Jump to content

Disclaimer



Photo

Ingram Spark Publish On Demand - Revolutionary or Overpriced?


  • Please log in to reply
4 replies to this topic

#1 Rick Spilman

Rick Spilman

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,145 posts
  • Literary Status:published
  • LocationUS Northeast
  • Publishing Experience:My novel Hell Around the Horn is published by Old Salt Press

Posted 02 June 2013 - 07:35 AM

Yesterday at BEA, I had the chance to speak to Robin Cutler, independent publisher manager for Ingram about their new publishing platform for self-publishing authors.

 

On July, 1,  Ingram, the world's largest book distributor, is launching Spark, a "Publish on Demand" platform for authors which will incorporate both print and ebook distribution.  By combining print and digital platforms, it is supposed to simply the entire distribution process while offering Ingram's worldwide reach. It all sounds really great. 

 

On a second look, maybe not quite so great.  When the program goes live, an author will provide Ingram with three finished files - an epub file and a JPEG cover for ebooks, and a PDF file for the print book.  Ingram does not offer any file conversion services.

 

They will then make the print books available worldwide, which is effectively the service already provided by their subsidiary Lighting Source and through CreateSpace's extended distribution option.  An author using Spark will no longer have to submit files seprately to Amazon's KDP, B&N Nook, the iBookstore, Kobo and/or Smashwords.

 

The convenience, however, comes with a high price tag.  Ingram pays the author a royalty of 40% on each ebook and 45% on print (which I am assuming is net of production costs.)  

 

If you submit your work directly to Amazon, you receive 70% of the retail price. B&N is 65% and Kobo is 80%.  So Spark is taking an additional 30% off the top, on average. This compares to Smashwords and D2D which each charge 10% for distribution.

 

The selling point is that the ebook is distributed to 200 on-line retailers around the world. As a practical matter, however, most sales will probably come from the top five. How much the value the additional 195 retailers add is unclear.

 

One word about this pricing.  I have not seen it in print in any Ingram marketing materials or on any web site or blog (that's right, folks you heard it here first.)  I got the information directly from Robin Cutler, the program manager.  Things may change between now and the July 1st launch. 

 

As it stands now, however, it appears that Spark is a great idea, but poorly priced.

 

 



#2 lhorak

lhorak

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 1 posts
  • Literary Status:industry insider
  • LocationUS Southeast
  • Publishing Experience:None

Posted 20 June 2013 - 08:35 AM

Thanks for coming by the booth at BEA Rick and for writing about our new program. We thought we would provide a bit more info straight from IngramSpark for your readers... 

 

- PDF files for print books - that's correct. When our e-book service is launched through IngramSpark - EPUB files are the format of choice - no need for jpeg files.  We have plans to add conversion services for those publishers that might need help with file creation - that addition is targeted by end of year.

 

- More about the program - IngramSpark is intended to be an easy way for independent publishers to begin working with Lightning Source and Ingram for the distribution of "P" and "E" content.  For e-books, yes, a publisher can go direct to many e-retailers, and for many publishers who are able to manage the complexity associated with making multiple submissions of the same title, that is the way to go to earn more revenue. Our pricing reflects ease, convenience and global reach. For many publishers, making their titles available for sale through the world’s largest book distributor with the broadest reach in the marketplace provides great value and will be a good choice for many. IngramSpark is flexible in that a publisher can choose to go direct with Amazon Kindle and still have their e-book titles distributed everywhere else. With that flexibility, it is a win-win for independent publishers.

 

If you or your readers have any questions about where we are heading with this program, be in touch with your client services or general sales representative directly. For those that are not current customers of Ingram/Lightning Source, questions can be answered at contactrobin@ingramcontent.com We hope this quick note helps allay any fears out there about Spark and dispels any rumors. Please ask questions of us directly, we want to be sure the correct details are reaching our customers and the industry.



#3 dennism

dennism

    The World's Foremost Expert

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 71 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, self-published, unagented
  • LocationUS Southwest
  • Publishing Experience:Self published "Runaway!" in 2011, paperback and Kindle, about a runaway slave boy, aka my petite opus. Publishing pre-experience: Profane Fire at the Altar of the Lord, aka my magnum opus. Nearly complete: a comic raunchy crime noir novella set in south Louisiana, aka my opus ridiculum.

Posted 22 June 2013 - 04:54 PM

"...For e-books, yes, a publisher can go direct to many e-retailers, and for many publishers who are able to manage the complexity associated with making multiple submissions of the same title, that is the way to go to earn more revenue. ... For many publishers, making their titles available for sale through the world’s largest book distributor with the broadest reach in the marketplace provides great value and will be a good choice for many. IngramSpark is flexible in that a publisher can choose to go direct with Amazon Kindle and still have their e-book titles distributed everywhere else. ... "

 

 

Part of what's difficult about self-publishing is that explanations seem to take the form of platitudes. I get it that Mr. Ihorak thinks his deal is better but I've read his explanation a dozen times and know less than I did before.



#4 Midnight Whimsy

Midnight Whimsy

    Indie Author

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,025 posts
  • Literary Status:self-published
  • LocationCanada
  • Publishing Experience:Self-published, Amazon Top 100 YA Author

Posted 24 June 2013 - 10:52 AM

Part of what's difficult about self-publishing is that explanations seem to take the form of platitudes. I get it that Mr. Ihorak thinks his deal is better but I've read his explanation a dozen times and know less than I did before.

 

I had to read it a couple times to understand. What I got was their service costs more because it's a one-stop-shop for distribution. They get 30-40% more because authors don't have to upload the same book several times. :huh: Maybe that's worth it for someone with dozens of books to publish at once, but for the average self-publisher, that doesn't seem like a fair trade. I certainly wouldn't give up 30% of my profit to save myself a few hours--or even a few days--of work uploading to multiple sites..

 

On the other hand, I really like what Ingram is offering. Like Rick said, great idea, bad price.

 

M.W



#5 Alys Cohen

Alys Cohen

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 532 posts
  • Literary Status:published, self-published
  • LocationUS Northwest

Posted 06 September 2013 - 10:13 PM

I'm curious if we can decide which retailers are exempt.  It makes no sense for me to use IS for Amazon e-books, and I'm actually self-funding the print run for listing on Amazon (though will allow POD for other retailers), so I want Amazon to be exempt.  That's kind of my territory, as I see it. :)  I'm fine with the pricing for libraries and other book stores, but want Amazon exempt from somehow buying books out from under me.  If I'm cashing in stock to fund the print, I claim the territory.






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users