Under a new program Ingram is preparing to adopt, rather than dealing directly with the wholesaler, small presses with fewer than 10 titles in print will need to go through a distributor or other supplier that already has a relationship with Ingram. The new policy will apply to publishers who do not already do business with Ingram, although a spokesperson said the wholesaler will evaluate its current small press option, Ingram Express.

Ingram has picked Biblio Distribution, a new division of National Book Network, as its preferred distribution partner for small publishers that produce their own books. Publishers who want to reach the market through print-on-demand are being referred to Ingram’s affiliated company, Lightning Source. And small publishers and self-published authors who want help with the entire publishing process are being referred to Xlibris.

The Ingram spokesperson stressed that publishers are not limited to going through Biblio or Lightning and can work with other suppliers that already have a relationship with Ingram.

Ingram’s Steve Little said that under the company’s current structure, where many small presses do little, if any, promotion once Ingram stocks their titles, “everyone is unhappy—the publisher, ourselves and retailers.” The new program will force smaller presses to align themselves with companies that have sales and marketing capabilities, Little explained. He told PW that Ingram “would love it if more [self-published] authors went to a POD environment,” noting that such a move would mean a lower initial investment for authors. “We’re looking for a better way for small presses and authors to have a better chance of success,” Little said.