Amazon Or IngramSpark?
Amazon Or IngramSpark?
If you are planning to self-publish your book you may well ask: “Should I publish with Amazon or IngramSpark?”
In the world of independent publishing, dominant industry players are Amazon and IngramSpark.
Some self-publishers take the Amazon route while others go with Ingram.
This raises the question. Which is better? Amazon or IngramSpark?
Both Amazon and IngramSpark offer:
- Print On Demand (POD)
While publishing on Amazon is free and there is no charge for revisions, IngramSpark does cost. On IngramSpark you pay $49 to publish and there is a fee for revisions.
Three common elements in both platforms are:
- As the author, you are the publisher
- Amazon and IngramSpark are the printers
- Distribution channels include the Amazon online shop, online stores, bookstores, libraries, and academic institutions
With Amazon’s KDP if you choose to expand your reach into other online booksellers, bookstores, libraries, and academic institutions that are not part of the Amazon ecosystem you can do so by selecting “Expanded Distribution”.
At one level IngramSpark is just like KDP, but it doesn’t have or own its sales platform like Amazon. But it does help you to reach bookstores and libraries.
A major benefit of using IngramSpark, says Karin Wiberg, is that bookshops and other brick-and-mortar retailers are already used to buying books from Ingram. They are used to the distribution channel that is available.
This brings us back to the question: should you as a self-publisher use the Amazon platform or IngramSpark?
Use both platforms
The solution is to use both. They complement each other. Not only that, but both platforms have a collaborative relationship.
In an IngramSpark blog Robin Cutler says “Ingram and Amazon enjoy a very collaborative relationship where human beings on both sides work tirelessly to improve the experience for our collective publisher and author content providers.”
Where the Amazon model is based on the classic direct sales method and facilitates the author-publisher selling directly to its customers IngramSpark is more traditional involving a middle-man who buys from IngramSpark and distributes to customers.
The benefit of IngramSpark model
The real benefit of IngramSpark is that libraries and bookstores will buy through IngramSpark whereas they are unlikely to purchase from Amazon.
Booksellers get a wholesale discount when buying through IngramSpark and there is a returns policy. Wholesale discounts and a returns policy are not offered by Amazon.
By using both platforms self-publishers can maximise their marketing reach.
When starting out as a self-publisher keep things simple. Do your apprenticeship with Amazon and publish both Kindle eBooks and paperbacks.
Down the track, you may very well want to widen your distribution channels to maximise sales and profits by having your book distributed to libraries and bookstores. In which case use the IngramSpark platform as well.
If you plan on using IngramSpark as well
- Purchase your own ISBN from My Identifiers
- Set up your book on Amazon’s KDP but do not enable Expanded Distribution
- Then set up IngramSpark
As I mentioned earlier these two giants have a collaborative relationship so if you want to maximise your reach and maximise your potential market throughout the world you should think about publishing with both Amazon and IngramSpark.
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