Assign Your ISBN at the Start

Today I spent a good hour live chatting with a couple different Lulu representatives with regard to garnering a Distribution package for Ripple the Twine.

My project was showing up in the list but for some reason there was no link to the Distribution selection and I was becoming concerned.

On Lulu and other print on demand service publishers there is generally an option readily available that allows the user to have their book submitted to various online markets. Lulu works with B&N as well as Amazon and as any reader or writer knows those are the mecca places for an Author to have their work listed.

So you can understand why it concerned me that I wasn’t showing up there yet.

The project is complete, clearly, as I’ve been promoting like a mad woman (shameless self-promotion, woo hoo!) and have been selling somewhat steadily since it was released on April 20.

But I want to reach more markets and buyers outside my circle so I need it on Amazon, et al.

It was finally discovered that I hadn’t assigned an ISBN to my project.

In order to save you some monster frustration if you go with Lulu for your book project, here are a few things I learned this morning:

- If you create your project without assigning an ISBN (either a Lulu provided or one of your own) when you go back to revise the project all feedback/likes on FB will be erased.

Because Lulu considers this a brand new project even if your settings (pages, cover, etc.) hold. This is crucial as likes and shares are the best word of mouth promotion out there! Which brings up another key point:

- When you assign the ISBN & purchase their GlobalReach Distribution Package you have to buy a proof copy.

What’s the big deal there? Well, I already did that when I approved it for General Distribution back in April. But in order to garner this distro package they force you to buy it.

Now that’s another couple bucks I had to spend and time waiting for its arrival upon which I’ll have to approve the copy. So the 8 weeks for its listing really means more like 10-11. Yikes.

 - Chat is good but be specific and don’t feel rushed to end the session.

The first person I chatted with didn’t answer my questions or walk me through, she just said to Revise and save. And she was quick to kick me out of chat.

Sadly the process of revising & saving wiped my Likes (it would’ve anyway) but it still didn’t allow me to add the ISBN. She wasn’t clear about the process and I was confused.

Frustrated, I chatted again. This time I was direct in my problem and I kept putting info out there until she got what I was saying. And vice versa. Then she was kind enough to walk me through step-by-step so I was comfortable with the process being completed successfully. Which it was.

- Your project must be available to the general public in order to assign your ISBN.

VERY important tip here. If you are playing around with the book, don’t have everything together, haven’t uploaded a cover or description, etc., be sure to get everything in order before you approve.

That way you can choose General Access option and get your ISBN assigned right away. Any other Access option means your book is not available to anyone other than you.  Meaning your ISBN is doing nothing for you and you’ll be in the same boat as I was this morning.

In the end I’m happy with the service I received, not to mention that everything is good to go now.

I hope this helps you to avoid some frustration by not having to deal with the same issue.

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