Tag Archives: ISBN

ISBN in Australia

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In this section you will learn how to purchase a private ISBN in Australia.

ISBN in Australia

Thorpe-Bowker is the official agent for ISBNs in Australia.

To purchase one or more ISBNs, start by going to the Thorpe-Bowker website. Their web address is:

https://www.myidentifiers.com.au/

On the Thorpe-Bowker welcome page, click the ‘Sign in/Register’ option located in the top, right hand corner of the screen:

On the next screen you have the option of signing in or creating a new account. Click the blue ‘Register’ button:

You should now see an option for ‘I am a new customer’:

Below it, there is a message from Thorpe-Bowker saying that new customers will have to pay a one-off fee of $55 before they can purchase an ISBN. This is a relatively new fee and meant to cover the setting up of your account.

As Thorpe-Bowker is the only company selling ISBNs in Australia, there is now way of finding a better deal. Those who only intend to sell through Amazon’s standard distribution channels may prefer to use one of their free ISBNs instead.

Those who wish to purchase print copies from the Australian branch of IngramSpark [located in Melbourne] will have to purchase their own ISBN as the KDP ISBN is only valid for KDP.

To continue, click the blue ‘I am a new Bowker Customer’ button.

Next up you will be asked to fill in a registration form. This is pretty standard with mandatory fields marked with a red asterisk. One of those fields is ‘Organisation Type’.

If you’re a self-publisher, don’t worry. Click on the small arrow next to ‘Organisation Type’ and you will see a drop down list which includes the option for ‘Self Publisher’ :

Click the ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ button for promotional material and then complete the registration process by clicking the green ‘I Accept – Create My Account!’ button.

Once your registration is complete, return to the Thorpe-Bowker website and click Buy ISBNs & Identifiers on the main screen. Then select ‘Buy ISBNs’ from the drop down list:

Note: the option for ‘Buy ISBNs in Bulk’ will take you to a login screen for ‘VIPs’ who may buy ISBNs in their hundreds.

Next, you will be shown a page of sales options. Select the option/product of your choice by clicking the appropriate ‘Add to Cart’ button:

Bowker will display a summary of your order:

Click the blue ‘Checkout’ button.

The Checkout is fairly standard except for the fact that the only payment option appears to be Paypal:

This is rather misleading as there is, in fact, an option to pay by credit card, but you do it as a Paypal ‘Guest’.

Click the ‘Submit Order’ button and you will be shown the following screen:

To pay with your credit card, click the ‘Pay with a Card’ button.

You will now see a Paypal screen something like this:

Fill in the required details and complete your purchase.

You will now be returned to Thorpe-Bowker and a summary screen:

Note: you are under no obligation to take the survey.

To assign your new ISBN, click ‘My Account’ as shown above and select ‘My Identifiers/ISBN dashboard’ from the menus.

Assigning an ISBN to a book

You should now be looking at a screen that displays information about your ISBN[s] :

The screenshot shows a number of ISBNs, all of them unassigned – i.e. not yet linked to an actual book.

To link an ISBN to your book, click ‘Assign Title’ opposite the ISBN you wish to use.

Note: once assigned, ISBNs cannot be re-assigned.

You will now have to enter information about the book assigned to that ISBN:

The first thing to note before you begin filling in the Bowker forms is that you only have to enter information in the fields marked with a red asterisk, such as ‘Book Title’ above.

The second is that you do not have to upload the cover of your book at all.

This is important because you will need an ISBN before you can finalise the cover of your book. It is needed to generate the barcode provided by both KDP and IngramSpark. These barcodes are generated for free so you only have to purchase barcodes from Thorpe-Bowker if you intend to publish with a company that doesn’t provide a barcode.

Finally, the default view is Basic – i.e. only the most commonly used fields are displayed:

If you need to enter details not shown on the Basic view, you may wish to change to the Advanced view which contains all available fields.

Book Title

To begin entering information about your book, click in the field marked ‘Book Title’ and type the name of your book. This is a mandatory field.

Medium

Medium refers to the book’s material composition – i.e. whether it is a print book, an ebook, or an audio book.

Select ‘Print’ from the drop down list.

Format

Format refers to the type of print book – i.e. hardcover or paperback.

Select ‘Paperback’ from the drop down list.

Subjects & Genres

Subjects & Genres refers to the category of book you intend to publish. You can select two genres, but only one is mandatory.

Select the most appropriate genre for your book from the drop down list:

Authors & Contributors

Contributor 1 is the author. As an Individual, the author’s full name and suffix may be entered, but only the ‘Last Name’ is mandatory.

