Assistance with self-publishing by Jim Kirkwood author of several boxing books.
Self Publish Books / Gilmour Print
I have been asked by Self Publish Books at Gilmour Print to pass on my experience of dealing with Nielsen UK ISBN Agency.
For those of you who are determined to write a book, any type of book, with a view to selling it, you may find the following information of some help. It is in many ways an over simplification but it will give you a basic background to what is involved.
Firstly, and most importantly, no organisation will touch your book
unless it has an ISBN number with its own unique barcode. There is only one place
to get your ISBN number in this country and that is at www.nielsen.com
. In the past you had to buy a block of ten ISBNs (current price £149.00 including VAT) but as of January 2016, you can buy a single ISBN – unfortunately it costs £75.00 including VAT, so if you plan to write a second book you should buy 10!.
Nevertheless, Nielsens do provide services free of any additional charge. They will notify almost all online book sellers with details of your book. You can do this even before the book is complete, due to there being a facility to update once you are ready to release it.
Be aware that most people, in the first instance, seem to be buying books via Amazon. You can choose to sell your book on Amazon but you will not be happy to learn that they take 40% of the cost price of every copy they sell!
You can control the sale of your book to a very large extent. When you advertise, prospective buyers can either write directly to yourself, or order the book from a local bookshop. With the latter option, the bookshop will contact one of two companies, Gardners based in Eastbourne, or Bertrams based in Norwich. They in turn will place the order with Nielsens and they then send an email notifying you of the order. You send the books to either company (Gardners or Bertrams depending on which has contacted Nielsens) and will not be advised which bookshop made the actual order. Neither Gardners nor Bertrams are willing to pay the postage. Gardners and Bertrams make up their accounts at the end of each month and payment is made a couple of weeks later. However, they work a month behind. So, if you sell a dozen copies of your book in January, these will be included in their February accounts and payment will arrive with you by mid March!!
Don’t be disheartened, the whole process is much easier than you may think and staff at Nielsens are all very helpful. But, it is absolutely critical that you ADVERTISE your book as widely as you can afford. After all, if people don’t know about your book how on earth are you going to sell it . As a very rough guideline, a 75mm by 50mm advert in a local daily newspaper will cost at least £100 plus VAT. Also remember that if your book is on a local subject, the county library may wish to stock it.
I hope you find this information useful.