Publishing on KDP and Ingram Spark Question

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Nancy Golden

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Greetings Fellow Wordsmiths! I am getting ready to publish a science fiction novel and I wanted to publish both on KDP and Ingram Spark - I am going to publish Kindle, Paperback, and possible their beta hard cover on Amazon. I am also going to do the same on Ingram Sparks. I bought a block of 100 ISBNs so I have those available. My question is, do I assign the same ISBN to the EBook for Kindle and Ingram Sparks? Do I assign another ISBN to both Kindle and Ingram Sparks paperbacks that is the same? And finally - Do I assign another ISBN to both Kindle and Ingram Sparks hard covers that is the same? So that each format has the same ISBN regardless of distribution/seller platform? Or do I use the ASIN for the Amazon Kindle EBook? Thanks for your help!
 

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I believe you want a different ISBN for the amazon books than you use for the IS books. I also believe you want a different ISBN for the ebook than for the print. You may need a different ISBN for hardcover.

So that could be up to 6.

I have not found that adding an ISBN to the amazon books to be useful. They are far more useful to the IS book, since people who are anti-amazon like having the option (and you need a unique identifier for a different printer.)

Also, the print size will be a little different because the paper weight is different. And some other details. Your cover artist can hopefully help with this.
 
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Nancy Golden

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I believe you want a different ISBN for the amazon books than you use for the IS books. I also believe you want a different ISBN for the ebook than for the print. You may need a different ISBN for hardcover.

So that could be up to 6.

I have not found that adding an ISBN to the amazon books to be useful. They are far more useful to the IS book, since people who are anti-amazon like having the option (and you need a unique identifier for a different printer.)

Also, the print size will be a little different because the paper weight is different. And some other details. Your cover artist can hopefully help with this.
Thanks Woollybear - I appreciate the help! I have published on KDP in the past but not IS. The thing is, if I supply my own ISBNs for KDP - I show up as the publisher which I prefer rather than "self-published." But since on Kindle an EBook doesn't need an ISBN - I am thinking I should just use Amazon's identifier for the Kindle and my own ISBNs for the rest. From what I understand, each format must have its own unique ISBN, and it is more professional to use the same ISBN no matter what the platform. But that said, this is a very confusing subject which is why I am reaching out...
 

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My experience is different. I use the same ISBN for the paperback from Amazon and IS, and the same ISBN for the ebooks from each - two total.
 

ChaseJxyz

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Ideally*, you want a different ISBN for each version of a book. Hardcover, softcover, eBook etc, as ISBNs are like UPCs or GTINs and used for inventory/identification. A softcover and a hardcover have different sizes, weights, and costs, and if a customer buys one but you give them another they probably won't like that. Outside of Amazon-land, you really should have an ISBN for your eBook.

THEORETICALLY a paperback from KDP and IS are going to be the same thing, since you are sending the same files to them, but they ARE different editions (I imagine somewhere in the book it'll say that it was printed by [whoever]) so you should use a different ISBN for each.

If you want to sell in a Real Bookstore, you need an ISBN. Ingram is a huge distributor of books and IS books can end up on the shelves of various 3rd party sellers/marketplaces (like my employer!). Meanwhile I don't think a KDP book is ever going to find its way on a store shelf, unless someone donated a used copy to Goodwill. So you don't NEED an ISBN, but if you want to feel fancy you can use it. Plus you already bought 100(!!!) ISBNs, so might as well use them.

*Not everyone does this and it's a big PIA to deal with as a librarian or book seller, especially when it's different editions of a textbook. So don't do that
 

Nancy Golden

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Hi ChaseJxyz and thanks so much for the great information! So the way I understand it, I should just treat uploading to KDP and uploading to IS as two separate endeavors and no need to use an ISBN for the KDP (Kindle) EBook, although use my ISBN for the paperback (and a separate one if I decide to do their beta hardcover). Then use new ISBNs for each format on IS. I will also need a barcode for IS as well, for the paperback and hardcover - correct? I would love the chance to have libraries and book sellers put my book on their shelves...

