Why do we want to use Print on Demand at all? For those starting out, it provides an affordable way for customers anywhere in the world to buy our book. It does not require YOU to buy hundreds of copies–a common rookie error–or to have to ship copies, where shipping is expensive.

However, just a title on the Nielsen database and a print on demand Title set-up is no guarantee someone will discover and buy your book. Hence, most unknown authors are very disappointed by sales results.

The good thing about Print on Demand places like IngramSpark, for Australians, is that the book will be available to library suppliers and you can also order 50 copies for yourself. You can add to this distribution with other places, like indie bookstores, online niche bookstores, and corporate partnerships.

When you run your own account, these copies are always available at wholesale, but also carry a handling fee of $2.20, freight fee and GST.

If you go through a supporter (e.g. IndieMosh, Vivid, or God forbid, Balboa Press), you will need to ask what price you will pay for each book of yours you buy in. Please do this before signing a contract. Okay?

Compensation Calculator Exercise

Suggested Royalty is: 45% (yours). Retailer + print takes 55%.

Retailers like 55% as it provides them a leeway for paying shipping and selling costs.

Into Publishing Compensation at IngramSpark, try putting in these figures:

A 8.5 x 5.5″ book size

Black & White, White or Cream paper

Paperback – perfect bound

Laminate (any type) – gloss is standard

Page count: 180

List price: $24.99 (what you intend to sell it for)

Wholesale discount %: 55

Select market with arrow (e.g. Australia)


Print charge should be: $6.04

Publisher compensation: $5.21

A real compensation report shows the 55:45% in action for a book that is priced at $23.95. Note the total printing cost is $5.83 for a 150 page black & white interior book, and what I receive is $4.95:

Wait, Before you Decide on Print on Demand!

Finally, you can determinedly go for a Distribution to Bookstores deal. If doing this, you won’t use any print on demand system… but it could use Lightning Source. These Distributors mostly require assurance your book is going to sell, and they prefer to deal with repeat Publishers, who belong to the:

ASA (Society of Authors) or the
Australian Publishers’ Association.

In addition, it has to be top quality.

If my book is currently being sold in Australia print-on-demand, can I continue with this arrangement AND distribute with JRB? NO! It is an exclusive arrangement and you provide the printed copies to the distributor too.

ASA: Access to Distributor (JRB) is a membership benefit

APA: About Membership benefits

Woodslane Distributors. Spiritual, how to, nature, health, etc.

If eager, contact a distributor 3-6 months before launch.

Self-Publishing Simple Guide

This IngramSpark guide covers pre-production: editing, graphic design, covers, pricing your book and other basics. 44 pages.

Print on Demand vs Distribution – Jennifer’s thoughts

Only if you have self-publishing artwork support should you attempt to use IngramSpark, as they require a PDF-X1-2001 and other requirements (see below). Word is NOT supported.

Self-Publishing Course by Ingram

The basic and free Self-Publishing Course covers the basics of book metadata, keywords, how to write a good book description and author bio, subject codes, importance of book reviews, picking the right book (trim) size, ISBN overview, pricing a book, and picking a publication date.

Instructions provided on Title Setup at IngramSpark.


IngramSpark Title Setup

The BISAC is a standard used by the supplying book industry to categorise books into specific topics.

Categorising the book

Thema coding help. Thema is useful if you are creating a hybrid category book.

BISAC. Look up potential subject codes in advance (if preferred) at: https://bisg.org/page/BISACSubjectCodes

File creation specifications

IngramSpark printing checks guide [Click on File Creation–PDF Checklist]

Ingram Help – Australia:
Australia email: ingramsparkaustralia@ingramcontent.com

After ordering, if anything is unusual: call (03) 9765-4800 (this is not publicly available)

After your title is uploaded and reviewed, you check the eProof.

Download and Check your eProof

After you approve this eProof, if okay, then it’s time to order a print proof.

Do this by ordering a copy to your home address (select AUS for print costs) and then ensure you read this carefully cover to cover. If not fine, make revisions and upload a new PDF to be checked over again (another two days). (PDF-X1-2001).

Happy? Then check the Publication date and tick the Distribution (green), listed under your Title, accessible when logged in by ‘clicking’ on the title.

Printing Photo-Heavy Books with Print on Demand

While going up the levels is increasingly expensive both at Blurb and IngramSpark (premium color), this independent POD review by a Cookbook author is quite revealing! For indies without help, a definite insight.
Remember to factor in shipping on bulk (author) orders!