IngramSpark Review: Why I'll Never Use it Again - The Writer's Cookbook (2024)

Posted by Alexa Whitewolf | 3 Sep, 2018 | Publishing | 82 |

IngramSpark Review: Why I'll Never Use it Again - The Writer's Cookbook (1)

Disclaimer: this is not to discourage anyone from using IngramSpark. It’s only a reflection of my own experience with them and why I decided not to publish my paperbacks with them.

A bit of background

IngramSpark is a company similar to CreateSpace, only not owned by Amazon. They, like Lulu and others, help you bring your ebook/paperback self-published book to life.

The kicker?

There’s a fee.

Their pricing is pretty decent.

$25 for an ebook, $49+ for a print book, or $49+ combined package for both ebook and print.

As you can see from the table below, they advertise their combined package as the best deal, which is true.

IngramSpark Review: Why I'll Never Use it Again - The Writer's Cookbook (2)

Why the change?

Now, why would you pay for IngramSpark when you can get CreateSpace for free, you might ask?

Many of you will have heard the rumours that CreatesÍpace is shutting down, to be replaced by KDP Print. David Gaughran has a really good post on it, and details how to switch to KDP Print, if you’re interested.

I’m not a fan of KDP Print—or Amazon, for that matter—so I wanted to go with IngramSpark.

For the month of July, they had a promotion that you could add one of your books for free without having to pay the fee.

I chose to pull my First to Fall paranormal romance and try it out, thinking it was a good a time as any to try out their interface.

And boy…am I happy I did…

The experience

I restate my disclaimer here that I am in no way discouraging anyone from trying out IngramSpark. I know authors who’ve had good experiences with them, and others where it didn’t work. Mine was one such experience.

I tried over the course of three days to set up First to Fall using IngramSpark, and was at the point of banging my head against a wall when I finally threw in the towel.

Let me put it this way: if I had paid $49 for the print option, I’d have been asking for a refund.

The good

  • The original setup of the account was super easy, no problems with it. Done in less than 10 minutes, and for me, that was superb!
  • I live in Canada, so the tax setup part was just as easy
  • Adding a title? Also, easy. A couple clicks, and you’re there.

The not so good

There are five steps when setting up your book with IngramSpark, and there are a MILLION things to decide on—or so it feels. Without much info on what’s what. SureIngramSpark has a resource page with videos on each step. Awesome. And I could watch them. But I never did for CreateSpace and I was able to set up my print book perfectly fine. Call me crazy, but I was looking for a similarly seamless experience.

The really annoying

Remember the part in CreateSpace where you set up your price, and it automatically calculates the best prices for GBP and Euro? Yeah, forget that with IngramSpark.

I was asked to price my roughly-300-page book at $28 USD and there was no conversion. So I had to go online and figure out what the approximate price was for Euro, GBP, Australian dollar and Canadian dollar. Unlike CreateSpace that populates everything easily and gives you the royalty calculations. This is where I gave up by the end of day one.

On day two, I went back to it, finished the conversions, still with not much of an idea on what royalty I’d be getting—that’s harder to figure out.

Got to the end, all the while wondering where the hell I’m supposed to put my PDF so I can finally see the conversion. I mean, if you’ll recall, in CreateSpace, you set up your book first then talk about pricing and channels to sell it through, right?

Instead of asking me for that, what I got was a message from IngramSpark basically saying ‘Oh, wait. Before you can add the files, you need to finish setting up your account.’

Why I wasn’t asked this when I first set-up my account? It still baffles me!

This is followed by a simple checklist of 3 sections—easy enough, at first glance.

Two of those things had an X for me, so I went into one section, added my info (about where I want to get paid royalties), and save.

Then I realised there was no way to go ‘back’ to the list, so I had to go from the beginning, flipping through all the steps of setting up my book, and get to the same error message.

This time, I clicked on step three which, surprise surprise, asked for a credit card. Even though this was supposed to be a free setup, because of their promo. I added the info regardless…

Got my three checkmarks.

IngramSpark Review: Why I'll Never Use it Again - The Writer's Cookbook (3)

At this point, I was still waiting for the magic message to say, ‘Ok, you can upload your PDF files now and finish setting up your book.’



So, being a bit of an IT person, I log out, thinking maybe the whole interface needs time to sync and realise I was done uploading everything.

So I log back in…

Again, the three sections have a green check mark. Yet I’m still not able to add files to my title…

By this point, I was seriously missing CreateSpace, and longing for the easiness of the setup with them!

I gave up at the end of day two, thinking I’d give them till day three to update the system, hopefully let me continue.

Day three I logged in, and sure enough the system was letting me add my PDF. I did. Went through the last steps. Then at the end, it wanted to take my money. So I went to the section asking for a promo code and added the same promo code I’d got in a newsletter. The EXACT same one displayed at the top of their home page. Got this:

IngramSpark Review: Why I'll Never Use it Again - The Writer's Cookbook (4)

By that point, my patience was shot. I was not about to pay $49 for a crap interface that had given me headache after headache, with still no clue on what the product I would get was.

To top it off, $28 USD for a paperback?

I wouldn’t pay that even if it was a James Patterson or J.K.Rowling book! And I love those authors.

Who in hell would pay that for an indie author’s paperback? Not many readers, that’s who. And the royalties I was to make from it were paltry.

That was the point I called it quits.

Went back in two weeks later to seeIngramSpark had reviewed my PDF and needed me to change things. I deleted the title from the account I had created and crossed them off my list of potential replacements for CreateSpace.


This is one author’s story, so please don’t let this stop you from trying them out. You may find that you have the best experience ever! Sadly, it was not meant to be for me.

Would I recommend them to anyone? Nope, not based on this experience.

Would I try them again? Hell, no! Trying them again means paying the $49, so, nope.


About The Author

Alexa Whitewolf

Alexa Whitewolf provides editing services through Luna Imprints Author Services (LIAS) to new and established authors. Her mission is to help as many indies achieve their dreams of self-publishing their books by helping them fine-tune their novels to publishing quality. Get a quote at Alexa is also a dog-loving, caffeine-addicted, all-around traveling enthusiast. Author of three series of fantasy, paranormal and young adult, she spends her nights dreaming up new stories and her days fighting reality. She lives in Ottawa, Canada, with her husband and two mischievous furballs, Zeus and Achilles.

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    1. Christineon 7th January, 2019 at 05:40

      I’m in a similar situation. I too had a good experience with CreateSpace but since KDP have taken over Australian authors can only purchase their books at retail prices. Can i ask who you ended up going to?

      • Charleson 6th September, 2021 at 01:22

        I have been with Ingramspark since they were Lightning Source back in the day and have not had much of a problem until recently when I forgot my password and tried to reset and could not because ingramspark did not recognize my security answer. No one is currently serving in the office actually answering phone calls so you have to complain on line. I have done this no less than a dozen times and I always seem to get an auto reply telling that my account is locked and I need to reset password to which I respond telling them I CANNOT reset it….andddddd I get the auto reply letter again. I don’t know what the hell has happened to ingramspark customer service… of course they , like everyone else are blaming it on covid!!!

    2. Alexa Whitewolfon 9th January, 2019 at 17:06

      Hi Christine,
      To be honest, I haven’t found anything I love 100%. For the sake of not losing my paperbacks I did the migration to KDP Print and that was a pain in the butt. I ended up having to reformat my interior files and even the covers… And the end result isn’t too shabby. Not quite the same quality as CS though 🙁 I’ve heard Lulu does good quality, but haven’t gotten around to trying them out yet.
      For the time being, I’m sticking with KDP Print. Although I hear Draft2Digital will soon do print books, and that’s what I’m eagerly waiting for 😀 the quality of their ebooks is amazing, so the print would have potential!
      Hope that helps!

      • Dr Dion 16th March, 2021 at 19:15

        Bublish… I highly recommend Bublish. Kdp isn’t trustworthy. DrDi

      • Brendaon 19th May, 2021 at 03:07

        I have published with KDP and with Ingram Spark. They booth have pros and cons to deal with. As for Draft2Digital They did a beautiful eBook for me but could not format a decent paperback. I went with Ingram Spark for the Paperback. A bit of advice. When you choose D2D for your eBook do not check the Amazon block. Add KDP separately for your eBook so you can use the Kindle select to promote your book. I learned this the hard way.

      • Billy Gardneron 31st May, 2021 at 20:01


        Do you know what the distribution area of Draft2Digital would be by chance. I am trying to go with Ingram because of their vast outlet ability. I am suffering from the Ingram spark scenario too. It is a pain in the butt to get your e-book files downloaded. I have tried and tired and still haven’t been able to accomplish the task.

      • Charleson 6th September, 2021 at 01:27

        I’m seriously considering shutting down my ingramspark account and going with KDP. Seems like you have to jump through some hoops at first with tax forms, etc but once the legwork is done it looks pretty legit. Your take?
        Chuck Cunningham

        • Stephanieon 17th February, 2022 at 19:22

          Hi! I want to shut down my account too. Can you tell me how to delete it? I searched elsewhere, but all I could find was how to delete a title from IS.


    3. Jasonon 10th January, 2019 at 14:47

      Hi! I very much disagree with most of the article. Sure enough, IngramSpark can be a pain at first, but I think a) you entered the promo code for free publishing in the wrong page (looks like you were trying to purchase a copy of your book, e.g. it reads freight); b) the system gives you the royalties you’ll be earning in each region, and by far they are the best compared to Lulu, CreateSpace, etc. — royalties are calculated automatically based on 1. what characteristics you choose for your title; 2. price you enter; c) all new interfaces need to be explored at the beginning and take some reading and trial-and-error before you get them right, and besides, I like the possibility offered by Ingram to enter as much info as possible (up to 3 genres, keywords, prices for different regions, reviews, etc.).

