Author Topic: Using word for PDF file for Ingram Spark  (Read 2185 times)

notthatamanda

Using word for PDF file for Ingram Spark
« on: May 30, 2019, 11:48:49 AM »
I'm just starting to investigate using IS for print copies.  They seem to discourage using Word, in that they "won't offer technical support" for PDFs generated in Word.

What is the best program to use then?  Acrobat?  Is using Word just a short cut to frustration or is it not that bad?  This is just a novel, black and white text, nothing fancy, not even fancy fonts for chapter titles or drop caps, just an occasional letter written between the characters indented and in italics.

Thanks for your advice.  I guess I should mention I am rather stupid about formatting stuff.   Amanda
 

123mlh

Re: Using word for PDF file for Ingram Spark
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2019, 11:50:18 AM »
I'm currently in the process of uploading all my print books through IS. I've reviewed the first eleven in print and they look just fine using Word documents saved as PDF. And some had fancier formatting than a novel would.
 

notthatamanda

Re: Using word for PDF file for Ingram Spark
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2019, 12:00:29 PM »
Thanks, that makes me feel a lot better.
 

RPatton

Re: Using word for PDF file for Ingram Spark
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2019, 12:25:39 PM »
Word does fine. Usually. The problem is that some older versions of Word don't embed the font files and then you have to jump through about a dozen hoops to get the PDF right.

Here's a good guide to walk you through it. but as long as you are using PDF/A and embed fonts, there shouldn't be problems. https://www.bookdesigntemplates.com/pdfandepub/
 
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shadcallister

Re: Using word for PDF file for Ingram Spark
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2019, 02:27:31 AM »
I used Word and it came out fine. Just check that your file save settings are correct as RPatton mentioned (PDF/A with embedded fonts, which turned out to be the default setting on my up-to-date version of Word) and you should be fine.

IngramSpark has horrendously over-complicated documentation ("You must read this entire 80-page manual before you upload anything to us!!!") and was generally quite user-unfriendly when I used it last Fall to do a limited hardcover run, but it's not actually as impossible as they make it sound. They also made some recent user interface improvements that I hope will help with the janky file upload/review process.
 
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RPatton

Re: Using word for PDF file for Ingram Spark
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2019, 03:24:31 AM »
IngramSpark has horrendously over-complicated documentation ("You must read this entire 80-page manual before you upload anything to us!!!") and was generally quite user-unfriendly when I used it last Fall to do a limited hardcover run, but it's not actually as impossible as they make it sound. They also made some recent user interface improvements that I hope will help with the janky file upload/review process.

You have to read between their lines, but the key is the .5 in safe zone, embedding fonts, and making sure to use PDF/a compliance, and lastly follow their total ink coverage (TIC or TAC) specs (which is probably the most important and the cause of so many problems).

All PODs have a TAC (240%). I believe (not certain) that Create Space would run a script to adjust for TAC if the cover (or parts of the interior) didn't meet the number. But basically, the CMYK percentage can't go over 240%. And this is where I say that IS has an expectation that publishers are coming to their platform informed and KDP Print has dumbed the process down enough that the shift to IS feels a lot more complicated than it really is.
 
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notthatamanda

Re: Using word for PDF file for Ingram Spark
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2019, 04:15:11 AM »
And this is where I say that IS has an expectation that publishers are coming to their platform informed and KDP Print has dumbed the process down enough that the shift to IS feels a lot more complicated than it really is.

I think it is virtually impossible to dumb it down enough for me.  Thank you all, the more information I can review the better.
 

RPatton

Re: Using word for PDF file for Ingram Spark
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2019, 04:46:04 AM »
If you have problems during the upload, drop me a PM and I'll see what we can do to get you through it without getting too frustrated.
 

notthatamanda

Re: Using word for PDF file for Ingram Spark
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2019, 05:07:14 AM »
Thank you very much.  I am taking it very, very slowly to keep it manageable, stress wise.  But I appreciate the offer.
Amanda
 

notthatamanda

Re: Using word for PDF file for Ingram Spark
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2019, 12:21:28 AM »
I did the document, I think.
Changed the page size in print to 5 X 8.
Saved it as a PDF while clicking preserve fidelity to embed the fonts.
Is that really all there is to it?  With CreateSpace and Lulu I had to do the margins and the gutters, so I'm worried I'm missing something.
Thank you for posting the link RPatton.
 

