Author Topic: Benefits of Ingram Spark vs Amazon?  (Read 955 times)

solo

  • Short Story unlocked
  • **
  • Posts: 79
  • Thanked: 38 times
  • Gender: Male
  • "By the hoary balls of Nergal!"
Benefits of Ingram Spark vs Amazon?
« on: November 30, 2018, 10:00:39 PM »
Hi. No, the question is not intended to spark a debate. I just want to know. Still a newb. I have been with Amazon for 14 months now, all of my books are with KU too. Had some bestsellers and a new series, though on pre-order, promises to be well on the bestseller way (fingers crossed). I am now considering whether I'll try to go with other distributors, at least for a book or two just to test the waters. I do have some new ones lined up for 2019.

Any ideas? Any information would be welcome. Thanks in advance.
 

Denise

Re: Benefits of Ingram Spark vs Amazon?
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2018, 07:34:22 AM »
For print?

You can go with both. You'll earn a little more selling paperbacks in other markets, and Ingram has more printers worldwide. I use it when I do paperback giveaways, so that it can be worldwide. I've also had bookstagrammers asking for a copy of the book, and I'm like: "sure!". Then the address comes and it's in the Philippines. Having Ingram makes these things easier.

Try to find a code, or else you pay to set up. I don't think Ingram can male any difference in sales, though. It's just convenient.
 
The following users thanked this post: solo

solo

  • Short Story unlocked
  • **
  • Posts: 79
  • Thanked: 38 times
  • Gender: Male
  • "By the hoary balls of Nergal!"
Re: Benefits of Ingram Spark vs Amazon?
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2018, 12:29:32 PM »
For print?

You can go with both. You'll earn a little more selling paperbacks in other markets, and Ingram has more printers worldwide. I use it when I do paperback giveaways, so that it can be worldwide. I've also had bookstagrammers asking for a copy of the book, and I'm like: "sure!". Then the address comes and it's in the Philippines. Having Ingram makes these things easier.

Try to find a code, or else you pay to set up. I don't think Ingram can male any difference in sales, though. It's just convenient.

Thanks! Unfortunately, I am into ebooks now. Sales are not bad. My first book published October 2017 just breached 3m pages KU. I know the royalties are bigger for paperbacks, but somehow it doesn't work for me. Nobody buys  :icon_cry: Maybe in the future. Still a newbie, trying to make a dent in the Amazon market. I just thought Ingram Spark would open a new venue for me. Well, back to Amazon...
 

Bill Hiatt

  • Epic Novel unlocked
  • ****
  • Posts: 1027
  • Thanked: 403 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Tickling the imagination one book at a time
    • Bill Hiatt's Author Website
Re: Benefits of Ingram Spark vs Amazon?
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2018, 10:53:33 AM »
For print?

You can go with both. You'll earn a little more selling paperbacks in other markets, and Ingram has more printers worldwide. I use it when I do paperback giveaways, so that it can be worldwide. I've also had bookstagrammers asking for a copy of the book, and I'm like: "sure!". Then the address comes and it's in the Philippines. Having Ingram makes these things easier.

Try to find a code, or else you pay to set up. I don't think Ingram can male any difference in sales, though. It's just convenient.

Thanks! Unfortunately, I am into ebooks now. Sales are not bad. My first book published October 2017 just breached 3m pages KU. I know the royalties are bigger for paperbacks, but somehow it doesn't work for me. Nobody buys  :icon_cry: Maybe in the future. Still a newbie, trying to make a dent in the Amazon market. I just thought Ingram Spark would open a new venue for me. Well, back to Amazon...
Unless you set your prices relatively high, the royalties wouldn't necessarily be higher for paper. Because of production costs, paperbacks are going to be inherently more expensive, and the royalty percentage is a little lower, so getting even the same royalty means a fairly high paperback price. Getting a higher royalty on non-Amazon sales at 40% royalty (if you're going with KDP Print) would require a really high price to get the same royalty you'd get on an ebook. (Unless your ebooks are priced very low, in which case it would be easier to manage getting more from a paperback.)


