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, there is no source listed from which to purchase POD copies. If the retailers pick up the Bowker feed before they pick up the feed from Ingram, through which both CreateSpace and Lightning Source distribute, then the retailer has no purchase information and your book will be listed as unavailable. Which is the situation I currently find myself in with The Global Indie Author for sales outside of Amazon.com, and which I am desperately trying to get fixed.

So lesson learned: if you are using print-on-demand, DO NOT input your title information into the Bowker Books in Print database until AFTER your retail channels are in place.

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  1. Update: the situation is slowly being resolved, with most retailers now listing the title. There are still issues with missing book descriptions or an improperly displayed book description, but at least I’m making progress.

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