IngramSpark is a publishing platform that provides print on demand (POD) and ebook publishing services to self-publishing authors.
IngramSpark is a self-publishing option offered by Lightning Source, a large scale book printing house. They will make your books available through Ingram Book Group, which serves over 40 000 retailers, libraries and schools – including Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and book wholesalers.
Since books uploaded through IngramSpark are entered into the same database as frontlist titles from established publishers, retailers can search for and order these books as they would any other distributed title. When such orders are placed, your book is printed-on-demand and shipped to the retailer to be sold in bookstores.
Where is IngramSpark located?
The company is headquartered in La Vergne, Tennessee. It also has four Ingram print facilities in the U.S., as well as print facilities in other countries such as Brazil and Australia that serve main market segments.
However, since it is a print-on-demand self-publishing company and global distributor, IngramSpark operates throughout the country.
What is print on demand (POD)?
IngramSpark offers print on demand capabilities for print books. Print on demand is a system where you only print copies of your book as and when they’re needed. These copies can be shipped directly to the author or customer, or delivered to one of IngramSpark’s partnered retailers.
POD is a huge advantage of IngramSpark due to its efficiency and potential cost savings. You’ll hear this term tossed around quite a bit when discussing distribution companies.
While it may vary from one printing location to another, IngramSpark is one of the most reliable POD services when it comes to the actual product. You can trust that they’ll turn out good quality, professional-looking books — assuming that your formatting and cover design have been executed to a professional standard.
What genres does IngramSpark serve?
IngramSpark publishes a wide variety of genres on their platform, so you don’t have to worry that yours will be excluded. Genres include:
- Novels & Poetry Books
- Children’s & Cookbooks
- Business & Health Books
- Graphic Novels
Fees for Upload
The usual title setup charge depends on whether you order a 50+ print run within the first month, but if you don’t, the setup charge is US$49 (for print, ebook or both).
However, you will be charged for future uploads of either cover or book interior after your approval, and these can be US$25 each per time.
See printing fee sheet over at IngramSpark website.
Preparing Artwork for P.O.D.
To prepare files for IngramSpark, you will need to view the File Creation Guide and PDF Checklist.
You might then realize that you’ll need to format your book interior in Adobe InDesign. This is not an automatic process, i.e. every header, footer, image, caption, character and paragraph style needs to be set all again. That means WORD –> InDesign typesetting without images might take 7-9 hours. Or with images/tables and chapter headers, from 10-30 hours.
Next, you need to download the cover template. The Cover Template is available from the Resources tab on IngramSpark.com in InDesign CS or PDF. If you decide to print your books through IngramSparks we will handle the formatting part and no additional fees will apply to your selected package.
Once the files are uploaded and the order is placed, books will be printed in 5 days (for standard) or 2-3 days (for express, an extra charge), and shipped in 1 to 4 days.
You should publish with IngramSpark if…
- You need high quality specialty printing for hardcover books.
- You need the convenience of an all-in-one platform that will handle your distribution.
- You want your book in wider distribution channels like libraries and retailers.
- You want to print exactly what you need (print on demand)) is widely praised for its efficiency for authors.
You should not publish with IngramSpark if…
- Your eBook is already on Amazon. This is considered an “existing agreement” and you will need to suspend any Amazon KDP Select activity for a 90 day exclusivity period.
- You don’t have the time or patience to learn the platform as the platform isn’t intuitive and need a lot of time to spend on
- You want to save money on printing and don’t need hardcover printing.
- You simply want to publish your book and aren’t interested in global distribution.
If you are a children’s author and have a book with plenty of colored illustrations and quality is an issue, then IngramSpark may be a great choice and at least should be considered as an option.
We hope this information will help you on your publishing journey! Happy publishing!