Tickling the imagination one book at a time
Bill Hiatt | fiction website | education website | Facebook author page | Twitter
 
The following users thanked this post: solo

Mark Gardner

Re: Benefits of Ingram Spark vs Amazon?
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2018, 12:51:07 AM »
Thanks! Unfortunately, I am into ebooks now. Sales are not bad. My first book published October 2017 just breached 3m pages KU. I know the royalties are bigger for paperbacks, but somehow it doesn't work for me. Nobody buys  :icon_cry: Maybe in the future. Still a newbie, trying to make a dent in the Amazon market. I just thought Ingram Spark would open a new venue for me. Well, back to Amazon...
I think that based on this post, you should use KDP Print and do the defaults for paperbacks. If you don't sell them currently, and don't see a future in them, then set aside an thirty minutes per book, and just go through the process. You can be in paper with no financial investment other than a bit of your time. Even if you never sell a single paperback, the benefits are worth it for the time. The biggest benefit is that Amazon will list the ebook as a savings off of the paperback price.

 
The following users thanked this post: She-la-te-da, solo

solo

  • Short Story unlocked
  • **
  • Posts: 79
  • Thanked: 38 times
  • Gender: Male
  • "By the hoary balls of Nergal!"
Re: Benefits of Ingram Spark vs Amazon?
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2018, 01:54:08 AM »
Thanks! Unfortunately, I am into ebooks now. Sales are not bad. My first book published October 2017 just breached 3m pages KU. I know the royalties are bigger for paperbacks, but somehow it doesn't work for me. Nobody buys  :icon_cry: Maybe in the future. Still a newbie, trying to make a dent in the Amazon market. I just thought Ingram Spark would open a new venue for me. Well, back to Amazon...
I think that based on this post, you should use KDP Print and do the defaults for paperbacks. If you don't sell them currently, and don't see a future in them, then set aside an thirty minutes per book, and just go through the process. You can be in paper with no financial investment other than a bit of your time. Even if you never sell a single paperback, the benefits are worth it for the time. The biggest benefit is that Amazon will list the ebook as a savings off of the paperback price.

Thanks Mark. Starting to follow your advice. I did realize that out of 4 books in a series, I only have 2 in paperback form. Will begin with that. As you said, only time and some effort is required.
 
The following users thanked this post: Mark Gardner

Mark Gardner

Re: Benefits of Ingram Spark vs Amazon?
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2018, 05:24:10 AM »
Thanks Mark. Starting to follow your advice. I did realize that out of 4 books in a series, I only have 2 in paperback form. Will begin with that. As you said, only time and some effort is required.
Eventually, you'll get invited to book events and cons and stuff, and you'll have paperbacks on hand to sell!
 
The following users thanked this post: Denise, She-la-te-da, solo

okey dokey

Re: Benefits of Ingram Spark vs Amazon?
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2019, 07:57:53 AM »
The problem with paperback is that the distributor and retailer are eating your potential profits.
For example:
You can your paperback printed for $5, depending on page count.
Ingram hits you wth a $25 setup fee. But that is NOT a book printing standard. Book printing is very competitive. Many DO NOT charge a setup fee.
To get your book into Amazon, you pay the shipping. And Amazon does not order more than, say, 3 books at a time. When those 3 books are sold, then Amazon will order 3 more. Hey, you have more shipping cost.
And your books are fully refundable.
It might take awhile for it to dawn on you that are ending up with $5 to $7 on your $19.95 book.
And you want get that for 60 to 90 days after it's sold.
As that $5 to $7 enough to get a replacement printed, and mailed to the distributor / retailer?
How about gas to the post office? Your office supplies such as paper, printer ink, software, etc.?
You'll wonder why you're busy as a beaver but slowly going broke.
Set yourself up as the distributor. Now you'll get about $17 for that $19.95 book.
And Amazon will pay you in 14 DAYS after sale.

 

Denise

Re: Benefits of Ingram Spark vs Amazon?
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2019, 08:32:54 AM »
The problem with paperback is that the distributor and retailer are eating your potential profits.
For example:

To get your book into Amazon, you pay the shipping. And Amazon does not order more than, say, 3 books at a time. When those 3 books are sold, then Amazon will order 3 more. Hey, you have more shipping cost.
And your books are fully refundable.
It might take awhile for it to dawn on you that are ending up with $5 to $7 on your $19.95 book.
And you want get that for 60 to 90 days after it's sold.
As that $5 to $7 enough to get a replacement printed, and mailed to the distributor / retailer?


