Lightning Source utilizes Ingram’s distribution network to make your title available to over 39,000 bookstores, online retailers, libraries, and schools. Through this relationship, we send title data feeds and title availability status to these channel partners. Each channel partner independently determines whether to list a title and how to display that title's availability on their website. We are pleased that most retailers like Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, Indigo, Books-A-Million, and hundreds of others, reflect an “In Stock / Available” status for your print-on-demand titles, which is an accurate representation of the immediate availability of your title.
Because your book is print on demand, your book is always virtually “in stock” and available for order from Lightning Source. We do recommend that you refer your readers to the retailers mentioned if they need immediate availability. Certainly keep us informed about any availability issues you experience or data issues you uncover not addressed here. The immediate availability of titles across all our global retail partners is as important to us as it is to you.
Occasionally, however, online retailers and other channels may list a title as “temporarily unavailable”, available within a certain time frame, or “out of stock.” Every retailer has their own method for determining what the availability status of a title is on their website and, as a retailer, they are free to do so. It is important to remember that although a website may list your title as unavailable, stores can still order your book.
If your title is listed as unavailable for ordering on a retailer’s website, Lightning Source will determine whether it is appropriate to inquire as to the unavailability with the retailer. In such an event, we may require additional information be supplied. We do not provide any guarantees, as the title messaging on a retailer's website is wholly determined by them and not us.
As a best practice, we encourage you to establish your title with a full trade discount and with a returnable status to maximize your availability.
How Amazon lists a title and the availability status on their website is ultimately up to them. Amazon's purchasing decisions are supported by an algorithm that is proprietary to Amazon. In choosing to stock titles or even show products as available on their sites, Amazon considers many pieces of information about your book. Factors in a decision to stock a book may include discount (with a maximum trade discount being most favorable), whether a book is returnable, product page views, and sales history. Even print on demand books may not show an 'in stock' message at Amazon. Amazon may also list your title as available through third-party vendors.
For additional information about Amazon's availability messaging, please visit the Amazon website.
Requirements for Amazon.com
*We are only able to notify Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, and Amazon.co.uk once a title has been in distribution for at least 30 days. We then allow Amazon’s website enough time to update once a title’s metadata is sent before our initial notification.
Availability Messaging Best Practices
Titles listed at a trade discount have a greater chance of being listed on websites.
If you believe the information regarding your title, author, price, and/or description is incorrect, please notify us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cover Image Not Appearing
Please allow up to six weeks for Amazon and other retailers to display your cover image on their website.
Retailers in Foreign Markets
If market pricing for countries outside of the US is listed for your title, it is common to see your title available for sale in those markets. Bookstores can order your title, and online retailers can feature your title on their website for customers to order.
Why isn’t my book online?
When your book is in distribution, a metadata feed is sent to Ingram’s channel partners and retailers. Stores have access to ordering your book if they want to, but it is possible that not every retailer will list your book on their website. Ultimately, this is each retailer’s decision.