ISBN Canada, over at Library and Archives Canada (government), provides a free ISBN service to Canadian artists. Did anyone know that? I didn’t. I was slogging through Smashwords and reading some details on self-publishing with them and then wondered if they provided free ISBNs like Amazon does. Well they linked me to ISBN Canada. And now I am sitting here stunned.
For those of you who do not know (or thought you knew): An ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is a 13-digit number that uniquely identifies each specific edition of a book or book-like product. You need a unique code for your eBook, for your hardcover or softcover, etc. etc. In the United States, as an artist, you need to go to a company like Bowkers and purchase a number of ISBNs for your use. How much? It costs $125 USD for one ISBN or $275 USD for tenISBNs. I thought that was normal. Note: you don’t actually need an ISBN, but it helps on many levels should your book do well. It doesn’t protect your book from being stolen, for example, but you can prove that the book is registered to you under the ISBN registration. Like a fingerprint. All book databases use the ISBN to track books. ISBNs are how readers and buyers find your books. They are essential for sales to bookstores, for online sales, and for listing in databases and directories such as Books in Print.
See why am I so stunned right now? ISBN Canada just asks me how many I want and then they assign them to me. For free. That is amazing. I need to wait 10 days though…blast it! Government bureaucracy!
You’ll notice I mentioned that Amazon will provide an ISBN for free. You’ll be wondering, so what’s the problem? Well, that ISBN can only be used on the Amazon version of the book and only on CreateSpace – not for Kindle Direct Publishing. It also identifies Amazon as the publisher even though I am self-publishing. It’s just a bit oily if you know what I mean.
Duilleog is back with the editor. Nikki Rae over at Metamorphosis Editing Services did an excellent job at cleaning up the typos, syntax and formatting errors and helped me identify some really serious point of view issues I had failed to recognise. I’m such a noob. It only goes to show that writing takes practice and without it you suffer.
If I am lucky I will have the second look-over completed in a couple of weeks, made the last corrections, and then I will be able to publish for the Kindle. This will be followed by the Nook, Smashwords and Kobo versions. eBooks are extremely easy to create and having a program like Scrivener makes it more so.
For those wanting an actual paperback of the story, I’m sorry, but you will need to wait a little bit as I sort out the formatting. When you self-publish the author has to do all the work for formatting the book and creating the cover. You could pay for someone to do that for you but that is just more money. And, anyway, I consider my designing skills to be “not too bad” and I am proud of my designed covers. Formatting for Amazon CreateSpace is a simple process but it takes time, attention to all the little details, and it is all online and you won’t really know if you got it right until you get your hands on the author copy to verify the product before letting it go to print. All this takes time, time, and more time (and the delays due to snail mail). So maybe mid-July for the paperback version?