I don't know what you're comparing to (a seller account?), but you don't pay for shipping or anything going with KDP print or Ingram. If the book sells, of course,  you only get paid whatever profit you decided to make and the printing costs are discounted.

In terms of compensation, I think print books are better than ebooks. I make $3 to $5 dollars for each book sold with the exception of a novella that I price very low and still make $1.50. I sell the novels for $12.99 and $16.99. I think I sell about 1 or 2 print books a month but I sell very few ebooks, so in comparison it's not too bad. 
 

okey dokey

Re: Benefits of Ingram Spark vs Amazon?
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2019, 05:27:24 AM »
QUOTE:
"I make $3 to $5 dollars for each book sold"



So you're ending up with about 10 to 20%

From that $3 to $5, you have to print another book.
Pay for your office supplies. Keep ink in your printer. Set up a reserve for potential equipment repairs or replacement.
Oh, and keep a few coins to pay yourself.

If you are the distributor with your Amazon seller account, you end up with about 70% (about $11 on a $16 book).
And you get that money, not in two to three months, but in 14 DAYS.


But if you're happy with $3 to $5, then best wishes to you.
 

Denise

Re: Benefits of Ingram Spark vs Amazon?
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2019, 05:41:06 AM »
QUOTE:
"I make $3 to $5 dollars for each book sold"



So you're ending up with about 10 to 20%

From that $3 to $5, you have to print another book.
Pay for your office supplies. Keep ink in your printer.
Set up a reserve for potential equipment repairs or replacement.
Oh, and keep a few coins to pay yourself.

If you are the distributor with your Amazon seller account, you end up with about 70% (about $11 on a $16 book).
And you get that money, not in two to three months, but in 14 DAYS.


But if you're happy with $3 to $5, then best wishes to you.

I don't understand what you're talking about in the printing costs in relation to Ingram or KDP print. I don't have to pay for anything, I get $3 to $5 per print book without any expense. Ingram always has discount codes.

Being a distributor might be worth it for some, I'm sure, especially if you sell large amounts and especially if you can get printing in large quantities. But we're talking about regular indies here, and in this case KDP print or Ingram are worth it because it requires 0 investment and 0 risks.
 

Joseph Malik

Re: Benefits of Ingram Spark vs Amazon?
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2019, 12:22:00 AM »
One huge point about Ingram Spark is that Amazon's printing sucks. The covers are thin and stay curled up as soon as they're opened, the ink is cheap, and there's no QC. My Amazon covers would come in with the image off-center, and sometimes a white line around the edge where it didn't line up.

Ingram Spark uses heavier coverstock with a crease down the gutter, heavier paper (you have to rework your spine size because even with the same interior file, the Ingram Spark book will have a thicker spine), and the ink appears to be of much higher quality so the text comes out crisp and the covers pop. Plus, Ingram Spark allows for hardcover printing.

When I put a KDP print proof next to an IS proof, the KDP proof makes me feel like I need to adjust my glasses.

KDP hardcopies look like they were made by an amateur. That's just what it comes down to. Compared to a professional offering from a major publisher, they look like they were printed and die-cut at Office Depot.

A properly set-up IS hardcopy, with a professional cover and typesetting, is virtually indistinguishable from a Big Five offering, aside from things like embossed covers, metallic print, etc. I just did a signing at B&N, and the store staff were admiring my hardcovers and asking which Big Five publisher Oxblood Books (my publishing company) was an imprint of. The staff.

Now, this is just me, and this is the market I play in. It may not be what everybody needs.

The other piece of this is that with IS you can set your discounts and returns, so you can get your books carried in physical stores.

Readers who buy perfectbound and hardcover copies (as opposed to trade paperbacks) do it because they don't just want something to read; they want an interactive work of art. Give them their money's worth.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2019, 07:18:42 AM by Joseph Malik »
 
The following users thanked this post: Jake, Joe Vasicek, Cathleen

RPatton

Re: Benefits of Ingram Spark vs Amazon?
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2019, 01:03:51 AM »
I prefer IS as a POD printer over KDP. However, KDP has used IS printing for overflow, but it's not consistent.

