Why You Need Both IngramSpark and KDP

Isn't one Print on Demand Provider enough?

We are often asked if authors REALLY need both IngramSpark and KDP. And the answer is: Yes, you REALLY do.

I know it’s tempting to avoid the extra expense and hassle of taking on two print on demand (POD) providers, but most of us benefit from doing just that.

Why You Need Both IngramSpark and KDP

  • KDP does a terrific job with Amazon.
  • KDP charges less for printing and set up fees than IngramSpark.
  • KDP does offer “extended distribution” for bookstores and libraries (sort of . . . more later).
  • IngramSpark charges set up fees and a lot more for proofs than KDP does.

But:

  • KDP’s “extended distribution” is only fully available to those books using a KDP ISBN. (You should always buy your own ISBNs and have a direct relationship with your book’s brand and ISBNs.)
  • Even if your book has extended distribution and can be bought by bookstores, it most likely won’t be. Bookstores do not relish the idea of giving their biggest competitor money.
  • In addition, the extended distribution offered by KDP is actually IngramSpark! KDP uses IngramSpark for the distribution. It does not, however, offer competitive discounts to the bookstores, further narrowing your chances of being stocked.
  • Books in KDP extended distribution ARE listed at Ingram Wholesalers, but NON-RETURNABLE and at a lesser discount so bookstores and libraries do not get the good terms that they would if they could buy from YOU at IngramSpark.
  • Using a KDP ISBN will mean you are instantly relegated to the pile of “self-published” books before the buyer has a chance to review the quality.
  • IngramSpark allows your book the chance to be ordered in many countries, but many types of retailers and in Hardcover, which KDP does not.

So:

  • Use KDP for Amazon. It does a great job and you make far more money on each Amazon sale.
  • Use IngramSpark in addition so that your book can be ordered by the bookstores and libraries from the large wholesalers with which they prefer doing business.
  • Use your own (Bowker-provided) ISBN so that you have the benefits of your publishing company’s brand on all databases.
  • Upload your book to KDP first so that they accept your ISBN and not complain that the book belongs to IngramSpark.
  • Don’t cheap out. IngramSpark and KDP are two different tools for two different markets. If you don’t want to be in the retail store and library market, then you don’t need IngramSpark. But if stores and libraries are your goals, then spend the money to provide the books to them in the manner that gives them the best chance of saying “yes.”

Finally

If you really cannot stand the thought of using more than one POD provider, go with IngramSpark. It will allow you access to more venues even if it makes you less money per unit.

*IngramSpark and KDP take all comers.

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