Dear readers, if you’re self-publishing with Print on Demand, it is in your interests to seek out opinions and calculations on both the major POD options:  Amazon CreateSpace and IngramSpark. (Although if you’re doing a full photography book then Blurb offers more bindings/paper options).

Why would you consider IngramSpark?  

Backed by Lightning Source International, with a large-scale worldwide distribution network, the streamlined interface provided by IngramSpark (for Indie publishers) offers many benefits. Its pros I’ve uncovered are:

  • For Australians, shipping can be a LOT less if printing in black & white, particularly for bulk print orders.
  • For print-on-demand orders, Ingram/LSI have a worldwide network of printers (in most countries) which are utilised to access shorter delivery and cheaper shipping.

(With CreateSpace, all shipments come from America, and minimum book shipping to Australia is US$10.49. For a bulk order of 100 full-size books, the shipping was US$199 for 28 delivery, which is far too slow, or $249 for 13 day delivery.)

  • The quality for my bulk orders has been faultless on the colour covers and standard b&w inside. While with colour interiors the vibrancy may not be as seen in stores, premium paper samples seem acceptable.

And the cons are:

  • Erratic customer service, some emails go unanswered. However the proofing team in the UK actually answered the phone and I got my answers right away.
  • Pricing of the Ingram POD service goes up in February 2016, to quite high… e.g. A$7.16 to print a 300-page 6 x 9″ medium-sized book.
  • Royalties are not terribly generous, as there seems no way to get the larger royalty that Amazon offers for buyers direct from site. (They don’t provide a store direct).
  • While you can order “on demand” through Ingram’s interface one at a time, the shipping cost is high in comparison (to NSW, $8.80 + $2 handling + tax + your book print cost). However book retailers (I believe) ordering do not have to pay shipping extra and at any rate, this shipping does not come off your royalty.
  • Royalties for the eBook side are not as competitive.

Royalties at IngramSpark

Adjustable, but say 55% discount to retail (less printing cost). While you can choose a 35% (65% to you) discount, the book trade is largely unwelcoming of this.

eBook royalties:  40% of List and Agency Price, with Kindle opt-in; 45% without. (Pricing right, you can get 70% less tax through Kindle Direct, so the only reason to choose this way is less filling of forms and fiddling).

An interesting blog post tells you how to use both main POD platforms: http://www.selfpublishingadvice.org/how-to-use-createspace-and-ingram-spark-together/

Calculate your own Amazon CreateSpace royalties and compare to IngramSpark Publisher Compensation calculator (ensure similar features are input).

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