Amazon list website message out of stock temporary temporarily out purchasing Cover Image Not Appearing status day week revise pub date sale date ebook
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 40,000 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 printed 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 its own method for determining what the available status of a title is on its 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.
As a best practice, we encourage you to offer a 53% to 55% wholesale discount in the US (including Canada) market and 48% to 55% in the UK, Europe, and Australia markets, allowing bookstores to receive their normal trade discounts from distributors and wholesalers they buy books from.
We also encourage you to consider offering your book as returnable. Recently, there have been changes in the way booksellers are ordering books. Many online retailers who sell books will no longer purchase books as non-returnable. Having a book available as non-returnable can affect the availability messaging on websites. You as the publisher can decide if you want to give bookstores, retailers, and libraries the option of returning unsold books.
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.
IngramSpark will accept up to 500 characters, semicolons, and spaces for keywords.
Many retail websites only look at the first 350 characters (including spaces).
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.
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.
Books with a wholesale discount of 53% to 55% and a returnable status 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's 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 websites. 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.
If your ebook is not appearing on retailer websites like Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or other retailers, there are a few things you can check and correct before contacting support for assistance.
1) Make sure distribution services have been added/enabled
Log in to your account, click on the title which takes you to the Title Information page, and then click on the Ebook Info button to see the details for your ebook.
- Log in to your IngramSpark account and click on the title which takes you to the Title Information page
Click on the Ebook info button where you will verify the following:
Has distribution been enabled? See the image below.
- If the button is green and "Yes", the information for the ebook has been distributed to the retail partners and should be available for sale.
- If it is red and "No", click the button so it shows "Yes" and distribution services are then added/enabled.
- Has distribution been enabled? See the image below.
2) Have you included pricing for all available markets?
Check to see that pricing has been added for each market, as shown in the image below.
NOTE: An ebook is distributed to retailers after it is uploaded. There is no eproof process so you want to make sure it's right before you upload the files through your IngramSpark account. Ebook retailers do not recognize on-sale dates and will usually list the book as available for sale when it's received by them.
3) Check the agreements in your account
You can find the agreements in your account by clicking on the drop-down arrow in the top right corner of the account and then clicking on the link for PAPERWORK.
If the ebook is not showing in Apple's iBook store, check the Agency agreement to ensure the most recent agreement was accepted on 10/27/2020 or later. (092520)
- Link to Apple/Agency Agreement: https://myaccount.ingramspark.com/documents/contracts/ICSPRK_AGYEBOOK.pdf
If the ebook is not appearing on Amazon, check the Amazon Addendum to ensure the most recent agreement was accepted on 10/27/2020 or later. (092520)
- Link to Amazon agreement: https://myaccount.ingramspark.com/documents/contracts/ICSPRK_CSAMAZON.pdf
If an agreement is missing and you would like to add the ebook service, you can click on the link for the agreement, fill it out and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
After the agreement is processed the service will be added to your account and you can then add pricing.
4) If distribution services have been enabled and the correct agreement is in the paperwork section of your account, check the type of ebook it is.
In your account, the ebook will appear as either fixed layout (FLEPUB) or reflowable (EPUB).
Fixed layout EPUBs are not reflowable and will only be available on Apple, Kobo, and Libreka. Barnes and Noble will accept fixed-layout EPUBs for children's books only.
If you need the ebook changed from Reflowable to a Fixed Format or vice versa you will submit a new file to make that change. IngramSpark is not able to do this for you.
If the ebook is not appearing on Apple's iBookstore the problem could be the cover image is too large. The cover image is also inside the ebook, so both images need to be checked.
Apple requires the cover image and internal cover image to be less than 4 million pixels, each. You can calculate image size in pixels by viewing the file properties and multiplying the Height times the Width. (Total pixels = length in pixels X width in pixels). This is an Apple requirement. Cover images having more than 4 million pixels are not addressed by the IDPF (International Digital Publishing Forum) epub validating tool: validator.idpf.org. (If you use this epub validation tool, the file must be 10MB or less.) It may be possible to pass IDPF validation, but still, get rejected by IngramSpark or Apple.
Also, make sure there isn't a blank space in the file name. This can cause an error with Apple and cause the title to not be listed on their site.
5) If the ebook has had distribution enabled for at least 30 days and it's not appearing on a website (and not due to previously mentioned issues) you can request support to rebroadcast the information.
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