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How To Get An ISBN

Many writers spend weeks, months, and even years crafting what they hope will be the next book to captivate the world. Because of this, waiting to see your work in print can be depressing. It is for this reason that so many writers are choosing to self-publish. Through professional printing companies, your work can be on the shelf in a matter of weeks.

One of the most important things any self-publisher can do for themselves, however, is get an ISBN for their book. ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number. It is a 10-13 digit number that identifies your book as separate from any other. It is the barcode form that is found on the back of a book or on the inside jacket of a hardcover. Did you know that, without an ISBN, your book cannot be sold in a retail setting?

To get an ISBN complete the following steps:

  • Visit http://www.isbn.org. The site is owned by R.R. Bowker, which is the exclusive US source for ISBNs. The majority of your steps will be completed here.
  • Choose the appropriate package for your situation and the number of titles you want assigned.
  • Fill out the application. It can be completed online or you can print it and mail it through the post office.
  • Wait through the 15-day processing time to receive your official ISBN.
  • Once you have your ISBN, register it with Bowker’s Books-In-Print by signing up for Bowker Link. This is a free online tool that allows you to upload book info (title, price, page count, etc). It is the main directory that libraries and bookstores will use to order your book for customers.
  • Last, but not least, register your book’s copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office.

The steps required to get an ISBN are simple and easy to follow and it’s the best way to ensure your book can reach the widest audience possible through retail outlets everywhere. 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. However, be sure to complete these steps yourself. Some self-publishing vendors might offer to buy your ISBN for you, but this would make them the owner of your book, instead of you!

For more information about how to get an ISBN or about self-publishing, contact CMYK Graphix, Inc. at 1-800-698-2071 or email them today.

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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 Cmykgraphix.com, call them at 1-800-698-2071, or email them today.

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Getting An ISBN – Do I Really Need One?

You’ve spent untold hours (years?) writing your book and have poured your heart and soul into rewrites and editing. You’ve finally gotten to that magic moment when you can start thinking about getting it into print. There are so many details for a self-publishing author to think about, but one of the most important decisions any author needs to make is whether or not to go about getting an ISBN number. Do you really need one? The short answer is: yes! You need an ISBN number for your book if you intend to sell it in a retail setting.

The ISBN (the acronym stands for International Standard Book Number) is the 10-13 digit number that identifies your book as unique from everyone else’s. You have to have one if you want to sell your book through a retail outlet. Think of it like the UPC number or barcode you see on items in the grocery store or on tags for just about every item you can purchase. It’s the number that allows the retailer to scan your book through the cash register at checkout. The number is in barcode form on the back of books (or on the back of the dust cover on hard-bound books) and also printed on the Imprint page in the front section of the book. It makes you a publisher in the eyes of the book industry.

Now that you know what the number is, how do you go about getting an ISBN?

  • First of all, stay far, far away from self-publishing vendors who offer to purchase the ISBN for you. If a subsidy press gets the ISBN for you, they own your book!
  • The only place to go for getting an ISBN is R.R.Bowker – they are the exclusive USA source for ISBN numbers (www.isbn.org).
  • You’re going to be buying a block of ISBN numbers from Bowker. This block of numbers is assigned to the particular publisher who purchases it: if you buy a single number from an online vendor, that number will be assigned back to them and they’ll be the publisher of record, not you.
  • Have your contact information, publishing company name, and the name of your book at the ready.
  • Fill out the online application or print out the application and send it in by snail-mail.
  • Getting an ISBN is much like anything else – have your credit card ready if you are applying online!
  • Allow 15 business days for processing your ISBN application.
  • After you get your ISBN, register it with Bowker’s Books-In-Print by signing up for BowkerLink, a free online tool for uploading book information (price, page count, etc). This is the main directory used by libraries and bookstores when they want to order a book for a customer.
  • Register your book’s copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office.

Getting an ISBN is not really that difficult and it’s something that every self-publishing author needs to do. You’ve taken the time to write your book, now take the time to safe-guard your hard work by publishing it correctly. Having an ISBN number doesn’t automatically mean your book will sell, but you’re going to be glad to have that number assigned to it when your book takes off!

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

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