How Does IngramSpark Work? How Do They Get My Books Out To Retailers? | Self-Publishing in 2021

This question has come up several times in the comments on my channel on some of my other videos as well as when I am working directly with clients so I am going to give you all a quick informational video on how IngramSpark works.

IngramSpark is a subsidiary of the Ingram Publishing Conglomerate. They have one of the most, if not the most, comprehensive distribution network for selling books into retailers. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, BAM, Walmart, Target, any major retailer and even specialty retailers are in their network. Because of this, major publishers work with Ingram (parent company) to get their published books out to and on shelves/online storefronts.

Over the years, Ingram has opened up their offerings to smaller presses through Ingram Distribution Services. And with the launch on IngramSpark they offered up their network to self-publishers and indie authors.

This means you have access to list your book with the same network that the big publishing houses are using. For the self-published author who is used to managing their account with just Amazon or just Google play or just Apple, this is a HUGE help, right? You have one place you can go where your book can be accessed by all these different retailers. Now, the retailers may elect to not shelve your book, you have to do the legwork, but you have access, you have a seat at the table.

Lightning Source is their proprietary print-on-demand service. When you list your book with IngramSpark you have access to the Lightning Source printers. This means you don’t have to maintain an inventory. You do pay a slightly higher per book print cost than if you did an offset run of 1000 books or more, but you may not need that many books on hand.

You can still keep your books listed individually with Amazon, the Amazon listing will supersede the IngramSpark listing (I did a video on this a while back.) You can now sell your book directly from Ingram as well through Aer.io (video on that as well.) You can order your author copies directly from IngramSpark to keep in inventory so that you can sell them at events or directly (Lots of videos on this.)

Does this clear things up a bit? Any remaining questions on how IngramSpark works? Thoughts on how your experience has gone with the platform? Let me know in the comments below.

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