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Let’s Talk Print

June 5, 2021 by in category Pink Pad by Tracy Reed tagged as , , , , ,

Ingram Sparks for Prints

Happy June.  Let’s get right to it.  Let’s talk about print.

I finally took the plunge with Ingram Sparks.  I have been reading a lot of things on blogs and Facebook groups, plus a few YouTube videos about the service.  I have to be honest, the main reason I hadn’t tried Ingram was the set up price.  Let me preface this by saying, I dipped my toe in the Ingram water with a personal project and one for my lingerie business.  I liked the results, but they were mostly 4-color images.  These were my fiction babies and I would be sending them out to strangers who had no problem criticizing their print quality.

The other reason I finally took the plunge with my fiction is because I was a little disappointed in my last proofs from KDP.  I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m not a fan of that black bar wrapped around the cover.  I wanted to see what a reader would see.  I also didn’t like the new order process.  Unless I did something wrong, I didn’t like not being able to order author copies until the book was live.  What if I wanted to make changes, what if I didn’t like it. Don’t get me wrong, I love selling books via Amazon, I just don’t like the proof policy. 

Discounts

I had used my Ingram NANO discount for my other projects and when I was ready to do these proofs it had expired.  A friend told me to check the Ingram Facebook group and other author groups for a discount code.  I went hunting and found a code.  Hallelujah. 

I never would have said searching for a discount would be easier than reformatting my books.  Take that back.  It would have been easy if I hadn’t wanted to add fancy chapter titles, but it was so worth it.  Even with the fancy titles, it still didn’t take me as long as it had in the past to format a book.  I am so grateful for the template I got from Kitty Bucholtz.  Now I use it for projects that require a lot more graphics and odd size books.  But for fiction, I’m a Vellum girl.  By the way, Kitty turned me on to Vellum. 

Concerns

The thing that really had me concerned were the covers.  I was prepared to have to do at least two or three proofs.  Why so many?  My covers have African Americans and it’s a little tricky getting the skin tones just right even with me submitting CMYK files.

I triple checked the interior files and was pleased with the digital proof.  Unfortunately, I made a mistake in the set up process with book one.  I accidentally selected white paper instead of cream.  I also had an additional page in books two and three and one typo.  I was so upset with myself.  However, I was elated with the finished product.  These books are so pretty.  Believe the hype.  Ingram is amazing.  I love my covers.  The colors are perfect.  I only had to do one cover test. 

Comparisons

I compared the Ingram books against my KDP books and there is a definite difference in the quality.  My books look very professional.  I know I sound like a novice first author, but it’s the truth.  I love my proofs. I have a few things to clean up before ordering author proofs and making the books available for sale. 

Bonus

A bonus to working with Ingram is more exposure.  I’m pretty sure I knew this, but it didn’t click until recently.  Using Ingram Spark means my books are available to small and independent book stores.  Which means I’ve just opened myself up to another revenue stream.  

A con against Ingram, due to COVID, their phone lines are down.  Customer service is via email.  They’re pretty good about responding in twenty-four hours.  One other con, shipping.  I thought since I was ordering three proofs at the same time, they were shipping from the same location.  In my mind that would have been one shipping fee and one handling fee.  Nope.  The books arrived the same day, but from different locations.  Con/Pro, I paid the same amount for one beautiful proof as I did for the multiple proofs form KDP.  

The next thing I’ll be trying is a hardcover book.  It’s safe to say I’m hooked on Ingram Spark for my print books.  

See you next month.

Tracy

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