Self-Publishing Made Simple – Part 9

April 30, 2019

This is Part 9 in my Self-Publishing Made Simple blog series.

How to Use Ingram Spark

How to Use Ingramspark

Getting Started

Open a free account at See if a coupon code is available for title setup. There is a one-time setup fee of $49 for print or for print and ebook. Put your imprint as the publisher or company.

Decide your trim size (i.e. 8.5 x 5.5) and format (trade paperback). Hardcover options are available with a laminated cover or full dust jacket. For paperback, choose perfect bound for the binding, meaning the spine is glued and not stapled. Choose black and white interior, and pages to be cream or white (white is my choice). Laminated cover with gloss or matte finish.

Go to the Help page, find Tools, then find the Cover Template Generator. You will need to know the page count, ISBN and price. Fill out the form and send the template to your cover designer. Tell her to save the cover as a pdf file. Note that cover requirements differ for KDP.

Your book file will need to be a pdf file with embedded fonts. This ensures that no matter what fonts a reader has on their device, they’ll be able to see the file as you intend it to be seen.

Upload a pdf file for the book and one for the cover. You can use the same interior pdf file for KDP and Ingram.

The Publication Date is when you plan to make the book available for purchase to bookstores, libraries and online retailers. The On Sale Date is the date that you mean to release a title to be printed and delivered. This should be the same as or later than the Publication Date. My advice is to make them both the same to avoid confusion. If you want to do pre-orders, set the Publication date and the On Sale date to the same date in the future. This will be the actual release date.

International Pricing
Global Connect Program at Ingram:
Price using the Currency Converter and rounding up for a $14.99 title (USD):
14.99 USD; 11.99 GBP (UK); 12.99 EUR; 19.99 CAD; 19.99 AUD

Physical Proof Copies
At IngramSpark, you have to approve the ebook proof before you can order a physical proof. From your Dashboard, click on the Order link by your book title. You’ll have several choices. One proof at $14.99 retail costs $4.69 (economy service takes up to 5 days to print the book) + $1.99 handling + $3.80 (basic shipping takes 7-10 business days and is not trackable) + $.40 tax = $10.88. Click Override On-Sale Date if your book is available for pre-order.

The proof from KDP costs less than Ingram. It’ll say “Not for Resale” across the front of the book. Your number of proof copies might be limited at KDP. Ingram has no limit on the number of copies you may order and the books are not labeled. These are great for advance reading copies and look the same as the final printed book.

Discounts and Returns
A full trade discount between 53% and 55% of your list price encourages booksellers to buy your book, especially if you offer returns. You can choose from three different types of returns—return and destroy, return and ship, or non-returnable. Be aware that if you allow returns, you will be charged for them. I do a 40% discount with no returns. This means the bookseller gets 20% off and Ingram gets 20%. Decide if you want your books on bookstore shelves or want them available for readers to order through their favorite bookstore.

How to Use IngramSpark #indieauthors #indiepub Click To Tweet

Coming Next: The Library Market

Disclaimer: This information changes rapidly, so it only represents my interpretation at the time this article was written. Please let me know if you have any updates or corrections.

Did you miss our earlier posts on Self-Publishing Made Simple blog series? Go here to catch up:
Part 8 – Why Choose Ingram Spark,
Part 7 – Print Book Distributors,
Part 6 – E-book Distributors,
Part 5 – Book Production for the Indie Author,
Part 4 – Buying and Assigning ISBNs,
Part 3 – Adding Front & Back Material,
Part 2 – Manuscript Preparation for the Indie Author,
Part 1 – Getting Started as an Indie Publisher,


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