookshops and libraries. In this case Ingram Spark pays you a royalty of 45% less manufacturing and shipping costs.

ebookedit’s print-on-demand-ready PDFs meet Ingram Spark’s print requirements, and we can personally vouch for the excellent quality of the print books they deliver. Ingram Spark supplies a cover file template which you can use to design your cover or give to a cover designer to complete. Once your book is finalised, Ingram Spark lists it in its distribution catalogue and also facilitates listings on sites including Amazon, Booktopia, Fishpond, Barnes and Noble etc.

For ebooks, Ingram Spark acts as a single upload point for over 190 ebook retailers including Amazon and Apple iBooks. ebookedit’s epub files meet Ingram Spark’s upload requirements. Ingram Spark pays a royalty of 40% on the retail price.

While creating an account is free, Ingram Spark charges a set-up fee for each title you submit: US$49 for a combined print and ebook set-up; US$49 for a print-book-only set-up: and US$25 for an ebook-only set-up.

There’s also an annual charge of US$12 a title to give your book access to Ingram’s global distribution channels. Full details of Ingram Spark’s prices are available for comparison with other sites like KDP, CreateSpace and Lulu.

Ingram Spark account holders must have an Australian Business Number (ABN) and Ingram Spark does not withhold tax on sales in the US.

For more information visit the Ingram Spark website.

For more views on this topic, see The Book Designer’s article on Ingram Spark  and goodereader.com’s post.