Registration and Metadata Support
Properly registering your work is a requirement for placing it for sale, with the ISBN number being one of the necessary items a self-publisher must handle. An ISBN is the 13-digit number that serves as the permanent identification number for your work. It is registered with a central database service, the responsibility of the self-publisher, which lists the specifics of the work’s size and format, font, binding type contributors, rights, etc. This information is part of what is called metadata; this information tied to an ISBN is how book sellers, libraries and retailers find works to obtain. Publishers own the ISBN, whether a publishing house or a self-publisher. Purchasing ISBN’s is structured so that one is relatively expensive, while the price per each drops considerably when buying 100 or more. The ISBN must be incorporated into the USB that appears on a cover in order for the work to be sold. Again, there is a cost for obtaining the proper UPC.
When an author takes the self-publishing it is crucial they understand the implication of obtaining the ISBN for their work. When publishing through a traditional publishing house, the publishing house owns the ISBN and is the publisher of record for the duration of the contract terms. This is standard and understood when signing with a traditional publisher. It can be less obvious in self-publishing arrangements. If a company offers the service of supplying an ISBN from their inventory, that company is the publisher of the work unless they release the rights to the author. If an author purchases an ISBN independently and utilizes print run or POD company, then the author is the publisher. If you use an online self-publishing service, they and not the author will usually be the author. For example, if an author utilizes the free upload portal at CreateSpace where an ISBN is provided, the publisher of the work is CreateSpace and listed as “CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform” when registered and the UPC can only be used for CreateSpace. This allows them to dictate distribution of the author’s work, which will only be on their platform; note the disclaimer “This ISBN can only be used with the CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.”
Lafayette & Greene can provide you with an ISBN and a properly-formatted UPC for your work, and will not retain publishing rights; all publishing rights remain with the author. We can ensure proper registration of your work with the appropriate agency as well as ensuring the accuracy and completeness of the associated metadata.