Information updated April 2020.

We all want to know WHICH is the best self-publishing platform and book distribution for our books or eBooks.  When you have a choice of Lulu, Kindle, Bookbaby, and IngramSpark… you might get confused.

(Please do not consider AuthorHouse, iUniverse, Trafford and Xlibris or Balboa Press as publishers. They are selfpublisher services of Author Solutions Inc, an American company with 200,000 past customers.)

If you find a Self-Publishing/POD platform you would like reviewed before going ahead, please let me know.

If publishing under your own imprint, Jennifer and Power of Words can work as your Editor/Production Manager in conjunction with any printer or print on demand service. See our Self-Publishing Process document, available on-site.

IngramSpark is the self-publishing division of Lightning Source International.

Their Self-publishing calculators, templates and guides are important to use, particularly noting the royalty you are left with under varying options.

Pros are: excellent cover quality; printing of black & white books within Australia; fast ship times and a range of urgency pricing; and the backing of a huge company. Colour printing mainly has slower times as these are printed in the UK.

Colour printing mainly has slower times as these are printed in the UK.

IngramSpark offer a range of paper: standard white/creme, standard color, standard color 70 (105 gsm), and premium color. The price for premium colour is exorbitant and it’s not quite cookbook level, but it’s nice.

Order a ‘print sample’ from IngramSpark and from Blurb if your project is full colour, and compare the print + ship cost calculations. Blurb’s Trade books are from $5.60 B&W to $18 Econ. Color, for 188 pp, compared to $4, $7 or $11 with IngramSpark. Please re-check these prices as there have been price rises at IngramSpark.

Cons are the extra fees upon re-loading interiors or covers (US$25 each), slow to reach support (and they only answer one question per email), and the Royalty to retail is set at 55% unless you specify a lower amount.

Want to order 1 copy? POD (without a retailer) inside Australia attracts $8.50 postage/handling. However, you can order 50 to 100 copies cost-effectively and sell books privately all you like.  The prices are quite competitive at these low numbers. And some books fit in a document envelope and weigh under 500g, which saves a lot in postage.

Should I pay the $80 for IngramSpark Advance new book listing?  Well, it doesn’t have that wide a distribution, being 11,000 bookstores/librarians (US) and 3,000 international, but it’s entirely up to you. Every author must choose the best marketing methods to reach their audience; sometimes word of mouth and library supplier messaging is better than a lone print ad. See what other experts say at CreateSpace forum

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