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I am new to the world of self-publishing, but man are there ever a lot of choices!  The is Kindle, which is easy to use and easy to self-publish with, iPad which I've yet to check out.  Then there's Kobe, and Barnes and Noble Press.  Then there's Ingram Spark.  I've got to tell you, I'm loving it!  Do you mind sharing what your experiences with them have been?

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Posted (edited)

For eBooks: I publish directly with KDP, B&N, Google Play, and Kobo. I also use Smashwords to get to Apple (because I don't have an Apple product) and a few other obscure outlets they distribute to (Like Baker & Taylor, Scribd, Overdrive, etc.).

 

My strategy is to publish direct with the big retailers to maximize royalty rates and gain access to promotion opportunities that you can't get at through aggregators (like Smashwords). Aggreators then fill in the blanks to other places. I'd like to go direct with Apple, but I need to be on an Apple product to do so. 

 

For Print Books:  I publish through KDP Print - only because I was on Createspace and was rolled into them. I also use their expanded distribution option to make my books available to  wide range of distributors/retailers.

 

I've always wondered about Ingram Spark as an alternative, but they cost more because they charge for revisions (KDP doesn't). However, I've heard that books stores are more likely to order from them (as opposed to KDP Print) because they offer returns.   

Edited by Accord64
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Not published yet, but I have heard a ton of good things about Ingramspark! 

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7 hours ago, Accord64 said:

I've always wondered about Ingram Spark as an alternative, but they cost more because they charge for revisions (KDP doesn't).

I think (I might be wrong, though!) that Ingram Spark doesn't charge for uploads and revisions if you're a member of the Alliance of Independent Authors. If you're publishing at least a couple of books a year, it can be a significant saving.

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20 hours ago, Accord64 said:

I've always wondered about Ingram Spark as an alternative, but they cost more because they charge for revisions (KDP doesn't). However, I've heard that books stores are more likely to order from them (as opposed to KDP Print) because they offer returns.   

I've used both Ingram Spark and CreateSpace, and Ingram Spark is greatly superior. They cost more, but their products are much more professional. Also, they send free samples if you request them, so you can see the quality and size before you decide.

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3 hours ago, EmilyDickinsonWhite said:

I've used both Ingram Spark and CreateSpace, and Ingram Spark is greatly superior. They cost more, but their products are much more professional.

 

For the type of book I publish (fiction novels), I haven't seen a difference in quality when compared to other authors I know who used IngramSpark, or B&N Press. It's certainly possible IngramSpark does better with other types of books. Mine are pretty straight forward. No pictures or fancy artwork in the interior.

 

For me, the IngramSpark $49 charge to make any changes has kept me away. That can really add up, because it often takes a couple of tries to get things just right. KDP doesn't charge anything. You can make as many changes as you need. The only cost is for the proof, which has always been substantially less than list price. 

 

Also, and please correct me if things have changed, but IngramSpark requires you to purchase your own ISBN. While I think it's always best to own your own ISBNs regardless of who you use, It's nice to have the option of KDP providing ISBNs at no cost. It really helps for those on a tight budget.

 

 

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17 minutes ago, suspensewriter said:

How exactly do you publish on Kobo?

 

You can go here: https://writinglife.kobobooks.com/

 

They sell eBooks & audio books. They also sell their own eReader, and recently started a partnership with Walmart. 

Edited by Accord64
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5 minutes ago, Accord64 said:

partnership with Walmart. 

Is this why I keep seeing some kind of gift card for Ebooks at Walmart? 

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2 minutes ago, Alley said:

Is this why I keep seeing some kind of gift card for Ebooks at Walmart? 

 

Probably. If you shop for eBooks on the Walmart website, it takes you to into the Kobo store. There are also supposed to be eBook stations in Walmart stores. I haven't seen one at my Walmart, probably because it's a smaller store.

 

They just started this last August. I haven't seen any significant uptick in US Kobo sales yet, so I suspect this is going to take some time to build.

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I have seen them at the ones here in tornado alley, but I've not seen anyone buy them. Feels weird doing that from a brick and mortar store.

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1 hour ago, Alley said:

I have seen them at the ones here in tornado alley, but I've not seen anyone buy them. Feels weird doing that from a brick and mortar store.

 

And that's why the jury is still out on the Kobo/Walmart partnership. Many think that eBooks won't sell to typical Walmart customers, because they're usually looking for print books. Some of us still hold out hope that it will be a slow build to something big.

 

I think most of their eBook sales will occur through the Kobo ereaders. So it'll take time for Walmart to sell enough ereaders to start moving more eBooks, and then Amazon will have some real competition. 

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2 hours ago, suspensewriter said:

And Apple, for that matter?

 

In order to go direct with Apple (iBooks sold through iTunes), you need to be on an Apple device. Since I'm not one of the brainwashed, stand-in-line-all-night-for-the-latest-overpriced-Apple-thingie crowd (joking!) , I access them through an aggregator (Smashwords).

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17 hours ago, EBraten said:

Don't forget Draft 2 Digital and Publish Drive. I didn't see anyone mentioning them specifically, but they are alternative aggregators to Smashwords and have a very good reputation.

 

Yes, I've heard good things about them. I didn't mention them because I don't have any experience with them.

 

The one advantage that Smashwords has over other aggregators is that they run their own online retail store, and (which I think is the biggest advantage) they have a coupon system. This allows you to offer free eBook copies at no cost to you. It's very handy for distributing free review copies in whatever format the reader wants. 

 

Amazon offers gifting, but you still have to pay for the eBooks.

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