IngramSpark and Amazon KDP are two front-running print-on-demand services that help self-publishing writers distribute and sell their books. Though they offer similar services, there are many defining differences between the two companies which should be considered when deciding who to self-publish your book with. This article will guide you through the wins and losses of IngramSpark and Amazon KDP in their battle to be crowned the top dog of the self-publishing distribution business.
We know cost is an important factor for self-publishing writers, and it’s worth noting that there is a wide difference in price between IngramSpark and Amazon KDP. Enticingly, Kindle Direct Publishing is completely free to use, with unlimited opportunities to make later revisions at no extra charge. Despite being free, there is a surprisingly good variety of design options that we can walk you through in Rowanvale’s KDP Publishing Package. In comparison, IngramSpark charges its clients to upload their work and adds an extra bill for every time an upload is edited. This amount falls conditionate to a number of design options such as the amount of pages, the size of the book, the form (paperback or hardback) and finish (cover jacket, lamination etc.). It is possible to calculate a personalised total online with their official pricing document. Should you choose to go with IngramSpark, any further revisions you wish to make after your book has been finalised will be charged at £19.02 ($25) per edit.
2. Algorithm Efficiency
The efficiency of a platform’s search algorithm could heavily affect how well your book disseminates across the huge market of retail publishing. When self-publishing with Amazon KDP, your book will be shown as available on their site within two days of launching. What’s more, KDP is known to favour in-house books within their search algorithms, noticeably pushing the KDP authors into a variety of searches. In the case of IngramSpark, they commonly take a few weeks to expose their client’s books in the search algorithms. Though it is not completely detrimental, considering their services are being paid for, IngramSpark could perform better than this in our opinion.
3. Royalty Rates
Managing the royalties of a self-published book can be a daunting prospect, yet mastering your self-publishing financial rights is a defining trait of an Authorpreneur. KDP’s royalty rate is fixed at 60% for their authors, and though this is a sturdy figure, the lack of opportunity to increase it is somewhat limiting to independent writers. On the other hand, IngramSpark offers an adjustable royalty rate of 65-70% that differs depending on the market. They also advertise an option to set a higher net profit per book in the future, meaning that self-publishing authors have considerably more opportunity to achieve financial success with IngramSpark.
Securing a wide distribution network for your self-published book is key to ensuring it reaches its full potential. KDP offers high levels of exposure through the Amazon platform, however, the literary sphere is known to foster the dissenting view that Amazon is an enemy to the indie book business. As a result, a percentage of bookstores and individuals may avoid buying from this retail conglomerate for environmental and competitive reasons. Nonetheless, KDP does provide the opportunity to distribute to physical stores, though your royalty rate will immediately decrease to 40% on a non-negotiable basis. IngramSpark also uses variable royalty and return rates for their wholesale distribution options, yet with an immense network of providers, the company boasts an impressive distributary power. Although they can’t guarantee that the various stores will stock your book--that’s up to your pen!-- they do provide buyers with a direct and easy access point.
5. Barcode and ISBN options
This category shows a stark comparison between IngramSpark and Amazon KDP. Though Amazon automatically assigns your book with a barcode and ISBN number, it is strongly recommended to make yourself aware of the limitations involved. If you can envision selling your book on any other platform in the future, we would advise you avoid this option. IngramSpark include the assignment of an ISBN in their prices and allow you to choose where the barcode will sit on the cover. However, though the barcode can be used for a KDP upload, Amazon will not accept IngramSpark ISBNs. Unfortunately, it seems the only way to make the most of all distributary options as self-publishing writer is to purchase your own ISBN number.
Overall, it is fair to say that both companies have their pros and cons. But, with your own ISBN number by your side, the best option is undoubtedly to utilise the benefits of both distributors, should your budget allow. There is no such thing as too much exposure in the literary sphere!