Here is a small selection of particularly useful resources for the new business of self publishing, including ones for book marketing, print on demand, and book design. (Sorry, Aaron does not “exchange” links.) All national resources are U.S. unless noted. Most of these resources are described in more detail in Aaron’s book Aiming at Amazon. For books, see A Publishing Bookshelf.
My own free tool for quick checking of Amazon sales ranks and much else for any Amazon site worldwide. For best value, be sure to read the documentation, which provides tips for advanced use and includes valuable insights about Amazon.
This is the site of Morris Rosenthal, one of the smartest people in the small publishing field, focusing on innovative approaches based on print on demand. Besides numerous articles, his site includes an ongoing analysis of Amazon sales ranks and his “Self Publishing 2.0” blog. (But these pages may move around a bit.)
The Midwest Book Review is a great friend to small publishers, posting customer reviews on Amazon.
Publishers who supply books to Ingram, the largest U.S. book wholesaler, can sign up and get access to Ingram’s marketing data, even if supplying indirectly through Lightning Source.
This is a portal to publisher services by R. R. Bowker, including submissions and corrections to the Books in Print database, the most comprehensive and authoritative listing in the industry. Make sure your books are listed here, and correctly.
A newer Bowker portal, for ISBN purchases as well as Books in Print listings. May eventually replace BowkerLink.
This is the publisher portal to Nielsen BookData, the British equivalent of R. R. Bowker, and you may need to deal with them to get your books listed properly in the U.K. Unfortunately, the system is a mess, and straightening out old listings can be so much hassle that it may not be worth the trouble.
This is the Library of Congress Web site for its Preassigned Control Number Program. A Library of Congress Control Number (LCCN) is assigned to a single edition of a book in all its formats and identifies the library catalog record associated with it. Obtaining an LCCN is simple, quick, and free.
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, here’s a handy form for converting 10-digit ISBNs to 13-digit, or vice versa.
A major U.S. publishing trade organization. The site includes a complete current list of BISAC codes, often requested in trade listings to help classify your book.
The U.K. equivalent of BISG in the U.S. The site includes a complete current list of BIC Standard Subject Categories.
A hub of many helpful resources for users of Microsoft Word versions before 2007.
Though in most cases Aaron does not recommend trying to self publish children’s books, his collection of resources for children’s writers will help those determined to do it anyway.
Note: Some of these lists are Yahoo! groups. To stop Yahoo! from selling or sharing your email address, access your account info there, then edit your “Marketing Preferences.”
The email bulletin of changes and additions to this site. Please subscribe!
For small publishers using POD publisher services like Lightning Source. Co-founded by Morris Rosenthal and frequented by Aaron.
A good list for asking questions about preparing books in Word.
Lightning Source, a sister company of the major wholesaler Ingram Book Group, is the granddaddy of print-on-demand services. In fact, it’s the company used for actual printing and distribution by almost all other POD services, including iUniverse, Xlibris, AuthorHouse, and Lulu.com. The link and address are for both the U.S. and U.K. branches.
The following can help set up and operate an account at Lightning Source, in most cases along with their regular book editing or design services. They may be able to help you with other POD companies as well. Please note that these are listings only, not endorsements. Listings are in order of submission.
For more info, treats, and resources,
visit Aaron Shepard’s Publishing Page at