Updated: Aug 6
Not quite sure what to expect during the upload process for IngramSpark? Keep reading as I show you exactly what you need to get your book published through this platform which distributes to bookstores and libraries. If you’ve uploaded your book to Amazon, you will notice some similarities while others will work a bit differently. Once you upload your book, it will take between a few hours to a few days for your book to be accepted. You can also order proof copies for your book to see what it'll look like before it goes out to your readers.
Items you'll need ahead of time:
💟Interior File (aka Manuscript in PDF)
💟Exterior File (aka Cover File in single PDF in 300 ppi CMYK)
💟ISBN (either the free version or the one you used on Amazon for your book)
IngramSpark is the world's largest wholesale distributor that can get your book into stores. You can also do this through Amazon KDP. However, the royalties for you and the profit for the bookstores is less. So, I recommend using Ingram spark to do so.
Create an account at IngramSpark.
Once logged in, you'll see a button at the top that says, Add Title. Go ahead and click that button. You want to have your ISBN number ready to use. The ISBN is a unique identifying number for your book that differs for each format of the book. IngramSpark offers a discount on ISBNs if you purchase it while uploading your book. Otherwise you’ll want to purchase it on MyIdentifiers.com.
Decide which formats you want to upload.
Next, it will ask for the format you would like to upload for your book. You can choose print (hardcover or paperback) or eBook. The pricing as of now is $49 for the Print and eBook, $49 just for the Print Book or $25 for your eBook. I don't recommend using IngramSpark for your eBook. I do recommend using Amazon instead based on user friendliness, market share, and a few other reasons. But for now, we're going to focus on the Print Book only. Coupon codes are available quite often, so if you have one of those, that would be a time to use yours as well.
Items To Have Ready When Uploading
Have a few things ready before you uploading your book.
If you do not have those ready, that's totally okay. You can still proceed, however, it just makes the process run more smoothly, and you don’t have to come back to do those things later.
Additionally, for your exterior cover, use the template that IngramSpark provides. This is a different format than Amazon KDP. If you aren’t sure about your files, check out the IngramSpark creation guide to help you out. If you're publishing through Shep Publishing House, then we will already have this done for you.
Choose your distribution.
This is the section to share how you want your book to be shared. Here are the two options:
Click Only print book if you want to be the only one that could print the books. It gives the option of not going to offer your book to bookstores to be able to pick up and purchase. You can also select this if you’d like to order a physical proof of the book before allowing it to be sent to stores.
Click Print, distribute and sell books if you want everybody to be able to purchase your book. Generally that's what people do when they come to IngramSpark.
Add your book’s information.
Add your title and select the language that your book is written in. Here you’ll also add in your ISBN or select to purchase it from Ingram Spark for a discount. Notice that they give you the option to use a free one from Ingram? We want it to be available in other places.
You will notice a lot of dropdowns throughout your process. You can click them and see what is inside of them. Add what’s needed like subtitles, series name but some will not be pertinent to you.
Make sure that your author name is accurate, because you cannot change this later. Imprint is the name that's going to go inside your book as basically the publisher. This must match the name of your company you added on Bowker.
Select your subjects.
The subject is what your book is about. You can pick three subjects. In the search bar, you can actually type in different topics. Just like on Amazon, it'll help you toggle to those and you can add your subjects there. I recommend adding all three that fit for your book because it helps people to be able to find it.
Select your audience.
Of course, you would do which one fits. If you're not doing something that's academic, you'd want to just pick trade general. You can also choose from the dropdown of different options.
Fill in title, keywords, and description.
The Title Description is generally the same description that you have on Amazon. When you're publishing your book, you want it to be consistent in both formats because this is what will be given to the stores to be able to share your book. It does have a minimum of at least 200 characters. I normally just copy and paste it from Amazon, change the formatting, and add bullet points.
Then, you're going to add in your keywords separated by semicolons. There's no maximum number of keywords like there is on Amazon, but keep in mind that you want them to be targeted to your book.
The book blurb is the brief or shorter description of what your book is all about. It is usually found at the back of the book. It is usually what draws somebody to pick your book up.
Notice also just like Amazon, you have the option to save and exit. If you don't get a chance to finish or something happens, you can always come back.
The size of your book is where you’ll add it to Trim Size depending on your preference. You’ll also have the option to choose for your interior or exterior color and paper. Whether it’s:
Black and white
Once you've selected those, then you are going to add in the page count for your book. Here you’ll also be able to find out how much it cost to print your book. This is the amount you would pay as the author. Enabling duplex means that you can print on the inside cover of your book.
Choose Your Print Pricing and Distribution Pricing.