If Amazon didn't play fast and loose with IS as a distributor, I wouldn't ever use KDP print. However, since I can't force Amazon to play nice, I compromise. IS is my main distributor with KDP Print distributing to Amazon only. All author copies come from IS. KDP is just to inconsistent for me to feel comfortable ordering copies from them.
 

notthatamanda

Re: Benefits of Ingram Spark vs Amazon?
« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2019, 01:08:34 AM »
Can I ask a tangential question here?  What about Lulu?  I got one of my books into paperback last year using Lulu and it was a good experience.  I'm planning on using them for my next release and trying to release e and paper at the same time.  I'm just kind of surprised no one mentioned them, but I am even extra prawny with paper books, so maybe I missed some important distinction.
Any thoughts on Lulu versus Ingram?  Thanks, Amanda
 

RPatton

Re: Benefits of Ingram Spark vs Amazon?
« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2019, 02:45:10 AM »
Can I ask a tangential question here?  What about Lulu?  I got one of my books into paperback last year using Lulu and it was a good experience.  I'm planning on using them for my next release and trying to release e and paper at the same time.  I'm just kind of surprised no one mentioned them, but I am even extra prawny with paper books, so maybe I missed some important distinction.
Any thoughts on Lulu versus Ingram?  Thanks, Amanda

Lulu's quality is great from what I've heard. However in an effort to streamline my workflow, IS has a bit more credibility with wholesalers. Meaning, if I wander into an independent bookstore and convince the owner to carry my series, they are more likely to carry it if I am am available through Ingram.

Lulu also has the highest printing costs, but I think quality wise, IS is still (usually) better. If you're only going to sell it on Lulu, then yeah, Lulu is great. If you want to get it sold elsewhere, you have to price it even higher (even with IS increasing their printing costs).

Now, as a personal sidebar. Lulu works with ASI. ASI is predatory. I have issues with companies that are willing to partner with companies that are almost universally recognized as being capable of playing the Big Bad in any heroic story.
 
The following users thanked this post: notthatamanda

LilyBLily

Re: Benefits of Ingram Spark vs Amazon?
« Reply #15 on: May 07, 2019, 01:56:46 PM »
Sometimes I see Lulu books advertised; their absurd cover prices make me want to cry for the naive authors who have been conned into springing for the cost of manufacturing a $35 trade paperback novel. No one buys $35 novels. Even G.R.R. Martin's paperbacks don't sell for that much (well, maybe if some are printed with gold leaf).

I have put one nonfiction book on IS and it sells some copies now and then at a price that people are willing to pay for a paperback--under $20. It's the only one of my books that ever did anything in CreateSpace's Expanded Distribution. I don't care if my novels aren't in bookstores. Bookstores used to be my favorite places in the world, but that was last century.

Before CreateSpace got dumped, I ordered enough print copies for giveaways that I'm set for at least a year or two, possibly longer. By then, KDP print might have gotten its act together. CS was always iffy, too, but then again, I'm selling ephemeral genre novels, not collector's item classics. 
 
The following users thanked this post: notthatamanda

notthatamanda

Re: Benefits of Ingram Spark vs Amazon?
« Reply #16 on: May 07, 2019, 08:23:59 PM »
Mine didn't come in that expensive on Lulu, 274 pages, I priced it at $19.99 because I thought that looked more like a "real" price than something else.  I can check it out and see if I can lower it, I'm pretty sure I can.  My new book will be a lot longer, so I should be cognizant of that.  Thanks for making me aware of it.   I was scared off by Ingram Spark because, if I remember correctly, they charge you every time you make a change?  I'm not worried about getting my books in bookstores, not if I have to do the footwork and visit the bookstores to try to make it happen, that is too much time and gas money for me.

Edit:  Nope, you're right, it is that expensive, sort of.   It's their 50% off at Lulu pricing structure that inflates it, far as I can tell.  The minimum list price for 274 pages is $13.69.  If I price it at $13.99 I make $0.21 cents on it if they sell it at Lulu for $6.99, everywhere else I make one cent per sale.   Thank you for pointing that out, I'll look harder at IS for the rest of my books.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2019, 08:34:15 PM by notthatamanda »
 

RPatton

Re: Benefits of Ingram Spark vs Amazon?
« Reply #17 on: May 07, 2019, 11:57:25 PM »
IS has a lot of benefits and with the coupon codes, the the costs are negligible.

