Author Topic: IngramSpark  (Read 115 times)

R. C.

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IngramSpark
« on: April 04, 2021, 06:08:22 AM »
Background: A local independent bookseller told me they would sell my book. Hooray!

But. There is always a but.

They only buy from IngramSpark.  I offered to hand deliver printed copies but the response was: We'll buy from IngramSpark and set up an author meet-and-greet.
I have high quality printed version available but I don't use Ingram.

Question 1: What am I missing? Why the insistence on Ingram? (I suspect significant discounts to brick-and-mortar retailers.)
Question 2: Do I need to bite-the-bullet, pay the fee, and start using Ingram?

Advanced appreciation for all civil responses.

Cheers,
R.C.
 

Wonder

Re: IngramSpark
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2021, 06:38:17 AM »
I assume it's because of Ingram's wholesale discounts and retailer-return policy, but you'd need to ask the retailer to know for sure.
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Eric Thomson

Re: IngramSpark
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2021, 06:43:34 AM »
Do your printed copies come from Amazon? Because bookstores loathe Amazon with a passion and would rather do anything other  than let Amazon printed books enter their premises.

But all joking aside, Lightning Source/IngramSpark is the giant in the room for printed books and I suspect your store has a solid business relationship with them, as in that's where they get a good chunk of their orders and yes, the discounts are a huge factor because profit margins are thin.

If you want to get into brick and mortar stores, IS is your best best. As to the fee... There are plenty of codes floating around that essentially make it free. I've published 21 novels in paperback and hardcover (i.e. 42 different books) and 1 non-fiction in paperback and hardcover and never paid IS a cent to get them into their system.

And I just realized you were looking for civil responses. Sorry.
 
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R. C.

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Re: IngramSpark
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2021, 07:11:45 AM »
Do your printed copies come from Amazon? Because bookstores loathe Amazon with a passion and would rather do anything other  than let Amazon printed books enter their premises.

But all joking aside, Lightning Source/IngramSpark is the giant in the room for printed books and I suspect your store has a solid business relationship with them, as in that's where they get a good chunk of their orders and yes, the discounts are a huge factor because profit margins are thin.

If you want to get into brick and mortar stores, IS is your best best. As to the fee... There are plenty of codes floating around that essentially make it free. I've published 21 novels in paperback and hardcover (i.e. 42 different books) and 1 non-fiction in paperback and hardcover and never paid IS a cent to get them into their system.

And I just realized you were looking for civil responses. Sorry.

I use Lulu to print - Quick, easy portal to navigate, price competitive.

WFTW FB group recommended joining Alliance of Independent Authors. Apparently, they have a relationship with IS for no fees (discount codes).

Looking for IS discount codes now... Thanks!

Civility is overated.

Cheers,
R.C.
 

okey dokey

Re: IngramSpark
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2021, 04:05:48 AM »
Maybe I'm wrong, but something doesn't seem quite right with this discussion.
I don't think IS would be the only source of books for this retailer.
How does he get books from the traditional publishers? I would think that shop goes direct to the traditional big boys.
This is probably an issue with discounts and full return privileges.
Sit down with the owner. Ask him to enlighten you about his needs.
Do you have any friends who will go to the store and try to order copies of your book?
 
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okey dokey

Re: IngramSpark
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2021, 04:25:25 AM »
On reflection, what I've said above doesn't mean much.
The deal is dead because of Amazon's involvement.
If you would use YOUR OWN isbn, the store would have no way of knowing that Amazon is the publisher.
Never use a "free" isbn from Amazon or anyone else.
My books are published by MY company using MY isbn.
So I've had book stores and libraries order direct from MY company which offers discounts and full return privileges.
 

R. C.

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Re: IngramSpark
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2021, 04:27:09 AM »
Maybe I'm wrong, but something doesn't seem quite right with this discussion.
I don't think IS would be the only source of books for this retailer.
How does he get books from the traditional publishers? I would think that shop goes direct to the traditional big boys.
This is probably an issue with discounts and full return privileges.
Sit down with the owner. Ask him to enlighten you about his needs.
Do you have any friends who will go to the store and try to order copies of your book?

All valid points. 

re: "I don't think IS would be the only source of books for this retailer."

It is, literally, a mom-and-pop brick-and-mortar startup.  "Mom" said to me, in person, we only buy from Ingram.

Consequently, I didn't want to press at the moment. I will return in a week or so, and ask again.

Cheers,
R.C.
 

notthatamanda

Re: IngramSpark
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2021, 05:02:16 AM »
I'm thinking it is because of the return policy. Even if they buy from Ingram and you set up to sell from Ingram, you can still check off no returns and they probably won't do it. I give a really good discount on print books through Ingram, so I don't make much per copy, but I can't risk eating the cost of the returns and booksellers aren't going to take that risk either.

A different way to go might be to bring copies for the meet and greet and pay them a commission on what you sell at the meet and greet. There may be some legal issues with that, I'm just typing ideas as they come to me, no experience.
 
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RPatton

Re: IngramSpark
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2021, 05:39:07 AM »
Ingram is a distributor. All books from traditional publishers go through Ingram. Go into any Barnes and Noble and ask them who distributes their books, they'll tell you Ingram. Stores don't by books directly from publishers, they buy books from Ingram. The publishers pay the printing costs, but Ingram handles everything else.

IngramSpark piggybacks onto Ingram.

Bookstores use Ingram because they've been around forever, are trusted, and best of all, have an established history. If I owned a bookstore, I wouldn't use anyone else, but Ingram. IngramSparks gives you, as a publisher, credibility. They know the quality of the books won't be an issue and that if they sit on their shelves for too longer, they can return them. They also know they can place an order and get more within X days. Sure, they could do it with Amazon, but they already have an account with Ingram and are already ordering all their books from them.

I have a book on IS that was picked up by brick and mortar stores. The only reason I know this is the stores went through the ISBN and contacted the publisher requesting more books in the series. If I had used Amazon instead, those stores never would have seen the book in the catalog and never would have taken a chance on it.