One of the major benefits of using IngramSpark is the access your book has to one of the industry’s largest global distribution networks, offered by Ingram.
As an example, when retailers order products, they are usually purchased through a distributor or wholesaler such as Ingram. Ingram sells the products to bookstores, libraries, or other retailers at a wholesale price when the publisher provides a wholesale discount to Ingram. The bookstore or retailer then sells the product to consumers at the list price.
How does distribution work?
With Ingram/Lightning Source’s Print on Demand service, books can be purchased through Ingram by bookstores, libraries, and retail outlets. The order prints, ships, and arrives at the customer or store within a few days.
How do stores know about my book?
Ingram sends a metadata feed containing all the information and pricing for your book to more than 39,000 bookstores, libraries, and retail outlets all over the world. Ingram's customers and Print-On-Demand distribution channel partners will upload the metadata for your book to their website and will decide if they want to sell the book through their website. A store can search for your book on Ingram Book Company's iPage website or other websites and see the metadata linked to it.
*Ingram allows your book to be available for sale, but there is no guarantee that stores or libraries will order your book. We cannot guarantee sales.
*It is up to the author and/or publisher to market and promotes the book to consumers, bookstores, retailers, and libraries, so they know it is available for sale. More information on marketing can be found here
How long does it take for my book to appear on websites?
During the title setup process, once you click the enable button to add distribution services to your book, it can take 2-6 weeks before appearing on retailer websites or on a distributor or retailer’s internal ordering system. Depending on the time of year, it can less than 2-6 weeks and you may see pieces of information appear and then disappear (depending on the distribution partner) until the title information and cover are fully uploaded onto websites.
We are unable to provide any specific sales information as to which bookstore, retailer or library purchased the book(s). Ingram is a private, family-owned company and sales information for the retailer or library who purchased the book(s) is proprietary information and cannot be shared.
The sale of the book is added to your monthly compensation report when it ships from our print facility. You receive the compensation payment 90 days from the end of the month in which the book was shipped from the print facility.
Compensation Payment Schedule for Print Books
Can I expedite or rush the distribution process?
We are not able to rush the distribution process for your book. When the distribution service is added to a book, we send out a metadata feed containing the book information to our retail partners. How quickly the metadata is uploaded to retailer websites depends on that retailer and is not controlled by Ingram. Also, during the 4th quarter of each year, it can take longer for the book to appear as available for sale due to all the data feeds our distribution and retail partners are receiving.
Why can’t my customers order through IngramSpark?
Your customers need to order books through a retailer, bookstore, or from you, the publisher. Only the publisher has access to direct printing and shipping costs through their IngramSpark account.
When you log into your IngramSpark account, click on the title of your book, and click on the PRINT INFORMATION button. Click on the Enabled for Distribution button:
You as the publisher can decide if you want to give bookstores, retailers, and libraries the option of returning unsold books. You have three options to select from:
- No or Non-Returnable- This option is available in all markets
Select this designation if you do not want to allow your titles to be sold on a returnable basis. IngramSpark will not accept returns from booksellers for any title so designated. Returns can be very costly and if you are not financially prepared for returns, this may be your best option.
- Yes-Deliver- Available in the U.S. Market only
Select this return status if you want to allow your book to be sold as returnable and you would like the returned book shipped back to you. IngramSpark does not guarantee the condition of the book being returned. (This return option is only available for books sold in the United States or Canada.)
Returns to US addresses - If you select this option, you will be charged for the current wholesale cost of each book returned, plus a $2.00 per book shipping and handling charge.
Returns to non-US/international addresses - If you select this option, you will be charged for the current wholesale cost of each book returned, plus a $20.00 per book shipping and handling charge.
- Yes-Destroy- Available in all markets EXCEPT Global Connect
Select this option if you want to allow your book to be sold as returnable and you do not want to receive a physical copy of the returned book. If you select this option, you will be charged only for the current wholesale cost of each book returned. No shipping and handling fees will apply. IngramSpark will destroy and pulp any returned books received if this option is selected.
Returns can be very costly. Publishers should be financially prepared for the cost of returned books. If you are concerned about the cost of returns, offer the book as non-returnable. You can change the return status later if needed.