The On-Sale Date and Publication Date determine when a book will be available for ordering through bookstores, retailers, and distribution partners (all known as sellers in this article).
IMPORTANT NOTE: It is best to have the correct & final version you expect to be sent to customers uploaded and approved up to 30 days ahead of the publication date.
The Publication Date is the official release date of your book.
The On-Sale Date is the date when "sellers" are allowed to sell your book.
Pre-orders are sales that accumulate before the on-sale date is reached.
Important things for you to know if you decide to use a future on-sale date for pre-ordering of your book
- The on-sale date is optional and is not required.
- Not all sellers recognize an on-sale date.
- Use the same date for the publication date and 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 to readers 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.
- 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.
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, 30 days minimum from when you set up your title and upload your files, so you will have time to order a printed copy or proof 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.
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 book as available for ordering with no mention of pre-orders.
Printing and Shipping Timeline for Books with an On-Sale Date
Ingram uses the on-sale date to decide when to print and ship books to sellers so the books reach their destination by the on-sale date. There are several factors that are considered to determine when to start printing and shipping books, including the current print volume and the end destination.
You will not be able to edit your on-sale date 30 days prior to the on-sale date. Locking the date 30 days prior helps avoid lost sales.
Ingram may begin printing titles as soon as the title is enabled for distribution.
If your book has an on-sale date and you need to upload revised files for your book, it is best to 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 greater risk your latest files won't be the ones printed and shipped.
If the book is listed as available on websites for pre-sales 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 websites. 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 by the publisher. The on-sale date is "locked" and cannot be updated unless the new date is at least 30 days into the future.
If you attempt to change the on-sale date, the book may already be printed and shipped. We cannot guarantee that pre-orders will be printed and shipped before the newly updated on-sale date.
Depending on how quickly sellers update their websites, they may continue to show the first on-sale date.
If a title is in production:
The on-sale date can be updated to a future date that is more than 30 days from the day the publisher tries to adjust it. For example...
If the date is 1/1/2023 and the current on-sale date is 2/2/2023, the publisher can adjust the date from 30 days up to one year forward to 1/1/2024 or backward 30 days to 1/1/2023 in their IngramSpark account.
If today's date is 1/1/2023 and the on-sale date is 1/20/2023, it's less than 30 days, so the date cannot be changed unless the title is taken out of production.
If a title is in production with an on-sale date that has passed, the date cannot be updated.
To change an on-sale date
Log into your IngramSpark account
Click on the title of the book you want to change the on-sale date for
Click on the Print Info button
Scroll down to the On-Sale Date and hover over the date until you see a pencil, which allows you to make changes. Enter the new date and click save. If you are not able to change the on-sale date, contact the support team HERE for help.
Setting future publication and on-sale dates in conjunction with a solid marketing plan can advance your book's reach. Just remember to engage your readers while driving them to your book.
HELP US HELP YOU!
If this article didn't answer your question, please share in the comments section below the problem you experienced or the help you were needing with on-sale dates, publications dates, or pre-orders.