book-salesIf you’re familiar with print-on-demand services, you will be interested to know that IngramSpark offers pre-ordering. With this option, publishers can make their books available for pre-ordering by retailers, libraries, schools and others on Ingram’s list of 39,000 “channel partners.”

(If you need a refresher on the world of print-on-demand, refer to my blog post from earlier this year on Print-on-demand versus Offset Printing, which talks about the two companies that do print-on-demand for self-publishers: Ingram Spark and Kindle Direct Publishing.)

By specifying an “On Sale Date” when setting up an account with IngramSpark, publishers can make their books available for Ingram’s channel partners to order before the official On Sale Date. Note that this option is only available for books that are set up with IngramSpark for distribution and are in production. That means an account must be opened and the book uploaded for printing.

Once the book is approved for production, IngramSpark will automatically send the pre-order information to their list of retailers, libraries, schools and more. As a publisher, you will receive your publisher compensation for pre-orders once the book has shipped. Ingram will start routing the book to be printed ten days before the On Sale Date established by the publisher, to ensure that pre-orders are received by the specified date. The On Sale Date can be changed by the publisher while the book is in production, but Ingram cannot guarantee that any pre-orders will be stopped before delivery. For more information, visit the Ingram Spark page on the topic of the On Sale Date and pre-ordering. (Scroll down to the bottom of the page to find the FAQ link on preordering.)

This new pre-order option means that publishers can be more strategic about the On Sale Date of their books. For example, perhaps you want your book to go on sale just before a holiday season, but you don’t want to miss out on the time period when retailers place orders for that season, usually many months prior. Ingram will hold off printing and distributing the book until the date you specify.

Bottom line, Ingram’s pre-order option gives publishers more options and more control to ensure their books are available when needed, whether that is days, weeks, or months down the road.