Type your Last Name and as much other information as you wish to enter.

The next mandatory field is ‘Function’. It refers to the role the Contributor played in the creation of the book. The only checkbox that needs to be ticked is that of ‘Author’.

When to add another Author or Contributor

As a general rule:

  • If you co-authored a book with another author, then that author’s name must be listed as a second Contributor.
  • If you supplied material to an anthology, then all the other authors of that anthology must be listed as well.
  • If the anthology was commissioned by an editor, then the editor’s name must be listed.
  • If you wrote the text for an illustrated book – for example, a children’s book – the the illustrator must also be named as a Contributor.
  • If the book was originally written in another language and translated into English, the translator must be named as a Contributor.
  • If, however, you hired an editor to ‘clean up’ the book and a designer to create the cover, you do not have to name them as Contributors.

Sales & Pricing

There are four mandatory fields in this final section: Publication Date, Target Audience, Title Status and Book Price.

Publication Date

As the ISBN is needed in order to publish the book, there are two possible ways of interpreting this field.

  • the publication date is notional – i.e. a date in the near future when you intend to officially publish the book, or
  • it refers to the original publication date of the book. For example, let’s say you publish a non-fiction book in 2010. Ten years later you revise and update that book and publish it as a second edition. Each edition of a book requires its own ISBN, but the publication date of the book points back to the publication of the first edition.

Clicking the Help icon produces this explanation from Bowker:

Target Audience

Unless your book is specifically designed for one of the listed targets, click the option for ‘Trade’. Trade refers to trade paperbacks and is the general purpose classification.

Title Status

Clicking the small down arrow opposite this field causes a drop down list to display:

‘Active Record’ is the status of any book that is [or soon will be] for sale.

Note: if the book is not due to be published for a substantial period of time – e.g. a year – ‘Forthcoming’ would be more appropriate.

Book Price

As a self-publisher, you may want to vary the price of your book for marketing purposes. Or you may sell it to a number of different market places with different currencies/price points. For all these reasons, you do not want to be tied to one price in Bowker’s records.

Click the option for ‘Write for info [No set price or free] as shown:

When you have finished, click the green Submit button.

Bowker will display a congratulations screen and that will be that. If you click on My Identifiers, you will now see your book linked to the ISBN.

You can now type the ISBN into the Copyright page of your book and submit it to KDP or IngramSpark for the barcode on the cover.

Note: Be sure to copy the ISBN for your book exactly as it is shown, including hyphens.

Log out from Thorpe-Bowker.

In the next section we will look at the National Library of Australia, Legal Deposit requirement.

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Paperback Content

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The second tab is Paperback Contents. This is where you will enter detailed information about the book, such as it’s trim size etc, as well as uploading both the book file and the book cover.

ISBN

The first item you have to enter is the ISBN:

All books need an ISBN of some sort, and KDP offers two options:

  • a free one [from KDP], or
  • a private one, purchased from the ISBN agency located in your own country.

Note: for a detailed description of the differences between the two types of ISBNs, including their advantages and disadvantages, see Part 1, Front Matter, Back Matter & ISBNs]

The option for the free ISBN is shown as the default.

KDP ISBN [free]

To use a free ISBN from KDP, click the Assign me a free KDP ISBN button.

KDP will display a reminder that the ISBN can only be used with KDP:

To continue, click the Assign ISBN button.

KDP will generate an ISBN for your book and display it on screen. Type, or copy/paste, this free ISBN into the copyright page of your Word manuscript and convert the file to a new PDF [if applicable].

Use my own ISBN

If you have your own ISBN, click the Use my own ISBN button instead.

The screen will change to display the ‘ISBN’ and ‘Imprint’ text boxes:

Type or copy/paste your ISBN into the ISBN field. Make sure you type it exactly as it appears – i.e. including the hyphens.

Note: Australian authors can find detailed, step-by-step instructions on purchasing an ISBN from the Australian agency, Thorpe-Bowker, in PART 3, Appendix 2, ISBN in Australia.

Next, for the ‘Imprint’, type the name you used when you purchased the ISBN. For example, as a self-publisher, I buy all my ISBNs using my own name, therefore the Imprint of my books will also be my name.

The only exception to this rule is if you have set up your own small publishing company and purchased your ISBN under that company name. If this is the case, use the company name as the Imprint of your book.

Publication Date

The next option you will see is the Publication Date:

Leave this date field blank.

