IngramSpark Announces New Quality Standards for Its POD Service

IngramSpark, the self-publishing division of the book distributor Ingram Content Group, sent out an email today informing users of a new policy intended to reduce misleading and poor-quality books.

IngramSpark is taking a necessary stand to uphold the integrity of and reduce bias against independently published works. To align with our industry’s needs for content integrity, we will actively remove print content from our catalog that does harm to buyers and affects the reputations of our publishers and retail and library partners.

So what content will be affected?

Blank notebooks, for one, and you will no longer be able to make a workbook without first getting permission of the copyright holder, but mostly books that are crap. Ingram gave us a list:

  1. Summaries, workbooks, abbreviations, insights, or similar type content without permission from the original author.
  2. Books containing blank pages exceeding ten percent, notepads, scratchpads, journals, or similar type content.
  3. Books or content that mirror/mimic popular titles, including without limiting, similar covers, cover design, title, author names, or similar type content.
  4. Books that are misleading or likely to cause confusion by the buyer, including without limiting, inaccurate descriptions and cover art.
  5. Books listed at prices not reflective of the book’s market value.
  6. Books scanned from original versions where all or parts contain illegible content to the detriment of the buyer.
  7. Books created using artificial intelligence or automated processes.

All in all, this is a great policy; let’s just hope that they put as much care into implementing it as they did when they devised the rules.

According to the email, the policy will take effect on 27 April. You can find the body of the email here, and there is also a PDF with FAQ that you can download.

image by WabbitWanderer via Flickr

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. Xavier Basora25 February, 2020


    I don’t quite get the prohibition for journals and notebooks.


    1. Nate Hoffelder25 February, 2020

      me neither

  2. Gordon Horne26 February, 2020

    I immediately wonder what the definition of “blank” is. Are journal pages with decorative borders blank? What about various styles of ruled pages? Or copy books for various writing systems?

    Maybe they just don’t want to run their printing equipment to make blank pages. Printing a blank page does seem silly.

    I can see banning blank books that are not clearly labelled as blank.

  3. Roland Denzel2 March, 2020

    It’s cheaper for them to print blank books, so it must be something else. My guess is they are cracking down categories that they consider ‘low quality’ books that don’t end up selling many copies.

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