123mlh

Re: Using word for PDF file for Ingram Spark
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2019, 01:07:05 AM »
I've always used the CreateSpace or KDP templates even for the books I uploaded to IngramSpark. If you're not using a template, there's a lot that you need to do to make it work. Like mirrored margins, etc.
 

RPatton

Re: Using word for PDF file for Ingram Spark
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2019, 01:45:46 AM »
I did the document, I think.
Changed the page size in print to 5 X 8.
Saved it as a PDF while clicking preserve fidelity to embed the fonts.
Is that really all there is to it?  With CreateSpace and Lulu I had to do the margins and the gutters, so I'm worried I'm missing something.
Thank you for posting the link RPatton.

So the page size is the trim size, but the margins are set in Word and not when you export to PDF.

For 5x8, I recommend starting with top: 1 in; bottom: .9 in; inside: .75 in; outside: .6275. In InDesign you set the pages to facing, not sure about Word off the top of my head. However, you want to see inside and outside margins, not right and left margins in the settings.

You can adjust those as necessary, but the inside margin should handle the average page count at that size. (I like bigger outside and bottom margins because I enjoy thumb room, so adjust to your personal preferences.) The 1 in top margin accommodates a running head with page numbers on the top. If you prefer page numbers on  the bottom, you can decrease the top margin.

A note about gutters: Gutters are basically what you would allow for binding. POD binding is variable and it's not like running a large run print where the binding will be relatively consistent. So, when I plan for my margins, I take the gutter into consideration for my inside margin. Basically, what is the smallest margin I willing to do assuming the tightest binding. Hence that .75 in for the inside margin. I would much rather have excessive space between pages than not enough space. Using Ingram's min. specs of a .5 in safe zone from the trim, I add in the required gutter for the page count and then nudge it a bit more.

TL;DR I don't set gutters and just increase my inside margin so it "includes" the gutters.
 
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notthatamanda

Re: Using word for PDF file for Ingram Spark
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2019, 02:20:19 AM »
Thank you so much.  I will add these in later.
 

notthatamanda

Re: Using word for PDF file for Ingram Spark
« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2019, 03:27:55 AM »
I used the price calculator Ingram provides, see below.  What is the $4.54?   Is that the cost with no payment to me? 
Should I add my commission on top of that, so
$4.54 cost
$9.99 price that will be on Amazon - $5.45 profit to me?
$9.99 -30% wholesale discount - they buy for $6.99 --> $2.45 profit to me?
I don't need to account for the shipping and handling do I?
I chose $9.99 as a price so I could offer the wholesaler discount, but maybe that is not the way to go.  All comments and advice welcome, thanks in advance.  And I haven't even tried to upload the file yet.  I really hope there is a previewer.
Thanks,
Amanda

B&W 6 x 9 in or 229 x 152 mm Perfect Bound on White w/Gloss Lam
270
Usually prints in 5 business days.
$ 4.54
$ 4.54
 

Tom Wood

Re: Using word for PDF file for Ingram Spark
« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2019, 04:22:38 AM »
The $4.54 cost is what they take no matter what your actual price may be. That's a hard cost of printing your book.

The standard wholesale discount is 55%. That gives the retailer a lot of room to either discount or not.

The conventional wisdom is that you want to adjust your retail price so that you end up making about $2.00 per sale. For a typical 80,000 word novel with the typical page layouts, that will usually mean a $14.95 retail price with a 55% discount to net you that $2.00. YMMV
 
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RPatton

Re: Using word for PDF file for Ingram Spark
« Reply #15 on: June 06, 2019, 04:36:36 AM »
I tend to take my cost t print and multiply it by 3 then round to get a .95 price point. So, if my printing cost is $4.54, multiply that by 3 and get $13.62. Round up to $13.95.

So $13.95 with a 55% discount leaves $6.2775, less my printing cost, gives me a profit of $1.73.

If I want to hit a minimum $2.00 profit, I'll go up.