KDP will fill in the date for you once your book goes ‘live’ on Amazon – i.e. becomes available for sale on Amazon.

The only time you will ever have to enter the Publication Date manually is if you have already published your book in a different format – e.g. as an ebook or audio book.

Note: if you are unsure of the date, look up the ebook or audio book on Amazon and scroll down to the section called ‘Product Details’ where you should find the publication date.

To enter the publication date, click the calendar icon as shown:

You should now be looking at the calendar popup:

You will select the date from the calendar popup.

To change the year and month, click the back arrow until the correct year and month are displayed. Next, click the day.

The correct date should now be displayed in the Publication Date field: 

If you make a mistake, click the blue Clear Date option and begin the selection process again.

Print Options

The Print Options include Interior & Paper Type, Trim Size, Bleed Settings and Paperback Cover Finish. The default settings are displayed in the boxes shaded and outlined in orange.

Note: these options may or may not be correct for your book.

The following is a brief description of each Print Option.

Interior & paper type

KDP refers to the text of your book as the ‘Interior’. The paper type includes

  • Black & white with cream paper,
  • Black & white with white paper,
  • Colour with white paper [cream paper not available].

Note: Colour is defined as any text or graphic that includes a colour.

The default selection is ‘Black & white Interior with cream paper’.

To select a different option, simply click one of the other boxes.

Trim size

The trim size selected for the Print Options must be the same as the trim size chosen for the Page Setup of your book. To change the default Trim Size to the correct one, click the box labelled  Select a different size:

You should now be looking at the Trim Size popup:

The default selection is shaded in yellow.

To select a different trim size – for example the one circled in orange – simply click the box that contains the trim size you need.

Bleed settings

As discussed in Part 1, Trim sizes, Bleed and Page Specifications, Bleed is only required if the paperback contains images that extend all the way to the edge of the page.

As most novels do not include photos or graphical images in the interior of the book, leave the bleed setting as ‘No bleed’.

Paperback cover finish

KDP offers two cover finishes – Matte [default] and Glossy.

The Matte finish will feel soft and silky to the touch, but the colours will be muted. For example, black will print as a sort of charcoal.

By contrast, the colours in the Glossy finish will be vibrant and ‘true’ to type, so black prints as black.

Before deciding on a cover finish, it’s always a good idea to check other books in your genre.

Click the finish of your choice to select it.

Manuscript

This is where you will finally upload – i.e. send – the your book file to KDP.

Note: KDP recommends using the PDF format but will also accept .DOC, .DOCX, HTML, or .RTF file formats.

To begin, click the Upload paperback manuscript button as shown below:

After clicking the ‘Upload paperback manuscript’ button, KDP will return you to your own computer so you can locate the book file to be uploaded.

Find the book file you prepared during PART 1 and select it.

The system will take a few moments to upload the file. When the upload is finished, the name of the book file will be shown in green:

Book cover

For the cover, KDP offers two choices: you can upload your own cover or make one using an online app called Cover Creator. ‘Use Cover Creator’ is shown as the default option:

To upload a cover created by some other application, click the button for Upload a cover you already have [circled in orange above].

The screen will change to display the ‘Upload your cover file’ button:

Important! Before clicking the Upload your cover file button, check whether your cover already includes a barcode. If it does, click the small checkbox [circled in orange above] to stop KDP from automatically adding a second barcode to the back page of your cover.

If you do not have a barcode of your own, leave the checkbox empty. KDP will generate a barcode for you using the ISBN assigned to your book. It will also insert this barcode onto the back cover of your book.

When you are ready, click the Upload your cover file button.

As with the interior, KDP will return you to your computer so you can locate and select the cover file for your book.

Note: the book cover must be in PDF format.

Depending on the size of your cover file, it may take a minute or two to upload the file. When the upload is complete, KDP will display a confirmation that your cover uploaded successfully.

In the next section we will look at using the online Cover Creator app. Please note that this is completely optional.

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Front matter, Back matter & ISBNs

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The front matter of a novel usually includes a title page, a copyright page, and a dedication page. It may also include a Table of Contents.

The back matter can include a page about the author, an acknowledgement page, excerpts [from the next book in the series, if applicable], and a page listing other books by the author.

You are free to design these before-and-after pages as you wish, but it’s usually a good idea to keep the formatting consistent.

The Title Page

The Title Page usually consists of the title of the book, the sub-title if appropriate, and the name of the author.

The  Copyright Page

The next page is the Copyright page:

In the example shown above, you can see a series of numbers near the bottom of the page. This is where the ISBN of your book goes.

