Conant Gardens Readers

{March 9, 2011}   ISBN And Publishing

I first tried the SUBSIDY PRESS publishing companies to learn the publishing business. I had to start somewhere. And many people have followed the same route. There’s nothing wrong with that. You have to start somewhere and learn how to publish your CRAFT by understanding the steps involved. This is the part where most people are get scared. I don’t blame them. That leap is like leaping off a cliff, not knowing if the water below is shallow or deep. If you ever saw the movie ‘Titanic’, you will understand the fears the passengers had when they had to take that astounding leap. They didn’t know if they would survive or be swallowed up by the freezing depth of the Antarctic waters. I’m scared just reading that part. But you have to take a good BREATH and hold it. Then LEAP!
The SUBSIDY PRESS will cost money. Doesn’t everything in the publish business? Have a budget ready. I illustrate that later. Do your research first. The most prominent SUBSIDY PUBLISHERS are: Durrance, Tate, Vantage Press, Author House, and a few others. Now what is the difference between SUBSIDY AND VANITY PUBLISHING? Not much really, but let me explain what I know.
I will explain the VANITY PRESS publishing first, mainly because you hear of these houses the most. VANITY PRESSES are publishing or printing houses that print an AUTHOR’S book at the sole cost of the AUTHOR. The overhead cost is more expensive than self-publishing. The rights and completed works are, yes, of course yours. You retain ownership of what you just produced, meaning your story. All sales and profit is yours minus the charges for the editing, formatting into book form, cover design, and the time and amount of paper put into the printing process. They will publish almost any kind of work, so if you wrote quality, then you deserve quality. VANITY PRESSES don’t screen necessarily for the quality which I am hoping your writing is.
What about SUBSIDY PUBLISHING? Some people haven’t heard of the SUBSIDY PRESS publishing. Well, it is the same as VANITY PRESS PUBLISHNG, except they may include the price of editing, distribution, and marketing in a lavish package or two. In other words they dress it up like an extravagate evening gown, or a tailored tuxedo. If you like the packages, then they have just enticed you into their publishing houses as a baby is teased with a lollipop. The downside is that the completed books are the property of the publishing house, which OWNS the ISBN, the AUTHOR receives a royalty (not much money as the AUTHOR deserve).
SELF-PUBLISHING is what most novice AUTHORS are investing in. With SELF-PUBLISHING, the AUTHORS pays all COSTS for publishing their work. The AUTHOR has their say in who edits the work, designs the cover, prints the pages, distributes the work to the markets and they do most of the marketing themselves. This way of publishing is cost-effective because the AUTHOR finds people to edit their work at a cheaper rate, find their own book cover designers, and use printers and distributors that offer better deals than the VANITY or SUBSIDY publishers do. Most importantly, the AUTHOR is the sole owner of the work, not only by owning the rights to their work, but also by purchasing their own ISBN for the work, and this is the best reward by far. The AUTHOR, in the end, reaps about 80% of the sales after the contributed costs.
MANY WRITERS BELIEVE THE SUBSIDY AND VANITY PUBLISHING is interchangeable, meaning they are similar in what they protest to do for the AUTHOR. If you chose this route in which you wish to venture, that’s your decision. I like to set sail in my own SELF-PUBLISHING boat. I like to control my WRITER’S CRAFT. I set aside money to see my work sail across the seas of the world. I make time for the editors, cover designers, printer and distribution quotes, and above all, I arrange the marketing schemes that will be used to sell my books.

If your get your own ISBN number for your work, you own your WRITER’S CRAFT. This number is yours, and no one can rob you of your sales. You become your own PUBLISHER! It will cost between $125 and $250, but you’ll probably pay a fraction of that same amount in editing costs, cover designing, distribution, and in marketing.
Visit; and pay for the single ISBN number, or purchase a block of ISBN numbers. If you are going to write a number of books, then the block of 10 ISBNs is right for you. The ISBN number simply identifies the titles of your books and identifies the publisher (which is YOU THE AUTHOR) for ordering purposes. It must contain 13-digits, therefore if you find a site giving less than 13-digits are bogus sites, and you need to beware of any ‘thieves in the night’.
SUBSIDY/VANITY PRESSES will ASSIGN or SELL YOU one of THEIR ISBNs, and yes, at $10-50 per book. But remember, they will tell you that “YOU RETAIN ALL RIGHTS”, which is unfortunately misleading. You are actually BORROWING the ISBN. You don’t own it, so a book retailer will go to the ISBN holder (PUBLISHER) to buy a bulk of your books, and you get the contracted royalty which you agreed upon in your signing of the contract.
If your book contract with your SUBSIDY PRESS PUBLISHER ends, the ISBN for the book that they PUBLISED, which the ISBN number was already assigned to this SUBSIDY PRESS PUBLISHER, then the book stays with them, therefore your book is not like luggage, you can’t take it with you. I know this by experience.
My advice to you is own your OWN ISBN number. In the 70 years after your death, your children and perhaps their children can profit from your CRAFT. There is nothing wrong by leaving your WRITER’S CRAFT to your future generations. I would love to have Charles Dickens or Shakespeare, hey even the satiric poet Dante as my kin. I would show the talents of these CRAFTERS with my head held high and pride crowning my chest as I boast about them.
Lastly, don’t forget the BARCODE(S)! Yes this is necessary for your ISBN numbers. Retailers and booksellers scan these codes to give information to their computers, as to, who is the PUBLISHER and how to order more books for sell. is the place I used to purchase these codes. This site charges $89 for one barcode. If you already have your ISBN number, you can have it placed on the BARCODE, and printed on labels in quantities of 90, for about $60. A great deal! There are other sites to purchase these BARCODE(S). Research the web for the best prices, and then choose the site(s) which will best suit your needs.
Now go ahead and take the next step, and don’t get exhausted yet. We got to move forward. Take a deep breath and put one foot forward, then the next. We came a long way, so just a few more steps and we would have reached the top of our first mountain. Ready? No? Well, move on anyway. I pushing you and you will thank me later!


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