Creating PDF for Ingram Spark

Ingram Spark requires an industry-standard PDF/X-1a (2001) or PDF/x-3 (2002) format to use their POD service. I read in some online review of Scrivener that the program will create such a PDF as long as I had Acrobat installed on my computer. This PDF feature was one of the major reasons I got into Scrivener in the first place.

Now that my project is nearing completion, I have priced up Acrobat Pro and, to my horror, have learned that it costs $449.00!!! That’s way too much money for an app I’ll only use once or twice a year.

Is there a workaround? What to do?

From memory, there’s a Quartz Filter that lets you print to this format. I’ll check when I get home after work.

Otherwise, maybe an Adobe CC subscription will lower the barrier of entry for you.

FWIW, I bake my PDFs with PrinceXML which supports a very wide range of PDF profiles.

Yes, you can do this through Preview or by adding PDFX to the print menu in macOS.

This copied guide for Scrivener 2 / Sierra explains how. Still works in Scrivener 3 / Mojave.

Slàinte mhòr.

PDFX Guide.pdf (561 KB)

Oh, I can help with this! I manage to spit out a compliant pdf using the Zamzar online converter. No other online converter worked, nor did producing it from Scrivener, nor through Apple’s print-to-pdf or save-as-pdf or anything else.

I exported from Scrivener into Word, then fixed up the formatting to the specifications of Ingram, then got Zamzar to convert it to pdf. That worked.

It may not still work, of course, but it did work as late as March 2017.

I also found some company offering to convert the pdf for $10, so if you can’t get an online converter to work, that’s at least a cheaper option than buying Adobe.

Also, as I recall it, the issue was not just the format. It was also about having the fonts embedded in the pdf.

I’ve added “Convert to generic PDF/X-3 document” as a “PDF Settings” option for the next update. This just runs the PDF through the save PDF/X-3 Quartz filter that you can choose when exporting from Preview.

Thanks to all for the info. I think I’m set now (and I had my first opportunity to use Automator).

Glad you got it sorted! Does this mean that you used the instructions in the PDF file that JoRo posted and added the “Create Generic PDFX–3 Document” Quartz filter as an Automator workflow so that “PDFX-3” is available from the “PDF” menu in the print panel? If so, I’d be very grateful if you could let us know whether the PDF is now accepted by Ingram Spark. If it is, that’s great news, as it means that the checkbox I’ve added to the next update will also fix things, since it uses the same Quartz filter.

All the best,

No, I haven’t sent the file to IngramSpark yet. Final edits to the manuscript won’t be done for another 6 to 8 weeks.

Yes, I found JoRo’s message and Quartz filter instructions very helpful.

I would be happy to report back here on whether Ingram accepts the generic PDFX-3. But this issue is of such great importance to indie authors using Scrivener, that perhaps you could try obtaining that information sooner than the 8 weeks it will take me. Maybe start a thread polling users for their experience in this matter for both KDP and IngramSpark?