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Archive for the ‘ISBN Information’ Category

ISBN Answers To Common Questions

Posted on: April 2nd, 2021 by Andrew Verb

As the largest partner of the US ISBN Agency, we assist thousands of self-publishers every year. Two of the most common questions we receive involve the quantity of ISBNs needed and the type ISBN package they should purchase.

The support video below answers these questions.

Book Metadata – The Key To Discoverability

Posted on: November 12th, 2020 by Publisher Services

book metadata


Book metadata is essential embedded information that helps readers discover your book.  Metadata enables booksellers, libraries, and search engines to communicate to potential buyers all the specifics about your book.  Optimizing this information will improve the likelihood to match your book to buyers.  As the underlying identifier, your ISBN is the starting point to begin providing metadata. When you purchase an ISBN via Publisher Service, from either the Self Publisher Program ($55) or Publisher Program ($129), you get access to a title management portal. The information you provide about your book will be pushed through the Global Books in Print Database and our search engine,  Universal search engines, such as Google, index these sites, and then try to match results to best fit the query and demographics of a potential buyer.

Metadata is now integrated into every main online or application for varying industries and not just books. Music services, such as Pandora and Spotify, are great examples of how granular data is used to enhance the user experience by curating music based on search and individual preferences. For example, if you searched and played the Beatles song, “Let It Be”, in Spotify, the service would then match other music based upon the genre (60’s Rock) and artist (Beatles, Paul McCartney, John Lennon).

The information making up book metadata is very similar and includes the following;

  • ISBN of a title
  • Title and subtitle
  • Genre and subgenre (optional)
  • Book subject
  • Short and long descriptions
  • Author and other contributors
  • Year released
  • Books target market
  • Image of book cover
  • Price

If this information looks familiar, it is because it is EXACTLY the data that our publishers enter into the Title Management portals available from all of our ISBN Packages.  Book metadata is pushed through numerous platforms ranging from Amazon, Google, Libraries – Everywhere!

So the obvious question is then, “How does one go about creating optimized book metadata”?   Simple answer is “Research”.  When you are ready to start focusing on marketing your book, you need to do a comprehensive search on various platforms for competing books.  Once you identify a few competitors or similar books, go online to Amazon and Barnes & Noble and search your genre.  Once you find books in your genre which you have identified as similar, you can begin to see the content they used and then craft your own unique descriptive data. Also look for specific words and then type them into Google’s keyword planner tool.   Using this resource will enable you to identify the right keywords which are most relevant to your book.

Another recommendation is that you are consistent with the metadata information you publish. Try to use identical wording when entering this information on varying platforms, such as Barnes & Noble and Amazon.  Even using similar wording on your press releases and outreaches is a good practice.  Metadata management is also ongoing so you should periodically review how your book is being displayed on results.   The information entered through our Title Management Portals is constantly pushed to the Global Books in Print Database, so you should periodically review the content you have entered and tweak for improvement.



How To Create A Copyright Page

Posted on: January 23rd, 2020 by Publisher Services

Whether you are an established or new author, you want to protect your content from plagiarism. It would be foolish to take a risk with a book you’ve worked hard creating and publishing. Since self-publishers are tasked with handling all aspects of publishing themselves, we wanted to provide guidance on exactly how authors can protect themselves and illustrate the components of their books copyright page.

Should a Self-Publisher Register Their Books with U.S. Copyright Office?

According to the Library of Congress, copyright protection extends to “original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software and architecture.”

Technically, as soon as you publish something, it is protected under US copyright law. Unfortunately, that protection doesn’t have much teeth unless you go about registering your books with the U.S. Copyright Office. In the event you do need to involve the courts for a copyright infringement, US copyright registration is necessary. The US Copyright Office process takes between 3 and 12 months, so that is why most new self-publishers immediately register their copyrights before their books are actually published.

Note; there are additional legal benefits provided to copyright holders if they register within the first 3 months of publication. To learn more visit .

Copyright Page Formatting

The copyright page is a standard component for any type of book and is usually located on the verso (back) of the title page. Although there is no set format,  there are specific components commonly included on this page. Even the format alignment can vary from either right or center justified.

The copyright page can include some or all of the following information:

  • Copyright notice
  • ISBN
  • Rights and permissions
  • Disclaimer
  • Design, production, editing, illustration credits
  • Country of printing and source
  • Edition information
  • Publisher’s address & website
  • Trademark notices
  • Author website
  • Environmental notices

Copyright notice

A page could not be called a copyright page if it did not include the necessary copyright notice. A copyright notice includes:

  • The copyright symbol (©) or the word “Copyright”
  • The year of a work is first published
    • If a book is reprinted into new editions, it is common to list all of the edition years. (© 2017, 2019, 2020 John Q. Smith)
  • The copyright holder’s name or pen name (pseudonym).
    • If you do use a pseudonym, make sure you include both your real name and pseudonym when registering your copyright.

A sample copyright notice will look like this:
© 2020 John Q. Smith or Copyright 2020 John Q. Smith

Instructions for creating a copyright symbol (©);

On a Mac, hold down the ‘Option‘ (or ‘Alt‘) button + ‘G

On on a PC, hold down ‘ALT’ + ‘0169


An International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a 13-digit numeric identifier that is used worldwide to identify books and book-type products. Retailers, distributors, marketplaces and libraries rely on unique ISBNs and the ISBN is commonly is commonly included on copyright pages.

