Why Italy is charging higher VAT on ebooks without an ISBN

In their most recent email reminder regarding changes in VAT in the EU, Amazon added a footnote regarding Italy: that also of January 1st, Italy has implemented new legislation that charges a higher rate of VAT on ebooks that do not have an ISBN. eBooks that do not contain an ISBN are charged 22% VAT, while ebooks with an ISBN are charged a rate of only 4%. Before the indie forums light up with declarations that this is a war on ebooks and/or Amazon or Kobo (where ebooks can be Read More …

Third edition of The Global Indie Author now available in Canada

Well, after much trial and tribulation, the third edition of The Global Indie Author is out now in Canada. Readers can find it on Chapters/Indigo and Amazon.ca. By the way, that “Usually delivers in 3-5 weeks” declaration on the Amazon.ca website is nonsense; the book delivers in less than a week. The extended delivery time is just part of Amazon/CreateSpace’s strategy against competitor Lightning Source, which, incidentally, is covered in detail in the book. If you want to avoid supporting Amazon, buy from the Chapters/Indigo website, where the book is Read More …

Third Edition of The Global Indie Author is now available in U.S. and Europe

The third edition of The Global Indie Author is out now in print on Amazon U.S., UK, Germany, France, Spain, and Italy. All other territories coming soon! eBooks are also on the way. As mentioned in my previous post, the third edition features a new cover, new subtitle — to reflect the truly global phenomenon that self-publishing has become — and a great deal of new content (over 80 pages). The technical chapters have been completely overhauled to deal with the complexities of image handling, the increasing frustrations of font Read More …

Are we approaching the release of HR ebooks?

With the release of high-resolution devices from all the major manufacturers, I have been musing on the possible development of high-resolution ebooks developed specifically for this market. These devices demand not only larger images but also a rethink of how image-heavy content must be delivered: just as we now see movies delivered in both HD (Blu-Ray) for one market and in standard DVD format for those without an HD system, I expect that we will start seeing HR ebook files developed for the high-resolution device market and differentiated from standard Read More …

ISBN “Multiple formats” option misunderstood by many indie authors

The International ISBN Agency, and its national agencies such as Bowker in the U.S., have repeatedly insisted that the correct use of the ISBN system requires each format of an ebook be identified with its own ISBN, as is the case with print books. Thus a Kindle file should have its own ISBN, the ePub its own too, a PDF yet its own, and so on. However, some indie authors who have purchased their ISBNs from Bowker in the U.S. insist they can assign a single ISBN to cover all Read More …

A warning about Bowker Books in Print

When I published my first novel, Baby Jane, I inputted my title information into the Bowker Books in Print catalogue well after the book was released. For this new title, The Global Indie Author, I thought I was being more organized by inputting my title information as soon as it became available. BIG MISTAKE. Why? With print-on-demand, a manufacturer/distributor like Lightning Source or CreateSpace cannot be listed in the Books in Print catalogue as a distributor. If you are self-published, with your own ISBN, you are the defacto distributor; consequently, Read More …

ISBNs and the Self-Publisher Part V: The Advantages (and a Few Disadvantages) of Owning Your ISBN

(This is abbreviated text from The Global Indie Author.) The advantages to owning your ISBNs are: Increased Distribution Options Most vanity publishers and aggregators have limited distribution partners (often only one for print and maybe a half-dozen for ebooks). If you own your ISBN you can contract with as many wholesale distributors as you wish including Lightning Source, which is owned by Ingram, is U.S.-based and has two international subsidiaries, has an extensive list of distribution partners, and gives you access to the libraries and academic markets as well. Optics Read More …

ISBNs and the Self-Publisher Part IV: The Hidden Cost of Free ISBNs

(This is abbreviated text from The Global Indie Author.) The high cost for individual ISBNs in some jurisdictions versus the inexpensiveness of a block of 1000 ISBNs—costing as little as $1.00 per unit—has created an opportunity for vanity press (“author services”) companies and ebook aggregators to offer free ISBNs to their clients. Most vanity publishers, in fact, make use of their ISBN mandatory. But there is a hidden cost to accepting this ISBN: by doing so the indie author is technically no longer self-publishing: the vanity press or aggregator becomes Read More …