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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone have any thoughts on using Amazon and Ingram Spark at the same time for print only? Is this a good idea?
 

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I publish all my print books through Ingram Spark. No complaints. Great product. I've heard from people who use them that Createspace has problems with paper quality, binding, and lamination separation.

Dee
 

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I do it. A lot of authors do. I would say about 30% of print sales come from IngramSpark. The binding and overall quality is better with IngramSpark, in my opinion, so if I’m not in a hurry and need author copies, I’ll use them.
 

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I use Ingram Spark/Lightning Source for print/hard copies, because at the moment, they are the best indie publisher, in my own objective opinion, to use.

Just comparing them to Amazon/KDP Print;

They give you more control and ownership of your titles, and Ingram Spark/Lightning Source, is a reputable and solid publishing company. Amazon can (and go figure, they remarkably have discontinued CreateSpace and Kindle Words; so it's not like it can't happen.) decide to cease KDP Print. When that happens, you will have to register your books again, to transfer them to another publisher. So keep that in mind.

ISBN's (which unfortunately are mandatory, and you have to obtain them from elsewhere) hold value and substance, and Ingram Spark/Lightning Source identify them, and register it to your title universally. Amazon KDP does not require an ISBN, (however it's very recommended when publishing a book, you use an ISBN anyways) which some people may see this as a plus or positive thing, by not having to get an ISBN and go through that process. However, this makes several retailers, libraries and data systems to not bother to register the book, and realistically, outside of Amazon KDP, (if you're only using Amazon KDP to publish) your book doesn't exist. Understand this. 

They offer preorders on print/hard copies. Amazon KDP, does not let your customers and readers preorder print/hard copies.

The quality of the books, are bookstore, library and market level. Amazon KDP, is known to have scuffs, hiccups and other quirks with their print books.

They offer a hardcover/dust jacket option. Amazon KDP, does not offer a hardcover/dust jacket option for print books.

The book, and the books metadata (if you decide to do wide distribution) automatically get sent to several retailers (Amazon, Walmart, Target, Barnes and Noble etc.) libraries, and book databases. Amazon KDP does have this option, but you must have an ISBN; in addition, it's not as simplistic, and trustworthy as the Ingram Spark/Lightning Source distribution system.

Miscellany:

You can order advance copies/proof/author copies with the books official ISBN, Barcode, SKU etc. before a book is officially released. This is good if you want to do pre release promotion, do promotional giveaways, events, functions etc. to where you want to obtain legitimate copies of your book, before release date (which could be months away.) Amazon KDP, the only alternative they offer, is a very complicated process to receive proof or author copies. The books will have their barcode and data altered; in addition, the books will have an ugly watermark on the cover saying. "Proof Copy: do not resale".

Ingram Spark/Lightning Source, when you add a book or title, it seems you are given a myriad of options, and metadata options for the book. With categorization, pricing, royalties, book specifications and design and trim sizes, and all the logistics of the book. It looks more professional to me. KDP Print, offers very dynamic and basic options when adding a title, and it doesn't seem as inclusive from what I gathered.

Ingram Spark/Lighting Source, has excellent customer service and technical difficulty support. Whenever I had an issue when trying to register and/or publish a book, I would get someone right away on the phone, and they would tell me the exact issue, and it was fixed. Amazon KDP Print, the times I've tried to reach them, I would be on hold for a ridiculous amount of time, and each time I spoke with them about my issue, I was then transferred to another answering service, and was on hold again, and finally this person would solve my issue. However, with some issues (like a simple category change, or description change), I was told could take several days to change. Which I guess isn't fair to blame them on this, but my point is, it seems my issues with Ingram Spark/Lightning Source seem to be solved quicker and much easier, and my issues with Amazon and KDP Print, are more hectic and convoluted and complicated. So yeah.

That was my opinion and my two cents on this.
 

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I'm glad somebody brought this up. I heard the binding from KDP isn't great. What are the overall advantages between the two re: price-quality, shipment etc.

EDITED: Thank you, Bixso. You've answered my questions. What about the price for bulk buying when ordering them for  a book event?

 

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I have no experience with them, in fact, I have no experience with anyone because I have not done my first self-publication yet, but my book is ready and in a few days I will start the process, so I am also looking for information/feedback on the services that offer POD.

Just yesterday, I spent a big part of the day looking for information about IngramSpark, as with other POD services, the feedback is very varied, ranging from bad experiences to excellent experiences. In general, everyone agrees that the quality of their prints is better than amazon, but sometimes the books arrive in poor condition.

I read a blog article (which I cannot find now) where the author commented on his experience with them and highlighted that in small shipments (up to 22 units) the books arrived in good condition but for orders larger than that, the books did not, they not only arrived damaged but also with printing problems on the cover and internal content. The author of the article also commented that after making the IngramStak complaint, they refused to offer a solution to the books that were clearly in poor condition and poorly printed.

Perhaps the best move to work with your POD system is to only place small orders (less than or equal to 22 units). On the other hand, their prices are very good and competitive.

Another problem that is talked about a lot on the net about IngramSpark is the cumbersome process of creating a user and also about the fee they charge per publication (50 usd). The fee is supposedly for using the cover creation tool and internal content tool, something that is absurd considering that it is just an app that is used remotely without this involving an extra expense to them, this last reason being the most it bothers people in relation to that fee. For my part, I see this fee more as an element to filter "serious" publications, since charging people demotivated those who want to massively publish poor quality content.

Again, these comments are a summary of the feedback that others have given throughout the internet and my opinions in relation to them, I have not yet used their service.
 

