I am moving forward with an experiment this coming week. I’m going to list my published books at IngramSpark. This is my attempt at overcoming the bookstore battlements that resist the efforts of ordering my books from Amazon/CreateSpace. A wise author and serious friend to the independent publishing industry said that we must get our work into as many places as possible – and that means bookstores. Some may argue that the ebook is the future. It may be but for know it’s good to cover all the bases and that means bookstores as well.
The primary difference between the two, CreateSpace and IngramSpark may be perception and philosophy. Amazon is the evil empire – that is a given. See what they are doing to poor old Hachette and other big name traditional publishers (many who seem to put themselves first over their authors). As such bookstores see Amazon as serious competition (and with their huge chunk of both the ebook and paper book market, they are). So the bookstores simply say, “Nope, can’t order from them. Too difficult – we only deal with reputable distributors.”
Pressure from both independent authors and bookstores is helping to change the marketplace. Ingram, one of the world’s largest book distributors, saw an opportunity. With the help of many leaders in the bookstore business they put together a reasonable program that allows a small publisher to place their books into Ingram’s distribution system using print on demand (POD). And once in Ingram’s system and catalog, the books are available to every bookstore in the country. There is no cost to setup your account, there’s a small title set-up fee (which is returned if initial sales are good), the cost of production and distribution is paid for by the person placing the book order, and compensations to the publisher/author are within the norms of the traditional printing/publishing industry. Everything you need to know is HERE.
When it comes to these two POD distributors, I’m ambivalent. They both do an excellent job considering the product is from a humongous copy machine. The set-up and files (all PDF, cover and text) are under my control, they both quickly send galley proofs for review, and are very easy to work and communicate with. Their pricing is based on book size and page count. They give volume discounts. I am not sure about remainder practices – though I believe that Amazon does not have a system for returning unsold copies.
So this is not only an experiment but a big opportunity. I will keep you posted as to the results.
More Later . . . . . . . . . .