At the end of this short article is the distribution range of Ingram Spark (a subsidiary of Lightning Source, but much easier than it used to be according to my reseach). It costs almost $50 to set up a book title and if you do your ebook at the same time, the price is the same. The good news is that you get this back (a refund) if you purchase 50 of your own physical book at the cost price (the paper it is printed on plus a little for postage as Ingram Spark operate in so many places).You don’t have to buy them in one go. They give you 60 days to order your bulk load of books.
This is good for anyone living outside the USA, as we don’t have to pay over the odds to get books shipped, say from Amazon (Create Space) and have to wait nearly a month to receive our books. Yes, I have used Create Space successfully, and there is no set up fee, but if you want to be the publisher of your own book, which I did. I use the name DIG-PRESS, you need to buy your own ISBN number which, I did (see other blogs) as again outside USA, these are not easy to get at good price – 15 pounds sterling is what mine costs and you can buy one at a time. Amazon issue free ISBN numbers but are the publishers and only residents of USA can buy bulk or single ISBNs through AMAZON. Again, useful to know where to get ISBNs at affordable price if you are UK or Ireland based. Other regions actually issue them free – but, I’m affraid I’m not up to speed on these.
Below are the prices for set up title fee at Ingram:
Now, it suits me to order 50 of my own books because: I intend to sell these directly during lecture tours talking about the topic in the book. This obviously works best with non-fiction and works for me because of what I want to do with the 50 copies, and of course you don’t have to go into distribution with Ingram, just do PRINT ON DEMAND with them if you wish. Basically, you cut out the middle man. You can also do the leg work and see if your local independent book shop might stock your book or just use the books to promote your work and send out lots of reveiw copies and give to friends and family etc.
For instance, my book is only 80 pages including full bibliography etc and on 5 x 8 trim size), as each copy is only costing me a little more than two dollars (€ 1.79 per book) and € 91.29 for 50 copies. Postage is less than 8 euros and takes 5 working days from the UK (ecomomy rate). However, you could also distribute with Ingram Spark as their distribution is massive. Amazon only really distribute through Amazon, although their author central links across their outlets is useful. I will compare these two mega Print on Demand sources another time as I feel they both have good things to offer and I have used both for the same book in different ways. E.g. Create space is good to start with as it doesn’t cost to set the book up and you can make all your mistakes there, get your book perfect and review online and receive your physical book for proof at cost of print, but again if you are outside USA, it takes a long time and postage is more expensive than book.
Below is Ingram’s distribution. It is mega impressive and I would advise doing both POD (print on demand) distributing your own books and getting your set-up fee refunded by buying 50 of your own books at cost prince (within the 60 day period) and distributing your book with Ingram. Plus, Ingram will do your ebook distribution as well and these do not overlap or conflict with Amazon, as they don’t distribute to AMazon, so you can be on both major platforms by going first with Create Space and then unto Ingram. Smashwords are really good for just ebooks as well as massive distribution. Again, you can use different platforms in combination with each other. I also use Amazon Kindle (ebook) service for free, but distribution is limited to Amazon. See distribution for Ingram Sparks below:
Access to global markets
One of the most unique aspects of IngramSpark is that we offer access to more readers worldwide than anyone else.
We are proud to partner with independent bookstores, online stores, the big chains, the little chains, e-book retailers, local niche retailers, libraries, schools, universities, and just about anyone, anywhere in the world who sells (or is even thinking about selling) a book in any format.
From Calgary to Sydney, Moscow to Sao Paulo, your computer to the next block over, we can connect your books to more than 87% of the world. Overall, IngramSpark makes your title available to more than 39,000 retailers and libraries. That’s a lot.