      • Jameson 6th June, 2021 at 12:20

        Same here. Nothing but good service from IS and I don’t understand the issues you had, other than you were trying to get a promo code from your book order rather than the set up , as mentioned above.

        When I put my book price in, IS shows me the exact royalties I’m getting, so I don’t understand how you missed that too. Yes, it takes a bit of work to set up a title, but the IS, AFAIK, is for people wanting to sell their books world-wide via Amazon, etc. Maybe it’s not the best for people who just want to print off a few copies of their work.

    4. Alexaon 10th January, 2019 at 21:49

      Hi Jason,
      As I mentioned in the article, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and not all will feel the same way I did. The article is meant to showcase how my experience with IngramSpark went, and despite following their every instruction, it was a disaster. I’m glad Ingram works for you, and hope it continues to do so!

      • Tyreanon 20th September, 2021 at 20:34

        I completely get your experience, Alexa. Even with payment, uploading my prepared PDFs was a pain in the rear, and took me several tries plus help from their support person who took a long time to find and get responses from. KDP is a cleaner, easier process, and doesn’t cost me any cash. Unfortunately, some of the small bookstores in my area turn up their noses at anything published by KDP even when I use my own bowker ISBNs…I am beginning to think IndieBound means “not for indie authors.”

      • Robert Kimbellon 19th August, 2022 at 20:42

        But you didn’t follow their every instruction. You admitted to skipping the learning curve because you wanted a streamlined experience. I have had issue with Ingram, but why complain about $49? You aren’t paying for the interface, as you stated, you are paying for distribution. I would be fine with “Everybody will have their own experience” if you approached things more objectively. Sorry, but it’s silly to grouch about Ingram’s issues when you didn’t take time to learn it (everything takes more time at first)… THEN (if I recall your words correctly) you want to switch to KDP? KDP does not have the worldwide distribution Ingram does, and most importantly if you want to be a serious author and be taken seriously, bookstores will NOT want to work with you if you walk in boasting about having your book on Amazon. That means nothing to them. Ingram on the other hand allows you to choose the proper bookstore discount as well as other things. I can’t imagine someone complaining about $49 after NOT taking the time to learn how to use something different, THEN limiting yourself to only selling on Amazon because its easy…? What???

    5. Susanon 30th January, 2019 at 06:45

      After using CreateSpace for 4 years, I did a lot of research and opted to use both KDP and Ingram. I like the royalties KDP offers and I like the opportunities afforded by Ingram to print hardback books and be attractive to bookstores and libraries. I set up my book with KDP and get a proof. Once I’m sure I like it, I also set up with Ingram. They are running a special for Jan-March – FREE setups, so I’m working hard to take full advantage. Neither of the companies are as easy as CS was, but I’m slowly learning to live with it. Quality is comparable.

    6. Alexaon 8th February, 2019 at 22:00

      Very good points, Susan!

    7. Francella Smokeron 16th February, 2019 at 04:00

      Thank you, everyone, for sharing. I am getting ready to publish my first book and just looking around on the way forward to doing so.

    8. Cath Shaw Trueloveon 16th February, 2019 at 10:44

      I have had a very similar experience to yours with similar workflow, customer service and web issues.

    9. Pauline Schneideron 20th February, 2019 at 19:08

      great advice and shared experience! Has anyone had the issue of bookstores deliberately NOT carying your book if KDP/Amazon had anything to do with it? My client(and sometimes co-author) just had that happen. How can new, idie, unknown authors get anywhere with that kind of attitude?
      Very frustrating looking for good ways to publish and distribute inexpensively.
      Just put in a hardback order for my client’s book with Bookbaby and it was hellish uploading and setting up and paying for the POD project. $2k for 100 hardback books which includes POD and some perfunctory editing!

      It ain’t easy being small and indie.

      • Kristina Adamson 20th February, 2019 at 22:29

        Bookshops aren’t allowed to stock books printed by KDP/Amazon. The free ISBNs that Amazon dishes out aren’t ‘proper’ ISBNs and therefore can only be used on Amazon. To get Amazon-printed books stocked elsewhere (outside of Amazon’s expanded distribution), you need your own ISBN.

        • Brendaon 19th May, 2021 at 03:14

          The ISBN number is not the problem it’s that Amazon does not have a return policy and Ingram spark does. Book stores want to be able to return unsold books that languish on the shelves. Also self-published are not welcomed in book stores at the best of times. Traditional publishing houses rent shelf space for their authors.
          Only independent book stores are likely to take self-published book and then only on consignment.

          • Helen S. Fletcheron 10th November, 2021 at 21:02

            Brenda you are correct about the return policy. But I disagree that self published authors are not welcome in bookstores. I currently have a self-published book in all the major bookstores including Barnes & noble as well as independent book sores and no on consignment. It depends on the book and the look of the book. If it is equal to a traditionally published book, they are fine with it but the requires working with a professional designer, editor, etc. The main reason for going with Ingram is they distribute to over 7,000 places including libraries. It costs $85.00 to get into their advance catalog which goes to all of those places. Cheap advertising for usre. No other source can match that.

      • Tyreanon 20th September, 2021 at 20:35

        I have. There are a few “IndieBound” bookstores who won’t have anything to do with KDP – even when I use my own Bowker ISBNs. I feel like the IndieBound bookstores are basically saying they don’t respect indie authors.

    10. Shawnon 2nd March, 2019 at 02:27

      I had very similar experience. I wanted the small 4X6 chapbook size that KDP doesn’t offer, so I thought I’d try IngramSparks for an ebook/book. At every stage I was irritated. I ended with 4 file errors- one for each cover and both internals. If they had given the specific format information up front, I could have checked the files before uploading! After several days getting everything in order, I hit publish and THEN I discover their set-up fees. I’ve just spent 4 days doing set up that would have taken an hour or two with Createspace (far more complex projects, I might add!). I was too annoyed, after all MY work, that they wanted to charge me for the pleasure of the task. So. Much. NO.

    11. Matejaon 4th March, 2019 at 20:52

      Yap, I tried too and wasn’t allowed to upload anything because I’m an international writer and apparently Ingram Spark doesn’t allow writers from many countries to use their service. Why they couldn’t make that clear in advance before I already spent all that time on setting up an account is beyond me. One of the worst user-experiences for sure. I then opted for expanded distribution on Amazon KDP since I already have my books there – all it took was one single click and no more than a second of my time spent on that.

      As for Lulu, maybe read this review by The Alliance of Independent Authors first: Based on my experience, I can confirm that they charge too much comparing to competition.

    12. delphineon 5th March, 2019 at 06:32

      Nothing beat Create Space. It was a user friendly interface at every step of the process and even an extremely non tech person like myself could work with it easily. So of course, Amazon took it away. Now I have KDP by default but created an Ingram Spark acct—already regretting. They have rejected my interior files—already in print for 2 yrs mind you—“fonts not embedded” No matter how many “corrected files” I upload, still rejected. And covers rejected for not being “grayscale” I am nearly at a nervous breakdown. HAVe to PAY someone to fix those “errors”

      • delaina M. waldronon 2nd April, 2020 at 21:38

        I am experiencing the same issues with Ingramspark and it is annoying asf. my files keep getting rejected over and over and I’m currently looking for a service to help me with my files. But right now I’m using KDP.

        • Alexaon 30th May, 2020 at 06:15

          Hi Delaina,
          Have you tried using KDP’s print service? I’ve been using it since Ingram was a bust, and so far so good. I get the occasional errors with the paperbacks but nothing that’s massively frustrating. It’s no Createspace that’s for sure, but might be worth a shot.

        • bon 21st August, 2020 at 22:36

          I had the same issue but I didn’t give up. I used Adobe Acrobat pro DC to embed my fonts. They gave me a free trial so after 7 days I can cancel. It worked right away. Search for instructions online to embed fonts using adobe for pictures and examples. Really, IngramSpark should have giving some help for authors but they don’t seem to care.

          I got approved fast with ingram. I first checked my pdf with KDP then I uploaded to Ingram.

        • CCon 5th February, 2021 at 18:36

          I can relate to all of the Ingram Spark woes mentioned and then some! If you’re not a professional book designer who has experience with the platform I do not recommend it for newbies. Not to mention now I’m getting 3 texts a day from random ghostwriters wanting to write my book – no doubt my info was sold by Ingram.

          I finally gave up with our first self-published book (a trial run of sorts) and went the path of least resistance using only Apple Books for an ebook (not the most popular book seller)–I thought, “Let’s just get SOMETHING out there and I’ll figure the others out later!” (We own all of our ISBNs BTW). Still and all even Apple was a bit challenging as all of these programs seem to behave as if we are all experts in the field and each have their own their self-publishing nuances – it’s maddening!

          I’m a self-dubbed “geek” and spent most of the summer trying to navigate the mess… Complaining aside, I’d really love a SIMPLE and affordable solution for our next book (which we do need wider distribution and preferably a slightly higher margin for) so I’m investigating all of the options out there (again). Right now I am onto Blurb with it’s variety of templates made for variety of platforms–I’ve heard it’s more expensive however? I would love other’s thoughts on it… Our books often have graphics and diagrams and things that “regular” books/novels don’t often have (and they are not children’s books) so they do not fit the molds provided by most of the booksellers. Thus, we’ve been frustrated with the results in KDP as well. Sigh. I am open to other recommendations or references to articles where I can do more research!

          Thank you for this excellent recap of your (and my) experience with Ingram!

