Meanwhile, at Dave’s: Self Means Self

a-barcode-not-an-isbnAnother good article at Dave Bricker’s site about what self-publishing really means.

Also the beginnings of a conversation in the comment section about free ISBNs.

After I used up the 10 I bought from Bowker, I started using the free ISBNs CreateSpace offers. I don’t care who the publisher of record is. I care who’s credited with the intellectual property (and the payments.)

Other authors have tried to convince me that owning your ISBNs is the only professional route.

Until now, that’s been the whole argument: it looks more professional. Leaving off the rest of the sentence: to other authors. I don’t sell to authors, I sell to readers. Argument over.

Except, Dave makes some points we’re working through. Interesting points that have me thinking.

Can We Talk About ISBNs?

International Standard Book Number. ISBN. It seems to confuse folks no end.

photo by Zsuzsanna Kilian get it. Numbers, to most of us in the western world, are about ownership. If someone has your social security number you could be in trouble. Credit card number? Lock it up. Driver’s license? Well, it feels important.

No. Wrong. It’s nothing like that.

… more … “Can We Talk About ISBNs?”

Free ISBN? Not a Problem.

ISBN and barcode for 'Getting Your Book Out of the Someday Box'ISBNs are confusing.

In many countries, they’re free. Apparently those folks have a God-given (or government-given) right to be listed as the publisher of their own work, finances notwithstanding.

In the US, you’ll pay for the privilege of appearing to have published your own book. Bowker owns the monopoly. Like most monopolies, they’re expensive. But at least they’re hard to deal with, too, so you get the full package.

Free ISBNs abound, if you’re willing to let the owner of the ISBN be listed as the publisher. I bought 10 ISBNs back when I cared. That’s the last money I’ll spend on them.

Let’s use CreateSpace as an example, prompted by a question on Linked In.

… more … “Free ISBN? Not a Problem.”

Barcodes: To Buy Or Not To Buy

Cheryl Campbell

Cheryl Campbell

Continuing our conversation with author Cheryl Campbell

On Tue, Jul 23, 2013 at 10:09 AM, Cheryl Campbell <> wrote:
Hi Joel,When you purchase your ISBNs, do you also purchase your bar codes at the same time, or just get the bar codes when you need them?

I’m looking at the bulk 10 ISBNs deal from Bowker.

If I have 2 books and do them both in soft and hard cover, that’s 4 ISBNs right there. And I can’t imagine my writing will cease and desist after these 2 books.

I’m thinking I’ll use CreateSpace for the soft cover POD, and another printer for just hard backs more for use as gifts than anything else since I know hard backs are more expensive to produce than soft.

What are your thoughts on this plan?
… more … “Barcodes: To Buy Or Not To Buy”