To prepare files for Lightning Source, we utilized Adobe’s InDesign for the interior and Photoshop for the exterior. We also employed Dan Poynter’s excellent Para Publishing guidelines for designing the back cover copy.
I used the official online seller Bowker to obtain three individual ISBN numbers for my hardback, paperback and Kindle versions. Bowker also provides an extensive database for cataloging your book. Take time to complete all the information requested. The website is a bit cumbersome and the cover image uploader is horrible, but patience and tenacity will be rewarded.
Obtaining a Library of Congress Identifier number for each edition was relatively painless at The Library of Congress Preassigned Number Control System. Once assigned the number, you must agree to send a volume of each edition to the Library of Congress.
Establishing a publishing account at Lightning Source can be a bit tricky and almost impossible, if you do not have previous business history and credentials. The beauty of Lightning Source is inexpensive world-wide distribution to outlets such as Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and major catalogs. I found that inclusion in the Ingram Catalog adds considerable legitimacy to your book. Any bookstore in the world (traditional, online, independent, and chain) can and does order from Ingram.
Lightning Source (LSI) provides detailed templates and instruction for uploading and in a few hours, we had sent them digital files for the interior and exterior via their website, and received a “real” proof in only three-seven days. Once the proof is approved by you, anyone in the world can instantly order your book, and it also becomes available online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc., without any further effort on your part.
LSI prints an extremely high quality book. Not one person asked me if I “self-published,” and only one person out of hundreds asked me “who published my book?” I have found the consumer does not care anymore about WHO the publishing company is. They DO care about the quality of the book materials and writing style. In essence, I created my own publishing company, my graphic designer created a logo for the company, and almost before I knew it I was in the publishing business.
Any questions about this portion of the process? Have I left anything out?
Tomorrow, the outrageous marketing plan.