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Author Topic: All I Ever Wanted to Know About ISBNs (But was Afraid to Ask)  (Read 2681 times)

Ransacked

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Hey, since there are a lot of chapbook authors and a few small presses here...

How does a fellow go about getting an ISBN for a book?

I work for the the world's largest publishing company, and you'd think we'd just keep stacks of ISBNs in the supply closet along with the PostIt notes and the proofreading pencils, but turns out it's not like that.

I'm coauthoring a book and we're getting excited about it.  We may need an ISBN so we can sell it through more "established" channels.

Also, if a fellow is a dues-paying PSI member, and he re-upped last fall at the associate level, and he has coauthored a pretty cool book of poetry and wordplay, but his coauthors are neither slam poets nor PSI members... can he (they?) still sell the book via the PSi store?

Steve

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Re: All I Ever Wanted to Know About ISBNs (But was Afraid to Ask)
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2009, 02:08:32 PM »
Yes  we'll take the title, no doubt.

ISBNs are odd creatures. You have to have an account. Most accounts are through publishers. Some online folks will resell you an ISBN but there is little doubt that is only a scam. The information in the ISBN is to identify the Publisher as it is connected to the title. You have to be a publisher to solve one half of that equation. If the publisher sells you an ISBN s/he is taking the publisher out of it.

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Re: All I Ever Wanted to Know About ISBNs (But was Afraid to Ask)
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2009, 02:41:50 PM »
Yes  we'll take the title, no doubt.

ISBNs are odd creatures. You have to have an account. Most accounts are through publishers. Some online folks will resell you an ISBN but there is little doubt that is only a scam. The information in the ISBN is to identify the Publisher as it is connected to the title. You have to be a publisher to solve one half of that equation. If the publisher sells you an ISBN s/he is taking the publisher out of it.

Thanks for this, Steve.

So, since I already have
1. A manuscript
2. Proofreaders
3. A production/layout team
4. A print shop on deposit
5. A marketing plan
6. Distribution channels

I'm not sure I need a publisher.  I mean, the reason one goes with a publisher is that a publisher usually provides #2-6, right?  But since only a publisher can get/buy an ISBN, I guess the next question is (deep breath)

How do I become a publisher?

<Gulp!>

Steve

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Re: All I Ever Wanted to Know About ISBNs (But was Afraid to Ask)
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2009, 05:22:42 PM »
You are one.

Name it. Apply with County Clerk for a DBA (Doing business as) to register the name, go to this website: http://www.bowker.com/

Register, pay them a little money and collect ISBNs.

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Re: All I Ever Wanted to Know About ISBNs (But was Afraid to Ask)
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2009, 12:34:21 PM »
Wow.  You're right.  Thanks, Steve.

Here goes nothin'...

We're calling our first book Boys at Play.

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Re: All I Ever Wanted to Know About ISBNs (But was Afraid to Ask)
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2009, 07:39:00 PM »
Bicycle Comics Productions is now open for business in lovely Medford, MA.  Thanks, Steve.

I'm now the proud owner of ten ISBNs. Gulp! I'm trying to get myself to think of this the same way little five-year-old Ransacked once thought of the Crayola 64-box of crayons. Sure, it was a hefty investment, but just think of the possibilities...