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Any self-publishers around (Kindle)?

Discussion in 'Writers' Room' started by Jonah-K, Dec 19, 2013.

  1. Jonah-K

    Jonah-K New Member

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    Hi guys,

    right now I am on the verge of finishing my studies, successfully I hope. If that is the case, I am planning on taking a sabbatical. During that free time, I wanted to take my writing to the next level. I already have a bunch of short stories I have written in my little free time, enough to turn them into a novel I think. Before I start however I wanted to get a glimpse of the whole self-publishing process and I hope there are a few people around who can help me. The plan is to publish the novel on Amazon Kindle. I have already read the very informative article Sparkchaser posted (Ari Armstrong on Self-publishing | BookandReader.com ) but there are still some remaining questions regarding the ISBN. Frankly I want to know wether it is still necessary to get an ISBN if you plan to publish on Kindle. I have read about the importance of the ISBN in an article on isbn-search.org but like the article Sparkchaser shared, it doesn't say if it is a necessity. The reason for my concern is that, as a self-publisher, the costs are quite high and since I am not seeking financial independence with my novel I would like to keep the costs as low as possible - hence publishing on kindle. Also you get a similar number for the Kindle Store for free, so why bother ?

    Any help regarding the topic would be much appreciated !

    Regards
    Jonah
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2013
  2. Richard Falken

    Richard Falken Member

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    Welcome hell, Jonah-K.

    ISBN policies vary from country to country. In theory, it is something your publisher should do. Unless you are doing actual self-publishing -that is, editing, formating, printing and selling on your own- you are not likely to have to have your own ISBN. Amazon acts as a publisher, so you are not technically doing the publishing. The publisher houses have their own policies too, so you'd better check them case-by case. Remember that there could be ISBN exceptions that opt your works out of the need for an ISBN, like comic series, limited editions, etc.

    Do not follow legal advice given by a random guy on the Internet. Contact the ISBN agency, look the documentation up, go to the source. Internet is full of fools who think they are lawyers and have not a clue.

    I would also advice against exclusivity with a publisher unless you have a big gain with that. Amazon is the big player, but you can also use Smashwords or coindl (the last one is for cryptocurrency geeks), for example.
     
  3. WriterJohnB

    WriterJohnB Member

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    Hi, I'm the random guy on the internet who has published several novels on Kindle and Kindle policies are far from legal advice. They will assign an ISBN for you at no charge, or you can pay $10 (unless it's gone up) and buy an ISBN from them, which allows you to list yourself as the publisher, or you can use your own ISBN if you've purchased a batch. Go ahead and start setting it up now, it's absolutely free until you buy proof copies and it will give you time to learn the ropes. You might also want to check Amazon's CreateSpace for hard copy publishing - for one thing, they have a free cover-creator where you can use stock images or upload your own cover art. Check out my cover on the left, which was done at CreateSpace, using a stock image I purchased online. The cover will automatically transfer to your Kindle book. You can view the full Wendigo cover and other covers at my website.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2013
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  4. ChaosTheory

    ChaosTheory Active Member

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    Good to know. I've been thinking about trying Kindle Platform too, I'm pretty clueless on the publish/promotion end of things...
     
  5. Meadow337

    Meadow337 Former Moderator

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    Whichever you choose READ THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS CAREFULLY! You may not be all that happy with some of the rights you surrender to Kindle, Smashwords et al.
     
    Richard Falken and ChaosTheory like this.
  6. BM700

    BM700 New Member

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    Jonah,
    Once you start, you will like it. If you use Amazon, you have that choice whether to enroll in Select to use the 5-day free promotion or the new countdown promotion. You might want to publish your book or books across as many platforms possible.

    Good Luck

    BM
     
  7. jenni Clarke

    jenni Clarke New Member

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    I have just published on kindle, didn't get an isbn, they seem to assign a different code to the e-book. createspace is easy for setting up a paperback etc and gives you an isbn but you can only sell through amazon. I'm waiting for my proof copy to arrive from createspace, its a shame they only print in the US, so I have to wait for ages as it comes in the post.
    Ho hum.
    It's a great opportunity for sharing your writing, about 250 kindle downloads when I did a free promotion at xmas . As yet I've had no buyers for DragonZ Eye
    Good luck and enjoy the process.
     
