The On-Sale Date and Publication Date determine when a book will be available for ordering through bookstores, retailers, and distribution partners (known as sellers).
The On-Sale Date is the date when "sellers" are allowed to sell your book.
- The on-sale date is optional and is not required.
- Not all sellers recognize an on-sale date.
- Having a different date for an on-sale date and publication date can cause problems with the stock status message and order fulfillment for a title on some websites. To avoid these problems, use matching dates for both.
- If you set an on-sale date for your book, it will not be available for sale or delivery until that date.
- Some sellers will accept orders for the book before the on-sale date, known as "preorders" or "presales." The order ships from the seller to the consumer on or after the on-sale date.
The Publication Date is the official release date of your book.
If you want to allow preorders or presales of your book, you must select an on-sale date and a publication date, which should be the same date. Set both dates far enough in the future, 4 weeks minimum from when you set up your title and upload your files, so you will have time to order a printed copy or proof, upload revised files if needed, and have your first print run produced at least a month before your publication date. Allowing extra time will help if there should be any unexpected delays.
You can set a publication date and an on-sale date for an ebook, but some ebook sellers only recognize the publication date. Ebook sellers will accept preorders for the ebook if the publication date is in the future.
Important things for you to know if you decide to use a future on-sale date for pre-ordering of your book
Ingram sends the information for your book, including on-sale and publication dates, to the sellers to post on their website. We cannot guarantee how sellers will list titles.
You may see a website listing your title as available for ordering with no mention of pre-order. As long as your on-sale date is in the future, we will hold all the pre-ordered books to be printed and shipped, so the books reach all retailers by the on-sale date.
Printing and Shipping Timeline for Books with an On-Sale Date
We use the on-sale date to decide when to print and ship books to sellers. IngramSpark generally begins printing 10 business days before the on-sale date, however, some exceptions may apply. IngramSpark may begin printing titles as soon as the title is enabled for distribution.
If you need to upload revised files for your book, have the final files uploaded and the eproof approved before adding distribution services to avoid file processing delays.
If you upload revised files after you add distribution, there is a high risk your latest files won't be the ones printed and shipped.
If the book is available for pre-sales through sellers and on websites and you upload revised files, we pull the book from production to process and replace the files; this means it is no longer available to sellers in our distribution network.
Uploading revised files after a book has distribution services added can cause delays with the revision process if we have received orders from sellers and are printing the book to ship before the on-sale date. The revision will not be processed until all of the orders are printed and shipped. If we continue to receive orders every day, the revised files are not processed until all orders have been printed and shipped.
If you upload revised files too many times, too often, some retailers may give incorrect availability messaging on their website. In this situation, you should contact the support team to help resolve this.
We use the on-sale date listed for the title at the time distribution services are added.
If you attempt to change the on-sale date, the book may already be printing and shipping. We cannot guarantee that pre-orders will be printed and shipped before the newly updated on-sale date.
If you want to change the on-sale date to a future date, this may or may not work, depending on how close the original on-sale date is and if the title had distribution services added. Depending on how quickly sellers update their websites, they may continue to show the first on-sale date.
Pre-Order Sales Reporting
The report does not include distribution sales and is a screen display only.
There is no report available that will show pre-orders submitted by sellers for any titles.
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