$14.95 with a 55% discount leaves $6.7275, less my printing cost, gives a profit of $2.18.

Basically play around with the numbers until you are happy with the profit, but as Tom said, use the 55% discount.
 
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Jan Hurst-Nicholson

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Re: Using word for PDF file for Ingram Spark
« Reply #16 on: June 06, 2019, 04:55:56 AM »
I did the document, I think.
Changed the page size in print to 5 X 8.
Saved it as a PDF while clicking preserve fidelity to embed the fonts.
Is that really all there is to it?  With CreateSpace and Lulu I had to do the margins and the gutters, so I'm worried I'm missing something.
Thank you for posting the link RPatton.

Did you use Calibre to convert from Word to PDF?

Non-fiction, Fiction, family saga, humour, short stories, teen, children's
Jan Hurst-Nicholson | author website
 
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Tom Wood

Re: Using word for PDF file for Ingram Spark
« Reply #17 on: June 06, 2019, 05:03:08 AM »
I tend to take my cost t print and multiply it by 3 then round to get a .95 price point. So, if my printing cost is $4.54, multiply that by 3 and get $13.62. Round up to $13.95.

So $13.95 with a 55% discount leaves $6.2775, less my printing cost, gives me a profit of $1.73.

If I want to hit a minimum $2.00 profit, I'll go up.

$14.95 with a 55% discount leaves $6.7275, less my printing cost, gives a profit of $2.18.

Basically play around with the numbers until you are happy with the profit, but as Tom said, use the 55% discount.

This is also why it's a good strategy to stay near the 80,000-word length for a book. Print on Demand (POD) services like IngramSpark charge you by the page. Since $14.95 is the upper limit for most paperback novels, that's a semi-hard number to work with if you want to be competitive in that marketplace.

Then again, most Indie authors make their money on ebooks anyway so maybe the paperback price isn't a factor. There is also the argument that you want a wide spread between the ebook price and the paperback price so that when Amazon compares the prices in that little blurb above the buy box, it makes the ebook look like a bargain.
 
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notthatamanda

Re: Using word for PDF file for Ingram Spark
« Reply #18 on: June 07, 2019, 03:03:22 AM »
Thank you everyone.

Jan, I don't even know what Calibre is.  Sounds scary though.  :)
Tom - Another box to check off on my failure to write to market I guess.  The book I just finished is 160K.  :)

Off to chip away at the process a little more.


 

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Re: Using word for PDF file for Ingram Spark
« Reply #19 on: June 07, 2019, 04:38:11 AM »
Thank you everyone.

Jan, I don't even know what Calibre is.  Sounds scary though.  :)
Tom - Another box to check off on my failure to write to market I guess.  The book I just finished is 160K.  :)

Off to chip away at the process a little more.

Calibre is a free programme for converting files. I use it to convert mobi to PDF, Word to PDF etc. I can't edit in PDF so I converted the file from PDF to Word to do the editing. It does a lot of other things - I think. I'm not very clued up on the technical side of things.  :icon_rolleyes:

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notthatamanda

Re: Using word for PDF file for Ingram Spark
« Reply #20 on: June 07, 2019, 04:48:18 AM »
Got it.  I just did the "Save as PDF" in Word, but if I run into problems with that, it is good to know there are other options.  Thanks Jan.
 

okey dokey

Re: Using word for PDF file for Ingram Spark
« Reply #21 on: July 21, 2019, 03:30:50 AM »
Profit:

$1.73
$2.18
$2.45

I'm scratching my head over those low figures.
While you sell books, you'll wonder why you're slowly going broke.
Figures like that won't print a new book to replace one just sold.
Then there are other expenses:
Printer ink
Paper supplies
Software
Book covers
etc.

I take the view that nobody, printer, distributer, or bookstore, makes more off my book than I do.
But to get to that point, I had to set it up so that I  get almost 70% of the sale, and get paid by Amazon in just 14 days.
So for a non-fiction book priced at $19.95, I get about $17 in 14 days after sale.
 

