Places to Publish: Ingram Spark

January 2nd, 2017

Filed under: Self-publishing

Ingram Spark is a platform for publishing print and electronic books. Like CreateSpace and Lulu, Ingram Spark is a print on demand publisher, which I covered in an earlier article.

Pricing

Ingram Spark charges a $49 setup fee to use their service. There’s also a book printing cost, which depends on the number of pages and the type of interior: black and white or color. The Ingram Spark website has an online tool to calculate the printing costs.

I’ll use the same example I’ve been using in the Places to Publish series. You are publishing a 300 page paperback book with a 6 by 9 inch trim size and perfect binding. The book has a black and white interior. Ingram Spark charges $5.35 to print the book, which is almost $1 more than CreateSpace ($4.45) and slightly more than Lulu ($5.25).

You can use Ingram Spark to handle customer orders. A customer places an order. Ingram Spark prints the book and ships it to the customer. When I used Ingram Spark’s tool to calculate printing and shipping costs for the hypothetical 300 page book, they charged a $1.65 handling fee plus shipping. The shipping costs depend on the customer’s location and the shipping method. The shipping costs ranged from $3.80 to $56.46 for me.

With Ingram Spark you can also sell your books at online and physical bookstores. You have to discount the book to bookstores. If you sell your 300 page book for $20 and offer a 50% discount to bookstores, you would get the following amount from a sale:

20 - (20 * .5) - 5.35 = $4.65

$4.65 is more than what you get for selling at outside bookstores with CreateSpace ($3.55) or Lulu ($3.80) in this example.

Strengths

You can reach lots of bookstores with Ingram Spark and make more on each sale at those stores than you would with CreateSpace or Lulu.

Weaknesses

You have to pay an upfront fee to use Ingram Spark.

You get less money selling books on Amazon than you would get if you use CreateSpace.

Summary

Ingram Spark is a good complement to CreateSpace for selling print books. Use Ingram Spark to sell your print book on your website and at bookstores. Use CreateSpace to sell on Amazon.

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