I have spent the last few week exploring my book options and expanding my sales venues for DRAGONS OF HYPERBOREA. I tried the hardbound services of BARNES & NOBLE PRESS, which works very similar to the way CREATESPACE works. Then I decided to make the full plunge of buying my own ISBN number and registering the book with the Library of Congress (a free service). I switched from BARNES & NOBLE to INGRAMSPARK.
First, I would say that BARNES & NOBLE and CREATESPACE are exellent in their product and services. I have had great experience with them. My reason for adding INGRAMSPARK to my work came from reading may articles showing how their distribution is a bit more accepted by libraries and bookstores. While I don’t expect to have my sales jump dramatically the listing for libraries and more bookstores seems to make it a greater draw.
I am looking forward to working with INGRAM, for it’s greater listing possibilites. However there are a few things to be aware of when working with INGRAM, especially if you are more familiar with free services of the other two POD services.
First is that it comes with far greater cost. While both B& N and CREATESPACE are free to set up and they will even offer you free ISBN numbers, INGRAM costs have many ties to get the full services needed. First, you will need to purchase your own ISBN number, best to buy these from BROWKER directly and buy the 10 pack for $275, (they are over $120 individually). This is because you will need at leas 3 numbers, one for every venue: paperback, hardbound, and e-book. Then there are setup cost. INGRAM does offer a paperback & e-book processing and set for one price of $49. However, if you want Hardbound books too, that’s an additional $49. Then if you make any errors on your part correction uploads will cost you an additional $21 per revision upload (Thankfully right now they were running a free revision upload or I would have been out another $65.) Then if you want them to list you in their new books catalog you will need to pay another $85. In all I have spent over $500 to get my book up through the Ingram process and buying my own ISBN.
A second draw back, and to be honest a greater frustration for me to INGRAM system is that it is far less user friendly than either CREATESPACE or B&N PRESS. Their requirements for upload caused me to have to reformat fonts and save six times in order to get the correct PDF for upload, and didn’t have the guidelines or downloadable examples, which both of the other sources offer. Since, you are the publisher in their mind, all the formatting lies with you.
Saying all of this I remain very hopeful that expanding my book will allow more people to find my work, and INGRAM remains the largest source for this process. won’t know for some time if my book will be better served through INGRAM, but I remain hopeful that I will at least break even sometime down the road. I also, would hope that INGRAM would work on their services to make them a bit more user friendly. I guess only time will tell.