Set the list price for your book under Print Pricing. You would insert the price that you would like customers to pay. Just like on Amazon KDP, it's going to alter that same price and convert it to the other markets where it's sold. You may use any currency calculator on Google to see those different amounts to make sure they’re the right conversion.
Next, you’ll decide how distributors will get from your book. This is your wholesale discounted price. You're giving a discount to the bookstores or to the websites that are purchasing your book as an incentive to them and give them a little markdown for ordering larger quantities of your book. They have 55% as retailer preference but there is an option for between 30% to 54%, your choice. If you want to change the amount, you can always switch it later. You'll also be able to see how much money you're making from that percentage. Notice that for some, there is a need to increase the price of the book in order for that percentage to make sense especially when you leave it at 55% since it's only giving you a very teeny amount. The percentage is based on your overall goals for your book, but setting this percent at 30% is enough to appear in the online versions of bookstores (think BooksAMillion.com) where 53-55% is required to get into the physical stores.
Decide on returnable or non returnable.
It's going to ask you if you want them to be able to return your books. Now, this one is a little bit of a controversy. Some people say yes but personally, I do not allow this.
NO - I always pick this because stores could order a thousand copies of your book and that's super exciting, but if they decide to return 500 of them, that means you are going to have to pay or return the money that they gave you for those books. The books could also be returned to you in unsellable condition leaving you with a ton of books that you’re not sure what to do with.
YES - DELIVER - Shipping the book back to you no matter what the condition of the books are. It could be, people had returned them to the store because they could have already used them or not in the best state.
YES - DESTROY - You allow returns but the books are going to be destroyed.
This section includes check boxes and here’s a description of what they mean:
Always select enabling to look inside the book because it makes retailers and customers see what the first few chapters or first couple pages of your book look like.
Large text editions are recommended when you have a large text edition, if you don't, then you don't necessarily need this.
Right-to-Left Content. Only select if your book is written in a language that needs to be read right to left instead of left to right. You would not need that if your book is in English.
Print Release Dates
If you are doing a presale in the future and you want your book to be available for purchase on Amazon before it's actually available, IngramSpark is going to push your book to Amazon and other stores. People can order it ahead of time before it's actually available.
I don't really recommend doing presales in this way, because you can't add some of the benefits and some of the exciting things that I recommend adding to a presale for example, if you wanted to bundle something with your book. I suggest ordering your books yourself, packaging them, or getting a company to package those items for you. In this case, you're not going to get your funds until the book is actually available. So there's not a ton of benefits in doing a pre-sale this way, unless you just don't have the bandwidth, you don't have the time and the energy to be able to do it on your own site. If you don't want to do something so far in advance, you could just do it the next day, which will be fine too.
Upload your book files.
On the next page, you’ll find prompts to upload your interior and cover files. You can either drag drop or you can click the upload button to locate those files on your computer. Once you have your interior and exterior on the next page it'll tell if you have any errors. If none, you’re just going to click continue.
If there is anything that was wrong with your files, you would have error messages that would be specific to what you needed to fix. If that is the case for you, then you can reach out to us at email@example.com and we can assist you. However, if you're publishing with us, you won't have to worry about these errors, because we will already make sure your files work for you. So then you would just click continue.
IngramSpark does have promotion codes. If you have a coupon code, you would enter it in the space provided. You can usually find these at the top of their main page of their website. Check on agreement for understanding that your files are being uploaded and just in case, there is a need to change anything after this, you might have to be charged another fee. Then, proceed to payment.
Use code “SWEETSAVINGS” until 8/31/2022 for 3 free book uploads.
Note: If using a promo code, don’t enter it in until after the price populates for your book. Otherwise, it won’t be deducted.
What to Expect Once Your Book Is Uploaded:
Ingram Spark will send a
Once you get the email, you will: Review the electronic copy of the proof.
Approve the proof inside of Ingram Spark (See the picture attached.)
Submit your book.
Once you’ve submitted, then your book will show “Title Available” with a green check which means stores can order it to stock online. Unfortunately Ingram Spark won’t notify you as to which stores stock your book, however, you can check out this link to get information about where your book is sold. Check back periodically on the stores’ sites to see if your book is picked up.
If there are edits that you need to make, you would just click on it and you'd be able to make those edits or you could click the dropdown to swap things out. For example, if you had an error in your files, you could click the revised files button and it would take you straight to that page. If you need to edit specifics about your description, your keywords, you would go to edit title. Let's say you wanted to do a duplicate version of the book but switch to a different exterior cover, you would click the duplicate version, choose the format and then it would save everything.
Hopefully this video has been helpful in learning how to upload your book to IngramSpark. If you would like this service done for you email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’d be happy to help!