Adventures in the Publishing Trade

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In case you are still on the fence about whether to self-publish or go the traditional publishing route, let me direct your attention to this collection of true experiences posted by author, Alan Weiss. Just to give you an idea of what you’ll read, check out this first one:

A permissions editor told me she was holding up production because all of my permissions (to use quotes of others) were not submitted.

“I always do that thoroughly,” I told her, “you’re wrong.”

“Well, then how is it you’ve quoted the same man twice and there isn’t a single permission filed?”

“Who is it?”

“Oscar Wilde.”

When I told the editor-in-chief for business books, he said, “Please tell me you made this up.”

Incredible, huh? Incompetence in our society is pervasive, and there is certainly no guarantee that being published by a traditional publisher will net you a quality product. Of course, self-publishing is also plagued by sub-par work – in everything from editing to layout to cover design, and more. But this can be avoided! Self-publishers who are serious about producing a beautiful and high quality book can educate themselves and contract various aspects of the project to individuals with expertise in those fields. Self-publishing continues to gain momentum, and I think there is great potential for those who take the time to learn the ins and outs of the industry now.

HT: Arlen Busenitz

Book Registration for Self-Publishers

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After running around in circles for a couple of days trying to figure out where to apply for what and in what order, I think I’ve finally managed to get some of this figured out! Here are some step-by-step instructions I’ve compiled to help other self-publishers navigate the various registration requirements in the most efficient order. I haven’t quite gotten through all these steps yet (and there are probably more yet to be discovered!), but once I have printed copies of my book in hand I should be able to finish up the last of these.

1. Go to the ISBN Website and apply for a block of ISBNs.

2. Upon receiving your block of ISBNs, follow the instructions in the e-mail to print and assign your book title to one of the numbers.

3. Go to the Bookland Website and use the free bar code generator to generate a bar code for your book. Download and save both the .EPS and the .PDF files to your computer. (Incorporate this into the final book design.)

4. Go to the Bowker Link Website and enter the username and password contained in the e-mail with the ISBNs. Once you are logged in, click the “Add Title” button and enter the information for your book.

5. Go to the Library of Congress Website and apply to participate in the Library of Congress Preassigned Card Number (PCN) program.

6. Upon receiving the e-mail indicating that you have been accepted into the PCN program, go to the PCN area of the Library of Congress Website and login with the username and password provided in the e-mail. Complete the application process by filling in the forms.

7. Wait 2-3 business days and go back to Bowker Link and upload a cover image to the book information.

8. Upon being accepted into the PCN program, send a copy of the best edition of your book to the Library of Congress at the address listed in the acceptance e-mail.

9. Go to the U.S. Copyright Office Website and you can either fill out an electronic form or download and complete a print form to send in to the office along with two copies of your printed book. (Based on Morris Rosenthal’s experience with the on-line registration process, I may just fork over the extra $10 and go the paper route.)

If anybody knows of anything I’m leaving out so far, please let me know and I’ll update the list!

Glossary of Terms for the Self-Publisher

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Here’s a handy glossary of terms to help the self-publisher navigate through the terminology of the publishing industry.

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