Wherein I Roll My Own in the Publishing House Line

Discussion in 'Self-Publishing' started by Catrin Lewis, Jul 6, 2016.

  1. Lew

    Lew Contributor Contributor

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    What shoutout????? :) Seriously I don't know the name!
     
  2. Catrin Lewis

    Catrin Lewis Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Got my first royalty deposit from Amazon. Nice, but it was less than the earnings amount listed on my Bookshelf. Wonder what that's all about?
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2018
  3. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    amazon reporting is notoriously unreliable - and its especially all to cock at the minute. That aside you'll probably find that some of the amount noted on your bookshelf was earned after the reporting period for that payment and will be included in the next one
     
  4. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    The creative penn podcast … Joanna is one of the indy authors I networked with early on, and she's been a mentor to my publishing career , hence I get mentions on the show from time to time.

    The same is also true of Sarah Painter (the worried writer podcast)
     
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  5. Catrin Lewis

    Catrin Lewis Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Could be, yes. It's the income for August that's showing now.
     
  6. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    payment is always 60 days behind (which can be a real problem if you are bootstraping an advertising campaign). Incidentally expect your September sales to be low

    a) Theres always a September slump, and b) Amazon have issues at the minute meaning that lots of authors are seeing some sales not record properly. The Big Zon will sort this out eventually, but in the mean time its irritating. Also Amazon has increased the number of Adverts on display on the product page which is probably hurting exposure.

    If you went into KU the issues in (b) are also applicable to KENPC page read payments
     
  7. Lew

    Lew Contributor Contributor

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    I recommend KU, about 20% of my sales are via that route. And for a big book like mine, the return is about twice my normal royalty. Yes, I noted the September slump last year, though also not advertising that month last year due to expensive conference. This year slow but not as bad. Christmas sales look like they are starting, sales brisk for last half of October, also following an advertising gap.
     
  8. Catrin Lewis

    Catrin Lewis Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

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    You find out something new about this business all the time. Just yesterday I discovered that now that I have assigned one of the ISBNs I purchased to a published book, I need to go onto the Bowker (substitute the name of the agency for your own country, as I imagine the requirement is the same) identifiers site and fill in a form telling them what book I assigned it to.

    Well, duh, I should have thought of that. I mean, half the point of the ISBN is to track sales of a given edition wherever it's sold, and it's not like it's Amazon's job to do that. That's what Bowker (or Neilsen or whoever) does.

    Of course now I'm chasing around trying to figure out the difference between a synopsis, which they want, and a sales blurb, which might or might not serve just as well.

    I should have done this last August when I published the ebook. But, well, ignorance.

    EDIT: Well, lookie here. According to this Bowker-sponsored site, the movie-trailer-like sales copy designed to hook the reader is exactly the kind of synopsis they want on the ISBN metadata page. "This isn't the synopsis you would send to an agent," the article says.

    OK, good. Fine. Time for a little Copy and Paste.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2019
  9. Lew

    Lew Contributor Contributor

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    Hmm, I purchased the ISBN for E&D via Amazon, I wonder if I should do that also? I don't know where CS got theeir purchased ISBNs (as opposed to the free ones)
     
  10. XRD_author

    XRD_author Banned Supporter

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    My understanding it it's okay to to tell spoilers to an agent when querying. And a synopsis has to have them-- it's the whole story condensed beyond Cliff notes. But I don't think you want spoilers in a blurb.
     
  11. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    If you purchase anywhere other than Bowker (in the US - Neilsen in the Uk or your countries dedicated outlet if you are elsewhere) then you are buying from a reseller and they'll be the publisher of record

    Of course that doesn't necessarily matter that much as you don't give away much in the way of rights... where it does matter is if you are trying to get your book stocked by a bookshop who often won't accept published by amazon, and who may see the rebuying as a sign of not being a serious professional
     
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  12. Catrin Lewis

    Catrin Lewis Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

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    For the ebook? Or for the paperback? If the former, it doesn't matter, since Amazon is dedicated to ASINs for their ebooks. If the latter, that means CreateSpace or whomever is the publisher of record with Bowker for E&D (everybody in the US gets their ISBNs from them. They're the only show in town).

    EDIT: Whoops, I see this is exactly what @big soft moose just said.
     
  13. Lew

    Lew Contributor Contributor

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    Amazon is very adamant the Createspace is NOT a publisher. @bigsoftmoose, what you said about identifying the source of the book as Amazon is true of the free ISBNs you can get from Amazon. However, buy purchasing them through Amazon, they are not uniquely identified as self-published. Though I am not sure how much difference that really makes. I don't think I gained anything by doing that for E&D, but it actually limited my extended distribution options via Creatspace.
     