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catslover said:
Another problem that is talked about a lot on the net about IngramSpark is the cumbersome process of creating a user and also about the fee they charge per publication (50 usd). The fee is supposedly for using the cover creation tool and internal content tool, something that is absurd considering that it is just an app that is used remotely without this involving an extra expense to them, this last reason being the most it bothers people in relation to that fee. For my part, I see this fee more as an element to filter "serious" publications, since charging people demotivated those who want to massively publish poor quality content.
I believe the same thing. Lightning Source is the traditional arm of the company, and has been around for years, and they likely don't want to sully their reputation by publishing a tidal wave of crap.
 

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catslover said:
Another problem that is talked about a lot on the net about IngramSpark is the cumbersome process of creating a user and also about the fee they charge per publication (50 usd). The fee is supposedly for using the cover creation tool and internal content tool, something that is absurd considering that it is just an app that is used remotely without this involving an extra expense to them...
I'm not sure where you got that idea but it's incorrect. The $49 title setup fee is just that - a fee for creating the title in the IS database. It existed long before they had any online book creation tools (which were just added with the recent UI changes last fall).

But there are often discount codes floating around to waive this fee (one of the current being NANO until the end of March). Certain professional organizations (like IBPA and ALLi) also offer permanent IS discount codes to their members.
 

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Sleeping Cat Books said:
I'm not sure where you got that idea but it's incorrect. The $49 title setup fee is just that - a fee for creating the title in the IS database. It existed long before they had any online book creation tools (which were just added with the recent UI changes last fall).

But there are often discount codes floating around to waive this fee (one of the current being NANO until the end of March). Certain professional organizations (like IBPA and ALLi) also offer permanent IS discount codes to their members.
Yeah, IngramSparks discounts are great. I've published at least 5 of my print titles absolutely for free with their discount coupons. What wasn't mentioned is that with the $49 setup fee you can put out both a print and ebook version with that one setup fee. So it's actually a bargain.

Dee
 

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Darryl Hughes said:
Yeah, IngramSparks discounts are great. I've published at least 5 of my print titles absolutely for free with their discount coupons. What wasn't mentioned is that with the $49 setup fee you can put out both a print and ebook version with that one setup fee. So it's actually a bargain.

Dee
By set-up fee, is it for one book and ebook only, or is for as many books as you like? I think it's the former from what they say.
 

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Sleeping Cat Books said:
I'm not sure where you got that idea but it's incorrect. The $49 title setup fee is just that - a fee for creating the title in the IS database. It existed long before they had any online book creation tools (which were just added with the recent UI changes last fall).

But there are often discount codes floating around to waive this fee (one of the current being NANO until the end of March). Certain professional organizations (like IBPA and ALLi) also offer permanent IS discount codes to their members.
Again, i just give a summay of what I was researching and reading on the internet, in a few days I will register my book and will be able to give feedback from my own experiences. :D

Edit: I think the association that the 50 usd is: 25 usd for the cover edition and 25 usd for the internal content edition is based on the fact that IS charges an extra 25 usd for any change in cover or content.
 

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I use both for all my books. I sell most through Amazon, though I recently got a batch order from Ingram of 10 from one sale. That was nice and something I don't see with Zon.

I used to think Ingram's printing quality was better, but I have since changed my mind. My newest book looks better though Amazon, imo. Ingram tends to be on the darker side (I'm sure this probably depends on your individual cover and print).

If you publish only through Ingram, sometimes your book will be listed as unavailable on Amazon. This drove me crazy enough to eventually create an additional paperback for Amazon direct. Also, I tend to get a better royalty through Amazon based on the percentages I set for Ingram.

I have one book on Target's catalog because of Ingram. That's a cool little extra thing.

Hope this all helps.
 

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wearywanderer64 said:
By set-up fee, is it for one book and ebook only, or is for as many books as you like? I think it's the former from what they say.
Oh, and it's per book. If you find a coupon, it can be applied to as many books as you like. They honor a lot of coupons and I highly recommend you surf the web to check out what's available before you pay the fee.
 

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I'll add my voice to others saying to look for promotional codes for IS to avoid the fees. I'm an Alli member and it's no charge.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
What I am confused about is how a book store would order a title.  Would the
order go directly to IS?  Let's say a title becomes popular, would the store order
from IS without the involvement of the author, and what about making the
title returnable?  Would IS take care of returns?  I am interested in giving
stores the option of ordering books from IS directly, without any involvement
by me.  Is this possible? Mike DD
 

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MikeDD said:
What I am confused about is how a book store would order a title. Would the order go directly to IS? Let's say a title becomes popular, would the store order
from IS without the involvement of the author, and what about making the title returnable? Would IS take care of returns?
Most US booksellers (and several international ones) have accounts with Ingram, the largest US book distributor, and the parent company of IngramSpark. By using IS distribution, your book is placed in the Ingram catalogue. So bookstores would order it through their usual Ingram ordering process. The publisher (you) is not involved.

IS allows you to select the option of allowing returns or not.
 

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catslover said:
I think the association that the 50 usd is: 25 usd for the cover edition and 25 usd for the internal content edition is based on the fact that IS charges an extra 25 usd for any change in cover or content.
No, it's $49 and it's a title setup fee. It has nothing to do with covers or online software or anything else. It is to set up that title in the IngramSpark system.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I'm learning now, it's a bit more complicated.  IS states most brick and mortar bookstores want returnable titles. IS
says the author can opt to have returns sent back to the author's address, or burned/destroyed by IS, and the author would be
charged for the shipping cost on returns. I wonder if it is even worthwhile to sell through IS.
 
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