IngramSpark Webinar: Questions and Answers

Ingram’s content acquisitions manager, Robin Cutler, held an online live webinar today and answered some questions on IngramSpark. I missed the webinar and would have liked to post the direct link to the recorded event. However, the link provided in their alert email is an AT&T connect download – not very clever if you want to reach out to a wide audience!

Below is a snippet of some of the questions asked and answered.
Q: I’d like my ebook to stay as private as possible, meaning that only people who buy the book can see the contents.  Is that possible? Or will the ebook contents be visible on line? 
A: Retail partners in the eBook distribution program for IngramSpark are required to provide an industry standard method for copy protection (Digital Rights Management) with regards to viewing, downloading, copying except for the end user purchasing the book.   A retail partner can provide a sampling of the eBook up to 10% of the book, 10 pages or 1 chapter. This is standard in the industry.
Q: When will Ingram be able to convert .pdf interior pages to .epub format for a fee?
The website said that service would start in Fall 2013. 
A: Until our service is in place, we can refer you to another service that does excellent conversion called Vook. Once you have your converted Epub and JPEG file, simply upload them into IngramSpark.  Let Matthew at Vook know that you are an IngramSpark customer and that you were referred. For their pricing and service contact: 
Q:  I have created what I plan to be an 8.5×11 size hardcover color picture book.  Is this an accepted size for bookstores?
A:   Yes, this a standard size for stores.
Q:   I would Iike to know how much to charge knowing there is the 45% charge.  My book content is 24 pages plus the title page, copywriter, dedication etc.
A:  We have provided a Publisher Compensation calculator on IngramSpark that will help you with this.  Simply enter the specs of your book and it will estimate of the manufacturing fee based upon the trim size, page count and binding type of your book.  You can then see how much you will be compensated per book.  You can find the calculator on the Costs and Revenue page on or under  “My Tools” on your dashboard.
Or click here
Q:  Knowing the page layout, do I include these in the PDF?
How should I layout the PDF?  Should I format it for 8.5×11 bleed with larger edges or just 8.5×11?  And do I include the title page etc in the pdf?
A: We highly recommend you (or your designer) follow our file creation guide for file set up.  Find the specific instructions for the type of book you’re creating and it will walk you through everything you need to know to set up your files.  The File Creation Guide can be found under the Help menu on or under  “My Tools” on your dashboard.
Q:  Do I need to acquire a tax id?  And how do I go about getting one?
A:  Most individuals starting out  in publishing are typically sole proprietors and their social security number can serve as the tax id.  This is different for those who have set up partnerships or limited liability companies.   If you have any questions about this, we recommend you check with your accountant, tax professional or visit
Q.  I am the author and illustrator of my book.  Do I fill out the section separately on the page for contributors?
A:  Each field is what will show up in the metadata for your title. If you want your name to show up as author and  illustrator, then yes, you would fill out separate fields.   
Q:  I purchased my ISBN through Bowker when I first thought I was going to be using createspace.  I set up an account and purchased my ISBN and then left to come to you.  Is this okay?
A:   Yes, it should work in both systems as long as you didn’t set the book up in Createspace’s Expanded Distribution.
Q:  Is IngramSpark likely to ease up on the mandatory 55% discounting? I have discussed this with several indie authors and publishing friends and essentially mandatory discounting (which we agree is favorable in certain ways, ie. gets books on shelves) it does however take away control from the indies in managing their pricing and business.
A: Yes, we are currently reviewing our discount schedule to be able to offer publishers flexibility while also helping them be successful in the marketplace.
Q:  Those that choose to publish via KindleDirect can earn upto 70% on their e-book titles. Can you please clarify the benefits of using IngramSpark for ebook distribution.
A:  The cost for setting up an ebook in IngramSpark is only $25 or free when you set up a print and ebook at the same time.  For a $12 distribution fee, your ebook goes out to every major ebook retailer including iBooks, Kobo, Amazon Kindle, and Barnes & Noble Nook.  Publishers have the option of opting out of Amazon Kindle distribution (in case, for example, you already have an existing agreement.) Your ebook would still be distributed to the other 190+ ebook retailers. 
Q:  Is that 12 distribution fee PER BOOK?
A:  Yes.  This is assessed per title/per year.
Q: If we have books on CreateSpace, do we have to get a new ISBN to put the book on Ingram-Spark?
A:   No, you can use the same ISBN in both systems as long as the book hasn’t been set up in CreateSpace’s Expanded Distribution program.
Q: Do you have a hard copy proofing system as well? e.g. Can I order a paperback for review before sending out for distribution?
A:  Yes, we highly suggest that you order a print copy before sending out to distribution or ordering large quantities. 
Q: Is the promo code good for more than one book?
A:  Yes, as many as you upload during the promotion period.

Q:  Is our LSI account tied into or connected to our Spark account in anyway? Is there a way to connect them when setting up the account? Also, is it possible to order physical proofs instead of e-proofs, as we have the option to currently do with LSI?
A:  If you already have an account with LSI, please contact your Lightning Source client services representative before signing up for an IngramSpark account.   Your rep can discuss the differences between the two programs and help you decide which one is best for you.


Mick Rooney – Publishing Consultant

If you found this review or article helpful, but you’re still looking for a suitable self-publishing provider to fit your needs as an author, then I’m sure I can help. As a publishing consultant and editor of this magazine, I’ve reviewed and examined in detail more than 150 providers throughout the world like the one above. As a self-published and traditionally published author of nine books, I understand your needs on the path to publication and beyond. So, before you spend hundreds or thousands, and a great deal of your time, why not book one of my personally tailored and affordable consultation sessions today? Click here for more details.
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