I also wanted to clarify because I had read somewhere else it was better to have the same ISBN for each format regardless of platform because that was less confusing and more professional - but you are saying to use a different ISBN for each platform even though they are the same format?

And finally, your last statement - I got confused...so don't do what?

Thanks so much for taking the time to respond - deeply appreciated!!
 

Nancy Golden

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My experience is different. I use the same ISBN for the paperback from Amazon and IS, and the same ISBN for the ebooks from each - two total.
Thanks for weighing in, lizmonster! I find this topic pretty complex - its good to know what others are doing ;)
 

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It's confusing as hell.

I probably won't use ISBNs on my amazon books from here on out, because it's simpler and very little down side.

At the first rodeo, I made sure everything had a unique ISBN and also an LOCC number which I thought I needed for the library to carry it but I don't think that's even true anymore.
 
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And finally, your last statement - I got confused...so don't do what?
You don't need ISBNs for Amazon books, because Amazon is not a publisher nor a book distributor (like Ingram is). Amazon only sells books on Amazon, they don't sell them to Barnes and Noble or Target or whatever.

There are SOME brick and mortar Amazon stores and SOME of them do sell books.....but I highly, highly, highly doubt they're ever going to sell a KDP book in one. If you do get that popular, then trade publishers are going to want to work with you, then you can have a much wider, fancier distribution and also you will stop giving Amazon as much money, too.
 

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At the first rodeo, I made sure everything had a unique ISBN and also an LOCC number which I thought I needed for the library to carry it but I don't think that's even true anymore.

At least in the US, you don't - I've had library sightings of my book, and it's only got an ISBN.
 
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Cindyt

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Thanks Woollybear - I appreciate the help! I have published on KDP in the past but not IS. The thing is, if I supply my own ISBNs for KDP - I show up as the publisher which I prefer rather than "self-published." But since on Kindle an EBook doesn't need an ISBN - I am thinking I should just use Amazon's identifier for the Kindle and my own ISBNs for the rest. From what I understand, each format must have its own unique ISBN, and it is more professional to use the same ISBN no matter what the platform. But that said, this is a very confusing subject which is why I am reaching out...
I used an ISBN on my Kindle ebook because I wanted to use my own publishing company and imprint. There's a box for that option on the book details. Get your ISBN first and then publish the ebook before you list the pub name or it will disappear from the details. Also, your company need not be registered as a business. You do have to have a different ISBN for the print version. I don't know about IS. Also, because the ISBN company does ask why version your book is, you likely will need a different ISBN for the hardback, but that's just an educated guess. (This info is provided from my questions to KDP last year via emails.)
 

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You don't need ISBNs for Amazon books, because Amazon is not a publisher nor a book distributor (like Ingram is). Amazon only sells books on Amazon, they don't sell them to Barnes and Noble or Target or whatever.

There are SOME brick and mortar Amazon stores and SOME of them do sell books.....but I highly, highly, highly doubt they're ever going to sell a KDP book in one. If you do get that popular, then trade publishers are going to want to work with you, then you can have a much wider, fancier distribution and also you will stop giving Amazon as much money, too.
Thanks for elaborating - much appreciated!!
 

Nancy Golden

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I used an ISBN on my Kindle ebook because I wanted to use my own publishing company and imprint. There's a box for that option on the book details. Get your ISBN first and then publish the ebook before you list the pub name or it will disappear from the details. Also, your company need not be registered as a business. You do have to have a different ISBN for the print version. I don't know about IS. Also, because the ISBN company does ask why version your book is, you likely will need a different ISBN for the hardback, but that's just an educated guess. (This info is provided from my questions to KDP last year via emails.)
A friend of mine doesn't use their own ISBN for the Kindle but does for the paperback. Their company shows up as the publisher. I am wondering if you use your own ISBN for the paperback, that the publisher name will flow to the Kindle as well...I'm checking into that and will let you know :)
 
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Cindyt

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A friend of mine doesn't use their own ISBN for the Kindle but does for the paperback. Their company shows up as the publisher. I am wondering if you use your own ISBN for the paperback, that the publisher name will flow to the Kindle as well...I'm checking into that and will let you know :)
I published it in ebook format, and am working on the paperback version. But, yeah, you do need a different ISBN for the paperback per KDP.
 