  8. NJ Slater

    NJ Slater New Member

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    Just get a free ISBN from Smashwords. I have three eBooks, historical thrillers set in the 19th Century and just about to put the first into paperback with Createspace. Somehow that seems more grown up than eBooks.
     
  9. J.M. Brown

    J.M. Brown New Member

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    I have self published on amazon. It's an uphill battle all the way to get exposure because you don't have the client base that traditional literary agents have.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 15, 2015
  10. BoyBleu

    BoyBleu Member

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    Jonah,

    Self-publishing can be very inexpensive--requiring more time than money. Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) and SMASHWORDS will publish your eBooks for free. If you want to publish print editions (dead tree books), CREATESPACE (An Amazon company) will publish your books for free.

    KDP does NOT require an ISBN to be published. They will assign you an ASIN. You maintain ALL of your rights. You can if you wish use KDP Select where you agree NOT to publish an eBook anywhere else (this program can be renewed or terminated by you 90 days at a time).

    SMASHWORDS does not require an ISBN to sell at SMASHWORDS site. Hoever, SMASHWORDS distributes eBooks to Barnes&Noble, Apple iBooks, KOBO and others with their Premium Catalog. An ISBN is required for that distribution. SMASHWORDS will provide you a FREE ISBN if you want (lists them as publisher) or you can provide your own. You retain ALL rights at SMASHWORDS regardless of who is the publisher. You are the copyright owner, so IMO paying for an ISBN at SMASHWORDS isn't worth it. One advantage with SMASHWORDS is that you can create discount coupons (even free) for your eBooks to give to anyone you wish.

    At CREATESPACE, you will need an ISBN to publish your print editions. They can provide a free one (they are the publisher) or you can purchase one from them for $10 (you are the publisher). Either way, you are still the copyright owner and maintain all rights. CREATESPACE will also help you format your book and you can use their cover designer to create a free cover.

    All of the above publishers can use manuscripts produced in WORD.

    I've published my Rachel Cord mysteries with all three of the above. To learn more about these publishing programs, go to
    KINDLE DIRECT PUBLISHING
    SMASHWORDS
    CREATESPACE
     
  11. Wyldcat

    Wyldcat New Member

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    You've gotten some solid advice here on self publishing. No matter the avenue you choose--Createspace, Smashwords, or Draft2Digital--publishing is usually no cost to you. Printed books work off of the print of demand method and the publisher will take the production fees out of the sale price before they pay you the royalties. Ebook publishing is free to do (unless you pay for formatting and whatnot, which is not required) and fees come out of your royalties before you're paid. Most of the self publishing places offer free ISBNs, or, as others have said, you can spend about $10 for your own.

    The only thing you should ABSOLUTELY spend money on is your copyright. I'm not sure where you are, but in the US, it's a simple process that costs about $35 or so. It's well worth it to have this in order before you publish as it is your main legal recourse if your work is ever stolen. Do not publish without it!
     
  12. olivianorem

    olivianorem New Member

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    Hey Jonah,

    Ultimately you have to decide what is right for you. The one thing to watch out for in the self-publishing arena, is don't get short-sided on where your book may be in a year or so. While you can get free ISBN numbers from Amazon and Createspace and others, please note they can be limited to selling only on their platforms.

    You do NOT need an ISBN on these platforms if you are only offering an ebook, but you absolutely need one if you plan on doing physical printed books. If you want to distribute your work in other areas and open up the sales channels into additional print markets, probably the best advice I can suggest is buy your own ISBN number and go from there.

    Self publishing is an extremely difficult and competitive road. You've worked hard on your book, so do your homework and your research and read ALL the fine print. Also, everything is constantly changing, so keep on top of nuances which may effect your work. A really good article I found on this topic is:
    Watchdog: Ingram Spark vs CreateSpace for Self-publishing Print Books

    Good luck and I hope this helps a bit.
     

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