        • Ireneon 5th January, 2022 at 16:57

          If this is any help, the only file type that IngramSpark accept is PDF/X. You just can’t upload a regular PDF file, you’ll keep receiving that “fonts not embedded” message even if they ARE embedded. You need to find a good PDF to PDF/X converter and use that for IngramSpark.

    13. Carlyon 22nd March, 2019 at 14:46

      Hello all. I have been using CreateSpace since 2009, and IngramSpark since 2016. It’s a steep learning curve, but once you figure it out, it will be as easy as CreateSpace was. I am also using KDP. I’ll try t help with some of these above situations.

      1. Make sure your PDF is saved as PDF/A, it makes everything pass through their system easier. Word sometimes will not do it automatically, you have to click it in the OPTIONS when saving your document.
      2. Make sure pictures/cover are NOT saved with the ICC profile that Photoshop likes to save them with. Just uncheck the box when saving. If a cover: again, save as PDF. Also make sure all pictures/illustrations that are color or black and white are at least 300-350 DPI. Any sketches or line art need to be 600 DPI.
      3. Make sure your cover contains no ‘true black’, or they will reject it. It has a tendency to bleed. Just moving the color palette up a couple notches is enough to keep the error from happening, and still looks ‘black’.
      4. I’ve never seen a paperback having to be priced that high from within the account, and being a small book publisher, I have personally uploaded many books 300 or more pages. The most mine have cost is $18.99 (retail) and that’s with a $4 profit margin. Of course, it has a lot to do with the options you choose. (See below: returns and %)
      5. Make sure you have your own ISBN numbers. Ingram will not accept CreateSpace ones. Unless you paid the $99 one to have as your own Imprint.
      6. Make sure you get Ingram’s cover template (input your ISBN in the cover creator section of the HELP tab). Only do this after you have entered trim size and total page count when setting up your book. It will help tremendously with your errors (and thereby your pain, lol).

      a. Color will cost more than black and white. Standard color on 70lb paper is a pretty good option. Great color, thick paper (as good as KDP) and lower cost than premium. If you choose premium color, expect your price per copy (and thereby retail) costs to go pretty high.
      b. illustrated or books with lots of pictures will cost more than a novel with none or only a couple.
      c. If you keep their ‘industry standard’ royalty split, of 55%, you will have to set a higher retail price to get profit on your book.
      d. I have had many talks with IngramSpark customer service, and they say it makes no difference on the amount of royalties you give the retailer, unless you want them to stock your book.
      ***If you want them to stock your book, you MUST give the industry standard and you MUST click the ‘returns allowed’ option. NOTE: Allowing returns on your book mean YOU WILL PAY THE DIFFERENCE if it gets returned. And if you ever decide to not enable returns on any books that have had it enabled, then any books sold BEFORE you disabled it will forever be returnable. The cost per returned book (to you) is about $4 USD each. This is total. You WILL pay around $4 for each returned book. They charge back the profit you previously made on the book as well, but it generally amounts to a negative $4.
      e. If you choose not to enable returns, NO place will stock your book (unless you go into the shop and make a deal with them, which likely will include you buying back any overstock as well).
      f. Therefore, don’t give the retailers 55% because it will not entice them to stock your book (unless you offer returns). However, do not go less than 30-35%. If you go less than 30-35%, online places won’t even LIST your book as available to be ordered through them.

      Some errors can be ignored if you get to the file upload page. These would include TOO HIGH RESOLUTION. You can also have them ‘auto correct’ several items. Just be sure to order a print proof to be sure it’s OK. Oh yes, and you MUST approve the proof before they’ll let you order a copy. Which means $25 if you have any changes to the file after that. Yeah, this part really ticks me off, but what can a small publisher do?

      I have had several problems with Ingram, but no company is perfect. Their customer service has been exceptional in fixing or helping to fix unforeseen issues.

      Oh, one last thing. If you have bought a block of ISBN’s, like I have, and you set the book up at IngramSpark FIRST, once approved, you can then set the same book up at CreateSpace (now KDP) with the same ISBN. 🙂 Just do NOT enable expanded distribution at KDP. That is because they use INGRAMSPARK as their Distributor to everywhere NOT Amazon. Plus you get better royalty rates at Ingram. 65-70% if you follow my advice above, (unless you are offering returns) compared to 40% or less for expanded distribution from KDP Expanded Distribution.

      Hope all that helps someone. This is my experience. Yes, they have some things that could be improved. But if you learn to work their system, I think it will be worth it to anyone.

      • Thomason 6th June, 2020 at 14:13

        That’s a truly edifying comment! I have one question though: How big a problem are the book returns? How often do they happen? And how large are they? What I mean is: How many books are returned within a month?

        • Mikeon 20th January, 2022 at 20:49

          Thomas, book returns are a huge problem for small authors, and in my opinion, returns are the dirty little secret known only by IngramSpark and their largest accounts. I have perhaps a dozen books published through IngramSpark, which accounts for about 10% of my sales. Initially, since I was chasing distribution within a large national bookseller chain, I checked the box that allowed that bookseller chain and other book stores to return my books, since it only seemed fair at the time. However, what I then learned over the course of two Christmas seasons is that book sellers large and small, knowing they can return the books, will order in heavily during the holidays so as to give customers an “impressive” selection of books in their stores, but then dump ALL of those books back to the author through IngramSpark’s return process at the end of the year. As a result, the booksellers generate revenue by ordering and displaying more books than they need during the holiday season, and then they, as well as IngramSpark, generate EVEN MORE revenue when they return the over-ordered books at a cost of $4.00 each to the author. In this scenario, you as the author are taking on the risk of your business, AS WELL AS that of a large national bookseller. In my case, for two Januarys in a row, a handful of boxes would suddenly show up on my doorstep with 300 books in them, and then IngramSpark would ding my credit card for $1,200 for the returns PLUS the royalties I had made on the initial sale of the books. That’s not the worst part however. The unethical slap in the face is that the booksellers would then turn around and reorder the same books within the next month or so. Meanwhile, I’m out $1,200 plus my royalties, I now have 300 books that have been manhandled at retail and in distribution, and IngramSpark’s attitude…while holding my money… is one of complete indifference. I no longer publish new titles via IngramSpark because of this, and I unchecked the “Returns Allowed” box on my existing titles on their site, so my “sales” are down considerably, but at least I’m no longer a victim of this unethical behavior. The good news is that the booksellers recognized that my books do sell, so they now overlook that they aren’t returnable. Either that, or I’m only receiving bookseller orders now from those who have a conscience. I want to like IngramSpark, but they make it nearly impossible to do so.

          • Drion 17th May, 2022 at 09:23

            I was in absolute shock over the returns, which seems one step away from fraud. Thank you for validating my experience. I have one tiny wee book out, no business to back it up, and was recently charged $500 for returned books. IS’s “help”? “Yes, you have to pay that.” It seems unfathomable to me.

      • Ireneon 5th January, 2022 at 18:09

        This is well and truly helpful, thank you very much! I’m OBLIGED to go with IngramSpark at the moment because they’re the only POD publisher who accept the rare language I write in, so I’m pretty much stuck with them and collecting every scrap of advice I can find.

    14. Anetteon 7th April, 2019 at 10:07

      It is true that their system comes up with a price for uploading to the system, but if you add their promo code NANO you´ won’t be charged.

      By the way, does anyone know if it is possible to exclude some countries from Ingram Sparks distribution? I am having an exclusive contract with a publisher in Denmark, Germany and Sweden but would like to use Ingram Spark for the rest of it.

    15. Mark Ackermanon 12th April, 2019 at 13:57

      I think the most important thing you mentioned in the whole article was “who is going to pay $28 dollars for a paperback by an indie author? Not many readers, that’s who.”

      The goal is distribution and while being on a lot of digital and physical shelves is great, price is far more important to readers. At 28 dollars you can get in front of 100,000 people and few will buy. But what if you were priced at 14 dollars and got in front of 1000 people. You’d sell more copies

      I don’t like the print on demand model for this reason. Buy in bulk from companies like
      It’s an investment upfront but so much better in the long run.

      • Kimberly Hitchenson 9th December, 2020 at 16:56

        You’re not wrong, of course, but there are exceedingly few self-published authors that are willing to undertake fulfillment themselves and that’s the biggest problem. You can print small-quantity print runs in China, to keep costs down (for color books, particularly) but then what? Of the 5,000+ customers that have gone through my shop’s door, and over 1,000 paperbacks that we’ve designed for them, I would seriously estimate that not one in one hundred will be willing to perform the fulfillment themselves. When you then throw in the Amazon options for having them fulfil the books, it becomes very costly.

        People don’t understand the economics of printing; of how much Amazon throws in, for their books (all the website, bandwidth, software to manage the uploads, software to do the final layout for the thousands that don’t upload finished PDFs, customer service reps, etc.)and what distribution takes/costs. Createspace has truly skewed people’s expectations of distribution, bookmaking and the like.

        Amazon shut down CS because it was *hemorrhaging* money. They were providing 24/7 phone support to EVERY customer, once Amazon bought them, even people uploading Word files and half-baked cover files, people who weren’t paying for any author services. When they were BookSurge, they didn’t have non-paying customers and the biz model worked fine, but throw in the tsunami of non-paying, Word-file-uploading Authors that needed that Tech support…well. Yeah, sure, no wonder everybody “loved it.” They were giving away the store and their business model had always been customer-centric, so you could consume endless amounts of their time, w/o paying for it. Bezos seemed to be fine with it, while he was trying to corner the market, but once that was done, it’s hard to blame him for shutting it down with a BANG.

