Consider using Ingram if having your book in big box stores is critical to you. The buyback option available to retailers for books published through Ingram is an important feature to consider. Publishing through Ingram can be done in conjunction with your CreateSpace publication. Most books purchased for stores are purchase through Ingram which is the largest worldwide distributor or print books.
Ingram offers two services for publishers: Lightning Source International (LSI) and IngramSpark. After indie publishers complained about the complexity of publishing using Lightening Source International, Ingram started offering a new service called Ingram Spark. with a friendlier front end and slightly more restricted discounting terms. Once Ingram launched Ingram Spark they stopped allowing most indie publishers access to LSI.
Although most stores have adopted a just-in-time ordering process instead of ordering in bulk and returning leftovers to the publisher, it can still be vital for some big box accounts to have the option for returns. CreateSpace does not have an option for returns. So if having your books in big box stores is important to you, check out Ingram Sparks.
When you use the CreateSpace expanded services, they use Ingram to distribute your print book to retailers. But you need to be aware that this method registers your book in the Ingram database as “Publisher=CreateSpace.” This is true even if you purchased your own ISBN and did not use the one provided by CreateSpace. Some retailers, including online as well as brick and mortar stores, are touchy about Amazon (the owner of CreateSpace) and may refuse to carry your book.
There is an annual fee associated with using Ingram directly that you would not have to pay with CreateSpace alone. If you chose to use both Ingram and CreateSpace you new a separate ISBN. If you already have your book in CreateSpace and want to add it to Ingram you need to disable expanded distribution on Createspace. This will remove your book from the current Ingram database where your publisher is listed as Createspace. Do not disable any of your Amazon distribution options. After two to three weeks you can guarantee your book is no longer on Ingram and it is time to recreate your CreateSpace version of the book with the new ISBN and use the same ISBN in Ingram. Make sure you do not chose expanded distribution on CreateSpace. Now your book will be available with the same ISBN to any retailer with you listed as the publisher and not Createspace.
Learn more about all the options for self-publishers from the audio recording available through Selah Press Author-preneur Training, A Walk Through Self-Publishing.