Tuesday, 4 February 2014

ISBN

I'm having a very frustrating day looking into promoting my self published book. I'm feeling very overwhelmed by all the advice and information that is out there. One handy site I got was for Bowker.
www.bowker.co.uk
according to their site, Bowker is the world's leading provider of bibliographic information management solutions designed to help publishers, booksellers, and libraries better serve their customers. The company is focused on developing various tools and products that make books easier for people to discover, evaluate, order, and experience. Their service is free and came recommended. I decided to give it a try and went on to register. Soon I came unstuck as I am the publisher and I don't have an ISBN number hence I don't exist as such even though I have published via KDP.  To my surprise I discovered that you can request an ISBN number for an e-book.

Via the same link I ended up on their page to buy an ISBN number at 125$. Even though this was via the UK site it gave me an US form and no way to fill in my french details. After some more research I discovered that you have to request an ISBN number in the country where you live.

My heart sank as I went on the AFNIL (the french agency for issuing ISBN) I encountered a website that could do like a few things here in France, with being dragged screaming and kicking into the 21st century. I tried phoning them as I wasn't quite sure if the 'Agence Francophone pour la Numérotation Internationale du Livre' was quite the right place for my English language book. After trying all 3 options on their automated service I got either referred to their website or could leave a fax number after the beeb. What I have learned here is not lose patience and just start filling out forms, if you do it wrong they bounce them back and you start again. (I know a laborious way of fact finding but it often is as quick as reading all the websites, making calls and getting it wrong anyway.) Forms dully filled out, scanned and dispatch by email and now we have to wait for 3 weeks with baited breath.

Yes I would have liked a nice website with an easy online registration form to get my ISBN straight away, but unlike US company Bowker  who charges 125$ the french registration is free. The French appreciate their art and literature and if you have the patience and determination there is a lot of help to support you in your endeavors. So today I have to say, vive la France; if all goes well you'll have saved me 125$