    16. Darcion 6th May, 2019 at 13:24

      I just published my second novel and used IngramSpark for the first time. I only published through KDP and Create Space the first time. I wish I had come across your best practices, Carly, before I stumbled through the IngramSpark process. I’m happy to say that I was successful, but will be keeping your list and reading over it before my next go. Thanks for taking the time to share your knowledge of the process!

    17. Deirdra Doanon 8th May, 2019 at 15:26

      Do you know the limit of file size to upload to Ingram I have a large colored picture book

      Create space was 450 megs


    18. Brendaon 9th May, 2019 at 21:55

      Thanks for this blog. I have a read another blog pretty much the same thing. I have used Blurb. I used Amazon for digital. I like the ease of Bookwright. I just sell on my website.

    19. A. Eberon 20th May, 2019 at 18:59

      Agreed. Here is a post I wrote about IS. Subject: Ingram S. And what I found out from a small bookstore owner.
      Trying to find a “safe” place to ask about this, without other authors getting upset at me. Note: I am very grateful for all the resources we have as authors, and the opportunities we have.
      I personally have had bad experiences with I.S. From fee-ing me to death, they also printed the wrong titles on the spine of my books, all the pages stuck together in all 50 copies of both titles, and some printing was off center. I was very surprised, since I thought they were supposed to be better than Amazon in that department. Anyway I write metaphysical books, and there are metaphysical bookstores in every city that I would like to be in. I have struggled financially to be able to visit stores in person. (That is still my goal.) To get to the point, I talked with a small bookstore today, interested to get a look through their eyes, and where they buy. I asked if they buy from IS. They said very rarely, because IS only gives them a 5 – 25% discount, even on bulk orders! Typically it is 40-50 for bookstores, so they use other distributors offering that discount. I had no idea they were practically selling retail price to stores. Some time back, the store ordered several copies of a local author’s book priced at $14.95, and they got 5% off. I asked him to look up my book on the store’s IS page, and it is listed to wholesalers for 20% off, and only 1 book is available. The other book says available on my dashboard, but reads “unavailable” on a wholesalers screen.
      In my opinion, this company is doing very little for me, or for wholesalers. I consistently sell on Amazon every month, and my sales from IS are an extremely low percentage in comparison.
      Someone tell me if I am wrong, or if its just me, with unreasonable expectations. Is there another place for print, that distributes? (Btw, I spent a small fortune on IS just getting 2 print books up.)
      Delete this if its not allowed. Not trying to be negative here, just need perspective.

    20. Markon 13th June, 2019 at 16:34

      Thank you, Carly. This is quite helpful.
      Anna, thank you for giving your review and sparking such an informative conversation.

    21. RDon 22nd June, 2019 at 03:46

      I had my book printed by CS all along, since 2012 then I go to log in the other day and it’s like my account is gone and there’s only a log-in page and not much else, so I tried the “forgot password” and never got the email, I tried the email address in my autofill and 3 others I have used and never got the emails.
      So I emailed customer support on what is now KDP and someone with an “Indian” sounding last name obviously had no clue, told me she couldn’t find an account with my email address on it, that if someone else published the book for me to have them use their email address LOL!!!! After going back and forth over 3 days I decided screw it- and created an account on KDP, then I uploaded my PDF and it asked for my ISBN, I put the one in FOR my title that Ive used on it all along which I bought from Bowker directly in 2012, the freaking system tells me the number is already assigned to another title!
      NO KIDDING!!!! it’s assigned to the same title I’m UPLOADING!!!
      Tried several different ways, no go, so I email them again about that and another “Indian” name wrote back telling me that the ISBN is in use for a title already… and that I could use their “free” ISBN or buy one from Bowker, oh GAWD!!!!
      So I email them back with some screen shots showing my title and ISBN in my Bowker account and told them to CALL me.
      6 hours later, and not 5 minutes after I bought ANOTHER Bowker ISBN just to be done with the damn thing- someone calls me, during the course of the call I said yes, like my email said- I don’t want Amazon selling/marketing and yada yada I only want PRINTING, I sell my book myself retail, well it turns out they don’t do JUST printing any more, you have to sign up for the whole package with Amazon/Kindle and bla bla bla, so I said “FINE!! forget it, I have no further use for your service” and hung up on her.

      Good grief, if I knew createspace was going away I would have bought a bunch more books, now I have to scrounge around and try to find another printer like CS where I dont have to order 50 books at a time, that has 7×10 size paperback, and doesnt cost like $75 each like Lulu or some others estimated!
      I tried to find an alt to CS 2-3 years ago and every one them cost at least twice what CS charged. my 298 page book that has a LOT of color plates in it ran me about $21 on CS, I think 48hour books quoted me something like $65 each a couple of years ago, that’s why I never switched to another printer, plus LULU and the others wanted TAX info and SS# for “royalties” was not going to be getting anyway.

      My book is a very, very small narrow niche specialty focus book that simply would never generate any real sales, I sell it to clients of my work mostly and I have it priced $35 with the postage but I was paying $21 to CS plus sales tax plus shipping, there’s NO WAY someone is going to pay anything like Lulu or 4hour book’s $65 for this book!!

    22. RDon 23rd June, 2019 at 18:03

      Amazingly they are still going on about this, I told them to close my account and delete it, and they send me this;

      I apologize for the inconvenience caused in this regard.
      I’ve checked the records and unable to find any KDP account under the email address “”.

      To close the books published with the CreateSpace account associated email address we need to confirm the account security of the that account. Please provide us with the following details so that we can arrange an outbound call and close your unclaimed CreateSpace account.

      1. Phone number
      2. Call back time

      Thanks for using Amazon KDP.”

      If they can’t find a Createspace acct with my email address, and despite my title being in there, and that I sent the CC info for the last order of 3 books; 04/29/2018 CREATESPACE 843-760-8000 SC $74.91, then how is calling me going to do anything???
      Obviously if I ordered books in April last year I had access to my account, now suddenly the login doesnt work and they have no record of that email address, so I suspect they deleted the logins or some screwup. I never get ANY of the reset password emails and I dont have spam filters blocking them on my domains.
      Meanwhile I tried Lulu again and much to my surprise I got several different prices based on the criteria I entered- 298 pages, 7×10, perfect bound. I found that selecting the standard color priced my book close to $15 while selecting premium color shot that up to $48.
      So I decided to order a copy and look at what I get, I upgraded to the 80# coated paper as my book has a LOT of color plates in it, and standard color, we’ll see what comes.

      I suspect Createspace just used what Lulu is calling “standard color” and maybe the 60# paper was standard, I dont remember there being choices on the color. Hoping the standard color and on the heavier better 80# coated paper the book will print out as good or better than Createspace.

    23. RDon 26th June, 2019 at 04:32

      “As for Lulu, maybe read this review by The Alliance of Independent Authors first:
      Based on my experience, I can confirm that they charge too much comparing to competition.”

      That article link is dated 2014- almost six years old, a whole lot can change in six years!
      I ordered a copy of my book on Lulu and awaiting it’s delivery, their price was at least $6 less than Createspace charged me for the same 300 page, all color, perfectbound 7×10 book

    24. RDon 27th June, 2019 at 18:38

      Well this isn’t looking very hopeful, especially on a first order…

      —–Original Message—–
      From: Support
      Sent: Thu, Jun 27, 2019 10:13 am
      Subject: Lulu xPress Support Case

      Thank you for placing order xxxxx with Lulu xPress.

      While working on your order, our printers discovered one or more items in the order containing errors preventing us from printing your book correctly.

      We’ve created Support Case #xxxxx and are investigating this issue now. Please allow 2 to 3 business days while we look into your order. Once we know more, we’ll reach out to you with information and next steps. Any additional items in your order will continue to print and fulfill while we investigate this error.

      We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and would like to assure you that your issue will be handled as quickly as possible with the utmost care.

      Thank you for your patience,
      Lulu Press, Inc.

    25. twcon 27th June, 2019 at 20:41

      Just finished uploading 4 books (2 versions of 2 titles – hardcover and paperback) to Ingram Sparks. I created a “dummy” book first just to see which hoops I would have to jump through. There are some things that should be paid attention to that I did not notice mentioned here: Make sure you assign BISAC codes, keywords, etc. to give your work the best chance at success. I self-published three books previously with Create Space and all of my ebooks are on KDP because of the easy way I can promote them and no need to spend money on an ISBN. Going forward, however, I do want to explore the reach of other platforms for my e-books. To check for formatting, etc for print books – I order copies from Lulu. For those interested in trying out Ingram Spark, if you use the code SELFPUB, it will be free. (I GET NO REFERRAL BONUS, I found the code on a website.) I’ve used it 3 of the 4 times (if I had it sooner, would have used it for the other book as well.) While I am waiting for the files to be fully approved, I’m really interested in hearing what others have to say about the print quality. While I want the distribution, I want to make sure the books are quality as well.

    26. Bob Johnsonon 8th August, 2019 at 23:54

      I’ve been working as a self-publishing consultant for 10 years, and a lot folks seem to have very wild expectations of the process. First off if your book does not have at least a 40% discount and is marked returnable, stores are not going to buy it wholesale, ever. This is the standard discount publishers big and small offer, as a self-pubbed author that means you too. I would also caution about using KDP, indie bookstores do not order from Amazon (again, ever, for many reasons, one is stores don’t have wholesale accounts with KDP). Secondly Ingram prints for all the major publishers so if you’re worried about quality, don’t be, Random House isn’t nor any of the other big pub houses, what you should be very concerned about is the design of your book. Seriously I see so many amateur mistakes that could be easily fixed with a little attention to detail. Kerning for starters, those big white spaces between words on your justified text… are a mistake. You haven’t kerned your text, so its wonky. It screams self-pub. Same with unjustified text (finished works are not ragged edge.) Headers and page numbers, make sure you A, have them and B, have them in the right spot. Page numbers should always be on the outer margin. Which brings me to mirrored margins, something else a well designed book has. Lastly cover, I don’t care how much you love that image, if it is not high res DO NOT USE IT. A pixelated cover is your worst enemy, it literally cries, “I don’t really care enough to get quality art work for my book.” Long story short, I recommend everyone worry less about set-up fees and way more about proper design and typography, a good book can have centuries of sales (literally, member Billy Shakespeare? Still going strong.) but if you’re book looks thrown together you’re right, no one is going to pay $28.00 for it. Publishing is long term game, start thinking bigger picture please.

