Can I use Amazon KDP Print and IngramSpark to self-publish? Does Amazon work with ingramSpark?

A critical part of my strategy in going wide with my books and one that I have seen many other authors use as well is to self-publish their book through IngramSpark and to self-publish their book on Amazon KDP. IngramSpark has the wide distribution, pre-orders on print books, hardcover options. They have a lot of great features for authors. But Amazon is King and if you’re like me and half of all your book sales come from Amazon (or more) then it makes sense to still list the book directly on Amazon through KDP to save on additional royalty fees.

There are a lot of factors at play here and primarily these two companies need each other and neither of them likes that. So IngramSpark is a subsidiary of the Ingram Publishing Conglomerate, which I’ve talked about before. So Ingram has distribution into pretty much every brick and mortar and online retailer you can think of in terms of getting books in front of consumers. The major publishing houses use them. Small presses use them. And through IngramSpark self-publishing authors like us can use them too. So their network has to include Amazon right because a major publishing house or small press is going to Ingram for distribution services so Ingram has to be able to say they work with Amazon. There is an implied expectation that a book has to be available through Amazon at a minimum. So Ingram and IngramSpark needs Amazon

Well, Amazon needs Ingram otherwise it would be a mess for all these individual publishing houses to get their books to Amazon. Amazon needs a steady supply of all these books so that they can meet the guaranteed shipping deadlines that they offer their customers. They are all about the customer there.

What is interesting is that Ingram could try to push authors like us away from Amazon if they offered no-cost uploads and expanded their Spark team a bit and improved customer service and made it easier to do discounts and promos. But they are also handcuffed by their existing agreements with the retailers.

Amazon could eliminate most of the need for authors to go with IngramSpark if they would just offer print pre-orders and hardcovers. But they can’t get true expanded distribution, which I’ve talked about before.

So in the meantime…. They need each other, and they don’t seem to like it.

Here are the common issues that I see for myself, my clients, and other authors out there who are using both IngramSpark and KDP to self-publish their books.

-Customer service run around
-Can be up to 6 weeks to show
-Amazon listings dropped

Ultimately, if you are planning to go wide, you should go with both print-on-demand self-publishing platforms. But, you should pack your patience. These are two different companies, they work together but the customer service rep who works for Amazon doesn’t have access to the IngramSpark system and vice versa. Yeah, it is going to be some work and hopefully, it all goes smoothly for you. I still stand by my recommendation to use both platforms, I use both platforms to self-publish my own books, but if you think it is going to be without glitches or hiccups you are setting yourself up for frustration.

Have you experienced any issues with the two platforms? Share your tips and experiences below to keep the conversation going.

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