Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQ)
- What is the BentoNet?
- How does it work?
- Who can join?
- How do I join?
- Is it exclusive?
- How much does it cost?
- What’s a Guild?
- I’m on LightningSource, not IngramSpark. can I still use the BentoNet?
- My books are printed by Createspace. Can I use the BentoNet to distribute them?
- How will I get paid?
- How much will I make?
- How do I list my books on IngramSpark to comply with BentoNet requirements?
What is the BentoNet?
The BentoNet uses print-on-demand (provided by IngramSpark) to connect small press – and self-published authors – with libraries and independent bookstores.
If you’re a small or independent press, or self-published author, it will give you the ability to sell your books through bookstores throughout Australia (and in future, throughout the world) without having to ask bookstores to carry your books.
If you’re a bookstore, it will give you access to independently published books with no risk or occupied shelf space. When the book arrives in your store it’s already sold.
If you’re a library, it gives you access to leading-edge independent comics and prose that would otherwise be unavailable to you.
How Does It Work?
The BentoNet works by using IngramSpark’s leading-edge print-on-demand technology. Books are only printed after they are ordered, and shipped either to the store or directly to the customer. Ingram has print centres located throughout the world, so each print-on-demand order will be printed in the region where it’s sold, and shipping will only be local. (Note that all internal colour books are printed and shipped from the US.)
If you’re a publisher, you can send your customers to the BentoNet to purchase your books and the order will be handled through the bookstore. You’ll receive your royalties through IngramSpark as usual, but more importantly the bookstore will see demand for your book, as well as its title, author and publisher.
If you’re a bookstore, you will receive BentoNet orders through email. You fulfil the order by sending it through to Ingram, and they will print and ship the book either to you or directly to the customer. The BentoNet pays your accounts once a month. It’s a way of expanding your inventory with an infinite virtual bookshelf , and supporting small publishers, but at no risk to you.
If you’re a customer, it gives you access to a range of new titles in a single easy location, and the ability to purchase books that are otherwise unavailable to you.
If you’re a library, you will have access to a larger range of books and be able to support local independent quality publishers.
Who Can Join?
Bookstores: You need an account with Ingram Australia, an account with the BentoNet and enthusiasm for promoting excellent indie works. Contact us using the ‘contact us’ form and we can set you up as a bookstore in the BentoNet, and help you obtain your Ingram account if you don’t already have one.
Publishers: Your books must be listed on IngramSpark (or LightningSource) with a specific range of discounts and availability. Minimum price points apply. For more information on the requirements for publishers, please visit the 'Join as a Publisher’ page. The BentoNet does not require exclusivity; you can list your books on other outlets (such as Amazon Createspace) as well as the BentoNet.
Libraries: Contact us directly for more information on the special features we provide for library members.
How Do I Join?
Customers: Create an account using the ‘Register’ option under ‘Account’ on the top right corner of the page, and you’re ready to start buying books from the BentoNet.
Bookstores: Contact us with the ‘contact us’ form and we will set you up as an outlet. If you don’t have an account with Ingram, we will help you to obtain one. For more information, see the ‘Join as a Bookstore’ page.
Publishers: Create an account as for customers above: select ‘Account’ on the top right hand corner of the page, and then select ‘Register’. Once you have registered your account, contact us through the ‘contact us’ form and request to be upgraded to a publisher account. For more information, see the ‘Join as a Publisher’ page.
Guilds: Contact us through the ‘contact us’ form and we will create your guild. We will require your full guild details, and it is helpful if you have an avatar and banner for your page already available. For more information, see the ‘Join as a Guild’ page.
Libraries: Contact us through the ‘contact us’ form and we will set you up with a library account.
Is It Exclusive?
No. You can produce different versions of your books for different outlets. IngramSpark produces good, durable books but not great books. There is no restriction on you producing ‘premium’ versions of your book and selling them elsewhere.
How Much Does It Cost?
For Customers: There is no cost to join the BentoNet as a customer; prices for the books are set by the publishers. The BentoNet charges handling fees for store pick-up and delivery fees for home delivery.
For Bookstores: There is no cost to join the BentoNet as a bookstore. The BentoNet charges a service charge per-book for each sale it handles.
For Publishers: There is no cost to join the BentoNet as a publisher; however there is an annual subscription fee (charged per book) to list your books on the BentoNet. For the first year, all tiers of the subscription are $20. In further years the subscription table is as follows:
- Up to 4 books: $48 / year ($4 a month)
- Up to 10 books: $96 / year ($8 a month)
- Up to 20 books: $168 / year ($14 a month)
- Up to 40 books: $264 / year ($22 a month)
- Up to 80 books: $456 / year ($38 a month)
- Up to 150 books: $780 / year ($65 a month)
- Up to 300 books: $1260 / year ($95 a month)
- 300+ books: Please contact us
Note that guilds can share their subscription fees, making them a much more cost-effective way of listing your books.
For Libraries: There is no fee for libraries to join the BentoNet.
What’s a Guild?
Guilds are co-operative groups of publishers and authors who can share a variety of features on the BentoNet not available to individual publishers. Each guild has its own featured books and bestseller list, giving guilds the power to promote their members’ works. Guilds can share the costs of listing books on the BentoNet, and have access to a range of promotional features not available to individual publishers.
I’m on LightningSource, not IngramSpark, can I still list my books on the BentoNet?
We have confirmed that Ingram will treat orders for LightningSource and IngramSpark books identically when the order comes through from the BentoNet: so you can list your LightningSource books on the BentoNet as well as IngramSpark.
My books are printed by Createspace. Can I use the BentoNet to distribute them?
No. Your books must be printed on demand by IngramSpark or LightningSource for you to make use of the BentoNet. If your books are already listed on Createspace, you can have them listed on IngramSpark as well for distribution through the BentoNet.
How Will I Get Paid?
Publishers: You will be paid by Ingram through the IngramSpark royalty system.
Bookstores: You will be paid monthly by the BentoNet.
How Much Will I Make?
The amount you make per book as a publisher depends on the price you set as a publisher; the best place to calculate your royalty amount is in the IngramSpark royalty calculator that adjusts the amount according to the price you set.
Note that there are limitations on minimum price and wholesale percentage settings when you list an IngramSpark book with the BentoNet; see 'Join as a Publisher’ for more information.
Australian bookstores will collect a standard 30% of the retail price of the book.
How do I list my books on IngramSpark to comply with "The BentoNet" requirements?
There are certain requirements your book must meet to be listed on "The BentoNet." They are:
- Your book must be available via IngramSpark
- Your book must be available for distribution (see picture below)
- Your book must be at 40% wholesale discount for everywhere, and 50% wholesale discount for Australia (due to the high cost of shipping)
- Your book must be a minimum of AUD$8 in Australia (NO GST), USD$12 in the US, GBP8 in the UK, EUR10 in Europe, and USD$12 for World.
- Your book's retail price must NOT be listed with GST (or any kind of sales tax) on IngramSpark
- BONUS: Your book must have a valid ISBN, and not be listed as "0" for pricing to be available in a particular region.
How to edit your book so they meet these requirements:
Step 1: Click on the edit button of your listed book on IngramSpark's dashboard.
Step 2: Ensure that the information in your "Print" panel is listed as below. (The colour/black and white thing isn't important - it's just a note to let you know that colour books take 2-3 weeks to ship if you're outside the US):