Apr 13

Self-Publishing a Book – Steps to Upload Your Book for Publishing

Self-publishing and distribution.

I have an in-depth four-part article series on self-publishing from the point of having a polished and edited manuscript that’s ready to go.

I went over hiring a book formatter, getting a book cover, getting an ISBN, a barcode, and an LCCN. You can check out the first three articles at the end of this one.

I didn’t however get beyond the point of getting your book formatted and getting print-ready-files that you’ll use to upload to distributors and retailers.

You have your print-ready files in hand.

Okay, let me backtrack just a bit.

Pricing Your Book

When you register for the ISBN and the LCCN, you’ll be asked the price of your book, so figure that out beforehand if you can. If you can’t figure it out, you’ll definitely need to figure out what you’ll be charging at this point.

First know that different retailers may have different pricing rules. Check the retailers you’ll be focusing on.

If you want an ebook and you’re going with Amazon and want a 70% royalty rate, you’ll need to price your book between $2.99 and $9.99. For a full list of Amazon’s list price requirements, click the link.

If you’re publishing a paperback, the pricing works a bit different. Amazon or any other retailer or distributor will need to factor in the cost of printing.

Keep in mind that printing a children’s picture book will cost more than a non-picture book. You can check out KDP Amazon printing costs with the link.

I’m in the process of finalizing the formatting of my nonfiction book on writing for children. While it’s 250+ pages, there are no colored pictures or text, so I’ll be going with $9.99 for paperback and probably $4.99 for the ebook.

I’ll also sell the ebook directly from my website using PayPal.

Now you’re up to speed and ready for uploading to an aggregator or retailer. Which will it be?

First thing is to decide what service you’ll be using to distribute your book.

I’m going with Amazon (retailer) and IngramSpark (aggregator). Yes, you can list your book with both.

The reason for IngramSpark is because I want to be able to sell from other retailers than just Amazon.

When you upload with Amazon, they do not distribute to other retailers. This limits your selling reach. For those who want to go with just Amazon, you certainly can.

Using an aggregator for distribution allows your book to be listed in places like Barnes and Noble, WalMart, Target, schools, libraries, and thousands of other venues.

Other aggregators include Smashwords, Draft2Digital, Ebookit, Publish Drive, and Streetlib.

FYI: An aggregator is a service that publishes and distributes your book to multiple venues.

Time to create an account.

Go to the retailer and/or aggregator you’re going to use.

I already have an Amazon account for two other books, so I’ll work on creating an IngramSpark account.

Note here: Amazon is free to upload an ebook or print book. Other services may not be. As of the time I’m writing this, IngramSpark is $49 to upload both an ebook and print book.

Keep in mind, you can just publish an ebook, but with POD (print on demand) there is NO extra cost for publishing a print book or a nominal cost.

Since there are still those who like to hold a book, I recommend offering both.

On IngramSpark’s How it Works page, this is what you’ll see:

Simply click on the option you want and you’ll be asked to fill in some information to create an account: your name, email address, and password.

They’ll send a verification email for you to click on to activate your account.

Next, it’s on to accept their agreement then fill out your personal or business information. Then you’ll need to accept more agreements.

After this, you’ll be brought to a page to fill out your book’s information which will include:

  1. Title
  2. Subtitle
  3. Description
  4. Keywords

Think about the description carefully as well as the keywords. These marketing tools are what will help readers find your book and motivate them to buy. This is not a step to rush through.

You’ll also need to provide your banking information to receive book sales payments. They also want a credit card on file to pay to upload and distribute your book/s and any other services you purchase from them.

Word of advice: Create your “Add new book” when you’re ready to upload your print-ready file. I filled out all the information before I had the file to upload and lost it all. Now, I’ll have to redo it.

Now onto uploading the book.

Follow Instructions

IngramSpark’s new interface does have a couple of glitches, so you’ll have to be patient if you’re uploading now.

Follow their instructions and if you still need help, they have a community that should be able to answer your question. IngramSpark also has a number of articles on self-publishing. Or, you can do an online search.

I priced my ebook at $6.99 and the print book at $14.99. At $14.99, my royalty is about $5.

If I priced it at $9.99, my royalty would be $2-$3.

You’ll also be able to include other markets: United Kingdom, European Union, Canada, Australia, and Global Connect.

I chose them all.

You can check out what your royalty will be for different prices at:
https://myaccount.ingramspark.com/Portal/Tools/PubCompCalculator

Discounting Your Book

When you fill in your pricing, you’ll be asked about Wholesale Discount for book stores and other retailers of print books.

You can read more about discounting your books at:
https://www.ingramspark.com/blog/why-should-i-discount-my-book

I chose to go with the highest discount. While you’ll receive a much lower royalty on your sales to wholesalers, at least you’ll have the opportunity to sell more.

Returns

This is a tricky one. If you intend to sell to book stores and other retailers who buy in bulk, know that most will not purchase your book, even at a discount, IF they can’t return the books.

The catch with returns is if a book is returned, you will be charged for the wholesale price of that book. So, if you allow returns, save the money from discounted purchases for a while, to make sure you have the money to reimburse for returns.

If you do allow returns, be sure to choose “Returns – Destroy.” With this option you’ll only pay for the wholesale purchase amount, not shipping and handling fees.

I don’t know if there’s a time limit on returns from discounted sales. I’ve researched and haven’t been able to find an answer. If I do, I’ll add it to this article.

You can read more about Book Returns below:

Making Your Book Returnable
Returns 101 – What Authors Need to Know

Distribution

Once you upload your book and they approve it, the distributor (IngramSpark) or retailer (Amazon) will make it available for sale.

