Something you need to know on your road to self-publishing

Should you use both CreateSpace and IngramSpark?

Maybe. That’s the short answer.

However, it does depend on what you hope to accomplish with your book.

  • Will it be an ebook only? Like Kindle?
  • Do you want to see your book in print?
  • Do you want it available in libraries and bookstores?

Me? I think printing with both distributors is the way to go.

But please for the love of God, I hope you can avoid some of my mistakes. Although, I didn’t crash and burn, I did bang up my poor little book a bit along the road to self-publishing. This was not a happy trip.


Sheesh, I’m a slow learner sometimes. Hopefully, you will benefit from my mistakes.

First, let’s start with what the two distributors do or don’t offer.


  • Easy to use.

CreateSpace provides an easy to use MS Word template for you to set up your book.

  • Free.


CreateSpace provides a free ISBN number for both your print and Kindle versions. But, and this is a big but, they not you own the ISBN.

  • Expanded Distribution.

Expanded distribution is available, however, not all libraries and bookstores use Amazon. Some consider Amazon the block bully and competition.


  • Not so easy.

I made a lot of rookie mistakes my first go. But the customer service is very helpful. I found using the same PDF document I uploaded to CreateSpace worked for the interior file. The template at Ingram is not as user friendly but doable.

  • Not free.


But not outrageous and I did receive a discount to upload my first title, after establishing an account. An additional cost is the purchase an ISBN number.

  • Distribution

Your book will automatically go into catalogs to bookstores and libraries for orders. It will be available at Barnes And  as well as other bookstore websites.

If you decide to publish through both outlets here are a few tips that might help you.

Prepare, prepare and prepare before you hit that key to go live.

Double ISBN numbers, does not double your fun.

Multiple ISBN numbers for the same title is a nightmare. Trust me, I know. You can choose to use the same ISBN number purchased for IngramSpark with CreateSpace book. Wish I’d figured this out earlier. This is one knot I’m still working on untangling. But as the saying goes, better late than never. 

Using the same ISBN number does a couple of things:

1 – You avoid multiple ISBN numbers for the same title floating around, and as such mass confusion.

2 – Your book will have the same ISBN regardless of the retailer. Again, avoiding mass confusion.


Be careful! If you want to do this so that all your ISBN numbers match, do not publish with a free one from Createspace first and then try to double back and fix it. Won’t work! Once an ISBN number has been used and books sold, it is out there forever. 

How to avoid distribution confusion.

Simple, just do not select the Expanded Distribution on CreateSpace. IngramSpark will take care of that for you much more efficiently.

Results – Happy Ending!


You have only one ISBN number for your print book so everyone knows what to order. Amazon is happy you used their company CreateSpace. And most of all you’re happy because your baby has the powerhouse of IngramSpark behind it and the opportunity to appear on a bookstore shelf.


For a really good in depth article, and information packed comments, click and read:

How to Use Createspace and Ingram Spark Together by

Happy travels down the self-publishing highway.


Okay folks, you know the drill. Tell me what you think. Anyone used both distributors? What was your experience? Any more tips for us newbies? Talk to me baby.

Stop by and say hey on Twitter @jeancogdell, Facebook at jean.cogdell and Please remember to with a click and share this post with your Twitter peeps and Facebook fans.


10 thoughts on “Something you need to know on your road to self-publishing

  1. Reblogged this on Just Can't Help Writing and commented:
    I’m researching the POD process right now, so this first-hand advice is incredibly helpful. Quite simply, it had never occurred to me to publish with both! This helps me decide to go first with Ingram. No point in hanging back now! Thanks, Jean!

    Liked by 1 person

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