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Behind the Scenes: Getting Particular (Pre-Print)!

Only steps away!!!! I went through all my illustrations, and it was time to put this baby together!

  1. I’ve put together my book in PagePlus and printed it out a bunch of times. This let me see it in my hands and is terribly important because I can see how light will affect the colors, how text looks, where things should be placed. It’s putting the pieces of the puzzle together. I look at continuity, color scheme, ease of reading. Bang my head on the table a few dozen times, and I’m done. I have saved my book as a PDF file and I’m ready to upload to the publisher.
  2. bowker1What do I need next? An ISBN – an International Standard Book Number. This is important. There are lots of publishing companies out there that’ll offer you an ISBN if you “let” them publish your book, but I am hyper wary of such offers. For one, they own the ISBN, not you, which means you are at their mercy of where your book can be sold. Two, are you signing away your rights when using their ISBN’s instead of your own? They’ll each have pages upon pages of Terms of Service and it makes me very nervous. For example, CreateSpace, Amazon’s publishing platform, will offer you a free ISBN but you can only then sell your book with them. No one else. I highly recommend getting your own ISBN. In the United States, this is administered by Bowker Indentifier Services.  My suggestion here is two-fold. Firstly, go do a quick google search for an online coupon code for them. Right before I was ready to fork out a huge chunk of credit card, I found a 15% off coupon which saved me nearly $80. Secondly, think long and hard about what your goals are. Are you writing one book? Are you writing a series? You need to know this so you know how many ISBN’s to get. Every individual format of a book requires its own ISBN, so your print copy needs one and so does your ebook. Later on, if you want to change format or offer your book in a different size, you’ll need another one then too.  This is where you look at what you are doing and figure out what is best for you. An individual ISBN is stupidly expensive ($125 for one) or you can buy a whole block of IBSNs for much cheaper (100 for $495). The more you buy, the cheaper they become. I’ve already written 11 other books that will each require a minimum of two formats. I’ve already used 4 ISBN. Then I may change the size offerings too to make it less bulky. Perhaps I’ll look at some Collector Sets as well.  As you can guess, I’m in it for the long haul so take a good hard look at your ambitions before deciding to cut yourself short. Your own ISBN means *full* ownership and rights to your work.Bowker You register the work yourself on Bowker’s website (this feeds out to all other companies). It’s pretty simple and straightforward. There is no maintenance fee, or update fee. Once you purchase the ISBN, it’s yours to do with as you please.
  3. uploadingOnce you assign an ISBN to yourself, you go to your publisher and begin the process of inputting all your info, including that ISBN, publication date and uploading your file. The technical requirements are quite specific so once the upload is done, it’ll go through a validation check to see if everything is as it should be. When you get past that part, your title will be in “premedia” which means you’ve passed the technical specifications and a real person actually needs to look at your work.
  4. Wait.
  5. Wait.
  6. Wait.
  7. Someone will get back to you and tell you you’re either in great shape or something is wrong and you have to fix it.
  8. If everything is OK, order your proof copy.
  9. Wait.
  10. Die a death when the proof copy arrives and pray to the author-Gods that you haven’t made any major screw ups. If you haven’t, you hit the “approve” button and you are done! Let the publisher work for you. If not, go back to step 3 and try again.

I’m currently on steps 4, 5 & 6, waiting in Premedia. I’ve set a release date of May 31st but I have to check a lot of things before that date and I’m not sure I’ll make it. Fingers crossed.