22 Replies Latest reply on Nov 6, 2017 7:54 PM by stephenfranklindesign

    Settings to satisfy IngramSpark bot?

    Phase5Pub Level 1

      Does anyone happen to have a checklist of the magic settings in InDesign CC to get an epub accepted by IngramSpark's automated gatekeeper?  At $25 a pop, I'd rather not toggle each suspect individually and upload again until I find what has caused the bot to reject my file.  I have many to do, and would rather be able to do it with confidence each time.

      Thank you.

        • 1. Re: Settings to satisfy IngramSpark bot?
          AnneMarie Concepcion Adobe Community Professional

          I would love to learn this too. I have lots of clients using Ingram Spark and their instructions for prepping an epub are Ingram Sparse. ;-D  Do you have a contact or an email address?


          So they charge you $25 every time you need to reupload an EPUB because of an error?


          Can you post what they said the problem was, and also, did you verify that the epub was valid (run it through epubcheck) before uploading? Was it an epub 2 or epub 3?  And, I'm assuming it was a reflowable (not fixed-layout), yes?



          • 2. Re: Settings to satisfy IngramSpark bot?
            Phase5Pub Level 1

            As far as I understand, yes, $25 every time you replace the file. I have not gotten an invoice for this month yet, so it may just be badly worded and they mean $25 every time you replace a file that was accepted.

            And I do not find anywhere it tells me why the file was rejected.  I know they have an automated process, and it is that bot that keeps rejecting my file.


            Did the InDesign Preflight check and fixed the errors it found, reduced my interior image file to be less than 3.2 mexapixels, removed the formatting from the bulk of the text, made sure the author is the first contributor listed in the book information you manually enter when you add a title to the database, all the things on the short list they provide to prevent rejection.  Reflowable text, only one image  (cover image as the first page, per specifications).  I cannot imagine what could possibly be problematic.  I even updated my version of InDesign and completely re-typeset the whole book and tried again, in case there was a small bug in the software or something.  No luck.


            The only thing I can figure is that their bot checks for so many details that may not matter much because they distribute to so many other sites that have their own limitations (which I imagine may be conflicting), that they can't list all the specifications that have to be exactly right in order to get it to go through.  They may not know.


            So, until I can find a settings profile that is proven to work, I'm can't use Ingram Spark for my ebook distribution.  Which means I manually enter and upload the information to site after site.  But either I waste my time, or waste my money, or (in the case of the past week), both.


            I am going to email my assigned rep and ask for a spec list that includes everything, from size of the page when initiating the file on through the export process.  I will update here if I get any response.

            • 3. Re: Settings to satisfy IngramSpark bot?
              Ellis home Level 4

              Ingram Spark File Creation Guide has this information but the validation site for the epub takes you to blog.safaribooksonline.com?


              EBook File Submission Requirements

              Ebook Interior File:

              • EPUB (formatted as .epub)

              • We follow the industry IDPF spec on EPUB formats. You can find more information at http://idpf.org/epub.

              • All EPUBS must be compliant with the most up-to-date validation. You can use the following validation

              site to confirm compliance - http://www.threepress.org/document/epub-validate/

              • 4. Re: Settings to satisfy IngramSpark bot?
                AnneMarie Concepcion Adobe Community Professional

                Thanks Ellis, yes, I've seen that info. I'd love to find something much more detailed, or hear from someone at IngramSpark.


                That info about the validator is way out of date; it was removed from threepress.org when that company was bought by SafariOnline about 2 or 3 years ago.


                The current home of the online epub validator is EPUB Validator (beta).


                But most people download a drag-drop app for validation, and it'll give you a list of errors. I like Pagina Epub Checker, which works with Mac and Windows:



                (scroll down page for English text/links)



                • 5. Re: Settings to satisfy IngramSpark bot?
                  AnneMarie Concepcion Adobe Community Professional

                  Phase5, or may I call you Phase ...


