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You went to CreateSpace and uploaded your self-published published book to them, and they offered you a free ISBN. You took them up on their offer and proceeded to upload your book so that you could be on Amazon. Okay!
But now you are thinking about bookstores and libraries and want to start getting your books in there. No problem, right? After all, you saw on Create Space that they could get you into bookstores and libraries all you have to do is click the “extended distribution for bookstores and libraries” button.
Not so fast! Unfortunately, when Create Space offers you bookstore and library distribution, they’re doing it by using a third-party Print on Demand company called IngramSpark. IngramSpark is the second largest POD company after Create Space. They’re owned by the Ingram family in Lavergne, Tennessee (they also own Ingram Distribution and Ingram Wholesalers.) While all three of these companies are owned by the same family, they are three separate companies that do different things.
To get into bookstores and libraries (Barnes and Noble and Books-A-Million), you need to be in a wholesaler. Ingram Wholesaler is the largest book wholesaler in the US and the best one to be in. They have the furthest reach, and more bookstores and libraries use them first than any other wholesaler.
The fastest and easiest ways to get into Ingram Wholesaler is to sign your book and your publishing up with Ingram Spark. (You CAN apply to Ingram Wholesaler as a non-POD publisher, but they have VERY high standards, and most publishers are not accepted.)
It is not only acceptable it is IDEAL to have your book files up on Create Space AND up at IngramSpark at the same time. I have an article explaining why here.
Ideally, you will want your book up on Amazon through CreateSpace, but you want your book up for bookstores and libraries through IngramSpark. To get in the Ingram wholesaler there are a number of steps you need to take.
This will allow you to get the best profit from Amazon from CreateSpace and the best distribution options to retailers like B&N through Ingram. If you have your own Ingram Spark account, YOU set the discount, and returnability factor and YOU own your distribution decisions… not CreateSpace.
Ready? Here are the steps you need to take:
FIRST – You have to confirm that the ISBN you have on your book belongs to YOU. If you took an ISBN from Create Space, then you don’t own it, and you cannot take that book anywhere. (If you already have an ISBN and that you bought from Bowker or your own governmental agency you’re ahead of the game – you can skip this part…) But if you got an ISBN from Create Space, that means that they own your ISBN, and THEY own the distribution rights to that edition of your book. This is not good. I’ve written an article explaining why here:
Buy your own ISBN from the proper entity. If you’re in the US, go to www.myidentifiers.com
SECOND – Sign up for an Ingram Spark account at WWW.INGRAMSPARK.COM. There’s an actual instructional videos on their site you will find helpful Here is one here:
Once you’re all signed up for Ingram spark and they have all of your tax ID and bank information, you’re ready.
Sign into IngramSpark, give them your book information and upload the new file with the new ISBN.
THIRD (A) – FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO HAD TO PURCHASE NEW ISBNs AND ARE UPLOADING NEW EDITIONS.
Once you have your new ISBNs and you’ve registered then new edition of your book (yes, if you put a new ISBN on the book it’s a new edition) it is time to upload the new files (interior and cover) both to CreateSpace AND to IngramSpark.
THIRD (B) – FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO GAVE CREATE SPACE EXTENDED DISTRIBUTION:
Your ISBN is in THEIR account on CreateSpace and needs to be released from them before you can proceed to claim the book at IngramSpark.
This is how to get Create Space to release your title and allow you to claim it at IngramSpark:
Sign into your Create Space account and go to the distribution tab. Uncheck extended distribution to bookstores and libraries. You need to uncheck that button telling Create Space that you no longer give them permission to offer your book through their IngramSpark account.
Next, send CreateSpace an email through the customer service contact portal telling them that you have unchecked permission and asking them to release your book from their IngramSpark account.
Next, fill out the form found on THIS page:
Then email the form and the ISBNs and titles of your books to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wait for 5 to 7 business days to hear back from Create Space and IngramSpark that Create Space has released your ISBN from their Ingram Spark account and hear from Ingram Spark that they have accepted your title transfer.
Once you have completed the third steps (A or B), you will confirmation emails letting you know that you are all set. Log into IngramSpark, and you should see your title in your dashboard.
For those that are worried about losing existing Amazon reviews on their Create Space listing… once your new edition is up on Amazon, you CAN get your reviews from the old edition up on your new edition. You have to go through your Author Central account and call the author central customer service group. (yes, they DO have a phone number!) Just ask them to duplicate the reviews onto your new ISBN edition.
Hope that helps!