{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Sara Loo August 19, 2013 at 5:28 am

Dear Joel,
Can a person go back and fix the information on Bowker’s
to make it better? And what if you do not remember
answering these questions? What I am asking is is
it possible that I missed it? I published my two
books with smashwords and then did a print on demand with
one of them that I listed with amazon. The whole thing is
kind of fuzzy to me.



Joel Friedlander August 19, 2013 at 1:30 pm

Hi Sara,

It depends on where/how you received your ISBNs. If you bought them directly from Bowker then you have an account there and can look up and edit the records for your titles. If you got a “free” ISBN from someone else, like Smashwords, you will have to ask them whether you can edit the entries.


Cheryle Wood April 11, 2012 at 3:11 pm

I am revising a children’s book that was published by another company. The author owns all the rights. The book will have a new ISBN and become a hardcover chapter book. Interior content will be changed and an additional illustration added. Microsoft Word was used for the original, but I am using InDesign. The original was printed by Lightning Source and in distribution by Ingram. I will use both for the revised book. Question – how should this book be listed in Bowkers – a revised edition? And, should it be listed on Amazon as a revised edition and the original out of print? Any help you can give me is very much appreciated. Thank you.


Joel Friedlander April 11, 2012 at 3:13 pm

Hi Cheryle,

You can used “revised editon” or “second editon,” and I usually prefer the latter. Otherwise your plan sounds fine.


Debra Weiner May 19, 2011 at 6:49 pm


This is was very helpful–you are an invaluable resource and I love the Saturday video concept. Brilliant!

Thanks again,


Dana Ross Martin May 14, 2011 at 11:17 am

First off, this is a brilliant idea – posting a video blog of Q&A on Saturdays! Also, ( and I say this from having worked in the TV industry for 30 years) you come across quite well in these presentations. Well-spoken, easy-to-understand, and offering this info in a short format (can’t stand those 1 hour video presentations!!!) (oy!)
Anyway, yes, I’m in the process of publishing my first book and would appreciate your guidance.
For an eBook, is it best to upload my manuscript it to Smashwords AND Amazon Kindle (in order to cover all the eBook formats)?

What is the proper order to apply for the following?:

That’s enough questions for now. (oh, there’ll be more!) (ha!)
Thanks, Joel


Joel Friedlander May 14, 2011 at 4:16 pm

Dana, thanks for your feedback, I’m counting on readers to let me know what they think.

Yes, definitely put your book with both Smashwords and Kindle, the only major retailer Smashwords doesn’t cover.

You’ll be getting your ISBNs first, when you set up your publishing company, your LCCN while your book is in production, and your copyright after they book has been published.


Dana Ross Martin May 14, 2011 at 5:31 pm

Thanks for the quick replies! Much appreciated, sir.

Another thing I wanted to ask.
When I’m filling out the forms at Bowker . . is that for the eBook version of my book or the PRINT version?
(or, does it even matter; they’re both the same)
I think I wondered WHICH ISBN to put on that form since there’ll be a different ISBN for the eBook and the PRINT version and the audiobook, too.



Carolyn May 14, 2011 at 11:10 am


Nice video. It’s well done and informative, and a good addition to your excellent blog. I’ve freelanced in book design and production for over a decade, and appreciate the range of topics you’ve been covering. My work is shifting to include more self-publishers, or independent publishers, which is different than designing for publishing houses. Your blog has a wealth of information and is a wonderful resource.



Joel Friedlander May 14, 2011 at 4:13 pm

Thanks Carolyn, it’s great to have you as a reader. I’ve also worked both for publishers and self-publishers, but these days 90% of my clients are publishing their own books. For many reasons, it really is a golden age for indie authors.

Carolyn, if you think of subjects I’ve overlooked, I hope you’ll let me know.


Karen Jeffery May 14, 2011 at 7:05 am

Hi Joel…love the video Q&A! And thx for answering some of my other concerns…as a fairly new publisher I have so many.
A question I would like a more in- depth response to regards the various formats for different ebook platforms – iBooks, kindle, nook, etc, etc…and finding a suitable converter from word or PDF files.
Do I need to translate each differently, or is there one piece of software (preferably shareware:) that will fulfill all? What’s your best advice on the whole translation issue?


Joel Friedlander May 14, 2011 at 4:12 pm

Excellent question, Karen. I was just at a talk today by Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords. My advice is . . . it depends. I will plan on addressing e-book conversion options in the immediate future.


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