ISBNs: stop worrying and get junk done!

**note: when I refer to Amazon or Createspace in this blog, I do so as a generalization. I intend to publish on all the ebook platforms I can, and I’m sure they’ll all havee their own terms and conditions for me to worry about. I’m just only familiar with Amazon so far, and haven’t researched any of the others. so if I write something like “When Amazon grinds up my soul to sprinkle on its cereal” I’m really referring to the industry generally, not them specifically. Like Xerox for photocopying, Amazon is big and ubiquitous enough that  they’ll have to deal with their name becoming a generalization.**

I’ve been doing research, planning to unleash my book unto the world, and all I’ve gotten out of it is a heap of worry. Should I buy my own ISBNs and keep complete control? Or take free ISBNs  from Createspace, Amazon KDP, whoever? But I won’t be the publisher;  they will. And what does that mean?

Finally, I slapped myself with some reality. It’d be freakin stupid to pay $125 for an isbn, Even at 1/5 the unit cost, it’d be stupid to buy 10 for $250. When I say I want to self-publish, I don’t mean I want to be a publishing company. It means I just wanna freakin’ put the book out! Get it over with and move on!

I was getting myself all twisted up worrying that I’d accidentally sign away rights to something if I don’t get my own ISBNs. But I took a look at reality. What am I trying to publish? A fantasy adventure. I’m an unknown geek trying to publish a fantasy. The world is FULL of unknown geeks, and and most of them are trying to publish the next great fantasy novel. I could  be conceited, set mine apart from the rest on the basis that I know it is “good.” But guess what; EVERY other self-publishing geek out there is equally convinced of their conceit, that their product if good. And many many of them are correct. The kindle store is awash in GOOD self-published low-cost fantasy. (And lots of bad stuff, too. Let’s not sugar-coat it.) The real point is that I never expected to get famous with this book, and I shouldn’t start expecting that now. This book will be one bubble in a very frothy beer.

What am I so afraid of? What is Amazon going to put for the the effort, risk the bad publicity, to pull a hostile takeover of my goofy little book? I really need to get over myself. “You’re sitting on a gold mine, Trebek!” No, I’m not.

I’ve got a book, Amazon’s got the delivery method. Along the way, we’ll draw up terms for my royalties, if the book ever sells. Just like getting an old-school publisher, but without the slush-pile. The whole slush-pile gets published, and the market and fate pick the winners.

“Oh, oh,” I nag myself, “What if it actually sells, really well, and Amazon’s the publisher, not me, and they have control over marketing and selling the story?”

So… Unicorns are real, the story is popular, Amazon is marketing it for me, and I’m getting the agreed-upon cut of lots of sales?


I tried to research the ISBN thing, and all I got were lists of reasons why I need to buy my own ISBNs, not use free ones given out by the e-book sites. these lists and articles were almost all written by people who make their living selling self-published books about how to sell self-published books. I called bullshit. I just want to put the thing out there, not to make me money, but because it’ll make me happy to have finally done it. It’s just a fun story, not some major world-changing thesis. I’m not worrying anymore. I’m just gonna do it. Freaking soon.

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