CreateSpace may dominate the market for POD (print-on-demand) titles from indie publishers, but they don’t offer hardback printing and color printing for large books is expensive. Authors of books with those requirements often turn to IngramSpark, the new indie-focused cousin of Ingram’s Lightning Source (LSI) launched in 2013. (Lightning Source has been re-positioned for medium and large publishers.)
As with any service in this category there are many other factors to consider such as distribution and quality, not to mention price. But this article focuses on the 5 key production considerations that are top-of-mind by self publishers looking for a cost effective way to produce a print book. (I’ll be reporting the results of a color printing test in a few weeks.)
Here is how CreateSpace and IngramSpark compare when it comes to these considerations:
|Hardback||Not available||Available in case laminate or cloth. Can also be jacketed (stamping available upon request).|
|Cover Printing||Gloss and matte.||Gloss and Matte; hardcover jackets as well.|
|Interior Color*||Yes, 1 option.||Yes, 2 options; premium and standard.|
|ISBN||4 options including free.||Publisher supplies his or her ISBN.|
|Setup Costs||Free||$49 for print books**; auto file fix charges may vary***|
* See IngramSpark vs. CreateSpace: When Color Printing and Hardcover Editions Are Important for example pricing.
** Free when you place an initial order for 50 copies of your book.
*** Both services test your uploaded file and report errors. In my experiences a file that passes testing on CreateSpace can produce errors on IngramSpark. The CreateSpace process will correct those problems for free (or ignore them?) while IngramSpark will produce an error report. Once you have the errors you either fix them or pay the estimated charge to IngramSpark to replair them. (In my case it has been $10.)
We offer POD services–print book design, formatting and account management–for both IngramSpark and CreateSpace. Contact us for a free, no obligation quote.