Resources and tips for the self-published author.

Publishing News Roundup Series: The Importance of ISBNs

by Maureen Crisp •  November 14, 2018  •   Follow

Published in News  •  No comments


The production work behind book publishing is just as important for a self-published author to complete, as the work itself.

You’re book is written, marketing is set, fans are interested. Now you have to get it to your fans. Production work is the key to making sure your fans can buy your book.


We all need a Scottish Granny


Around the publishing blogosphere this week…


In the U.S. getting an ISBN number means either accepting a free one from Amazon… where they are listed as the publisher on record or buying one from Bowker which costs a lot of money but at least you or your publishing company is the publisher on record. You need a separate  ISBN for every format of the book so this can really add up depending on how many formats you have. Bowker’s website was hacked this week and they almost shut down their whole operation….


(NB. Here in NZ we can get free ISBN’s by going to the National Library of New Zealand website.)


In a recent article on Publishers Weekly some literary agents listed their MS wish lists for Young Adult. Themes wanted are teens dealing with the real world. If you keep an eye on the publishing houses bottom line you soon learn that a year without a breakout YA bestseller really hits the revenue of the big publishing houses. Everybody is chasing the next big thing because the readership is almost 50% older than teens and in paperback and voracious. Ka- Ching!


The teen’s themselves find the whole genre problematical. In a recent post on her blog teen reader Vicky found many of her generation agreeing with her when she wrote about how YA isolates teens


Meanwhile Scholastic scored a hit when the viral video of a Scottish granny reading kiwi book Wonky Donkey started a craze. The scottish granny is on tour, reports Publishers Weekly, and is being seen as having a magic touch…. Some savvy marketing person saw an opportunity. 


Staying with the children’s book theme… Augmented Reality has become a talking point. What more can you do with it and is it really reading? Check out the new iterations of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter.


Chris Syme has an interesting guest post on Joanna Penn’s blog about crisis management for authors. What do you do when your reviews go missing or you get pirated or doxxed. First, don’t panic. Read this excellent post.


Quartz has a fascinating article on the rise of the new Sci Fi genre’s. Over the last year I have seen more references to Utopia fiction and Solar Punk but missed the defined niche of Cli Fi. What determines a new niche/genre? And is Cli Fi really contemporary thriller or non fiction depending on where you live in the world right now?


Character names are always challenging. I don’t feel the story is started unless I have the right character name. Once I have the name I often have the voice sorted in my head. Reedsy has a nifty character naming generator for those moments when you are stumped for a character name.

In The Craft Section,

Character arcs– Reedsy- Bookmark
Plucking heart strings with word choice- Vivian Kirkfield- Bookmark
Will readers find your protagonist worthy– Angela Ackerman- Bookmark
The value quotient of your core story-Writer Unboxed- Bookmark
How to write a fight scene– Standout Books

Resources for NaNoWriMo

Don’t forget The Storybundle of craft books curated by Kevin Anderson and available all month.

In The Marketing Section,

Taking care of business for writers– Writer Unboxed- Bookmark
3 keys to blogging sucess– Joel Friedlander

To Finish

Spare a thought for the poor writer that must write a promo blurb for another writer. Sometimes it can be very hard to find something positive to say. Tara Sparling helps authors to break down a series of honest blurbs so that you can mine the promo gold in the paragraph. Warning do not have a beverage to hand as you will choke… with laughter.
If you are a Scottish Granny then I have some great books you might like to read….



About Maureen Crisp

Maureen Crisp has been writing her weekly publishing roundups for over seven years. She is a traditionally published children's author as well as indie-published. She lives in New Zealand and is heading the team organising the 4th National Conference of Children's Writers and Illustrators. She is currently trying her hand at writing a children’s book series if she can drag herself away from forever tweaking her Mars novel or obsessing over space.