IngramSpark Marks Its 10th Anniversary

In News by Porter Anderson

The self-publishing wing of Ingram Content Group, IngramSpark was opened in 2013 and is observing its 10th anniversary this summer.

Attending a 10th anniversary gathering for IngramSpark are, from left, Ingram owner John Ingram; Shawn Morin, Ingram Content Group’s president and CEO; Paige Allen, IngramSpark director; Kelly Gallagher, vice-president for content acquisition at Ingram Content Group; and Phil Ollila, Ingram Content Group’s chief commercial and content officer. Image: Ingram Content Group

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

‘Creators of All Types’
While much in the self-publishing sector is not in Publishing Perspectives‘ purview—because our emphasis, of course, is on the international traditional publishing industry across several sectors and many countries—the 10th anniversary of IngramSpark is of special interest as a program devised by an industry heavyweight to operate within the independent-authors sphere.

Established in 2013, IngramSpark moved into the independent author space with an offer of Ingram’s own distributional capability that few self-publishing platforms could match.

At the time of its inception, this created a very revealing observation on the developing independent-author community, in that many in the traditional industry—fully familiar with the position of Ingram Content Group as one of the world’s largest book-distribution company—immediately recognized the significance of Ingram’s creation of a platform and services for self-publishers. On the other hand, many self-publishers, not having worked in publishing, were not yet familiar with Ingram and thus weren’t immediately able to discern that this was the second-largest corporate entity to move into the independent-authorial space, the largest, of course, being Amazon.

The IngramSpark team, therefore—at many formative moments led by Robin Cutler—would spend years of the new company’s developmental time introducing itself and its parent company’s capabilities to authors in writing conferences and other venues, from Nashville to Frankfurt.

By 2017, IngramSpark found itself in the unusual (and pleasant) position of being fêted as a winner of a distinguished service award from the United States’ Authors Guild, which was at the time not recognized by many as being open to and supportive of self-publishing. (The guild would go on to make specific services and membership outreach efforts to the independent author community.)

What many active self-publishers now know is that Ingram numbers as many as 40,000 bookstores in its network, inclusive of online retailers, chain stores, libraries, and universities. Whether they work with IngramSpark’s program, they’re aware of it and better versed in the parent company’s position in the wider industry.

In observing IngramSpark’s 10th anniversary, the program’s current director, Paige Allen, is quoted, saying, “Books have the ability to not only entertain us but also open our minds. We believe that creators of all types should be able to publish their stories and get them out into the world. What better way to celebrate 10 years than by making it even easier for more voices to be heard?”

To that end, IngramSpark has announced that it no longer is charging book-setup fees and is allowing free revisions during the first 60 days from a book’s initial self-publication date.

And Publishing Perspectives readers will recall that in May, John Ingram was made a member of the new board of directors led by chair Bodour Al Qasimi for the Sharjah Book Authority. Ingram Content Group and the Sharjah leadership have worked together on the new installation of the print-on-demand Lightning Source at Sharjah’s Publishing City, a new development in the Arab world’s printing and distribution posture.


More from Publishing Perspectives on the Ingram Content Group is here, more on IngramSpark is here, and more on self-publishing and independent authors is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.