                  My first guess would be that you've included embeddable fonts, and the IngramsSpark bot doesn't like the encryption file that Adobe always includes when you do so (even though it's valid epub 3). You could try turning off "Include embeddable fonts" in the EPUB Export dialog box if you think that's the case.



                  • 6. Re: Settings to satisfy IngramSpark bot?
                    braiswick Level 1

                    I have 'file rejected' from Ingram Spark as well - and I contacted them twice to ask 'WHY' No response.


                    Their services are bad, not worth £25 (yea, they seem to charge more as I'm British).


                    I'll try turning off the embedded fonts - but if that is true why don't Ingram say so? Thanks AnneMarie


                    Poor service - they will not have long to rectify themselves - or I will set the links myself. Perhaps we should all work together to create a competitive product - free to Adobe users, chargeable to the rest of the world.


                    No reason why we should use Ingram Spark if they don't provide what we want.

                    • 7. Re: Settings to satisfy IngramSpark bot?
                      braiswick Level 1

                      I just used the EPUB validator on both the files rejected by Ingram Spark and no no problems were found.


                      Who is right?

                      • 8. Re: Re: Settings to satisfy IngramSpark bot?
                        braiswick Level 1

                        Having 'shouted' at Ingram Spark I received a pdf: Common CMS EPUB Errors: How to fix them.


                        There are five - mine was #2 (allegedly), and that is an excrypted file:


                        Instructions were to convert epub to a .zip file, find the file excryption.xml file, then repack the epub and put it through a validator


                        I'd already validated my file with two programs, and it would still not work.


                        The five 'problems' could easily be sorted by Ingram Spark - why cause all the fuss?


                        I've still to see if the explanation works.

                        • 9. Re: Re: Settings to satisfy IngramSpark bot?
                          braiswick Level 1

                          I can't make the instructions work - but I am stupid.

                          • 10. Re: Settings to satisfy IngramSpark bot?
                            AnneMarie Concepcion Adobe Community Professional

                            The encryption file is the one that InDesign includes if you tell it to Include Embedded Fonts.  So as I suggested above, export the EPUB from InDesign but choose not to included embedded fonts.


                            If you instead follow their directions and remove the file manually, (you're technically violating Adobe's font EULA btw) then be sure to repack the EPUB properly, using a utility like eCanCrusher. (I would also use it to unpack the EPUB in the first place.)



                            If you're still getting validation errors after this let us know the errors.


                            It is possible to have a valid EPUB 3 but get rejected by an ebook reseller or distributor, because for whatever reason there's something in the specification that doesn't work with their systems.   Is there an IngramSpark user group or forum or something?



                            • 11. Re: Re: Settings to satisfy IngramSpark bot?
                              Phase5Pub Level 1

                              I do not see a forum listed from the IngramSpark site.  May try some Facebook Groups, see if anyone there has had better luck.  The Specifications IngramSpark provides are:


                              What are the most important specs I need to be aware of to give the best chance of making it through your validation the first time?
                              We’re glad you asked! First, please note that you will need two separate files – a high-res JPG cover (used for display on retail partner’s websites) and an EPUB of the interior. Specifics for each are broken out below:




                              For display use on retail partners’ websites.

                              File must contain front cover only. Full spread print book jackets that include spine and back cover will be rejected.

                              Format: Must be a JPG Fie

                              Size: 2560 pixels on longest side. Minimum 1600 pixels on shortest side.

                              Color: All front covers must be RGB.

                              • The content of the cover image must not infringe another publisher’s or artist’s copyright on the same cover.




                              Size: 100MB or less. 

                              (Please note, while IngramSpark and retail sites can accept 100MB files, the IDPF Validator cannot check files over 10MB due to the amount of time it would take.)

                              Format: EPUB 2 or 3 (flowable text only). Sorry, we cannot accept fixed format or enhanced EPUB files at this time.

