better late than never … experiences with Ingram Spark

I worked like mad to set up the full omnibus of William L. Hahn’s “Judgement’s Tale” in time for July 4th. Unfortunately I didn’t get it done due to some unforeseen difficulties with font sizes and POD-supliers. It might take another week before the book will finally be available in stores all over the world since we’re trying a new printing service: Ingram Spark.

So what are my impressions when I compare Ingram Spark and Createspace (keeping in mind that I haven’t even finished setting up the first title yet)?

+ With IngramSpark the price for printing a book is very low which means it will be possible to keep the selling price as low as POD allows.

+ Also, in contrast to Createspace, it is possible to set up hardcover books which I will need to do for an Early Reader story I’ve planned.

+ Regular bookshops prefer buying books from Ingram for their customers since Amazon is such a big competitor.

+ With Ingram Spark, it is possible to decide how big a margin the bookshops will get which directly influences the final selling price (naturally, the higher the margin the more likely bookshops will stock the book).

+ Ingram Sparks distributes to places where Createspace doesn’t get to, although I’ve read that CS’s expanded distribution is the same as Ingram Sparks. If I find confirmation, this point gets cancelled. 😀

Setting up a title costs $49 in Ingram and if I need to make changes, it will be an additional $25 per file (cover or book block). So I need to be extra vigilant with spotting mistakes and errors. It can become costly easily if I’d have to change things often. Createspace is completely free.

From the second year on, distributing your books will cost an additional $12 per title per year. Depending on the margin I calculate for my imprint (usually $1 per title sold), I will need to sell at least 12 copies every year to make this worthwhile. With Createspace this doesn’t cost a thing.

o Both setup processes are simple and straightforward. It’s fairly easy to understand what needs to be done next.

So all in all, using Ingram is as easy as using Createspace. Whether we’ll sell more printed books that way remains to be seen. I’ll keep you posted.


About Cat-Gerlach

I am an author and a triple mum. I am living in Northern Germany with my family and my dog.

Posted on July 8, 2015, in or browse all books. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Prior to Spark, I published a Pod with Lightning Source. I thought getting an ISBN, setting up my own publishing imprint and paying for Ingram would be the key to getting into bookstores. I even set up a return policy! It’s not. Many bookstores won’t carry Pods under any circumstances, and they only deal with publishers they know. I don’t see how this changes with Spark. I did have to raise the price of my book slightly when I switched to make the same $1 from stores, but here’s the difference — almost all my Lightning Source books sold through Amazon, and I’m making $4 a book through Amazon! Also it’s CHEAPER to buy my own books — I don’t have to buy them in bulk to get a good price and shipping is less! So if I sell them on consignment to local bookstores that will take them, it’s a better deal for me and them! Spark and Createspace books now look the same. And I’m not paying every time I catch an error and change the file. I’m not paying yearly set up fees! You can still pay the SAME money for an ISBN if you want to call yourself a publisher and use Createspace, but you can also publish as your author name and save the money.

    I’d be shocked, frankly, if you suddenly found bookstores open to buying through Ingram because your book is published through Spark.

    • Thanks for that information. Two things I’ll need Sparks for are a) full colour books (like the Early Reader I’m going to publish in August) and b) Hardcover books for a few selected people. Lulu is much more expensive, as are the German PoD publishers. You are right, for paperbacks I’ll probably stick with Createspace since they’re a lot cheaper and you can change things when/if mistakes pop up.

    • Well, one of my authors contacted a local Indie-bookshop and he said he doesn’t like buying Createspace books. He didn’t say he wouldn’t just that he doesn’t like it (which I think is understandable). But the resentment is there.

  2. Great information, Cat and Marion! Thanks for sharing.

    I’ve been using CreateSpace with good results. Always interesting to hear about other venues, though.

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