UPDATED 2019 to reflect that CreateSpace is now replaced by KDP.**
I was in your shoes too when I self-published. I thought CreateSpace was the end-all/be-all for publishing your book. ‘Cause look, my book is on Amazon! Woohoo. And sweet, they gave me a free ISBN!
But that free ISBN… Oh, no. It locks you in to CreateSpace only and guess what – they are listed as your publisher!
THIS STILL IS TRUE, although now instead of CreateSpace, you’ll see KDP or Amazon…
After the dismaying discovery that KDP doesn’t distribute everywhere, (while they say it is global distribution, it is NOT! – Read this article at New Shelves Books on WHY you should do KDP AND Ingram…) and that IngramSpark offers a whole ton of things that KDP doesn’t (we’ll go into this in a different article), I learned that small bookstores and retailers often won’t order inventory from Amazon and will only order your book if it’s on IngramSpark.
Oh, by the way – you can and SHOULD be listed in BOTH places! Once I made this realization, I started making the transition.
But it wasn’t easy.
I set up my account on IngramSpark, started loading things, and entered my ISBN.
Only to rudely receive a warning that the ISBN was already in use!
But I thought the book could be distributed everywhere and of course would have the SAME ISBN. RIGHT?
Yes, that is correct.
However, if you’ve chosen expanded distribution, in theory, KDP (formerly CreateSpace) is “distributing” to IngramSpark. So your ISBN is already showing up in the database. Even if it’s not TRULY available for wholesale purchases.
But, don’t worry, we can fix it.
Transfering Your Book from KDP to IngramSpark
Assuming you have purchased your own ISBN from Bowker, you CAN transfer a title from KDP to IngramSpark. It’s not the easiest thing you’ll ever do, but it’s possible.
- Go into KDP and look at your distribution channels. This is under the Paperback Rights and Pricing Tab – in the block on pricing and royalties. You’ll want to NOT select the check box that says global distribution! If you’ve loaded to Ingram first, it’s not even an option – it’s already de-selected on your behalf.
NOTE – YOU CAN STILL DISTRIBUTE TO ALL OF AMAZON’S GLOBAL MARKETPLACES (LISTED UNDER THE MARKETPLACES) AND INGRAM. This places your book into the global Amazon stores… so amazon.ca, .de, .uk, etc.
- If CreateSpace or KDP owns the ISBN or if it is CreateSpace or KDP exclusive, it cannot be transferred. You must get a new ISBN. See below.
- Once you have deselected and saved, head on over to the Help/Contact section and send KDP an email letting them know you are distributing your book to IngramSpark and you need them to release your ISBN. This is VERY important because as I mentioned earlier, when you try to load your book to IngramSpark, using the same ISBN (because that’s what you should do) – IngramSpark believes it’s already in use. Because in theory, CreateSpace is “distributing” to them through expanded distribution.
- Fill out this form: Title Transfer Addendum Spark , sign, and scan it. You must have already created your account on IngramSpark and your name must appear exactly as it appears in your account or they will reject the form. You can also read up
- Email your scanned form to: IngramSparkSupport@IngramContent.com
- Note that it can take up to 30 days for the transfer to happen. They will email you back and let you know if there are errors, changes to be made, or if it is processing. Once you receive the word it has been transferred, you can actually load and publish your book through IngramSpark, using YOUR ISBN purchased through Bowker.
Here are the directions that IngramSpark provided for filling out the form:
o Company/client name must match exactly your account/publisher name. Example: If Spark LLC is name on your account, you must type Spark LLC, not “Spark”. You have to enter same in top part and bottom part (Company/Client Name must match)
o Your address must be written out in full on second line of form. Only the address listed on your account will be accepted.
o We need an actual signature on the form. You cannot type it out. You may sign it and scan/fax back to us or you can use Adobe’s digital signature feature.
o Do not write anything extra on the form (no ISBNs).
How to fix it if you used a free ISBN and then purchased a new ISBN
So, this is a bit more complicated, but still do-able. I’ve done it.
FIrst, note that if you are still using a KDP ISBN, it is owned by them and you cannot transfer a KDP ISBN anywhere. However, if you’ve purchased new ISBNs… you can republish your book with the new ISBN.
To do this, you will have to re-upload your book again as a new book with the new ISBN. Make sure you’ve changed the ISBN in your interior files!
Once you’ve received the approval on your files, Do NOT choose expanded distribution.
If you already have published and you selected expanded distribution to book stores and retailers, you need to uncheck that part and send KDP an email asking them to remove it from expanded distribution so that you can publish through Ingram.
Back to the old book with the KDP ISBN. You need to uncheck every distribution channel on the old book. You will also need to UNPUBLISH the book.
If you are not currently published on KDP with the new ISBN, you can go ahead and upload it directly to IngramSpark before you’ve published on KDP as well.
It’s a long process and can take a month or two to rectify, but hold strong. And know that, yes, you can be on KDP and IngramSpark using the exact same ISBN.
Are you frustrated with trying to figure out all of the things you need to know to successfully self-publish your book? Check out the Self-Publishing Academy.
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