Are you taking full advantage of both platforms to sell your books?
When it comes to any self-publishing endeavor, you need to take advantage of every platform and the unique opportunities that they offer. To get the best sales and royalties for your book, it will require working with multiple platforms at once. In the following article, we’re going to take a look at Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing and Ingram Spark and see what each platform offers self-published authors.
What are the pros and cons of Amazon KDP?
Without a doubt, Amazon is one of the biggest book retailers in the world. They have country-specific Amazon stores spread throughout the world. While you used to upload and manage your paperback books through Createspace, and ebooks through KDP, now you manage both ebooks and paperback through the Amazon KDP.
The Amazon KDP platform is simple and easy. It’s also free to set up, list, and modify your books. It allows you to upload your paperback books and ebooks through one central location. If you don’t have your ISBN, Amazon will assign you an ASIN for your eBooks and you can use their free ISBN’s for the print. (We strongly suggest against this option as Canadian’s you are able to access free ISBN’s when you register as self-publisher on the Library and Archives Canada) You can set up an Author Central profile which will allow customers to see all your books and if they follow your profile, they’ll receive automatic updates when you publish a new book.
Amazon will list, print, and ship your orders for you. Once you have your books set up and everything is correct, you don’t have to worry about a thing. If you think that you can print and ship books easier and cheaper, you can also set up that as an option. Amazon also offers drop shipping services.
When it comes to paperback options, KDP has a variety of different trim sizes to choose from. You can choose your paper type, ink type, trim size, bleed, or no bleed, and also the cover finish. However, KDP does not have a hardcover option and doesn’t offer all the options which Ingram Spark offers.
If you register your ebooks with Kindle Select exclusively for 90-days, you’ll have access to five free promotional days, price reduction offers, and your book will be enrolled in Kindle Unlimited page read program. People pay a membership price to read Kindle Unlimited books, and authors receive a per-page read sum at the end of the month. All the money made in Kindle Unlimited goes into a pool which is then shared with authors.
The royalty rate you get paid from Kindle Unlimited for ebooks is 70% of the retail price if you price your ebook between $2.99 and $9.99. If your ebook is priced between $0.01 and $2.98 or greater than $9.99, you get paid 35% royalties. The royalty you make on print books will depend on the print costs of your book and how you price it.
If you have audiobooks and upload them with Audible, they’ll be linked to your books page on Amazon along with the paperback and ebook versions of the title.
One of the downsides of Kindle Select is that you can’t have your ebook available for sale on any other digital platform while it’s enrolled. You’re also limited to some of the print options. If you want a hardcover or board book for example, or a different trim size other than what Amazon offers, you’ll need to look elsewhere or use their custom trim sizes which tend to be a bit more to print.
Amazon does offer expanded distribution options if you want to include your book to lists that go out to worldwide distributors and libraries.
What are the pros and cons of Ingram Spark?
Ingram Spark is similar to Amazon as it allows you to set up and publish both ebooks and paperbacks. Where Ingram Spark is different is that it also offers authors the ability to publish their ebooks and paperback on other platforms. You can push your ebook to Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and many other platforms including Amazon. As a Canadian, we suggest using Ingram Spark as they will get you in the Indigo/Chapters platform which can make it easier to get you into your local stores.
The benefits of Ingram Spark are that it gives you more paperback publishing options, including paperbacks, hardcovers, and more trim sizes, paper types, ink types, and cover options.
There is a cost to set up and modify your book on Ingram Spark, so if you plan on making a lot of changes, edits, or modifications, then get them out of the way before you list the book as even a simple change will cost you a small fee.
Ingram Spark has access to larger distribution networks for book retailers and libraries around the world. If you’re planning on aiming your books at libraries, schools, or book shops, then Ingram Spark is definitely worth looking at.
As well as that, Ingram Spark also lists your books on Amazon.
The disadvantage of using only Ingram Spark is that you have to pay fees for listing and to edit your books, and the royalty is slightly lower than Amazon. There’s a slightly higher printing cost associated with Ingram Spark.
Using both Ingram Spark and Amazon to self-publish your books!
One of the strategies that we recommend and use ourselves is to publish your books on both KDP and Ingram Spark. If you want to take advantage of Kindle Unlimited for your ebooks, you can sell them on Amazon KDP.
If you want hardcovers, you can set them up on Ingram Spark and then push them to Amazon, where they will sync up with your paperback books. As Amazon’s expanded distribution isn’t as good as Ingram Spark, you can also limit your paperback to Amazon only and then list them on Ingram Spark with expanded distribution.
You now have ebooks with Amazon, paperback with both Amazon and Ingram Spark, and hardcover books with Ingram Spark.
One of the most important things that we recommend is that you purchase and control your own ISBNs. This will allow you to retain control of your books. If you publish and use Amazon’s ASIN for your eBooks and if you want to upload your ePub to other platforms you will require a separate ISBN.
Using both Ingram Spark and Amazon KDP Conclusion
While it can seem daunting setting up to selling platforms, they are designed to be not only user friendly but also hassle-free. Once you have them both set up and have checked the print quality of your books, there’s nothing else to do but sit back and relax. You’ll only need to make changes or edits to your books when you want to.
Once you have both platforms setup, you can then advertise different book options and focus on marketing your books. If you have any questions or require any assistance with uploading or book formatting, then don’t hesitate to contact us at Indie Publishing Group!