Nancy Golden

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I published it in ebook format, and am working on the paperback version. But, yeah, you do need a different ISBN for the paperback per KDP.
Yes, but Amazon will provide one for free for the paperback (I have done that before). The problem is if you use Amazon's ISBN - you can't use it on any other platform. But if you use your own ISBN, it will be transferable to Ingram Sparks and will also alleviate having a bunch of different ISBNs for the same format (for example, paperback). At least, that is my understanding so far - I could be wrong. My previous publication is only on Amazon - I didn't attempt wider distribution which this hasn't been a question until now. I am hoping for much greater distribution with my current effort set to launch at the end of November.
 
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Nancy Golden

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So an experienced author friend said to only publish the ebook to Amazon and don't use an ISBN since Kindle doesn't need one. Do one for EPUB and one for paperback and upload to Ingram Spark - Ingram will print ALL print books and sell to Amazon and others. It will pull from Ingram after awhile and show up on Amazon.
 

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Before I get into this - I'm in the US. YMMV if you're located elsewhere.

Also, I've only done this once, and I freely admit I likely have some of this wrong. :)

So an experienced author friend said to only publish the ebook to Amazon and don't use an ISBN since Kindle doesn't need one. Do one for EPUB and one for paperback and upload to Ingram Spark - Ingram will print ALL print books and sell to Amazon and others. It will pull from Ingram after awhile and show up on Amazon.

This is I think both a little vague, and dependent on what you want.

If you're Amazon-exclusive, you don't need an ISBN for either print or ebook - KDP will provide you with an ASIN. ASINs are meaningless outside of Amazon's distribution channels, though.

If you want the potential for your book to be available outside Amazon, you want to use KDP's Extended Distribution program. For that you'll need an ISBN. Interestingly, Amazon uses IngramSpark for distribution to other retailers.

However - and here's the big reason some people use IngramSpark instead of/in addition to KDP - Amazon doesn't allow you to set a wholesale discount at a level commensurate with other publishers. This means a place that might otherwise stock your book is unlikely to do so. (I don't know how it affects libraries; library pricing is kind of opaque to me.) IngramSpark allows you to set a wholesale discount up to 55%, which (from what I've read) is industry-standard.

That said, even with IS's discount, a bookstore is unlikely to organically stock your book. But if you're looking to distribute outside of the US and outside of Amazon itself, IS will allow you to do that as well, so if that's part of your plan it's worth it. You do give up some of the KDP-exclusive promotion opportunities if you do this, so it's worth thinking through.

Until recently, if you wanted a hardcover, you had to use IngramSpark. Someone here recently posted KDP has started doing hardcovers as well, so that changes the equation too.
 

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So an experienced author friend said to only publish the ebook to Amazon and don't use an ISBN since Kindle doesn't need one. Do one for EPUB and one for paperback and upload to Ingram Spark - Ingram will print ALL print books and sell to Amazon and others. It will pull from Ingram after awhile and show up on Amazon.
The pricing was different for me between Amazon's print (Createspace?) and Ingram Sparks. I wanted my book to be less than 10 dollars for friends and family. It was 414 pages and the lowest I could price it on Amazon was just under 10 dollars. When I published on IS, the lowest I could price it was higher by a dollar or so.

So, it might not matter, but the limits and royalties might be impacted by your decision here.
 

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Just a note on self publishing through an aggregator and distributing back to Amazon KDP. You will always come out better off publishing directly to KDP (ebook, paperback and now hardcover) and using an aggregator for everything else. At least that has been my case, since the lion's share of sales comes from Amazon. That might be different if your primary market is outside of the US or some country where Amazon does not have a strong presence.
 

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