                              No single image inside an EPUB can be greater than 3.2 million pixels. (Total pixels = length in pixels x width in pixels).

                              Include an internal cover image

                              This should be formatted the same size of, and as part of your interior. (For use within the book content.)

                              Be sure the metadata entered in IngramSpark matches the information on your cover.

                              For example, if the cover art and the book asset are for a book titled Paradiso, but the metadata is for Purgatorio, then the items do not match.

                              There should not be any reference to page numbers in the book.

                              This includes the Table of Contents. Your e-book will never look just like your print book. E-readers are limited in the way they display content and your book will appear different from device to device. 




                              All book files must provide the best customer experience in terms of quality, functionality, and accuracy. The book must not promote competing websites that sell e-books or compete with retail partners.

                              All text should be captured as text. Text should not be contained within images.
                              All links should take the user to the correct location.
                              Place an HTML page containing a table of contents at the beginning of the book so users can easily jump to specific locations (typically to a chapter). A table of contents that is not made of links is not useful on some sites.
                              The main authors credited on the cover art must be supplied in the book's metadata, as it is displayed.

                              Authors indicated as Primary will be used to describe, organize, and search for the book.  Additional author roles can be used, but are not visible on some retailer sites.

                              Do not censor words.

                              The title or subtitle must be given as originally intended by the author. All words should be completely spelled out and no words should be censored. Some retailers will automatically censor certain explicit words in titles.

                              A description is required.

                              Descriptions should accurately describe the book, be formatted correctly, and avoid unnecessary information such as pricing or retailer references. The description must not promote any specific e-retail website.

                              No styling in the body text.

                              Content creators are encouraged to use creative styles for headings, special paragraphs, footnotes, tables of contents, etc., but not for body text. The reason for this is that any styling on body text in the HTML will override the user’s preferred default reading settings.


                              COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS


                              EPUB simply stands for E-Publication.


                              There are several formats for e-books, why does IngramSpark require an EPUB file?
                              Each of our 70 e-book retail & library partners has unique file requirements. A valid EPUB, created with our outlined specifications,¬ enables us to satisfy the requirements of each partner, getting your e-book where it belongs—on every device.



                              They do not provide error messages as a matter of course.


                              Thanks for the help.

                              • 12. Re: Settings to satisfy IngramSpark bot?
                                braiswick Level 1

                                Finally Ingram Spark has admitted that some of their etailers can't handle embedded fonts - I am contacting their Vice President to point out how they can improve the service we pay for... Have a good Christmas!

                                • 13. Re: Re: Settings to satisfy IngramSpark bot?
                                  braiswick Level 1

                                  All change today: an Ingram Spark supervisor now tells me that I MUST embed fonts! As an exception she has her team formatting my file properly, and if I have trouble in future they have a chargeable manipulation service!


                                  Is that what this is all about?


                                  I keep asking for the email of their VP or senior managers - but they do not respond.


                                  Perhaps I should write some interesting articles for writing sites and magazines?

                                  • 14. Re: Settings to satisfy IngramSpark bot?
                                    AnneMarie Concepcion Adobe Community Professional

                                    Jeez, crazy!


                                    I know that not all devices support embedded fonts. I don't have a clue how middlemen like IngramSpark take only one file from a client and figure out how to get it to work w/all the platforms and devices they distribute to.


                                    My guess is that their intake system chokes on the encryption file that Adobe adds when you embed fonts, but has no problem with embedded fonts in general. (And another guess that they edit the epub somehow for those systems that don't support embedded fonts.)


                                    AFAIK you can legally embed fonts in an EPUB by using only public domain, open source fonts in your InDesign file (like those from GoogleFonts), then remove the encryption file from the EPUB that InDesign always adds.



