LSI-logo-100WThe Lightning Source Alternative

Lightning Source International (LSI) is the print-on-demand arm of the Ingram Book Company. Together they are the king of book distribution and POD. Ingram Spark is the new wing of Ingram for Indie authors. Lightning Source does the printing for Ingram Spark.

Ingram is the premier distributor in America, used by the big publishing companies. They are what your local bookseller looks up when you want to find or order a book.

Included in the Ingram database are 30,000 wholesalers, retailers and booksellers in over 100 countries can order your book.

LSI offers POD for publishers with 30 books or more and to folks like me who opened an account years ago. Currently, it costs $75 to upload a new book to LSI.

Ingram Spark is for publishers with fewer than 30 books. Currently, it costs $45 to upload a new book at Spark.

If you can do all the design and formatting yourself--or hire it done by someone like me--then Lightning Source and Ingram Spark eliminate the need for the turnkey services of companies like CreateSpace or iUniverse



What you get with LSI:

Good service, for one thing. I can testify to that.

Distribution all over the world. They are “partners” with folks like and Barnes and Noble, so when you publish your book through LSI you are automatically listed on their partner sites. Through LSI, I have pages on Amazon and BN for my four novels (paperback).

Control You determine the price of your book, the discount percentage you want to offer booksellers, all aspects of your marketing. The cover you get is the cover you want, the content is exactly how you want it to be.

What you don’t get with LSI:

Inflated prices for printing your book. Go here for some cost comparisons.

Hand-holding. While the service is great, you have to do the work. And it can be complicated to get all the information into your account and the right files for your book uploaded.

However, if you could use a guide . . . ahem.

Help with LSI:

Crrreative’s private Indie author efforts are all through Lightning Source, and I’ve become well acquainted with their processes and requirements.

Some of the things you’ll have to do after you set up the account:

  • Upload press-ready PDFs of your book cover and interior
  • Enter data such as your book’s description.
  • Decide on a discount for booksellers.
  • Set your price.
  • Order copies for review.

Novel, Kathleen Toomey Jabs
Fuze Publishing