      • Tiffanyon 3rd August, 2020 at 04:10

        I know my comment’s delayed, but thank you so much for this! I’m waiting for the proof copy of my debut novel to be printed by IngramSpark. I paid/borrowed a lot to be in a self-publishing tuition program, and included in the cost was access to a professional interior files designer and cover designer. It was certainly an expensive process but, so far, worth it just for the ease & knowledge gained. I’ll soon know if the designers were worth it for the quality – I have to get my proof from IngramSpark because Amazon won’t create proofs for Australian authors.
        Reading these comments have made me very nervous, but reading yours has alleviated me. I agree, publishing is a long term game, & I don’t expect to see any real returns for a few books/years yet, but I had started worrying I’d never see them at all. Now I know that, although it may take a decade or two, there’s still hope for me yet.

    27. Christineon 6th September, 2019 at 15:09

      I want to thank everyone for their great advice and comments about KDP and IngamSpark. I use IngramSpark right now and have been very happy with the process and the published softcover and hardcover books quality. However, My royalty on print books is piffle. One thing mystifies me: I thought the discount (I put in 45% in their pricing formula) was just for bookstores to be able to purchase the books at this discounted price. It seems that the discount is applied to readers who order online (My book is not in a bookstore). My softcover sells for $16.50 (9″x6″, 478 pages) which gives me a royalty of $0.29 because of the cost to print the book PLUS the discount. The numbers are: Customer pays $16.50 to Amazon. IngramSpark just emailed me that the NET sale for one book was $7.41 (45% discount applied to private citizen). The cost to print the book is $7.14. My royalty is $7.41 – $7.14 = $0.29. Who gets the $9.08?

      Thank you.

      • Monica Lee Rotteron 20th May, 2021 at 14:13

        You flipped two numbers. The $9.08 is your compensation less the $7.14 printing costs. So your compensation should be $1.94 per book. Raising your price to $16.99 won’t lose you one sale, will look more professional, and net you $2.21 per book.

        Something to think about. Every time Apple raised the price of the iPhone, the more iPhones they sold. Of course, their are limits. On Amazon, a lot of people writing books can’t write for sour apples let alone craft a story or evolve a character. Those are among the eBooks selling for $2.99 and $3.99.

        Most people want to be entertained and not waste their time or money on a poorly written novel. They assume that the more a book costs, the more likely it is to be well written and well crafted. Just make sure the “Look Inside” it is well written and well crafted.

        If you sold your book for $19.99, you would make $4.85 per book. Even if you sold only half as many books, you would still make more money. But you also might sell more books instead. Ask yourself, “if you were buying a book that looked good and were willing to pay $16.99, would you put it back on the shelf if it was $19.99?” I wouldn’t and never have.

    28. CLon 22nd November, 2019 at 18:34

      I agree with the author and would add the fact that funds for KNOWN sales are not being paid out to me. The tracking for sales is questionable and sketchy at best. A basic tracking system for EVERY sale would be normal business etiquette (the title, the quantity, the date sold, etc). Seems as though they purposely leave this basic info out. There could many sales national and international, we’d never know it.

    29. Brion 12th December, 2019 at 04:05

      I never got that far. Bowker ripped me off for 25$ for a link to themselves wanting $139 to make an epub file, which we can do with one click on word, or in my case, Libre. Oh, and a link to Ingram. as soon as I got the the part of setting up my account where they asked for my credit card for charges I was wishing I could erase my routing and account number. Are you saying if I had spent he time filling out a profile, blurb for the book, uploaded my files, they were going to hit me up for cash right there? Real comedians. Amazon has no charges and neither does smashwords. Smashwords distributes everywhere Ingram does and more. They distribute to boatloads of libraries all over the world too. I set a slightly lower price for, “The Christ, Born in the U.S.Today” at libraries as I reckon people who go to libraries to read can’t afford as much as we can. One big reason they go is they can’t afford a computer to read an ebook on. Yes, smashmouth, er, words only handles digital, but Amazon and others distribute paperbacks and we can sell to them directly anyway. Smashwords has their style guide and support so we can format our ebook proper like. Amazon doesn’t care what it looks like, aside from the cover. 🙂

      No, I don’t work for em. I’m just urinated about getting taken for two large-bits, so I’m spreading the word. Must be other legit distributors out there. Even if I have to sign up with several to get my paperback in all the places I want. Not to mention selling from a free word press site. Well, I guess I just did mention it. Tee Hee. Later gaters.

    30. Chrison 13th December, 2019 at 18:33

      In regards to Alexa’s decision and Carly’s awesome post, I have been with Ingramspark since 2014. There is good and bad like with everything. I wish there were more options for us to choose from but I think I am going to try Amazon, for one, I read, (tell me someone if this is true or not) Amazon puts your books in the library catalog as well as in schools catalogs??? That is when you use their ISBN number. I purchased mine from Bowker because at the time Ingramspark did not offer any ISBN numbers. Honestly, i am not sure how buying your own is better than using Amazon/KDP esp. if your book is going into a catalog and/or being marketed for you in a sense. I write middlegrade childrens books, and I illustrate them. I have about 90 pages with over 30 illustrations in each of the 1st two I wrote. This last one (3rd) is 180 pages, a double one this time, I guess a middle grade novel, illustrated with like 44 or so images. That book is priced about 23.95 and I will make about 2.50 a book. With LULU that book would cost me over $30 us to create. So that is one good thing about Ingramspark. You can manage to keep your retail price down.
      The bad thing, which makes me want to go elsewhere, is the people that work there. They are not really friendly in my experience and not so willing to help you. They take forever to get back to you. It is like they can treat you the way you want because like I said, there are not many options, maybe if I think positively I can change my experience with them ;). The $25 reupload when you are still trying to proof your book is a scam. This whole business is a racket for us creative people, however we have to do what we have to do. I cannot follow the forsaken rules of traditional publishers either. Some are just nutso. The shipping options at Ingramspark are horrible too. You have the choice to pay for no tracking and they warn you there is no way they are responsible, or outrageous tracked shipping even for one proof, is really expensive, well over usps priority. I don’t remember who they use because I always go the cheap route, that is what I can afford. Your books come in an opened package sometimes and damaged. Those things alone make me want to leave. I have my ebooks with Amazon so I can put them with other publishers like Smaswords etc. I do not think you are allowed with Ingramspark? To help others as I had such a hard time figuring all this out myself through research, I want to share with you what I do and my PDFs are always compliant. If you like your images even though they are a lower resolution than Ingramspark requires because an old Word program reverts them to 220ppi. Maybe newer Word programs you can change it to 300? You can accept the proof they give you online from Ingramspark if you like it. Then order a paperback to see how it prints. Bet you ll pay the $25 regardless to reupload if you need to make changes.
      When Carly said to save your word doc as a pdf/a if you use png images they will turn black so that doesn’t always work. To make my images and manuscript compliant and this may be too many steps, it always worked for me. I happen to have the Adobe Acrobat Pro. So I save my word doc as an XPS. Then I open it with Acrobat Pro (not the reader), do my page numbers and erase the header footer on the last page to make it blank along with the first pages. I then save it as a POSTSCRIPT. Then open the PS doc with Acrobat Distiller (free with pro) and set to PDF/X-1a:2001, where it will check it for compliancy errors. Then it will create a PDF that will pass. Remember to open it with Adobe because when you just double click and open it with any internet program, images look very dark on screen. That is not going to print that way. Images you see online are different(cmyk printing and rgb online), a whole different topic. Anyway I hope this helps as all your info on this post helped me too. I do not blame you for your decision Alexa..i hear ya.

    31. rufuson 18th December, 2019 at 13:51

      I recently had books printed at IngramSpark. This was my first effort at self-publishing. The following are my experiences doing that in late 2019, offered as a public service. Note that my conclusions of my experiences are based on my own particular requirements, which probably are different for other authors. For this reason I am not providing any sort of up front executive summary.

      A Bit About Me

      I am an engineer with much technical experience. I point this out because the process of getting a book printed is fundamentally a technical exercise. As such there are aspects of this process which may be problematic for non-technical users but that I have not called out as problematic in my experience. I am not a first time author, having written a textbook years ago. As an engineer, I am an inveterate note taker and document saver. All the information here is from my notes, and descriptions of my interactions with IngramSpark are backed up with documentary evidence. Two other things that influenced my decision when choosing a POD printer. I want the printing done in the USA, and I generally avoid dealing with Amazon if at all possible.

      About My Project

      My book is a work of technical documentation for a very narrow market. A bit less that 200 pages long with color illustrations throughout, hard copy, hardcover. So it is not cheap to print and will have an appropriately high retail price. Because the market is so narrow, it is my intent to sell this through my own well-known website. As a fall back, I can wholesale it to the two large retailers that serve this market and expect full market penetration. As a consequence, what I am buying from IngramSpark is pretty much limited to USA POD printing. Although I do not intend to make use of their distribution services, I find it useful to know that it is there and available if I ever want to go that route. The book will be ordered in batches of hundreds of copies. When shopping for printing services I did find lower delivered prices but none were significantly lower. I decided to go with IngramSpark because of the availability of distribution services and also because of the large community of existing users which may be available with help.