  14. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    They're not a publisher... however that doesn't matter as far as Bowker are concerned they'll be the 'publisher of record'. I'm not a publisher either but if I bought an ISBN from Bowker and sold it to you I'd be the publisher of record for the book you used it on.

    And on the latter point it makes no difference whether its free or purchased - by getting your ISBN from amazon you are identifying the book as coming from amazon/create space (KDP print now).

    In regard of extended distro its better to do that through Ingram Spark - because a lot of bookshops are prejudiced against Amazon and also IS offers more leeway on discounts and returns. On the whole its best to do two POD books - KDP for amazon and IS for everywhere else (and buy your own ISBNs for the IS books as you can't use an amazon isbn anywhere other than amazon)
     
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  15. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    When I enter the ISBN from Lew's print version into the Bowker search, it comes up with his name as publisher and, I presume, his address (which I won't post here!). When I search for the ISBN on Google, it shows it as being published by Lew.

    Strangely, when I look up the e-book version of the novel on Amazon, it lists it as published by Createspace. But the print version shows Lew as the publisher.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2019
  16. Lew

    Lew Contributor Contributor

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    The Amazon page is my bad... I wrote that up in the basic info, first timer, didn't know what I was doing!
     
  17. jannert

    jannert Super Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    The Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) recommends buying your own ISBN numbers, from either Bowker (USA) or Neilson (UK.) This means not only that the numbers belong to you forever, but that they can be used with any company. Furthermore, if a company you've published with goes under or your books are discontinued, that they can still be found by anybody anywhere.

    I got this recommendation from Jim Giammatteo and John Doppler's book Choosing the Best Self-Publishing Companies and Services 2018: How To Self-Publish Your Book. It was put together in 2017, so they are a bit behind when it comes to CreateSpace, etc. But it's an excellent book, and covers most aspects of self-publishing. The ALLi is noted for filtering out scams and dodgy publishing 'offers.' Well worth a look, and maybe even joining up.

    I looked up the Neilson ISBN prices, which are a bit daft. But I'll go for it. The current price is £89 for one ISBN. £150 for ten ISBNs. (Not sure how that works out, but hey....) I'll go for the ten. Will give me the boot up the backside to write at least ONE more book! :)

    https://www.allianceindependentauthors.org/
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2019
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  18. XRD_author

    XRD_author Banned Supporter

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    You know that each version of a book (hardcover, paperback, ebook) needs it's own ISBN, right? (Or do ebooks need an ISBN ?)
     
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  19. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    ebooks don't need an isbn (Technically they do for some library services like overdrive - but I'm happy for overdrive to just assign one given the low level of sales that accounts for).

    You'll need one for each print book, and an extra for each different version (ie if you do hardcover, large print, workbooks or whatever).. if you buy your own isbns you can use the same one for paperbacks on IS and KDP , but you can't use a KDP/Amazon provided isbn on ingram spark.

    You only need to change the isbn after that if the book is a different edition - ie its substantially different (new cover, new title or significant changes to content), you don't need to change it just for minor alterations to content.

    Personally my first book was on a Create space ISBN, but I have since bought a block of 100 from Neilsen, and all future books will be on those - including a new edition of rapax in due course
     
  20. jannert

    jannert Super Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Apparently eBooks don't need ISBN numbers (they have some other kind of number, but I haven't looked into that closely yet.) But yes, every printed version of a book needs a separate ISBN number. I just wish the split was something more sensible like 3 for a particular price, etc. Ten? Well, okay....
     
  21. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    on amazon they are catalogued by ASIN but you don't need to do anything amazon will assign one when you upload. (incidentally the reason for the pricing structure is that the idea is that ISBNs are sold to publishers... hence why its a lot cheaper per unit to buy in bulk)
     
  22. Catrin Lewis

    Catrin Lewis Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Got my author's proof copy from KDP today. (Well, yesterday afternoon). As it turns out, it's a good thing I haven't been able to submit my files to IngramSpark yet, because there are some formatting errors I need to clear up before I do.

    So I guess that's a good lesson--- submit to one or the other and get your proof back, so you don't have to resubmit to both places. Even if IngramSpark is running a Free Resubmissions promo during May and June.

    (Ironically, I would have uploaded my files to IS yesterday, but for a glitch on their website. Lucky me.)

