Support for Indie Authors discussion

202 views
Physical Book Publishing > IngramSpark + KDP + Dates = Pre-Order?

Comments Showing 1-13 of 13 (13 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Andy (last edited Apr 11, 2019 03:42PM) (new)

Andy Giesler (andy_giesler) | 70 comments My print book with be available through Amazon via KDP, and through other outlets via IngramSpark.

KDP doesn't allow paperback pre-orders. I've seen several recommendations to work around that by using Ingram. Well in advance of your pub date:

1. Add the book to KDP; don't enable distribution
2. Add the book to Ingram; enable distribution
3. Once Ingram's listing propagates (4-6 weeks), Amazon will show the book as available for pre-order, as will B&N, etc.
4. On your pub date, when you publish the paperback on KDP, the KDP version will take precedence on Amazon

First, can anyone confirm this works?

Second, to make this work, I've seen contradictory information on the right values for on sale date and publication date in the Ingram record. The version that makes sense to me:

• on sale date = date when people can start pre-ordering
• publication date = date when orders will be fulfilled

Anyone have experience with this? (I've also contacted Ingram. I doubt they'll speak to how Amazon works, but I'll post anything useful here.)


message 2: by Andy (new)

Andy Giesler (andy_giesler) | 70 comments IngramSpark support got back to me, and the text of their reply follows. I'm going to follow their recommendation and trust it'll work with Amazon and other retailers. If there are any problems, twists, or turns in the process, I'll post details here later.

"To have the title listed a pre-order we suggest setting it with both dates the same day. If you don't it may not list as a pre-order.

They can make orders with us prior to when the title is available to actually fulfill orders and be available ordering on their site.

The on sale date dictates when orders can be fulfilled and the publication date dictates when the title is actually available to be sold on retailer's sites."


message 3: by Peter (new)

Peter (pdinuk) | 77 comments Andy, I too use Ingram and KDP for paperbacks, but I hadn't thought of this idea, which seems a good plan.
I'm not sure whether you need to have uploaded final files at Ingram before they promulgate. If so, given the file upload charges (unless a member of ALLI), it might mean the files need to be final well in advance of publication. A challenge for me!


message 4: by Andy (new)

Andy Giesler (andy_giesler) | 70 comments Peter wrote: "I'm not sure whether you need to have uploaded final files at Ingram before they promulgate. "

As I recall from the reading I did on this, Ingram does recommend uploading final files before enabling extended distribution (though I've settled for pretty-well-mostly-final).

Even though it's POD, if somebody does a pre-order, Ingram won't rule out the possibility that they'll print the book at that moment and then hold onto it until it's time to ship. So they might get whatever files are uploaded at the moment of pre-ordering.

The last few content updates I've done were free, but all of those were before I enabled distribution. I'm sure I'll have at least one more file upload before launch, so we'll see whether those are still free now.


message 5: by Lara (new)

Lara Shea (goodreadscomlara_shea) | 3 comments On this topic, I am wondering if I made a mistake getting my ISDN from Amazon. When I published through KDP Amazon issued me an ISDN. Now I am hearing if I want to be on Ingram Sparks so that independent book stores and Barnes and Noble could order my book, they won't touch it because it's an Amazon-issued ISDN. Does anyone have any experience with this? I emailed Ingram Sparks customer service but have not heard back.

Thanks!
Lara


message 6: by Peter (last edited Apr 18, 2019 12:00PM) (new)

Peter (pdinuk) | 77 comments I've certainly heard this from several sources, Lara, and it's important to get your own ISBNs, available from Bowker in the USA or Nielsen in the UK. Best to buy them in batches of 10. I'm currently on my second batch, but this is because I chose to give ebook versions an ISBN, which isn't strictly necessary. In the UK, 10 ISBNs cost about £150. I think the cost in the USA is similar, but I gather that if you're lucky enough to be based in Canada they are free (from Library and Archives Canada).

Whether and how it is possible to extricate yourself from the Amazon ISBN, I'm afraid I don't know. But I'm not sure it's as much of a problem as it seems. Although you can use the same ISBN for the paperback version of a book everywhere, including Amazon, I don't think you have to. So you can set up your book at Ingram with a new ISBN and leave the paperback at Amazon in place. Your Ingram paperback will be available to bookstores (don't hold your breath for them stocking it, unless you're a celebrity or well-known author) and I suspect it won't show up on Amazon, where the Amazon paperback will hold sway.

The 'incompatibility', or perhaps downright two-way hostility, between Amazon and the traditional book trade is one of the main reasons to publish at Ingram and Amazon in parallel. As I said, I don't think having separate ISBNs is a problem, but for your next book you might want to publish under your own ISBN through both channels.

Incidentally, one advantage of Ingram is the ability to set up a hardback version. I've been gratified by seeing the hardback version of a book show up on Amazon (obviously fulfilled via Ingram) and accounting for a few sales. Amazon customers just see that the book is available as Kindle, paperback and hardback and they don't see where it's supplied from. Worth a thought.

