Diary of an amateur poetry-publisher, part three

DOUBTISTRunning out of images to accompany these posts with.

I’m also about three months late, but being as nobody will read this I won’t deck my halls too savagely about it.

The gist of this third post was supposed to be about navigating the treacherous tides of ISBN procurement. But that was really ridiculously simple! Honestly, this whole publishing business really is a sham – they’ll let anyone in.

All you need to do is print off a couple of forms from Nielsen’s UK ISBN agency and be willing to part with a lot of money. I bought a hundred of the buggers, just in case publishing becomes a habit. (Like with many things, it’s more cost-effective to buy in bulk.)

As far as printing went, it’s sort of a similar affair. By this stage you should have got your design (and therefore measurements, dimensions, etc.) down, so all you have to do is send them your interior and exterior (probably in PDF form, definitely if you use the same printers I used, or anyone like them), and hand over a lot of cash you probably won’t see again. Oh, and you’ll need to generate your barcode – which they’ll do for a small fee, or you can do yourself for free here. Scots publishers Cargo were kind enough to point me in the direction of that site.

Obviously there’s a bit of guesswork in stating when your intended publishing date is if you haven’t printed yet (you have to provide the British Library with a copy within a month of publication) but my printers only took a week and a bit after receiving the final payment.

And then I received this.

It really was a wonderful feeling! Not quite up there with that of the child you can also see in that picture being born, but a sort of watered down metaphorical version with its own unique joys.

Packaging and sending them was fun too, and it was nice to hear bits and pieces from people who received them. I didn’t make so many (or sell so many) that the process was ever likely to be anything but fun, and so it proved.

The question of ISBNs is a thorny one if you’re self-publishing. I suppose technically you can be published without one, but it doesn’t feel quite the same; and certainly won’t be quite the same if you actually plan on selling any in bulk. Getting them in shops is much easier with an ISBN, I’m told; not that I’ve done that yet.

That may as well be the end really, as I’m not sure this particular book will get much further. I’ve sold about 50 (most by Kickstarter pre-order), swapped about 5 with other artists for books or records, and given away about 20 to numerous people I felt I owed favours to. This last group weren’t particularly numerous but I managed to get hold of most of their addresses one way or another.

If I write another one of these it’ll be in a few months’ time (maybe even the new year, as I’m busy having another baby soon and I’m really busy most nights watching bad TV or being drunk on a sofa). The subject will be one or more of the following:

  1. Getting the book in shops.
  2. Getting the book reviewed.
  3. Promoting the book by live performances.

So, until then, I remain

A S H Velky

PS 129 books left to buy. Get yours here.

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