    As for the KDP proof itself, it's clean: no streaking or blobs or any of those things you read about in POD horror stories. The front cover is printed a little crooked; awkward, because the background pattern has straight lines (architect's blueprint), so it's noticeable. To me, at least. The trim job at the top of the spine is uneven, by which I mean it slopes up from front to back maybe 1/32". Other than that, the spine looks good.

    (I don't know if there's anything I can do about the crookedness. Anyone got any ideas?)

    But I just took a closer look at the barcode on the back, and WTH, it doesn't have my ISBN on it! I thought that was a given.

    Crumb. Looks like I'll have to resubmit the cover with my own barcode on it, which I read someplace on the KDP site you can do.

    Gotta tinker with the back cover a little anyway. Appears I inadvertently set the two paragraphs of my back cover copy in two different point sizes.

    The color? Not bad. I knew it wouldn't be as saturated printed in CMYK as it appears on my computer screen in RGB, and it isn't. But it doesn't suffer from being a little subdued, and at least the blues didn't come out purple or turquoise.

    I've heard that when you get the first copy of your print book you're supposed to go all heart-fluttery and awestruck over it. Not me. It's like getting the first set of construction drawings from the printers when I was working as an architect. Time to go over them with the red pencil and clear up any problems!

    Or in this case, with a blue pencil, because that's what editors use, isn't it? and besides, the only red one I can find is way too short.
     
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  23. Catrin Lewis

    Catrin Lewis Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

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    An update, but first a caveat:

    It may seem to a lot of people here that I'm hassling things that they find easy. Well, I'm a bit of a perfectionist, and I want to make sure my books are done right. So there's that.

    I am also a Bear of Very Little Brain, and though I could probably tell you what sweater my female protagonist wore to work on March 24, 1982, when it comes to the tech details of producing books my mind is about as absorbent as plate glass. If I learn how to do some necessary thing in a certain program, I have to write each step down as I go. Otherwise, I can do everything right and produce the correct book interior or cover file today, but two days from now (when I need to make revisions) I'll only vaguely remember how I did it, and make hours upon hours worth of mistakes.

    So anyway, a week and a half ago I got my author's proof from KDP Print. I found some formatting errors, which I corrected, and some typos, which ditto. And yeah, I tinkered a little with phrasing here and there.

    Fine. Got that stuff straightened out in the print version file, and also in the ebook MS file.

    The past couple of days I've been making a big push to get the print and epub files re-uploaded to KDP/Amazon, so I can start officially offering the print book for sale. Screwed up the PDF conversion process ten ways from Sunday, but yesterday (the 12th), I finally reloaded acceptable revised versions of both. Yay!

    Now to take a deep breath and do the same on IngramSpark for wide distribution.

    And what happens? IS took the same epub file that successfully went up on Amazon and returned me--- I kid you not--- 13,240 "words" worth of error messages. Some of which I thought I understood, but a lot more of which I do not suss at all.

    Google has not been my friend here, or at least, not much of one.

    The ha-ha "good" thing here is that Ingram's support is offline for the night and I can't ask them what any of this means. So I'll actually have to go to bed and get some sleep before tackling this again.

    It is a bummer the files didn't go through. Yesterday was my birthday, and it would have been such a good occasion to have all this done.
     
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  24. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    in my experience this will mostly be to do with bleed - ingram are a lot less tolerant of tiny issues than KDP

    Also you hand coded your manuscript in HTML didnt you?- I'd strongly suspect that will throwe some errors if its not completely standardised

    (also if you have drop caps on chapter start its common for them to wind up a smidge too close to the page edge for ingrams liking)
     
  25. Catrin Lewis

    Catrin Lewis Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Well, nope, nothing to do with bleed or the drop caps, since this is the EPUB file we're talking about. The print book cover and interior files seem to have gone through just fine-- hooray!

    I just corrected around 2,000 "words" worth of errors by getting rid of the space in the title of the original HTML file and doing a new conversion via Calibre. That leaves 11,485 to go . . .

    The problem may be that I formatted this originally for EPUB 2. Through diligence and with help from various people like @Komposten, I got that file into a condition that was error-free. It uploaded onto Amazon last August just fine.

    But IngramSpark want EPUB 3. I chose that option when I converted on Calibre, and Amazon/KDP had no trouble whatever with the result. But IS? Lots.

    I've got an online chat Support request up and I'm waiting for them to come back online. But from what I'm discovering on Google (now that I'm a little more awake), I may have to postpone distributing the ebook version with IS until I can get up to speed with the HTML requirements for EPUB 3. More severe learning curves ahead!
     

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