IngramSpark is part of the Ingram Content Group, the largest book distributor in the United States. IngramSpark is their program that allows self-publishing authors and very small publishers to take advantage of the Print-On-Demand and distribution services that Ingram provides to larger publishers through Lightning Source. IngramSpark makes it very easy to upload your book files and have the book made available for sale through thousands of book stores, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, and your local independent store.

  • The books printed through IngramSpark are printed using a variety of digital printing equipment. While this is very acceptable for the black text in most books, color printing, including covers, may suffer from slightly more color variation than is found in traditional offset printing. You also have less choice on text paper quality and color, but for most books containing primarily text and limited illustrations, the paper offered is appropriate. All paper used is true book-grade paper.
  • The binding of soft-cover books produced by IngramSpark may not be as accurate as books bound by the Top 5 Book Printers, but it is very acceptable. While IngramSpark can produce a hardcover book, the binding and cover options are very limited and moderate quality.

Print-On-Demand offers significant cost savings over using traditional printers for ultra-short runs (under 100 copies). The most significant advantage of using a true POD printer is the direct tie-in with the distribution system which allows your books to reach markets otherwise unavailable to most self-published authors and small publishers.

Only IngramSpark, Lightning Source, and Amazon's CreateSpace offer true POD book printing. Any other printer which claims to offer this service is actually re-selling the services of these companies (at a higher cost to you) or are offering short-run printing without the distribution available through Amazon and Ingram.

We do not recommend using IngramSpark to upload and distribute eBooks. While they do an excellent job with their eBook distribution, there are better ways to distribute your eBooks.

Publishers with established backlists and sales record can utilize Ingram Lightning Source for POD and obtain better royalty rates. IngramSpark uses the Lightning Source printing facility and the Ingram Wholesale Distribution channels.

For print runs of more than 50 copies, you should also get quotes from some of our Top 5 Short Run Book Printers. Never use IngramSpark or Amazon CreateSpace for offset printing or print runs over 250 copies. They out-source all offset printing to traditional book printers.

Overall Printer Evaluation

Print Quality
Binding Quality
Customer Service
Bind and Print Options
Self-Publishing Support
Value for Your Money

Best Print Run Lengths

True P.O.D.
25 to 100
100 to 500
500 to 5,000
 5,000 and up

Printing Capabilites

  • Offset Black Text
  • Offset Color Text
  • Digital Black Text
  • Digital High Quality Color Text
  • Digital Standard Quality Color Text

Binding Capabilities

  • Softcover (Perfect bound)
  • Hardcover (Case bound) - Limited
  • Mechanical Binding (Spiral Wire, Plastic Comb, Etc.)
  • Flexible Binding (Otabind RepKover™ or similar)

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