Continuing in my quest to show myself and others how to write, I came across the Q&A from the Bowker webinar regarding their ISBN and related services. Full disclosure: I have vicariously bought an ISBN from Bowker before from a friend who bought in bulk and sold the rest.
Q. Why is it so much more expensive to buy a few ISBNs compared to buying a large block of numbers? Will Bowker think about making the costs the same for everyone? That might level the playing field a bit for indie authors and small presses.
A. ISBN agency created packages based on how many ISBN’s publishers and authors normally buy. It is more economical to buy a larger amount then to just buy one. This is because it is very rare that anyone buys one ISBN and that’s it. Normally you need at least two if you do a print and ebook. We try to encourage customers to this of this when purchasing ISBN’s.
Q. Where do we upload excerpts on Bowker?
A. You can log into www.myidentifiers.com and upload your except to the website.
Q. Can we add more than one supplier?
A. You can only have one supplier per market in the system.
Q. If we publish through IngramSpark, do we put LSI as our supplier?
A. Ingram would be the supplier.
Q. Is it ok for the author/publisher to take reviews from one website and add to another?
A. You can, you just have to make sure you have permission to do so.
Q. If you find something is missing or confusing in your metadata within a website, how do we resolve that?
A. You would first check to be sure the information is correct in IngramSpark. As we said in the presentation, it can take some time to get updates to show on all the channel partner sites so don’t expect the information to be corrected immediately. That’s why it’s so important to check your work and get it right the first time. For some sites, such as Amazon, you can try logging into your book detail page and then click “update product information” as see in the graph below. Also, you can file a help ticket in Spark and we can repush the data if you’ll let us know.
Q. What is “Price Supplier”?
A. Your distributor (Ingram) is your price supplier.
Q. You mentioned searchable metadata and its impact on buyers: Besides BISAC and title, what else is important?
A. An accurate description of your book is critical. If you can supply key words, audience for your title that will help it to come up in more searches. Author biography will also help since the Author Bio is all searchable.
Q. I purchased my ISBNs from Bowker and I filled out the metadata form. Do I need to re-enter it with IngramSpark?
A. Yes, you would enter the ISBN along with your metadata when you’re setting up your title in IngramSpark.
Q. As an author services hybrid publisher…or ”partnership publisher” does Ingram have a distribution category for us that is an improvement over the “self-publisher” distribution model?
A. Unfortunately, we don’t have the ability to support your model at this time.
Q. Will IngramSpark offer ISBNs at a discounted rate or same as Bowker?
A. They will be discounted once we have the option for you to buy your ISBN directly in Spark. Currently, we’re setting the pricing at $99/ISBN. The service won’t be available for a few months.
Q. I have a question about ISBN prices. I’ve noticed a wide range of prices from various sites, anywhere from $18 to $125 dollars or more. Can you please advise?
A. The ISBN agency is the official source to purchase your ISBN’s. We do have third party vendors that we work with such as IngramSpark, where you can buy your ISBN from and have it be a valid ISBN. You should be careful when purchasing your ISBN’s from other sources. You want to make sure you understand what you are buying. Some sites offer the ISBN at a low price but you find out later that you are not the publisher on record. You need to investigate what you are getting for your money before buying.
Hope this helps and stay tuned for more tips on how to write!
L. Fabry is the author of Ordinance 93, a novel set in a world where having a baby without permission is against the law and the first four people to break it. She also writes about everything from reaction injection molding to low fat recipes while indulging her need for creative outlets including novels and screenplays. Find out more on Twitter.