      The IngramSpark Website (Rating: excellent)

      Although there are some issues with the website, I found it to be excellent and very easy to work with. The site is sensibly designed with an appropriate user interface. It includes all the facilities needed to create an account, enter the production specifications and meta data for a book, upload interior and cover files, and order printing. There are appropriate explanatory documents available and tool tips that provide useful contextual information.

      Some issues though. The site logs you off way too quickly if you are idle. If your credit card company rejects your order for some reason, the site provides a cryptic error message which has no useful information to let you know that. There is no obvious way to dismiss tooltips if you invoke them, and they get in the way of filling out forms.

      Ingram Spark Technical Support (Rating: unacceptable)

      OK so, what do I (and everyone else for that matter) expect from a company’s tech support department? 1. Timely responses. 2. Factually correct responses. 3. Responses that actually answer the questions presented. IngramSpark support failed miserably on all accounts.

      All went smoothly up to the point of uploading my files. After a few days I received an email message from IngramSpark indicating that the cover file did not have all fonts that were used embedded in it. This statement was incorrect. In response I sent back a screen shot of the exact same facilities used in the IngramSpark documentation showing how to check this, which showed that all fonts were in fact embedded. And then I waited. And waited. And waited, for days. With nothing else to do in the meantime I ran preflight checks using an antique version of Acrobat Pro. This called out some issues (but did *not* indicate there were missing fonts) so I built and uploaded another cover file. A day later I got an email response about the newly uploaded cover – again, griping about missing fonts. I still did not get a reply to my original message, sent five days (!) previously. So my next message to them includes: 1. My screen shots; 2. Questions asking them to specifically identify the software tool they are using that is telling them there are fonts missing. This will help me track down what is really going on; 3. Asking them to actually identify which fonts are missing; 4. A promise that if I don’t get a timely and accurate and complete response from them I am going to refer the issue directly to the IngramSpark president.

      My next response from them was received within a day (so: timely-ish) and was technically accurate. Turns out there were no missing fonts, but one of them was marked as not legally embeddable. So this was enough info for me to fix the problem, although I still had a multipart go around with them to get them to actually answer the questions I posed. And here is an interesting thing. They had no gripes about the interior file, which used exactly the same fonts. Just for completeness of information, IngramSpark checks cover pdf file submissions by preflight checking for PDF/X-1a:2001 compliance using Acrobat Pro 8. Apparently, interior files are checked using some other, less rigorous, facility.

      Although this is out of sequence I’ll add here that I had another unacceptable IngramSpark support transaction related to my book order. During checkout the site coughed up a cryptic error message and didn’t place the order. I sent a support request and days later got back an accurate reply which allowed me to fix the problem on my end. the following day I also received another reply from a different support person, asking me for additional and irrelevant information.

      So summary of IngramSpark tech support: 1. Takes way too long to respond, sometimes as long as five days; 2. Erroneous or irrelevant responses about half the time. Because of my background I knew when I was receiving bad information, but not everyone would be so lucky; 3. Inability/unwillingness on the part of support staff to answer direct questions.

      Issues with Standard Color Printing (Rating: poor)

      My book is printed on 70lb stock and uses “standard” color. Technical documentation is not art. The photos need to be clear but there are really no other requirements. I use a calibrated color monitor and an appropriate color intent in the uploaded files. When I ordered a single copy of the book ($21) to use as a hardcopy proof all the photos were too dark. Again, I’m not being too critical here, but these were not usable. I checked to be sure the color intent in my files were what IngramSpark required and found that IngramSpark does not specify any color intent at all, which is a sure indication that they ignore whatever intent you specify. So now I have to lighten up the photos, but the only process by which I can do this is trial and error. I lighten the photos a bit more than I think is necessary, generate a new interior file and upload it. IngramSpark charges me $25 for this revision. I order another hardcopy proof ($21) and when it arrives I find the photos to be too light but acceptably so for technical documentation. I don’t want to spend either the time or the money ($46) for another trial and error cycle, so I leave well enough alone.

      I have no idea if color intent is ignored for the higher quality printing option. And I don’t really have a complaint about this for standard color. My complaint is about the process an author needs to go through to correct printed color, that is, trial and error, which is time-consuming and costly. The idea that I have to pony up $25 each time I need to upload a new interior file solely to get the color approximately right is galling, as is the $21 charge for each hardcopy proof. By the way this is not an issue that is unfamiliar to the book printing business – viable solutions are available from other vendors.

      Quality of the Books (Rating: acceptable-ish, but see details)

      Once everything is straightened out I order a few hundred books. The books are hardcover (case bound) with a matte finish. They arrive in good time – a couple of weeks. The books are well packed in boxes of 12 each. There is no obvious shipping damage. I do a statistical quality check. That is, I pull 10% of the books at random from the boxes and examine these for defects. The statistical defect rate is way high, 2%, so now I will have to examine all of the books. When I do, that rate remains. In this case as with the case of the color I am not too picky. I am perfectly willing to accept any small defects. If the book will be accepted as not defective by my customers, I accept it too. There are some books with small amounts of crushing at the corners. Most of the books have some spattering of glue and small smudges of ink on the covers. No big deal – this stuff wipes right off, and it probably wouldn’t even be visible on a gloss finished cover that wasn’t as light in color as this one. But real defects include bad page trim, extra end papers, first printed page glued to end paper, bad print registration on cover, crushed spine, and wrinkled cover plastic. Note for what it is worth that most all of these defects have to do with the cover. The other 98% of the books look great.

      A 2% defect rate is unacceptably high for any delivered manufactured product. From this author’s perspective there are two consequences of this high defect rate even if IngramSpark replaces the defective books. The first is that it will require me going forward to examine each and every book shipped to me. This is a time-consuming process, and time is money. Having to do this effectively increases my cost for the books. It only takes a minute to examine one book for defects, but that comes out to one hour per 60 books, and I have hundreds of them. Multiply these hours times how much I value my time per hour, and add that to the cost of the books. Your mileage will vary, but for me having to examine each and every book effectively increases the per book cost $0.50. The second issue has to do with the confidence I would have of the quality of the books drop shipped directly from IngramSpark to retail or wholesale customers. In fact I would not be at all confident of this. For me at this point at least, the latter is a non-issue, since I currently do not intend to make use of the distribution options offered by IngramSpark.

      One more thing. A 2% defect rate where all the defects are the same is different from a 2% defect rate where all the defects are different. In the former case it is at least possible that a single manufacturing fix would eliminate all of these defects in the future. But the latter case is more indicative of more systemic problems and also probably more indicative of the defect rate I can expect going forward.

      I want to point out here that the website facility IngramSpark provides for making claims for defective product is exemplary, at least for orders shipped directly to you. You go to the website, make the claim, upload digital photos of the issues, and tell them if you want an account credit or replacement books. No fuss! Other companies should emulate this.

      I go for the replacements. The website advises I will be contacted in 3 – 5 business days. Receipt of the claim was acknowledged via email in three days, and I received confirmation of an order for replacement books later that day. At this time I asked the support person if the defect rate is typical and if not, what *is* typical. I received a reply a couple of days later with apologies and assurance that defect rates this high were rare, but declining to provide hard numbers. Note that in manufacturing a company lives or dies by their defect rate, so this information is clearly collected within the company. And if their defect rate was exemplary they would surely be touting it. Without hard data to the contrary I have to assume I can expect a defect rate of 2% going forward.


      OK, so on the plus side IngramSpark has a great website and fast order turn around. The accepted books look fine and the website facility for getting defective books replaced is great. On the minus side the support is terrible in every way possible. The process for getting interior color right is slow, tedious, and costly. And the defect rate of the shipped books is unacceptably high at 2%.

      What I will do going forward based on this experience depends on the project. It is likely I will place future orders for this book with IngramSpark because doing so is simple now that it is in their system. But I will have to examine each book received and if the defect rate is again too high I will have to take that as indicating they just can’t deliver at a reasonable defect rate, and look for another printer. I could not possibly have IS print and drop ship to a retailer with this defect rate. Given the defect rate, the support issues, and the color issues, for planned future book projects I will likely look for a different printer right off the bat.

      Please note something I stated at the start of this review – this is my first experience as a POD customer. I have absolutely no idea how IngramSpark compares to other POD printers. For all I know my experiences here could be typical of the industry. For the sake of the industry though, I hope it is not.

      • Brock Archeron 13th August, 2021 at 16:10

        Thank you, Rufus, for your very detailed and thorough review. My book is somewhat similar in that it is large (8×10) with full-page, full-color images. Mine is an art book, though, so I require a higher level of color printing. My book is not yet published due to the technical requirements. I am not an engineer, but I do have some background in design and printing.

        IngramSpark is practically anal-retentive about specs for the cover. They provide a template for that, but the cover image you submit must be 100% compatible with that template. I magnified my image 1600% to make sure the image was lined up with the template, and they were still not satisfied. If they are so insistent on this point, why don’t they provide a template with a snap-to function? That would save them and their customers lots of time, trouble, and money. In the time they wrote one E-mail (and there were dozens of them), they could have adjusted the image themselves, but they adamantly refuse to do that.

        In one message, they told me that my bar code did not meet their specs, but it was the exact same bar code they provided with the template. They often pass the case from one employee to another, but often the new person does not read the previous messages and ends up repeating things that have already been covered.

