In this series, I ask ChatGPT (an online AI chat software) some questions about self-publishing, and I give my response.
What ChatGPT says:
Q: Please tell me about Ingram spark for self publishing
IngramSpark is a self-publishing platform that allows authors to publish and distribute their books in both print and digital formats. The platform offers a range of services, including formatting, cover design, and distribution to major online retailers such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble, as well as to brick-and-mortar bookstores. It also offers tools for authors to track their sales and royalties. IngramSpark is a good choice for authors who want to have more control over the publishing process and reach a wider audience.
What Anna says:
This is all true. I tend to use Ingram Spark only for its print-on-demand publishing and tracking services. It is not considered a good e-book self-publishing platform.
The files need to fulfil the specifications in a very exact manner. I have been caught out in the past with a cover element that is 0.4mm larger than the specification. The error messages are cryptic, however the email support is very good.
Ingram Spark is the printer, whereas Ingram is the distributor. While you can order author copies directly from Ingram Spark, if your customers want to order your book, they have to do it through bookstores that are offering it.
Note that there is a minimum threshold for royalty payments if you want to get paid into a bank account. There is no threshold for PayPal. I made this mistake, and I got a year’s worth of royalties (less than $10!) all at once when I changed to PayPal.