Hope this eases the process of self-publishing your books.

You can check out the first three articles in the series here:

Self-Publishing a Book (1) – Formatting

Self-Publishing a Book (2) – The ISBN, the Barcode, and the LCCN

Self-Publishing a Book (3) – You’re at the Finish Line

Children's ghostwriter

Let me take a look at your notes, outline, or draft. I’m a working children’s ghostwriter and rewriter. I can turn your story into a book that you’ll be proud to be author of.

Simply email at: kcioffiventrice@gmail.com (please put Children’s Ghostwriter in the Subject line). Or, you can give me a call at 834—347—6700

Let’s get your story in publishable shape today!


Mar 01

Self-Publishing a Book – The ISBN, the Barcode, and the LCCN

Self-Publishing Tips

Last week, I went over ways to get your self-published book formatted. I also touched on the cover illustration and design.

Once you’ve chosen a book formatter and have had your front cover done, it’s time to think about the International Standard Book Number (ISBN), the barcode, and the Library of Congress Control Number (LCCN).

THE ISBN

According to MyIdentifiers.com, the ISBN “identifies a book’s specific format, edition, and publisher. It’s the “global standard for book identification and is required by most retailers.” It also provides metadata for your book which helps readers find your book. This 13-digit number is essential for paper books, but can also be used for digital formats.

Once an ISBN is assigned to a book, it cannot be used for any other version of that book or any other book.

There are a number of reasons you will need to give your book a new ISBN, including:

  • Each version (format) of your book must have its own number.
  • If you change the content within the book significantly, making it a new version or edition, you need a new ISBN. This includes adding a forward or a new chapter or content.
  • If you change the cover of your book, you need a new ISBN.
  • If you have a single book and then write another, you will need a third ISBN if you put Book1 and Book2 together in another book.

The ISBN goes on the backcover of your book – the book cover designer will include it on the cover in the form of a barcode. The information within it provides the price.

To find out more about the ISBN, go to:
https://www.myidentifiers.com/identify-protect-your-book/isbn/

Something new authors should be aware of:

If you use a self-publishing service/company to get your book out there, most likely they will provide the ISBN for you.

Sounds convenient, right?

Well, whoever gets the ISBN will be listed as the publisher of the book.

Do you really want a vanity press, if that’s who you’re using, or a book formatter being listed as the publisher of your book?

Whether you’re publishing one book or ten books, get your own ISBNs.

Browker’s MyIdentifiers is where to go. As of the writing of this article, the cost is $125 for one ISBN and $295 for ten.

I bought a pack of ten in 2017 – they never expire!

THE BARCODE

Your PRINTED book MUST have a barcode in order to be listed in major book stores and libraries.

If you don’t intend to try to get your book/s into the major stores or libraries then you won’t need a barcode. But the fee is nominal so it’d be wise to get it anyway. You never know – you may have a change of heart down the road.

According to MyIdentifiers, “A barcode is a graphical representation of your printed book’s ISBN and price – and buying a barcode is a low-cost investment in your book’s success.”

Below is an example of the barcode from MyIdentifiers:

You should get your barcode from the service you get the ISBN. It may be free if you get it when you purchase the ISBN.

You can check out:

https://www.myidentifiers.com/identify-protect-your-book/barcode

If you didn’t think of it when you bought your ISBN, there are services that will convert the ISBN into a barcode for free. Check out:

THE LCCN

The Library of Congress (in Washington D.C.) allows you to record your book in their system. Libraries all over the U.S. use this system to determine how to categorize your book, if they are interested in it.

It’s free to get an LCCN and could take one-two weeks, but I got mine in two days.

According to the Library of Congress, the “catalog control number is a unique identification number that the Library of Congress assigns to the catalog record created for each book in its cataloged collections. Librarians use it to locate a specific Library of Congress catalog record in the national databases and to order catalog cards from the Library of Congress or from commercial suppliers.”

In the event your book isn’t published yet, but you want the LCCN for the copyright page of your book, you can get a Preassigned Control Number (PNC). This enables “the Library of Congress to assign a control number in advance of publication to those titles that may be added to the Library’s collections.”

Once your book is published, you will need to send them a copy of the paper book to make the number official.

All mainstream books have an LCCN, so take the time to get one for your book/s.

What you need to apply for an LCCN:

  1. the name of the author
  2. the name of the publisher
  3. an image of the book cover
  4. a description of the book.

I think that was about it. It’s a painless and quick process.

About #2 above, have the name you’ll be using as ‘publisher’ in hand. Think about it carefully. This will be the name listed as publisher for the ISBN and the LCCN. It’s what will appear as publisher in your book.

And, if you’ll have multiple books, you’ll want the same publishing name. It should be part of your branding.

ADDING METADATA

This is just restating that you’ll need a good description of your book when you purchase your ISBN and when you get your LCCN. You’ll be asked to fill in information about your book. Make that information effective. It’s what will help get your book found. This could very well lead to sales.

Any information you’re asked to provide for your book, think about it carefully … think marketing.

Hope this helps you on your self-publishing journey!

Children's ghostwriter

Let me take a look at your notes, outline, or draft. I’m a working children’s ghostwriter and rewriter. I can turn your story into a book that you’ll be proud to be author of.

Shoot me an email at: kcioffiventrice@gmail.com (please put Children’s Ghostwriter in the Subject line). Or, you can give me a call at 834—347—6700

Let’s get your story in publishable shape today!

Or, if you’d rather give it a shot and do-it-yourself, check out my book, FICTION WRITING FOR CHILDREN.

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