Holding Your Book In Your Hand

January 12, 2022

The Most Professional Results

Now onto the print versions. There are a lot of options, but after a ton of research I decided to veer in the most professional direction. I knew I did not want to use the proprietary Amazon print engine. I prefer to not sell my soul and all that. 

Check out IngramSpark here

I also felt that since Ingram is the print house that the big publishers use, I wanted to get as close to that as I could. So, I went with IngramSpark which is the self-publishing division. 

Gird Your Loins

Now uploading to their site is not for the faint of heart, but it has improved since I uploaded my first novel and their customer service is great! It was worth it. 

I knew I wanted to see my novels in hardcover form with a dust jacket, something my graphic artist may never forgive me for. But, she rose to the challenge and tweaked and tweaked until it fit their specs perfectly. 

Once she did one, then it was easy breezy after that. They truly are works of art. 

Get Your Own ISBN

With print books there is much more to consider. Yes they each have their own ISBN numbers, but they also need a corresponding barcode that needs to be on the back of the book so that retailers can scan and sell your books. 

Let me say that when you have just finished your first novel and are getting ready to think about such things as an ISBN number, you should go to Bowker and buy a block of ISBN’s and barcodes. You can use them and you will need them, they never expire. 

Plan Ahead

As I said with The Blood, I used four with two barcodes, so buying a block of them is the best way to go.  As you publish a book you should also go back to the Bowker site and enter as much data as possible on their site next to the corresponding ISBN number. It will allow you to put a ton of metadata in there which will help with SEO and other marketing for your books. 

I did both my hard copies and soft covers through IngramSpark. They also have a catalog that goes out to all the bookstores and you can pay for a feature in that catalog if you choose. I chose to do that and did make some sales to independent bookstores. 

IngramSpark also has an ebook option, but with Draft2Digital and all that it provides I can’t imagine choosing another ebook platform. 

Patience is the Key

When using IngramSpark patience is the key. Another thing is you must know the terminology. They do have a glossary so that you can take each step with the knowledge you need. And, if you don’t know - ask! Don’t guess because it could be a disaster. 

Let me encourage you to do screen shots of the data you will need to enter, print them, and then attempt to gather and fill in all the information you will need. If you don’t know how to fill a section in, contact customer support and then write it on your printed page. 

Make Notes and Keep Them

Keep those pages as reference for later books you choose to upload. By the time you have another book ready, you will have forgotten what they are asking for. Trust me, I know. 

I have to tell you that next to holding your newborn child in your arms, holding your brand new baby book is an experience you will never forget.

You can check out IngramSpark HERE.

I want to encourage you to leave me any comments below. They are so encouraging and motivating to me. 


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