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8/20/2011 8:23:36 AM
Initial steps to market
I can offer a couple of "must do" tips.
1) Get an ISBN assigned. This shows that you have a professional product to sell. You can get it free by publishing
an eBook version of your book at lulu.com.
2) List your book for sale on Amazon.com. Nearly all prospective buyers will assume that ALL books are available on
Amazon, so you have to make sure that YOUR book is available there too.
If you use a Lulu assigned ISBN and register your book with Amazon, Lulu will be listed as the publisher. The Publisher of Record is the owner of the ISBN.
ISBN is that barcode on the back of books. ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number, or something like that. It's an international registry of titles maintained by Bowker. You can buy individual numbers from them, or a block of ten for a reasonable sum. If you think you may ever publish more than one title buy a block. You can use them for eBooks, CDs, etc., not just books. You get to designate the name of the publishing company, so make up a cool one and declare yourself a publisher. If you own the ISBN, you're good to go.
The ISBN is issued for a book "as is" so if you alter anything beyond simple typo type errors, you are supposed to declare a new edition and use a new number. That means that technically, if you snag an eBook number from Lulu, you would be in violation of Bowker's rules by using it for a print volume anywhere.
If you have any hopes that your book will be in libraries, you need an ISBN. Ditto with Amazon and bookstores. If you are publishing only for private and non-commercial distribution, it doesn't matter.
If you want huge numbers of people to order, Amazon is an advantage. I often add an extra book to an order to qualify for free shipping. I can't do that with other sites. The equation is difficult to assess. Do you want more distribution and visibility for your book and yourself, or higher profit per volume?