        So, I’m at the point of dropping them and looking for another POD service. The challenge is in finding a printer that can produce hardcover full-color high-quality art books, and this challenge is magnified by the fact that my book features my own original erotic art. Though it is not p*rnographic, many printers will not touch it.

    32. Guy Armstrongon 5th January, 2020 at 10:44

      In response to the comment from CL – 22ND NOVEMBER, 2019 AT 18:34 –

      Yes I have a similar experience with Amazon! A few years ago my brother showed me that he had purchased three copies of one of my books. He literally showed me the physical copies. Yet nothing appeared in my Amazon account. I figured it was probably because there had to be a certain amount sold before it would register. I went to shut down my Amazon account and asked if they owed me a few dollars, but there was no record of any sales on my account. I asked if they could track the buyer and told them my brother’s name and address, but they said:
      “I can confirm from that no orders were placed by buyers in your selling account.”
      It’s incredible because the printed copies from Amazon were slightly different to the printed copies I had made from our local printer.

    33. Fox Emersonon 10th January, 2020 at 21:25

      Thanks to everyone who takes the time to comment, and thereby impart and share knowledge – you guys are all awesome and I hope you sell many, many books.

      The Indie journey is a perilous, bumpy road, that we somehow endure and often overcome, thanks to those before who went before us and we should pay it forward.

      1: In my experience, it is best to stick with ebook to see how it goes first and later consider the print book and then the treacherous IngramSpark waters – if ye dare and are brave, especially for your first book or at least, just stick to Amazon’s print book as an option as it is a lot easier.

      2: Get your book into Amazon’s print book free first when you do decide to print., after you’ve had it professionally formatted correctly. Check the book, make sure it’s great, then perhaps look at IngramSpark afterwards.

      3: Provide the right amount of discount, but also ensure that you accept returns.

      Question 1: Can you allow the books to be destroyed? Would that make any sense rather than returns which cost you postage? I hate to waste paper unnecessarily, but the cost of returns outweighs sales and we’re not a charity. There’s an option to destroy or allow returns. Which one raises your chances of being accepted into bookstores/libraries?
      Question 2: Does having a greater discount of 55% raise your chances of being purchased by bookstores/libraries the world over?

      Thanks to everyone who’s provided such valuable info!


    34. Megan Furnellon 12th January, 2020 at 02:35

      I am wanting to join Ingramspark but I dont want to leave Credit Card on. I have the NANO2020 code does anyone know if you can just set up account then use Credit Card when want to purchase?

    35. Darius Stranskyon 24th February, 2020 at 10:53

      Hi Megan. Your card is added for when you purchase anything. No other reason. It’s there for when it’s needed. IE Print costs or shipping costs. It’s safe so don’t worry

    36. Buch Druckeron 26th February, 2020 at 20:17

      Depending on the specific case, this or that provider may be better. I have been publishing on for years and am satisfied. Even though I personally would like to have two more formats. And in the case of colour books, I would like to pay colour prices only for the colour pages. Lulu is easy to use. And Lulu has a forum where experienced people who have published a lot of stuff can give information and help.

      I know only one service, that looks to me better overall: – but it’s german only and you cannot bring your own ISBN.

    37. BURK ASHFORDon 24th March, 2020 at 21:54

      Thank you for all of your comments and insight. This is an experience few in life will experience as so few in life will never write a book but say they will. I was astonished at the price of short-run printing when I started. Then I thought that obviously the price will go down as you print more. I asked a POD how much for a thousand books. They said a typical POD max amount is 400 books. Go to a Web press printer. Voila. I found a great one in Saline, MI. Women owned that also hires men (!!!) They ran a 1,000 472 page novels for me at $3.74 each plus 16 cents for shrink wrapping. In regard to Rufus Quality Control loss of 2% – ALL of my books are PERFECT. McNaughton & Gunn. Soft cover, perfect bound, Fire-engine red glossy cover with metallic gold ink printing with the barcode in black in a little white square on the back cover. Barcode conversion (my own number) $28 – proof $24 (included shipping).
      Now the hard part – getting distribution and noticed without having to give them the POD printing rights and very low royalties. I figure that if I do the work – I should get the money.
      I am trying to sign on with AMAZON with their indie listing program (I have the books in a fulfillment center that is also in Saline, MI) and we have one giant rub. To complete the sign-up, they require that I upload my D.L. picture both front and back and the same of my Bank statement. Even without taking into the fact that AMAZON was hacked for 6 months and lost massive amounts of privileged personal information – giving them a copy of my D.L. and my bank info ain’t happening. I have lodged a complaint with the Attorney General here in California. One AAARGH!
      IngramSpark will not allow me in their system if I print my own books and fulfillment. From what I have read from your comments people, I don’t see a reason to try the others. I’m open to suggestions. Book fairs are not enough to be a reliable substitute.

    38. Asaon 2nd April, 2020 at 02:27

      First of all, IngramSpark’s “help” is universally horrid: Phone, email, live chat. they know absolutely NOTHING beyond the downloadable guides that I studied and followed exactly. However, I ran into four technical problems as it is a 300 page all color book.. Issues with bleeds and margins, 240% color saturation, error messages with strange codes and small 200 mg PDF interior failed to upload.. absolutely NO answers and no help, as they have no technical knowledge at all, and apparently so access to your actual file page, etc. Look for an alternative as they really are NOT service oriented.. Just a money maker…

      • Asaon 6th March, 2021 at 20:12

        You are right.. They are totally USELESS for interior color or lots of color artwork or photos, etc. The 240% saturation rule is bizarre. It took two days of research, about 12 hours of my time, to find all the technical answers regarding InDesign and Photoshop colorimetric stuff that NO self-published author wants to learn, but I am fairly expert in those programs. However to fulfill the requirements is a tremendous about of work and really seen nowhere in the publishing world. 300% is standard and looks great. Also.. resizing all photos to their ACTUAL size in the book? Who does that? 240% will guarantee a muddy looking set of pictures. I published with B&N.. NO problems with uploading my files, even if they were 600dpi, RGB instead of CMYK (because exporting from Indesign already can be configured to do that!) and the colors all vibrant! For hardcover or internal cover.. useless. And I have no idea why they make all these demands, unless their printing presses are from 1980…

    39. Suzetteon 5th June, 2020 at 06:57

      At this time I am ready to do my breakfast, once having my breakfast coming over again to read further news.

    40. Deborahon 2nd July, 2020 at 00:13

      IngramSpark isn’t secure (or honest). My book was hacked only a few weeks after publishing on IngramSpark as an eBook, and redistributed online for free with other books (presumably, the other books were also from IngramSpark).

      IngramSpark recently sent out several emails to publishers, acknowledging that they had been hacked and lost control of access to digital content. Their next move was to ask authors to sign a “release”, supposedly for a 3rd party “security company” to “protect” your work.

      When I read this release, almost ALL of the verbiage was signing off that you, the author, promised not to sue IngramSpark or ask for damages. I replied to the message that contained the link to this release asking what the benefit to me, the author was, of signing it. After this, my access to the document was revoked and I heard nothing further.

      Avoid IngramSpark. They, the gatekeepers for your labor and creativity, allowed it to be stolen. It isn’t clear even now that the site is secure, the problem fixed, or any meaningful action taken to prevent similar future incidents.

    41. Andrew Sadleron 16th July, 2020 at 18:24

      I have been using Ingram Spark since 2014. I use Kindle Direct Publication (previously Createspace) for individual books sold by Amazon and Spark for printing of my bulk orders and individual copies distributed throughout the book trade for anyone daft enough not to buy their book from Amazon. It ends up about half being printed via Spark and half KDP.
      My main book is 180 pages, Crown Quarto size, full colour and costs £6.09 for Spark printing and £8.77 Amazon. The Spark printing has slightly less colour saturation and therefore not quite as good as Amazon but it has got better over the years and is quite satisfactory.
      I always buy my bulk orders with the cheapest printing-in-5-days-service but only once has it taken that long all others have been printed within 2 days of my order.
      Only twice has there been a problem.
      1. A book arrived with the print on the first few pages too pale to read properly. I emailed customer services and they asked me to send an image of the problem and another of the cover separated from the inside. I did and a new book was sent.
      2. A customer who made a large bulk order emailed to say they were a few short of their order. I emailed customer services and they sent more books.
      I highly recommend the printing and service I have received form Ingram Spark over the last 6 years.
      Andrew Sadler

    42. Tevelin, Daveon 22nd September, 2020 at 20:18

      I’ve had the same experience in September, 2020 with their supposedly new and improved software. Here’s what I wrote to them when I told them I would not be publishing on their site and wanted my $85 back for an ISBN I no longer needed: “Over the past three days, I have tried, without success, to publish my book Murder On Morton on your site with the exact same specifications I used to publish it on Amazon earlier this year with little difficulty. I am not going to waste your time or mine explaining all the problems I encountered on your site, but the major ones include poor directions, tremendously poor software, chat help being offline most of the time, poor chat help when it was online, error codes ostensibly precluding me from uploading my book that mysteriously disappeared the fourth or fifth time I tried uploading it, and many, many more.” The only reason I tried to publish on Ingram was that a few bookstores that carried my previous books would no longer sell Amazon books, but would sell Ingram’s.
      It was purely something I could publicize, but nothing that would lead to sales because their price would have been $5 more than Amazon’s. Spare yourselves the grief of going the Ingram route.

    43. Danny Smithon 26th November, 2020 at 14:10

      As far as the exchange rates, I simply put the amount in the KDP program that automatically converts it and used those amounts.

