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Self-publishing in Canada: Which platform to choose, IngramSpark or KDP?

The biggest question you'll ask yourself after writing the final word on your manuscript is 'where to publish? IngramSpark or KDP?' Well, keep on reading and we hope to make this decision a little easier for you.

 Self-publishing in Canada: Which platform to choose, IngramSpark or KDP?

As an independent author, you have probably heard of or read about different digital platforms you can publish with and options to print-on-demand your book. IngramSpark & KDP are easily the most used platforms, known for having similar benefits in the digital world of self-pub. But what about self-publishing in Canada? In this blog, we will describe the main highlights to know about each platform for Canadian writers- their benefits, and their flaws so you can choose the option that suits you better.


What is Print on Demand (POD)


 Self-publishing in Canada: Which platform to choose, IngramSpark or KDP?

POD means that your book will be printed only when it's ordered. As a self-published author, not having to deal with storage and inventory, or deal directly with consumers (either bookstores or directly with readers) is an extremely convenient thing that will save you tons of headaches and money! So forget about worrying about distribution/shipping logistics.


Numerous companies in the world offer POD for books. We will focus on the 2 most common and popular ones which are IngramSpark & KDP by Amazon.


POD means that your book will be printed only when it's ordered. As a self-published author, not having to deal with storage and inventory, or deal directly with consumers (either bookstores or directly with readers) is an extremely convenient thing that will save you tons of headaches and money! So forget about worrying about distribution/shipping logistics.

What is KDP?

KDP stands for Kindle Direct Publishing which is a platform created by Amazon that allows you to publish your book either in the electronic or printed version.


KDP can only do POD for direct readers, if a bookstore or any other brick and mortar store orders wholesale they are more likely to use Ingramspark.


KDP will list your book on the Amazon front store in the available territories. This is an amazing way to make sure your book can reach as many corners of the globe as possible. Some of the main benefits that you get from this platform are:

  • As the author, you can earn up to 70% of the royalties. Here is a link on how you can calculate your earnings on royalties.

  • The setup is for free and you only start paying when you sell a book.

  • The platform is user-friendly and very straightforward.

  • It has an Expanded Distribution Service which will make your book easy to have at any online store, bookstore, etc (Orders that Amazon at the end might use IngramSpark to fulfill)


KDP in Canada

KDP has many benefits for self-published authors, however, publishing from Canada still has some missing options compared as if you choose to publish from the USA.


Some downsides are:

  • You can't have your ebook available on any other digital platform while you have it on KDP Unlimited.

  • For print-versions, they have limited sizes, paper and cover type selections to choose from, compared to Ingramspark.

  • Due to COVID-19 Amazon has temporarily reduced the product selection available to deliver internationally. For more information and updates you can check this page out.

What is IngramSpark?


Like KDP, IngramSpark is a digital platform that allows you to publish in an e-book format and in POD. Ingram Content Group is an already established company that supplies books for many brick-and-mortar stores around the world. So using IngramSpark will give you a direct reach to this network that is already set up by them, one amazing example in Canada is having access to the Indigo/Chapters platform, one of the biggest (if not the biggest) bookstores chain in the country. Some other benefits you get with this platform are:

  • It is well known because of its great customer & personalized service.

  • It has a flexible and variety of printing options including hardcovers.

  • It has a return policy for booksellers that can help you to get trusted by them faster by taking the risk.

  • You can choose what discount to give to the distribution channel.



IngramSpark in Canada

Just like KDP, there are some things to consider beforehand about the platform. Luckily there are no big limitations for Canada compared to KDP.


  • There is a set-up fee and a fee for each time you upload a file to be revised. If you are an ALLi member you are entitled to 5 waivers per calendar month. Check this page out for more info.

  • The platform's user experience is poor. The reviews are not in its favor, it is not user-friendly and it might take a while to understand the system.

  • The royalty percentage is lower and the printing costs higher compared to Amazon's.



Which platform to choose, IngramSpark or KDP?

In the end, both platforms are popular and well-known for a reason. As experts, we suggest you consider your short term goals and your long term goals when choosing one or the other. Based on the experience with previous clients, one mix that has been working for some of them is going for publishing your book as the electronic version with Amazon and letting IngramSpark do their magic with your printed version. Doing both a KDP and Ingramspark print-version is also a great idea that has been working well for a lot of our authors.



 Self-publishing in Canada: Which platform to choose, IngramSpark or KDP?

And don’t forget! Make sure to get all your formats (or ‘versions’) are formatted correctly. Check out our Trusted Experts network to help with every stage of your self-publishing journey. From editing to formatting, we have you covered.



 

What's next?

Want some help deciding where to publish from a book cover designer's perspective?

Contact us for a consultation meeting to know more about your project and let us recommend the best fit for you and see how else we can help!


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