Good luck,
Peter


message 7: by Andy (last edited Apr 18, 2019 12:06PM) (new)

Andy Giesler (andy_giesler) | 70 comments Lara wrote: "On this topic, I am wondering if I made a mistake getting my ISDN from Amazon."

Caveat: the following is based on only one book's worth of experience (and a lot of reading).

KDP does offer expanded distribution, meaning they'll offer your books to retailers outside of Amazon. But as I understand it, Amazon's expanded distribution isn't as extensive as IngramSpark's. Also, some people in the publishing and bookselling world have hard feelings toward Amazon. Between all that, it sounds like a book with a KDP ISBN is less likely to get picked up by some retailers.

A somewhat common approach to this situation is to use Amazon KDP for distribution on Amazon, and to use IngramSpark for all other outlets. To do that, you'll need your own ISBN. IngramSpark requires that you own your ISBN (Amazon owns KDP ISBNs). If you're in the States, you can buy your own ISBNs through Bowker. There are lots of posts on the web about that.

You have to decide whether Ingram's expanded distribution is worth the trouble of moving from KDP to Ingram for expanded distribution. I'm no expert; once you have an Ingram account, I recommend asking Ingram support for help. For unrelated reasons, I recently changed my paperback's ISBN (in prepublication). Rather than having different ISBNs for KDP and Ingram, I changed them to be the same. I abandoned the old paperback listing in KDP and set up an identical one there with the new ISBN. In KDP, I did not check the KDP box for expanded distribution, since now IngramSpark will provide that. Then I informed everyone who had the old ISBN (reviewers and the like), asking them to update their record. It was a moderate pain, but not a terrible one.

If you google these phrases, you'll find a couple of helpful articles. One of them is by someone who transferred all of her books from KDP (formerly known as CreateSpace) to IngramSpark.

"How to Use Createspace (KDPPrint) and Ingram Spark Together"
"Do I Need Different ISBNs for CreateSpace and Ingram?"


message 8: by Lara (new)

Lara Shea (goodreadscomlara_shea) | 3 comments Thank you! All good information, I appreciate it.


message 9: by Lara (new)

Lara Shea (goodreadscomlara_shea) | 3 comments Peter wrote: "I've certainly heard this from several sources, Lara, and it's important to get your own ISBNs, available from Bowker in the USA or Nielsen in the UK. Best to buy them in batches of 10. I'm current..."

Thank you! I appreciate your time and expertise. :)


message 10: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Puddle (jonathanpuddle) | 1 comments Andy wrote: "My print book with be available through Amazon via KDP, and through other outlets via IngramSpark.

KDP doesn't allow paperback pre-orders. I've seen several recommendations to work around that by ..."


Hey Andy, wondering how this worked out for you? I've been planning to do exactly the same thing.

For what it's worth, I've currently got my book fully set up in IngramSpark with expanded distribution, and I can see the listing that Amazon has created as a result (which correctly displays as a pre-order). I have yet to finalize the files in KDP... I don't want to jeopardize the pre-order functionality, but I also would hope that come launch day things work out nicely for Prime members, etc. who expect quick, free delivery.


message 11: by Andy (new)

Andy Giesler (andy_giesler) | 70 comments Sorry for the delay, Jonathan. As far as I can recall, it all went smoothly.

The biggest uncertainty for me was how to set the "On Sale Date" and "Publication Date" on IngramSpark. If you haven't already, be sure to see my comment earlier in this thread with the answer I received from IngramSpark support.

If I self-publish again, my question won't be how to make this work but whether. Allowing pre-orders seemed like a no-brainer: why not start making sales and building buzz as soon as possible?

But because I wasn't promoting the book heavily until it was released, I saw very few pre-orders. I also wondered how it might have affected Amazon's ranking algorithm, which puts special emphasis on a book for the first 30 days it's on sale—I wondered whether making it available for pre-order used up this critical 30 day boost.

If I were a widely known author with a loyal following, it would absolutely make sense. But as a new indie author, I'm just not sure whether there was a benefit from making it available before publication—and I'm concerned there might have been a penalty.


message 12: by B.A. (new)

B.A. A. Mealer | 811 comments Unless they changed their practice, all preorders on Amazon aren't tabulated until the book goes on sale. I got 25 preorders on my last book which I'm not complaining about since I didn't really advertise it until it went live, but that's more than my first book sold in a month.. If you advertise, you should get more. Give them money off on it for preordering or buying the first 5-7 days help. I tis worth the preorder and it gives you a deadline to work to.


message 13: by Dan (new)

Dan Assisi (danassisi) | 2 comments Andy wrote: "IngramSpark support got back to me, and the text of their reply follows. I'm going to follow their recommendation and trust it'll work with Amazon and other retailers. If there are any problems, tw..."

Thank you, Andy. I will try that. I read conflicting suggestions on a IngramSpark page and setup my On Sale date in the future and my publication date before it. The book ended up showing as available for purchase on Amazon, but out of stock.

I've just changed it the on sale and published on dates to match to my planned release in December. Let's see if that does the trick!


back to top