As of 1st May, IngramSpark does not charge the US$49 upload fee. Nor will they charge the $25 revision fee in the first 60 days, which was levied if you had a revision after you had ticked distribution.
Not every title will be approved for distribution. In fact, things like book summaries, or pricing the book at a lot more than necessary, are not allowed. You can read all the IngramSpark catalog integrity guidelines to be sure yours is fine.
The Downsides of using IngramSpark
Ingramspark do not offer a sales platform to advertise on and one-book purchase orders are high in postage. (It’s $8.50 + $2 handling).
Also consider, do I want to mess about with Adobe Distiller or Indesign or pay for a designer for my paperback?
The important IngramSpark Guidelines for Titles are on their blog.
Further, many people assume that print-on-demand books just sell themselves, however, many authors have gone private and done even better than those who uploaded a book and did no real-life or online marketing.
While KDP will let you get very cheap author copies, IngramSpark has reliable colour printing, now including groundwood paper, offers hardback, and is known by library suppliers here. KDP does not have any link with our library suppliers.
New Global Distribution Fee from 1 July
Most of us enable our books for distribution to the 40,000 retailers and libraries on that Ingram Content Group supply, however, these will now be charged a market access fee equivalent to 1% of the local list price when sold. This is perhaps 25 cents or so.
New Print Options from 1 July
Premium colour was always good colour print quality, for a top-shelf price. IngramSpark will introduce the Ultra-premium colour option, which will help those doing coffee table books to get awesome vibrancy. Move over Blurb, there’s a new kid in your colour book sandpit.
So, if you’ve had a book on KDP but want to get into libraries and universities in Australia, it might be time to upload to IngramSpark and have a go. It always pays to fill out all library/school price sections on MyIdentifiers so that library suppliers are inclined to purchase directly from you — or at least from wherever it’s listed as ‘distributor’.
If you have not changed either the format, title or content of your book at KDP, you can reuse that self-bought ISBN at IngramSpark. (Don’t forget to add their distribution to your ISBN title listing). But, you cannot use a free KDP-given ISBN on IngramSpark.
IngramSpark allows for hardback, paperback (30-55% to retail) or ebook (55% to retail), although most of us indie authors use KDP for ebook or Draft2Digital to reach iBooks and Kobo.
Kindle Direct is still a good way to upload ebooks, with less fiddle and an online previewer, but if you’re inclined to want a vetted print-on-demand service, then IngramSpark is a real possibility for you. They ask for an ABN when you start an account, and this may also help you avoid the pesky US sales tax form-filling. I surmise that the ABN in effect means that you are an Australian business and don’t have to pay full US withholding tax.
Extra Advice for Self-Publishers and Subsidy Authors
It is free to register for an ABN and it means “Australian Business Number”. If you are purely publishing under a business, you might also need a registered business name to earn income under that name. If you publish under your name, then you don’t need that and all taxes would probably be under your Individual tax status, however if you’re concerned, please see your accountant.
If you think doing it yourself is all too hard, you’re probably going to pay a self-publisher assistance company. If you do this, ensure you look up ProductReviews.com.au or Preditors, because I’ve heard a lot of sorry tales from older people. Particularly be wary of sales follow-up behaviour that involves putting pressure on you to purchase.
Can You Get the Designed Files?
Another thing to do is ask your service provider: do I get to keep the designed file? It is very hard to part them from the Adobe Indesign files, so if you were to want a revision, you would be right back at the beginning again.
Full Wrap Covers (for printing) may come as a PDF, but if you want to change them, you would need the JPEG files or Illustrator or Indesign files they were made with. As nobody on God’s green Earth can change a PDF. Reverse engineer it maybe, but I think this only works with text.