Ingram Spark offers free distribution deal until the end of the year

Publishing platform Ingram Spark is offering a free deal to authors and publishers who upload books before the end of the year.

The firm is waiving its so-called market access fee of $12 (£7) per book until December 31. This is the charge made for distributing titles to Ingram’s channels, which the company claims to amount to over 39,000 retailers and libraries worldwide.

It’s worth noting that this is an annual charge and it is levied on a per-title basis, so you would face paying a fee when your free year runs out.

Refund of set-up fees

Ingram Spark is also offering a full refund of its title set-up fees if a print order for at least 50 copies of a book is placed within 60 days of set-up. The set-up fee for a print book and ebook simultaneously is $49 (£29), print-only is the same price, while ebook-only is $25 (£15).

I’ve always thought print and ship is the most useful service offered by Ingram Spark, where you can order quantities of your print book to distribute as you wish. There are some decent prices here and an online calculator shows the costs for printing and shipping a range of book sizes and quantities.

Ingram Spark print book prices

For example,  here are the prices for various print runs of a 7 ins x 5 ins paperback with 180 pages, including shipping, (which can vary according to location in the US):

  • 50 copies: $177 ($3.54 per book)

  • 100 copies: $335 ($3.35 per book)

  • 150 copies: $502 ($3.34 per book)

  • 200 copies: $670 ($3.35 per book)

  • 250 copies: $747 ($2.98 per book)

  • 500 copies: $1,305 ($2.61 per book)

  • 1,000 copies: $2,349 ($2.35 per book)

For the UK, the prices, including shipping are:

  • 50 copies: £120 (£2.40 per book)

  • 100 copies: £227 (£2.27 per book)

  • 150 copies: £340 (£2.26 per book)

  • 200 copies: £453 (£2.26 per book)

  • 250 copies: £504 (£2.01 per book)

  • 500 copies: £879 (£1.75 per book)

  • 1,000 copies: £1,624 (£1.62 per book)

These are good prices, considering that Ingram Spark is generally reckoned to produce decent quality print books and its Economy Service, which the prices above are based on, is claimed to usually ship within five business days, which is a great turn-round.

If you need a quantity of print books either to sell direct or to send out to family, friends and reviewers, this could be an excellent service, and, of course, you’ll be refunded your $49 (£29) title set-up fee.

Print book distribution

When it comes to print book distribution, Ingram Spark also offers a publisher compensation calculator to show how much you can expect to earn from sales of your book through its distribution channels. This is a great tool which shows you transparently just how much you can expect to earn at varying set-ups and pricing points.

You can set the wholesale discount here, which is basically the amount of money you are offering a retailer to sell your book. The amount of money you will receive per sale is dependent on the level of wholesale discount you offer and the retail price you set for your book.

If you offer a 40% wholesale discount on the 180-page 7 ins x 5 ins paperback shown above, with a list price of $10.00, then there will be a print-on-demand charge of $3.34, leaving the author/publisher with $2.76.

The print charge stays the same regardless of price. If you raise the price to $12.00 on the same 40% discount, the author/publisher will get $3.96, while a $15 price would net $5.76.

Offering a 50% wholesale discount would cut author/publisher compensation to $1.76 on a $10 cover price, $2.76 on a $12 cover price, and $4.26 on a $15 cover price.

For the UK, the corresponding figures would be:

50% wholesale discount, print charge of £2.50:

  • Cover price £6.50: author/publisher compensation: £0.75

  • £8.00: £1.50

  • £10.00: £2.50

40% wholesale discount, print charge of £2.50

  • £6.50: £1.40

  • £8.00: £2.30

  • £10.00: £3.50

Ebook distribution

For ebooks distributed through Ingram Spark, the author/publisher gets 40-45% of what the firm calls List and Agency Price with Kindle opt-in, while the figure is 45% without Kindle opt-in.

Ebooks are distributed through a worldwide network, which can include Apple, Amazon’s Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook and Kobo Canada. However, if you have provided any ebooks to Amazon for Kindle in the past 12 months, then you can’t distribute to Kindle through the Ingram Spark service. It’s not a great idea to distribute to Kindle through Ingram Spark in any case as you can go direct easily or get a higher royalty through other distributors such as Draft2digital.

If you have any ebooks on Apple, you need to remove them from iBooks before uploading the titles to Ingram Spark and you would lose any reviews and ratings.

Overall, while Ingram Spark can offer wide global distribution for ebooks, you can get more or less the same coverage elsewhere at better prices and with more flexibility, but if you are looking for print book distribution and/or buying a batch of your print book to sell or distribute yourself, then it could be an excellent choice.