RPatton

Re: Using word for PDF file for Ingram Spark
« Reply #22 on: July 21, 2019, 06:00:24 AM »
Profit:

$1.73
$2.18
$2.45

I'm scratching my head over those low figures.
While you sell books, you'll wonder why you're slowly going broke.
Figures like that won't print a new book to replace one just sold.
Then there are other expenses:
Printer ink
Paper supplies
Software
Book covers
etc.

I take the view that nobody, printer, distributer, or bookstore, makes more off my book than I do.
But to get to that point, I had to set it up so that I  get almost 70% of the sale, and get paid by Amazon in just 14 days.
So for a non-fiction book priced at $19.95, I get about $17 in 14 days after sale.

That's non-fiction. What's your page count?

Most fiction will be at least 65000 words and to make $17 book would require not including a discount (which isn't an issue if you aren't using expanded distribution with Amazon) and listing the book well above 19.95. Sure, I can decrease my discount, but then a small local bookstore wouldn't keep a series of mine stocked , give the first book in the series front facing shelf-space, and include my books when they promote local authors. Not to mention, genre fiction has market expectations when it comes to price. Pricing fiction at 19.95 and getting a sale would't be likely. So yeah, I could get $17/book, but I might only sell 1 book a month, if that. Or I could price my books to market and make 20 or 30 times that in a month.
 

Dormouse

Re: Using word for PDF file for Ingram Spark
« Reply #23 on: July 21, 2019, 09:07:05 PM »
Figures like that won't print a new book to replace one just sold.

That's non-fiction.
It's also paying for the printing rather than POD.

Indie fiction writers typically make the bulk of their money on ebooks. Audio probably comes second more often than paperbacks.

The time and cost of setting up paperback POD is relatively small, so virtually all the extra income is profit. And it's all extra.
 

okey dokey

Re: Using word for PDF file for Ingram Spark
« Reply #24 on: July 21, 2019, 10:17:13 PM »
This really shouldn't be difficult to grasp.
And fiction or non-fiction doesn't matter.
Your print cost is based on page count. There is the only factor - page count.

You find a POD book printer who will make a copy for, say $3
Price your book so you include the dealer discount.
You end up with $2.74 profit (which you won't get for 30 to 60 days.
$2.74. Yippee. That's more than an ebook profit.

But you can not replace that book for $2.74. The printer wants $3.
Start advertising and promoting so you'll really sell some books.
The more books you sell, the faster you'll go broke.
You'll scratch your head wondering where that big $2.74 profit went.

The book printer and bookseller (unless it's B&N) will still be in business long after you've gone back to 9 to 5 job.

Do your own math. Keep in mind that to produce that book, you need money for paper and office supplies, a compelling cover, etc.

And all this has nothing to do with whether you're hustling non-fiction or fiction.

This is just high school Arithmatic 101.

Amen

 

notthatamanda

Re: Using word for PDF file for Ingram Spark
« Reply #25 on: July 21, 2019, 10:49:09 PM »
Aren't you already promoting the book?  Having the print copy available just makes that format available to those who want it.  That's why POD is attractive.  That was my take on it anyway.
 

123mlh

Re: Using word for PDF file for Ingram Spark
« Reply #26 on: July 22, 2019, 12:07:11 AM »
...you need money for paper and office supplies...

So you're printing your books at home? Not going to fly with fiction.

You've made this argument repeatedly every time people discuss print and POD. You do you, but I'm perfectly happy using KDP Print and IngramSpark, not wasting my time producing and shipping books because my time is better spent writing the next book, not storing copies that may become outdated or will never sell, and earning my $4-$5 per copy sold for doing no more than getting the book up and listed in a paperback format.

It could actually be worth it for me to explore doing a print run because I sell probably 500 print copies a month, but, honestly, telling most authors to do that with print is telling them to flush a bunch of money down the toilet.
 

Jan Hurst-Nicholson

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Re: Using word for PDF file for Ingram Spark
« Reply #27 on: July 22, 2019, 12:51:58 AM »

Your print cost is based on page count. There is the only factor - page count.


Not quite true in every case. I have a number of children's books with colour illustrations that hike up the cost of printing.  :icon_rolleyes: According to a teacher, children much prefer colour illustrations and even expect them, so I made the decision to go with a higher price and use colour.

Non-fiction, Fiction, family saga, humour, short stories, teen, children's
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