Monthly Archives: December 2009

Self-Publishing Tips – Getting An ISBN

Once you have made the decision to self-publish your book, you need to start thinking about some of the details that go into self-publishing and marketing it. If you plan to sell your book in a retail store, one of the most important things you can do is to get an ISBN. The International Standard Book Number or ISBN is the 10-13 digit number that tells the world that this is your book and no one else’s. It makes your book unique and makes you a publisher in the book industry. You’ve seen it thousands of times before in barcode form, on the copyright page in the front section of a paperback book or on the back of the dust cover on a hard-bound book.

You have to have one if you want to sell your book through a retail outlet. The IBSN works on the same principle as the barcode you see on a package of potato chips at the grocery store and it allows a book retailer to scan your book at checkout just like a grocery UPC barcode does for those potato chips. Getting an ISBN isn’t too difficult to do: you need to visit R.R. Bowker, the exclusive U.S. ISBN Agency that is responsible for the assignment of the ISBN Publisher Prefix. They assign ISBNs to those publishers with a residence or office in the U.S. who are publishing their titles within the U.S. The ISBN breaks down into four parts: the group or country identifier, the publisher identifier (you!), the title identifier (the title of your book), and the check digit at the end which validates the ISBN, similar to the way that credit cards now come with a three digit identifying number on the back of the credit card.

When getting an ISBN, you’ll need to fill out an application:

  • You’ll need to have your contact information, publishing company name, and the name of your book to complete the application.
  • You can fill the application out online or print out the application and send it in via regular mail.
  • If you apply online, you’ll need to pay by credit card.
  • Allow 15 business days for processing your ISBN application after you submit it.

Once you get your ISBN, you’ll need to register it with Bowker’s Books-In-Print by signing up for BowkerLink. This is a free online tool that is used for uploading book information, such as title, price, or status of the book. You will want to be sure to sign up for Books-In-Print because it is the leading provider of bibliographic data. Your book will be exposed to many facets of the book industry just through this single web application. Last, but not least, register your book’s copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office.

For more information about getting an ISBN number, contact the book printing experts at, call them at 1-800-698-2071, or email them today.


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Helpful Steps For Self-publishing Your Book

So you’ve decided you want to write that book you’ve been thinking about seemingly forever. And you are considering self publishing since it’s so hard to get the big publishers interested when they receive thousands of manuscripts from aspiring authors each year. If so, the first thing you need to do is to spend some time creating a plan. Doing this at the onset will save you countless hours of time and frustration later on. Include the following steps in your self-publishing plan: 

  1. What’s your objective or what are you trying to achieve? Do you want to publish a book for just your family and a few friends? Or, will your book be targeted for a much broader audience.
  2. Visit your favorite book store and go to the section that features books of the type you plan to publish. Find one or two that you feel are similar to what you’d like yours to look and feel like and buy them. Take them home and carefully go through the books. There’s nothing like real life examples to help finalize your vision as well as the details of you book.
  3. Choose a desktop publishing software program for creating your manuscript. The most common one used by thousands of authors around the globe is Microsoft Word.
  4. If you’re writing a book with illustrations, as is the case with most children’s book, consider hiring a professional graphic designer. Using a graphic designer for your book cover is also a great idea. Many years ago, the head of a major publishing house said that every book needs to have a unique look and feel considering its target audience. A prospective buyer or reader will first be attracted and get to know a book by its cover.
  5. Have your book edited by someone other than yourself. This can be done inexpensively by friends or local college students that are majoring in English.
  6. Select a printerthat specializes in book production and get some quotations for several different quantities. Remember that the cost to produce a book goes down as the number or quantity of books ordered goes up. Some self-publishing book printers allow you to get an instant quote on line. Many book printers will also answer questions and provide tips on finalizing your book for printing.
  7. Develop a plan to market your book and yourself.  There are three really good organizations that can provide additional information and support to authors planning to self publish. One is the Small Publishers, Artists and Writers Network or SPAWN, the second is the Publishers Marketing Association or PMA, and the third is the Small Publishers Association of North America or SPAN.

Book manufacturing companies like CMYK Graphix, Inc. offer options for authors considering self-publishing as well as other tools to help promote their work. For more information about self-publishing, contact the experts at, call them at 1-800-698-2071, or email them today.

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