The Paperwork

It simply has to be done – the forms, registrations etc. Briefly what I did:


Printed books

To be able to sell your book you need ISBN. You can buy 10, 100 or 1000 of them (from the Q2 in 2015 you will be able to buy just one ISBN too). I would say buy “more” – you might use them “quickly”.

As an example: you need to have an ISBN for your printed book. If you have your book printed in both a paperback copy and in a hardback copy than you need 2 ISBN numbers: one for each format.

To start off you need 2 ISBN numbers.


I think it is simply easier that each different format of your eBook has its own ISBN number. As an example: if you are thinking about selling your fixed layout children’s picture book on Amazon (here the format is KF8) and iBooks (here the format is ePUB3) you would need one ISBN for KF8 and another ISBN number for ePUB3.

Now you need 4 ISBN numbers for one book.

Some people/publishers might even go a bit further and allocate different ISBN numbers for different retailers. For example: you can sell your ePUB3 book on iBooks but also on Google+. If you decide to do so and if you want to, you might use another ISBN number for your book on Google+ (even though it has the same format as on iBooks).

Altogether you might use 5 ISBN numbers for just one book.

When at first you apply for your ISBN numbers you will also have to send the Nielsen Agency the details of your book – for example for the paperback copy they will need the size, the number of pages, BIC Classification and so on. Nielsen will allocate the 1st ISBN to that particular form of your book. Next, every time you allocate a certain ISBN number to any form of your book (hardback/paperback copy, KF8, ePUB3 etc) you also have to inform Nielsen about it.

To read more about ISBN, how to obtain them and what to next once you allocate them to your books, check this link



You need them for your printed books and you can get one from To obtain one I had to provide them:

  • The barcode number (it is the ISBN)
  • The space available on the back cover which the barcode fits in to (Standard 100% size = 38 x 30mm and the smallest 80% size = 30 x 25mm)
  • The output resolution of postscript device or printer (they advised a minimum of 1200 dots per inch, however they can compensate if this is lower)

Axicon can provide you with a digital eps file which can be e-mailed across to you or your printer, or both. On receipt of a validated order and payment, they will e-mail the barcode(s) back to you usually within a few hours. They are really efficient and super fast.



To be able to sell your eBook on Amazon and iBooks and to claim tax exemption for your sales in the USA you need to have an ITIN (Individual Tax Identification Number) for individuals or an EIN (Employer Identification Number). There is a very helpful post about that written by Karen Inglis – the link is here:



To be able to sell your book as an eBook you have to buy the licence for the fonts you are using in your book. Alternatively you can look for free fonts or you can invent your own font. The website I use is here:



It is said that the intellectual property is protected automatically – once you put your words on the paper.


If however, you would like to register your copyright, for example in the USA, it is relatively easy to do it by using eCO Registration System Explore this page, there is an eCO tutorial on how to register your copyright.

If you have any questions call the number provided (202) 707 – 3000; from the UK you have to dial 00 1 202 707 3000. Bear in mind, that the copyright offices in the USA are extremely busy and you might wait in a queue for hour or so. To avoid huge phone bills you can get international calling – using one of them I just paid 1c per 1minute. Remember about the time difference. If you have a problem uploading your deposit (your book or your pictures for example) you can call the same number and from the options provided chose the one for technical/deposit team. They are very, very helpful there.

The cost of copyright registration for a single application is $35. You can check the status of your eCO application on line. It will take them to up to 8 months to process it. One of my applications was processed on line within a few days and the second one within 5 months. After about 3 weeks you should get a letter in your post confirming your copyright registration.



To register your trademark, go to I have used an online application called “Right Start”. Submitting your application, you pay just half of your fee. After about 14 days you should receive an examination report. That report will tell you if your application is correct or not i.e. if it meets the rules of registration. If it is not, you have a chance to clarify it/to correct any mistakes. Once the examination officer confirms that your application is perfect, you pay the second half of your fee. Your application is submitted and your trademark is published in Trade Mark Journal. Next, you have to wait for about 2-3 months. Finally if your application was successful and your trademark has been registered you will receive your Registration Certificate by post.



Remember to have your manuscript proofread and edited by someone else. Or at least ask your friend to simply read it. He/she might notice some spelling, punctuation mistakes you “don’t” see.