Rights and permissions

The rights reserved notice states that the copyright holder (author) reserves all rights to reproduce the book or portions of the book. This phrase is technically no longer needed, as owning a copyright means that the author holds all the rights. It’s still used in books as common practice and many publishers use phrases such as;

All rights reserved.


All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, contact [include publisher/author contact info].


As a precaution to protect yourself from potential lawsuits if any of your characters or plot lines resemble real people or events, it is prudent to include a disclaimer such as;

This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.


Portions of this book are works of fiction. Any references to historical events, real people, or real places are used fictitiously. Other names, characters, places and events are products of the author’s imagination, and any resemblances to actual events or places or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Disclaimers may also be used for nonfiction works. If you’re writing a memoir, you may choose to include a disclaimer that simply states that the events in the book are your memories from your perspective. You may also include a notice that certain names have been changed to protect the identities of those involved.

It is always wise to consult an intellectual property attorney for guidance if you are concerned.

Credits to editors, photographers & Illustrators

Although credits are normally provided in a separate Acknowledgments section on many books, some publishers include them on the copyright page. This section is completely optional.

Country in which the book was printed & Source

For books printed outside of the US, you should include a line that states where the book was printed (i.e. Printed in China).  Some printing companies automatically add their name to this page as well. This is entirely optional.

Edition information

Even if the edition information is included on other pages (the title page, for instance), it is a good practice to also include it on your copyright page. The line of text only needs to state that that it is the First Edition, Second Edition, etc.

Publisher’s address

Copyright pages typically include the name of the publisher and address.  If you are a self-publisher, this could either by your own information or a publishing company you create.

Trademark notice

Trademark notices for names and logos of the publishing company or its imprint might be included on a copyright page.

Author website

Self-promotion should be ongoing so it is very common for an author website URL to be on the copyright page.


Copyright Page Sample Formats


copyright page long form

If you have any questions about how to format the copyright page, please contact one of our consultants for assistance at 800-662-0703 or emails us at







Breaking News – Supreme Court makes ruling about copyright infringement

Posted on: March 6th, 2019 by Publisher Services

4 March 2019: The U.S. Supreme Court held today that bringing a suit for copyright infringement requires that the infringed work actually be registered with the U.S. Copyright Office, (i.e., Issuance of a Certificate) and that a mere application for registration will not suffice.

What this means for Self-Published Authors and Publishers:

The ruling makes it even more imperative that copyright holders register their works promptly if they wish to enforce their rights — on top of the already considerable financial incentives that the U.S. copyright regime provides for registered works.

While expedited registration remains available to copyright claimants for a fee, the Court’s new ruling is most likely to impact copyright holders for whom a delay of even a few weeks in bringing suit could prove irreparable —particularly those seeking temporary restraining orders or other preliminary injunctive relief.

See full article in National Law Review:

Bowker and Publisher Services have partnered with Digi-Rights to assist clients with copyright registration due to the technicalities and nuances of the registration process.


Wait A Minute! Not all ISBNs will work for Amazon??

Posted on: July 30th, 2018 by Publisher Services

You have decided that you want to self-publish and distribute your book(s), ebooks or DVDs through Amazon. Great! Amazon has little to no competition amongst online booksellers. It’s important to purchase an ISBN (International Standard Book Number) for your book product for discoverability online or in stores; most markets will require an ISBN to sell your book as well.

amazon isbn

There are many different ISBN offers, packages,  and information all over the web. Aside from making sure you are working with a legitimate authorized ISBN agent, you need to make sure that you are obtaining the correct type of ISBN to match your intended marketplaces, such as Amazon. But, how do you know which option is right for you?

Amazon has three different divisions in which you can use to distribute and market your books on their site: Amazon CreateSpace, Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing and Amazon Fulfillment (FBA). Each of these three divisions has set rules in regards to the ISBN that can be submitted by the author.

Amazon CreateSpace and Amazon KDP will only accept ISBNs that are registered to the name of the author/publisher that is creating an account. When purchasing an ISBN, it’s important to inquire of the company what will be the imprint name of the ISBN in Bowker’s Global Books in Print database. The Publisher Package ($129) provides an ISBN with  your company’s name identified as the registrant in the database. During the title setup for both Amazon CreateSpace and Amazon KDP, imprint name is verified against the Global Books in Print Database.  If an ISBN is entered which does not match, the following message is displayed:

“The ISBN entered for this Title ID is registered to another publisher in Bowker, the U.S. ISBN Agency, and we are unable to proceed with the current ISBN. Visit the ISBN section of your Project Homepage to view your ISBN options. Be sure to update your files to match any recent ISBN changes. If you believe that your ISBN was not accepted in error, please verify that the information provided within your Member Account is correct and then contact us so we may review further.”

To avoid receiving this error message and spending more money to correct your mistake, purchase an ISBN that properly identifies your company in Bowker’s database. Purchasing a Publisher Package ISBN enables your book to be sold through all three Amazon divisions and all marketplaces across the globe.

For Amazon Fulfillment, there are no regulations as to the registrant of the ISBN you have assigned to your book. The Self-Publisher Package (starting at$55) is the ideal solution and the indicated registrant in Bowker’s database is “Independent Publisher”.  When setting up book product information during the Amazon Fulfillment setup, you simply indicate “Independent Publisher” as the imprint name to receive approval. It is important to note that authors/publishers retains title ownership and copyright privileges for either ISBN package.

To purchase an ISBN for Amazon CreateSpace and Amazon KDP, please click here.

To purchase an ISBN for Amazon Fulfillment (FBA) only or self-distribution, please click here.

For more information, please contact us at or call us at 800-662-0701 x250.