ISBN

ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number and refers to the unique, 13 digit number that identifies each published book worldwide. You can buy an ISBN yourself, or you can accept a free ISBN from KDP.

If you decide to purchase your own ISBN, you can find the contact details of the ISBN agency in your country at the following web address: https://www.isbn-international.org/agencies

Go to the website and hover the mouse over ‘National ISBN Agencies’. A drop down list will appear.

Click ‘Find an agency’ as shown below:

You should now be looking at the ‘Find an agency’ screen. Click the small down arrow opposite ‘Select an option’ to display a list of countries. You can now scroll through the list until you find your country, or you can type the country name in the search box:

Clicking on a country name will display the contact information for the ISBN agency in that country.

Note: for a step-by-step guide to buying an ISBN in Australia, see PART 3, for Australian Self-Publishers.

The following table compares free versus private ISBNs:

 KDP ISBNPrivate ISBN
Distribution:  
LibrariesNoNo
Academic InstitutionsNoNo
Amazon.comYesYes
Amazon EU and UKYesYes
PortableNoYes
ImprintKDPOwn Name

The cost of ISBNs varies considerably from country to country. In Canada, private ISBNs are free, in Australia, buying a single ISBN can be quite expensive. Nevertheless, cost is not the only factor governing the choice between free and private ISBNs – Portability, Imprint and Distribution are equally important.

Portability

KDP ISBNs are not portable. This means they can only be used on KDP. If you decide to sell your book through another distributor, you will have to buy a private ISBN that can be used with any distributor, including Amazon.

Imprint

If you use the free KDP ISBN, KDP will be shown as the publisher of your book rather than just its printer.

Distribution

KDP offers both Standard and Expanded distribution. For a detailed discussion on the differences between the two, please see PART 2, Paperback Rights & Pricing, Distribution Rights.

The next chapter is devoted to generating an automatic Table of Contents for your book.

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How-to guide is now free!

Good morning all. 🙂 It’s 6:57am here in lovely Melbourne, and I just realised I forgot to post about the freebie here on WordPress. So….

‘How to Print your Novel with Kindle Direct Publishing’ is now free on Amazon:

https://preview.tinyurl.com/y8fl4bks

The promotion ends at midnight US time and about 5pm-ish Australian time.

For those who have never tried any of my how-to’s, all my guides are pitched at the true beginner and include step-by-step instructions, with examples for the ‘why?’ and pictures for the ‘how?’.

If this appeals to you, please download the ebook version while it’s free. This ebook can be read on Kindle Fire tablets or on the free Kindle reading app for tablets, pc, mac and phone.

cheers

Meeks


Barcodes for Indie Authors

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In my free how-to – ‘How to print your novel with Kindle Direct Publishing’ – I mentioned that KDP and IngramSpark both provide free barcodes. Unfortunately, not all Print-On-Demand companies do. If the company you choose to print your book says that you need to provide your own barcode, you can either buy a barcode from Bowker, or you can create your own free barcode.

In this how-to, I’ll show you exactly how to do it.

To begin, there are only TWO things you need in order to create your own, free barcode:

  1. an ISBN for your book
  2. a free online barcode generator

In Canada you can get an ISBN for free. In the US and Australia, you can buy an ISBN from a company called Bowker. The web address for the Australian company is:

https://www.myidentifiers.com.au/

If you want to know where to buy an ISBN for your own country, go to the website of the International ISBN Agency:

https://www.isbn-international.org/agencies

You should be looking at a screen like this:

Click the small down arrow [circled in red] to display a drop down list of countries. Scroll down to your country and click it. You should now see a detailed contact screen for the ISBN agency in your country. In the example shown below, I clicked on ‘United Kingdom and Ireland’:

Once you have your ISBN, you can go to the following website to use the free, barcode generator [you do not have to register first]:

https://www.bookow.com/index.php

On the Home page, select ‘Free ISBN-13 Bookland Barcode Generator’ as shown below:

You should now be looking at a page like this:

  1. From the top of the page, type in your 13 digit ISBN, including the hyphens [or cut and paste it in].
  2. Next, type 90000 in the Price textbox. This ensures that the scanner checks the bookshop’s own database for pricing.
  3. Type your email address, twice.
  4. Click inside the ‘Consent to email’ checkbox.
  5. Leave the DPI at the default [300].
  6. Now you have a choice of getting the barcode as a PDF file or as a PNG file. I find the PNG file easier to work with but the choice is yours. Either way you’ll end up with a picture of the barcode that’s been generated from your ISBN.
  7. Save the barcode to your computer.
  8. Insert the barcode into the back page of your book cover graphic [or get your cover designer to do it for you.

