The following article explains why your book may appear as it does on some retailer websites.
IngramSpark utilizes Ingram’s global distribution network to list your title as available for sale to over 39,000 bookstores, online retailers, libraries, and schools. Through this relationship, we send title metadata feeds containing all the information for your book and the title available for purchase status to these retail partners. Each retail partner independently determines whether to list a title and how to display that title's available for purchase message on their website. We are pleased that most retailers like Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, Indigo, Books-A-Million, and hundreds of others, reflect an “In Stock / Available” status for your print-on-demand titles, which is an accurate representation of the immediate availability of your title.
Because your book is print on demand, your book is always virtually “in stock” and available for ordering from Ingram. We do recommend that you refer your readers to their local bookstore or favorite online retailer if they want to purchase the book. Certainly, keep us informed about any available messaging issues you experience or data issues you uncover not addressed here. The available status of titles across all our global retail partners is as important to us as it is to you.
Occasionally, however, online retailers and other distribution networks may list a title as “temporarily unavailable”, available within a certain time frame, or “out of stock.” Every retailer has their own method for determining what the available status of a title is on their website and as a retailer, they are free to do so. It is important to remember that although a website may list your title as unavailable, stores can still order your book from Ingram Book Company.
If your title is listed as unavailable for ordering on a retailer’s website, IngramSpark will determine whether it is appropriate to inquire as to the unavailable listing with the retailer. We do not provide any guarantees, as the title messaging on a retailer's website is wholly determined by them and not us.
As a best practice, we encourage you to offer a 53% to 55% wholesale discount in the US (includes Canada) market and 48% to 55% in the UK, Europe, and Australia markets, allows bookstores to receive their normal trade discounts from distributors and wholesalers they buy books from.
How Amazon lists a title and the available/in-stock status on their website is ultimately up to them. Amazon's purchasing decisions are supported by an algorithm that is proprietary to Amazon. In choosing to stock titles or even show products as available on their sites, Amazon considers many pieces of information about your book. Factors in a decision to stock a book may include a discount (with a maximum wholesale discount of 55% being most favorable), whether a book is returnable, product page views, and sales history. Even print on demand books may not show an 'in stock' message at Amazon. Amazon may also list your title with an available message through third-party vendors.
For additional information about Amazon's title status messaging, please visit the Amazon website.
Requirements for Amazon.com
We are only able to notify Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, and Amazon.co.uk of an available status problem once a title has been in distribution for at least 30 days. We then allow Amazon’s website enough time to update once a title’s metadata is sent before our initial notification.
Sometimes Amazon orders additional copies of a book to keep on hand and fulfill orders from that stock. If the stock isn't selling and they need the shelf space for another item they will sometimes reduce the retail price. Sometimes the reduced retail price is less than the print cost. If an author or publisher sees this happen, they can buy those copies and resell them or give them away. This does not affect the amount of compensation the author or publisher is paid because the sale of the book had already appeared on the Print Sales report and they would have been paid for the sale.
Titles with a wholesale discount of 53% to 55% have a greater chance of being listed on retailer websites.
We make your title information available to the retail partners once your title is approved by you and you have enabled distribution.
However, we do not control when your title will appear on a specific retailer’s website, as each retailer updates the information on their site on their schedule.
Under normal circumstances, a title should be available for purchase on most websites within 4 weeks from when the distribution service was enabled/added by you. Please note that if this is the first title you set up on the IngramSpark platform, this time can extend up to 6-8 weeks. If your title is not showing up on a specific retailer website, the issue is probably isolated to that retailer. If it is one of our retail partners, we will work with them to resolve the issue. If you have a specific publication date in mind for your book and have planned events and publicity around that date, it is recommended you set that title up at least 6-8 weeks before that date.
If Amazon is not able to obtain the book for the reader, they may send a cancellation notice. This can be due to the book not being available to order for some reason and support may need to investigate the problem.
If you believe the information regarding your title, author, price, and/or description is incorrect, please notify support.
Please allow up to six weeks for Amazon and other retailers to display your cover image on their website. You may see pieces of information appear, disappear, and reappear as they load the metadata feeds onto their website. We have no control over their process or how quickly they complete this process.
If market pricing for countries outside of the US is listed for your title, it is common to see your title available for sale in those markets. Bookstores can order your title, and online retailers can feature your title on their website for customers to order.
When your book is in distribution, a metadata feed is sent to Ingram’s channel partners and retailers. Stores have access to ordering your book if they want to, but it is possible that not every retailer will list your book on their website. Ultimately, this is each retailer’s decision. It is also up to you to promote your book to these retailers and create interest in your book.
If your book has been listed as available for sale on retailer websites and you submit a revision to the cover file or interior file, the title must be pulled from production, which means it will not be available for sale until the revision process is complete. If IngramSpark/Lightning Source has received orders from retailers, those books must be printed before the revision can process. Contact the support team if you have questions or concerns.
You will be able to set a publication date and an on-sale date for an ebook, however, our ebook retail partners only recognize the publication date. If the ebook retail partners pick up the ebook, they will accept preorders for the ebook if the publication day is set in the future.