The issue with IS is they expect files to be ready to go and aren't willing to do the adjustments CS would do in order to make the files print ready.

Think of it this way: CS and now KDP Print have made it possible for anyone with half an idea to put together a print book (and have actually added to a lot of the bad habits self-publishers do with regards to print books). Ingram expects anyone who publishes through them is a professional and doesn't need hand holding.

This can be both good and bad.

However, IS is not nearly as intimidating as its reputation would have you think. If you have a true print-ready PDF that follows their specs, you'll never face a problem. If you relied on CS or KDP Print to make assumptions and adjustments for you, then yes, it will be problematic.
 
The following users thanked this post: LilyBLily, notthatamanda

Denise

Re: Benefits of Ingram Spark vs Amazon?
« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2019, 02:03:27 AM »
  I was scared off by Ingram Spark because, if I remember correctly, they charge you every time you make a change? 

Yes, but only after it's sent for distribution. So, let's say, if they refuse the cover and you have to upload a new one, it's fine. Sometimes they have coupons for changes. It's really not that bad.

It only sucks for random typos you find after the book is published. I can correct them easily for ebooks and KDP print, but I'm not going to spend $25 on Ingram for every typo... So I guess IS books have exclusive typos. I don't update backmatter either. Maybe I'll wait until they have a coupon for changes and do all the necessary updates at once.
 
The following users thanked this post: notthatamanda

notthatamanda

Re: Benefits of Ingram Spark vs Amazon?
« Reply #19 on: May 08, 2019, 02:31:19 AM »
Thank you all for all the great info, here and on the other thread.  Amanda
 

123mlh

Re: Benefits of Ingram Spark vs Amazon?
« Reply #20 on: May 08, 2019, 03:38:46 AM »
  I was scared off by Ingram Spark because, if I remember correctly, they charge you every time you make a change? 

Yes, but only after it's sent for distribution. So, let's say, if they refuse the cover and you have to upload a new one, it's fine. Sometimes they have coupons for changes. It's really not that bad.

It only sucks for random typos you find after the book is published. I can correct them easily for ebooks and KDP print, but I'm not going to spend $25 on Ingram for every typo... So I guess IS books have exclusive typos. I don't update backmatter either. Maybe I'll wait until they have a coupon for changes and do all the necessary updates at once.

This is why I just took the Ingram offer to join the IBPA for free for three months so I could get all my books up through Ingram without having to deal with the fees they charge. IBPA members get a code to not have to pay the upload and/update fees. I'll have to see long-term if it's worth the $130 a year to stay a member. They also give a discount on ISBN purchases in the U.S.
 

Denise

Re: Benefits of Ingram Spark vs Amazon?
« Reply #21 on: May 10, 2019, 12:50:11 AM »
I just got an email that file revisions are free until June 30th!

Yay! Time to get rid of those typos! :banana:
 

Joe Vasicek

Re: Benefits of Ingram Spark vs Amazon?
« Reply #22 on: May 11, 2019, 04:26:33 PM »
IS has a lot of benefits and with the coupon codes, the the costs are negligible.

The issue with IS is they expect files to be ready to go and aren't willing to do the adjustments CS would do in order to make the files print ready.

Think of it this way: CS and now KDP Print have made it possible for anyone with half an idea to put together a print book (and have actually added to a lot of the bad habits self-publishers do with regards to print books). Ingram expects anyone who publishes through them is a professional and doesn't need hand holding.

This can be both good and bad.

However, IS is not nearly as intimidating as its reputation would have you think. If you have a true print-ready PDF that follows their specs, you'll never face a problem. If you relied on CS or KDP Print to make assumptions and adjustments for you, then yes, it will be problematic.

What sort of adjustments?
 

RPatton

Re: Benefits of Ingram Spark vs Amazon?
« Reply #23 on: May 12, 2019, 12:54:21 AM »
What sort of adjustments?

If you ever submitted and unflattened PDF to CS and they caught something that would prevent approval that they could fix, they would. I can't say what sort of adjustments they are because I never experienced them, but heard about them. In all cases everyone said they never noticed a difference. My guess it was likely layer placements that bumped against fold or trim edges or other minor issues that required less than a few minutes to fix and would be easier to make the adjustment then send it back.