Done. 🙂

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Updated March 3, 2019 – self-publishing tips for absolute beginners

  1. Print-On-Demand [POD for short] is new tech that allows books to be printed one at a time instead of in hundreds.
  2. Print-On-Demand means authors don’t have to buy 100’s of their own print books.
  3. 3 biggest Print-On-Demand printers are Lulu, IngramSpark, and Amazon KDP.
  4. Lulu & IngramSpark have print facilities in Australia. Both are more expensive than KDP but Aussie authors save a lot in postage [and time].
  5. Aussie authors wanting to print with IngramSpark must have an ABN and pay a $53 setup fee for each book.
  6. Aussie authors wanting to get an ABN should read this how-to first: https://acflory.wordpress.com/2018/04/22/how-to-apply-for-an-abn-the-basics/
  7. Print-On-Demand works with standard trim sizes only. For table of trim sizes see : https://www.createspace.com/Special/Pop/book_trimsizes-pagecount.html
  8. Trim size = physical size of book after pages glued inside cover & trimmed.
  9. Page size templates for all trim sizes can be found on the KDP website: https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G201834230
  10. Convert Word A4 pages to trim size pages via the Word Page Setup dialog box.
  11. ISBN = 13 digit no. that identifies your book worldwide. Buy your own ISBN or accept the free one offered by KDP.
  12. The downside of a free ISBN is that it can only be used with the company that issued it.
  13. Aussie authors can buy ISBNs from Thorpe-Bowker: https://www.myidentifiers.com.au/
  14. As a rule of thumb, print, ebook & audiobooks all need their own ISBN.
  15. Books printed via KDP are listed on Amazon automatically.
  16. To publish Kindle ebooks go to: https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/
  17. Amazon supplies ebooks with ASIN identifiers so ISBN not strictly necessary.
  18. If you want to ‘go wide’ & sell with other retailers as well as Amazon, your own ISBN is a must.
  19. Most POD printers prefer PDF files but will accept Word files.
  20. Before converting from Word to PDF, ensure all Word fonts are embedded in the document. See:  https://acflory.wordpress.com/2018/05/19/how-to-make-word-16-embed-all-your-fonts/
  21. File/Export completed Word doc. to PDF. Then upload that PDF to the POD printer of your choice.
  22. With KDP print, royalty = List Price – Print costs.
  23. With KDP, Print costs= Sales Channel % + Fixed Charges + Per Page Charge.
  24. With KDP, Standard sales channel % = 40% of List Price, Expanded sales channel % = 60%.
  25. Spine of [paperback] cover = trim size & no. of pages.
  26. KDP cover template from:  https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/cover-templates  Select trim size from drop down list, enter page count & paper colour, then download template.
  27. Lulu cover template from: http://www.lulu.com/create/books   Select trim size, type in page count, click Spine Width. Note down spine dimensions. Download template.
  28. Lulu cover template is for front and back covers individually. If creating your own, all in one cover, ADD the width of the spine to the width of the 2 covers to get exact measurements.
  29. KDP & IngramSpark cover templates both include the spine and are easier to use than Lulu’s templates.
  30. Barcodes for KDP – included at no cost.
  31. Barcodes for IngramSpark – included at no cost.
  32. Barcodes for Lulu – not included. Bar codes must be provided in black and white and should be 1.75″ wide x 1″ high (4.445 x 2.54 cm)
  33. When converting covers to PDF for KDP paperback, “Press Quality” and “PDF/X-1a” both work.
  34. When converting covers to PDF for Lulu, you are advised to set compatibility mode to PDF 1.3, but the newer PDF/X-1a works too.
  35. Total page no. of book = pages AFTER conversion to chosen trim size [not A4 Word pages].
  36. Amazon deducts 30% withholding tax from each sale. Aussies can claim exemption to reduce tax to 5%.
  37. Withholding tax exemption: US TIN = Australian Tax File No.
  38. Aussie authors must deposit 1 copy of each published book with the National Library of Australia: https://www.nla.gov.au/legal-deposit
  39. Aussie authors must also deposit 1 copy of each published book with their state library: https://www.nla.gov.au/legal-deposit/australia-wide
  40. Aussie authors – for Legal Deposit FAQ see:https://www.nla.gov.au/legal-deposit-faq

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