IngramSpark's Catalog Integrity Guidelines

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

To better serve you and your titles, were cracking down on “questionable” and “misleading” content that gets uploaded to online platforms and creates confusion in the marketplace. Some of the deceptions we’ve seen at IngramSpark include blank books, books masquerading as non-book products, and summaries representing popular books that pretend to be the original, which is why we're taking steps to protect our catalog integrity.

When publishing, it's vital to avoid law and copyright violations, which is why we ask IngramSpark authors and publishers to comply with trademark, privacy, publicity, or other rights having to deal with federal, state and local laws. Therefore, in February 2020, we developed a set of guidelines for which we monitor across all existing and new titles uploaded to IngramSpark. The below criteria describes the types of content that may not be accepted:

How To Protect Your Titles

We've curated the above guidelines to better set you and your book up for success. While going through each one, there are a few key points to keep in mind.

Are You Using Your ISBNs Correctly?

As a global distributor, IngramSpark does business in countries all over the world, each with its own set of rules and regulations. An excellent example of that would be ISBN usage. Like a fingerprint, a unique ISBN belongs to one title and one title only.  

A hand holding a magnifying glass with a questions mark inside it, over a book.

We encourage authors to purchase through their country's ISBN agencies to reduce risks. Each country has a single designated agency committed to providing ISBNs to authors and publishers. For that reason, you should acquire an ISBN from your country's approved ISBN agency. For example:

  • Bowker is the official ISBN agency for the US
  •  Nielsen is the official ISBN agency for the UK and Ireland
  •  Thorpe-Bowker is the official ISBN agency for Australia

Is your Book Description Clear and Concise?

Besides the cover, your book's description is a window into the content you've created. It gives readers, retailers, and bookstores a glimpse of what they can expect from your title, so be as accurate as possible when writing it. It's best to avoid inaccurate data such as the wrong author name, vague product descriptions, or unoriginal content. 

Are You Publishing Original Content?

Good content is the backbone of publishing success. Whether it's a book on self-help, a fiction novel, cookbook, or children's book, the content should be original and authentic. Things to avoid would be summaries of other literary works, large amounts of blank pages, or content that confuses the reader by mimicking another book's title, design, author name, and description. 


A scroll with lines on it.

Going over those few questions is a great start to making sure your book is not grouped with other deceitful titles. It also gives your book a better chance of being discovered for the right reasons while simultaneously reducing the bias against self-published content within the book industry. We take this very seriously and have dedicated ourselves to ensuring your titles garner the respect they deserve by weeding out books that break guidelines. Content determined to not meet our standards to uphold catalog integrity will be removed from the catalog. If we remove your title, and you believe your book does not meet one of the above flagged criteria, we’ll be glad to review your concern.



 Most IngramSpark authors and publishers won’t be impeached by our catalog integrity guidelines. 


For the most part, IngramSpark's catalog integrity guidelines have had a very positive response:


A tweet from Dr. Emily McEwan in favor of IngramSpark’s catalog integrity guidelines.


A tweet from Kara Lane in favor of IngramSpark’s catalog integrity guidelines.

A tweet from Rick Gualtieri in favor of IngramSpark’s catalog integrity guidelines.

A tweet from Alphabet Publishing in favor of IngramSpark’s catalog integrity guidelines


As one of the world’s largest book distribution services, Ingram maintains a digital catalog of millions of books that are made available to thousands of bookstore and library partners around the world. To maintain the high level of catalog integrity and reputation that we hold within the book industry, it’s important that our bookstore and library partners are purchasing content that is accurately represented. Our guidelines are made to ensure that they are.

If you have more questions, please be sure to review our helpful FAQ.


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IngramSpark Staff

IngramSpark® is an award-winning independent publishing platform, offering indie authors and publishers the ability to create professional print books and ebooks. Access to IngramSpark's global distribution network allows you to self-publish a book and make it available to 40,000+ retailers and libraries—both in stores and online. To learn more about how you can share your story with the world, visit