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 above if they need immediate availability.
Occasionally, 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 its 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 to be supplied. We do not provide any guarantees, as the title messaging on a retailer's website is wholly determined at their discretion.
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.
Availability Messaging Best Practices
Titles listed at a trade discount have a greater chance of being listed on retailer 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.
Once you enable your title for distribution, it typically takes 2-6 weeks before the book begins appearing on retailer websites or on a distributor or retailer’s internal ordering system.
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.
Please 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.