                                    • 15. Re: Re: Settings to satisfy IngramSpark bot?
                                      Phase5Pub Level 1

                                      They tell me (once I emailed them) that it's the encryption file that is a problem with one of their distribution partners because it prevents them from adding their on DRM.  I've asked that they refund my money to set up the ebook for distribution, because apparently you ALWAYS have to hand manipulate the epub file after it is created to get it to meet their approval, which was not disclosed up front, and I am not going to do that for dozens of titles.  They sent me a ten page manual about the undisclosed things you have to change after the epub file is created to get it approved, or pay their team to do it for you.  So not cool, and I gave them a frank, but civil, response to the bait and switch this feels like.


                                      AnneMarie, you sound like you are prepared to bulldog this for your clients, so if you want the manual, email me (design at phase5publishing dot com) and I will send it to you.  As for me distributing ebooks through IngramSpark, I'm out.  Easier and less time consuming to submit it to the retailers individually.  And free.


                                      Thanks all for participating in the discussion.  I'm going to mark this as Answered.  The Answer is:  you can't get there from here (unless you are into hand manipulation of your epub files).

                                      • 16. Re: Re: Settings to satisfy IngramSpark bot?
                                        braiswick Level 1

                                        I shall pass on the last comments to my growing band of Ingram Spark staff.

                                        • 17. Re: Settings to satisfy IngramSpark bot?
                                          ICG\\scrawfo Level 1

                                          Hey AnneMarie,


                                          Where in the Adobe EULA are you finding that removing the encryption.xml file from the META-INF violates the terms of use? I've linked the two EULA documents that seem most pertinent and I'm not seeing where that would be disallowed. Since I've taken your EPUB courses I know that you are aware that an EPUB file is just a fancy ZIP archive. The encryption.xml file in no way prevents extracting the fonts from the EPUB archive, but rather tells reading systems what they can and can't do with the font.


                                          http://wwwimages.adobe.com/content/dam/Adobe/en/products/type/font-licensing/EULA5seat-Int lEnglish07.11.11.pdf


                                          Font Embedding Permissions | Adobe

                                          • 18. Re: Settings to satisfy IngramSpark bot?
                                            AnneMarie Concepcion Adobe Community Professional

                                            Thanks phase, I've sent the email on to you.  Or just send it to my main address, amarie@senecadesign.com.




                                            • 19. Re: Settings to satisfy IngramSpark bot?
                                              AnneMarie Concepcion Adobe Community Professional

                                              The prohibition against removing the encryption file might be buried in the nuances of the EULA, and not named so directly. But if I have time, I can look up the posts (here on the forum I think) from Adobe staff about it, where they stated just that.


                                              As I recall, they are required to include the encryption file when exporting to EPUB based on their licensing agreements with type foundries who designed the fonts that are in the Adobe library.  It is because that file exists that Adobe was able to get them to agree to embed the fonts free of charge, unlike most other fonts you buy from some source other than Adobe.


                                              The encryption file passes epub 2 and epub 3 validation, and epubs that contain one can be uploaded directly to the iBookstore without issue (issues with the encryption file, anyway).


                                              hope that helps ...



                                              • 20. Re: Settings to satisfy IngramSpark bot?
                                                ICG\\scrawfo Level 1

                                                Thanks, AnneMarie!


                                                That'll be useful information to have.

                                                • 21. Re: Settings to satisfy IngramSpark bot?
                                                  gdgibson1 Level 1

                                                  At the IDPF forums, I came across the following comment from what I gather is Ingram's in-house conversion service. If it's really a post by Ingram, then apparently they're saying that DRM would satisfy Adobe's end-user licensing agreement (and that of any font foundries Adobe has contracted with).



                                                  Submitted by ICG_ConversionServices on December 17, 2014 - 5:09am 

                                                  • 22. Re: Settings to satisfy IngramSpark bot?
                                                    stephenfranklindesign Level 1

                                                    Hi AnneMarie,


                                                    Would deleting the encryption.xml be a violation for TypeKit files as well? The files are scrambled anyway aren't they?