    44. April Kiesslingon 15th January, 2021 at 02:07

      I have gone through hell with Ingramspark (IS). They did fine before Covid crackdowns but this is far beyond excuse. I ordered 50 copies of a child’s book I wrote and paid $250 for them on Sept 9, 2020. More than FOUR months later, I not only do not have them, but they have totally ignored me after many promises! They also have not offered to return the money, which is sizeable for a senior on Social Security. I am in shock and am writing a complaint to BBB, and sending it to IS corporate headquarters I’m also attempting to make a complaint to the Sec of State where they have hidden their registration in Delaware. (They must have another legal business name). I may hire a lawyer but then will be forced to ask for that to be covered as well as any other damages. I missed some orders and promotional books I needed to send, as well as Christmas gifts. Their behaviour is bizarre!

    45. PJon 3rd February, 2021 at 21:11

      I needed to read your message today as earlier this morning, I had to leave the house (using the excuse I needed to walk the dog) sat on a park bench staring at a tree (for god’s sake) because I was so frustrated trying to work a book title through Ingram Spark. After a lengthy discussion with the tree, I decided to flush Ingram Spark and go through other services (KDP, Kobo, you name and I’ll check it out!) . I subscribed to your blog and look forward to other honestly stated experiences.
      Thanks again,

    46. ASAon 6th March, 2021 at 20:13

      You are right.. They are totally USELESS for interior color or lots of color artwork or photos, etc. The 240% saturation rule is bizarre. It took two days of research, about 12 hours of my time, to find all the technical answers regarding InDesign and Photoshop colorimetric stuff that NO self-published author wants to learn, but I am fairly expert in those programs. However to fulfill the requirements is a tremendous about of work and really seen nowhere in the publishing world. 300% is standard and looks great. Also.. resizing all photos to their ACTUAL size in the book? Who does that? 240% will guarantee a muddy looking set of pictures. I published with B&N.. NO problems with uploading my files, even if they were 600dpi, RGB instead of CMYK (because exporting from Indesign already can be configured to do that!) and the colors all vibrant! For hardcover or internal cover.. useless. And I have no idea why they make all these demands, unless their printing presses are from 1980…

    47. Sueon 19th March, 2021 at 23:42

      I’m more of a cautionary tale about what can happen with Ingram Spark. After having a semi-successful book this past year (sold almost 1,000 books), I have now been confronted with a shocking situation. While Ingram made over $9,000.00 on my book, I received only $600.00 in compensation. I was satisfied with the payment, as I knew about the small royalty going in. My complete and utter shock came when I received a bill for $2100.00 for returned books! They state when you are filling out the forms that if you want to have your books sold in bookstores or to libraries, that you need to select ‘returns allowed.’ Since this is a print on demand business, I assumed returns would be minimal, so I selected the return option they ‘suggested.’ Big mistake!!! I am now on the hook for the returned books! I am responsible for the wholesale print fee plus shipping @ $2.00 per book. My dream of a successful book has turned into a nightmare that will cost me far more than I made. This has turned out to be little more than a vanity press as I have learned too late. Save yourself from a business that will gladly print your books, take your profits and then clawback any compensation. The system is rigged and NOT in the author’s favor!!! Authors BEWARE!!!

      • Drion 17th May, 2022 at 09:33

        The same thing has just happened to me, Sue. I am gobsmacked by this- as you say, you’re prompted to make your books returnable when uploading the titles. And then… it’s completely out of your control how many books will be returned that you’ll then have to pay for. I’m leaving the title “on” for now, while I’ve unchecked the returns box, but wondering if it’s not safer to go with another company altogether. Or do they all do this?

    48. Heather U-Kon 31st May, 2021 at 22:22

      Curious how people get Ingram Spark to respond to you? I’ve been trying for a year or so. My father-in-law has a book he “published” through Aeon Publishing, and I guess when they went down, somehow distributing was picked up by Ingram Spark. But I had to learn about that through Amazon, since he wasn’t sure what happened and has never had control over his own book. We want to do another version where we actually have control it. Amazon said to contact Ingram to have them “delist” from their service or some such, but I have never, and I mean NEVER, gotten them to answer an email or the phone to find out anything about this book. Super frustrating. Any tips from the folks on this thread who have actual contact with Ingram Spark?

    49. Whickwithyon 29th June, 2021 at 16:05

      I agree totally with this article. The arrogance an obnoxiousness attitude of IS is beyond measure. Worse yet, they came up with a new rule that you MUST accept returns – with no details of the conditions.

      To make it altogether more disgusting, when I tried to log in, in order to delete all of my books, I was told I could not log in UNTIL I AGREED TO ALL TERMS!

    50. kevinon 9th September, 2021 at 18:44

      What a shame! I truly wanted to use INGRAMSPARK’s service but it is quickly becoming apparent that ‘service’ is not IngramSpark’s forte. I had a simple question and despite being on hold for an hour, leaving an email … it still has not been answered!! How can I trust them with my manuscript or my money? Unbelievable!

      Can’t wait for Draft2Digital D2D to provide Print-On-Demand POD.

    51. Ispas andrei alexandruon 30th September, 2021 at 21:37

      You say Ingram and “Background Noise” Toilet Flush

      Since i can’t give Ingram 0 stars or minus, i will give 1 star, but it doesn’t reflect the reality.
      Zero Customer Support ( like i don’t think that they read your email to the last word or they understand English, you came with a problem, they answer for another problem or with a standard message, a robot or something) Zero IT infrastructure, the site is full of bugs but this is not why i give Ingram 0 Stars.
      We are like almost or maybe over 2k people who got they’re accounts closed with 0 warnings, but they refuse to pay the money to this people and me. They sold our property, they did money on our products and now they refuse to answer the emails to provide us our unpaid invoices and the date when they will transfer our money. Hope they will resolve this soon or will be very bad for them, too many people want to lawsuit them for this and for sure they will get in trouble.
      So if you wanna make money with ingram, my opinion is to take 180 degree and go amazon or other trusted platform, coz this IS NOT A TRUSTED PLATFORM ! ( i say this and other 2k people or more from different communities ) !

      Have a not nice day Ingram !

      P.S : Don’t come with that stupid standard message with your bull*hit catalog team , that’s not a team, a team with 7 kids can do more .

    52. Johnon 22nd January, 2022 at 22:18

      I read all the comments. Thank you for those who took the time and made the effort to help your fellow self-publishing authors make the best decisions.

      I have not used Amazon or IngramSparks but have been considering either or both. My experience with my first book has been through a Christian publisher, Xulon Press. I found some of the same problems. Paid a lot to get my book published, doing most of the work myself, and virtually all of the editing. One delay after another due to their technical mistakes. Had to take my issues to the top person in the company to get a resolution. He seemed reasonable and fair. However, there is a lack of accountability for sales. I published my own Web site for the book and pushed prospects to the places where they could purchase a copy (Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Walmart (later)). I was getting over 20 potential customers/day over the process of a year and received virtually NO RECORD of any sales. I contacted them and did get one e-book sale and one softcover sale in the last couple of months. I knew some sales were made, but the sales I have seen may have been made from the secondary market or from larger orders placed by some who purchased in small bulk (20 copies). Some copies were returned and the royalty for those books was deducted from what I was paid. My publishing package included book returns (where I didn’t pay for shipping, just royalty reversed.)

      It is very disheartening to have invested a year of your life into writing a book, investing several thousand dollars into getting it published, going through substandard customer service, having no foolproof way to assure you are getting royalties for all books being sold. It seems like the whole “self-publishing” industry is rigged so that everyone but the author makes the money.

      So we each seek a way forward and seek to find peace on how to resolve our challenges. Thanks, again, for all here who have contributed to our knowledge base so we better understand “the beast” – the challenges confronting those who want to self-publish, AND make a profit.

    53. NICKon 28th March, 2022 at 06:52

      Hi Alexa!
      I’ve published books with Ingram and kdp (amazon).
      Ingram’s service is ok in general (to me!), except for the Unit Sold Report.
      They don’t show you the sales as clear as kdp, for example.
      Their report is “a glance” of your sales (they told me that in an email… their words!). So you can not see how your marketing campaigns go, for example.
      You only receive the report by email at the end of the month.
      I don’t understand how they fail on this key part of the service: showing clearly how your sales are going… weird, isn’t it?

    54. Sam Milleron 2nd May, 2022 at 21:30

      I would love to speak with someone over the phone about this article. I’m an author trying to sell through Ingram. I’m having too many challenges.


    1. 10 Best Print On Demand Book Sites 2020 - - […] While IngramSpark has many benefits, it has received various complaints from its users, such as this one. […]
    2. 10 Best Print On Demand For Books 2020 - - […] While IngramSpark has many benefits, it has received various complaints from its users, such as this one. […]
    3. login - Credit One - […] 11. IngramSpark Review: Why I’ll Never Use it Again – The Writer’s … […]
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    IngramSpark Review: Why I'll Never Use it Again - The Writer's Cookbook (2024)


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    Before you begin contacting libraries, you want to make sure your book is available through the purchasing channels they use. Per ALLI, “Libraries don't buy directly from publishers or authors, but from distributors.” It's not uncommon for distributors to work through wholesalers in the Library market.

    Do public libraries accept self-published books? ›

    It varies from library to library whether they carry indie books written by self-published authors. Some public libraries do carry self-published books, while others do not.

    Do libraries pay retail for books? ›

    Traditionally published authors are paid when their books sell to libraries regardless of format, usually at the same royalty rate that's paid out for a retail sale. However, library unit sales may not be known to authors, as they're often mixed in with retail sales on royalty statements.

    How do I get libraries to buy my book? ›

    Librarians will look for independent reviews of your book to help them decide if they will purchase the book for their shelves. Securing a review on sites like BookList, Kirkus, or Library Journal will give credibility to your book and help librarians make the right decision.


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