Self-Publishing with IngramSpark…or not

IngramSpark, probably the biggest print-on-demand publisher, has a facility right here in Melbourne [Australia].

“Yay! I can get copies of my books printed locally to save a huge amount on postage!”

That was me yesterday. Today I have steam coming out of my ears because the only way I can use IngramSpark is as a Sole Trader – and that involves getting an ABN. Apparently, IngramSpark does not deal with lowly self-publishers who can’t pretend to be a business.

For those not familiar with the term, ABN stands for Australian Business Number. I used to have one, about 15 years ago when I ran a micro business teaching computer skills one-on-one. In fact, apparently I still have one lurking somewhere, inactive and unusable, but still in the ‘system’. Somewhere.

I could hunt down my old ABN, but I don’t even know where to start and, bureaucracy being what it is, the process could take hours or days out of my life. That’s a lot of effort to go to just for the privilege of printing a few copies of my book here in Australia, especially when the only benefit to me is a saving on postage [Ingram’s printing costs are a lot higher than CreateSpace but postage from the US is the real killer].

Oh, and did I mention that you have to pay IngramSpark $53 AUD for the privilege of using their distribution services, even if you don’t actually intend to use them to distribute your books? Yup, that’s part of the setup process.

So if you’re an Aussie self-publisher, my advice is to give IngramSpark a miss. Unless you already have an active ABN…

-sound of teeth grinding-

Does anyone out there know of a reasonable PoD company here in Melbourne? Maybe a home-grown one that doesn’t charge the earth?


About acflory

I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes... View all posts by acflory

14 responses to “Self-Publishing with IngramSpark…or not

  • Ella

    Glad I’m not the only one peed off by the ABN requirement. I was all set to move my books over from createspace, had the 2nd editions ready to go, taking advantage of a fee waiver they have on at the moment, even bought my ISBNs (not upset about that, glad for it whatever I do). But then that damn ABN requirement popped up (which nowhere do they warn you about, by the way). Considering that a: individuals in Aus don’t need one to trade under their own name (which indie authors mostly do anyway) and b: Ingram Spark don’t take tax out of sales anyway, so why do they need it in the first place! I really wanted the distribution clout of Ingram and the local printing, and I’m so disappointed to be going back to createspace.


    • acflory

      Hi Ella. Welcome and thanks. Everything you just said is exactly why I was ticked off as well. I truly do not understand the rationale behind the ABN requirement.
      I’m still looking for a local POD printer coz the postage from the US really is a killer. If you happen to come across one please let me know.


  • DawnGillDesigns

    You could investigate via a different route. Over here we have (well, had, it’s been quite a while) a good few small independent printing presses, many of which would produce craft bound items either for sale complete, or in folio form for bookbinders to create their own covers. Perhaps try looking for the Antipodean equivalent of ‘DesignerBookbinders’ (they are the guys who arrange the binding of the Booker prize short list) and see if they can direct you to an indie. You never know, you might get the bonus of finding a craft binder / student wanting to bind one or the set for you. I’m off out in a bit, but I will try and see if I can find anything useful for you later. x

    Liked by 1 person

    • acflory

      Hmm…I don’t think I could afford offset printing. Unless they actually have a POD press…
      I’ve found heaps of PoD printers here, but almost all of them are geared for the business market – i.e. business cards, invoice books, that sort of thing. Not novels.
      I guess there isn’t enough money in them.
      I haven’t given up but I am a wee bit discouraged.:(


  • Andy McKell

    “Non-vanity”, local printing is a major hurdle for self-pubbers. I’m sure the market will fill the need eventually… but don’t hold your breath.


  • candy

    There seems to be no end to the list of businesses taking advantage of writers!

    Liked by 1 person

  • davidprosser

    You’d think IngramSpark would be glad to expand their business with all the Authors Australia produces. Their system might even be liveable with were it not for the distribution charge. I don’t know any POD in Australia but have you checked with LULU just in case as I know they have facilities all over the place. They saved me money on US postage and also time.
    Good luck.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  • Elizabeth Drake

    I am really sorry. No help to give you, other than a shoulder.


  • Scottie

    I am sorry you are having such frustrations. I hope all goes smooth for you from here on out. Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

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