I provide this page to share some of the best online low- or no-cost information about self-publishing and indie publishing for those aspiring to these goals, or those who’ve already become indie publishers and want to work toward a farther reach for their books and a healthier bottom line for their publishing companies. I have no affiliation with any of the people or companies who provide this information unless otherwise indicated. Check back often as I’m constantly updating this list.
BOWKER – If you’re serious about book publishing, you must start here. Bowker is the only authorized agent in America to register new book publishers and assign them their own individual publisher prefix. You can also get set up with ISBN numbers and other necessary requirements here. You can get the latter elsewhere, but those places are simply resellers for Bowker, and you can’t get registered as a publisher anywhere else.
CATALOGING-IN-PUBLICATION DATA – Here’s where to apply for official CIP data blocks from the Library of Congress if you have 10 or more titles in print. If not, you can also get the more compact Library of Congress Catalog Number (LCCN). You do want this info for your book’s copyright page, because it helps libraries properly shelve the book, and without it, you may not get into every library you’d like to.
EDITORIAL SERVICE RATES – The Editorial Freelancers’ Association publishes on its website a very helpful schedule of going market rates for the types of editing services indie publishers may need, since most don’t have a dedicated editorial staff. Very helpful when planning book production budgets.
PUBMATCH – Dedicated to matching publishers with those seeking to purchase subsidiary rights to their books. Recently updated with a visual facelift and added functionality. Facilitates communication, data warehousing and the simplification of rights marketing for publishers, agents, authors and others, making it the go-to place for the international publishing community to find new titles and new talent.
SCRIB’D – One of the lesser-known eBook platforms that works on a subscription basis. You may want to consider making your works available through this portal.
BOOK BUSINESS MAGAZINE – I find this small, roll-up-your-sleeves industry publication to be far more useful than Publishers Weekly for small indie publishers. It’s got a lot more hands-on, how-to information directly applicable to smaller, more agile companies, while PW caters mainly to large, traditional publishers. I like to stay on top of that info, too, but I do it by subscribing the free, daily digest version of PW.
LULU TITLESCORER – A great little tool to get some insight on the potential appeal of titles you may be considering for your next book.
MARKETING & PROMOTION
BUILD BOOK BUZZ – A fantastic resource from a national award-winning publicist for authors and publishers wanting to learn how to leverage the power of publicity and public relations in promoting their brands and books. Sandra Beckwith offers much great how-to content on her blog here, and in her products and education events.
BOOKWEB – The American Booksellers Association member listing online. If you want to promote your titles directly to bookstores — and there are sometimes reasons to do so on a limited basis — you can build your contact lis here.
COPYBLOGGER – This is a fabulous resource that teaches people how to create killer content that motivates people. Copyblogger is your friend.
PENNY SANSEVIERI – This longtime industry PR maven really knows her stuff. Great newsletter, blog and online resources. She really knows her stuff.
OTHER RESOURCE SITES
J.A. KONRATH – Breakout indie author Jon Konrath has been through it all, and has an active blog and amazing Links page to help you learn from the same sources he did.
PUBLISHING CENTRAL – An eclectic site with a collection of interesting and useful book-publishing related information.
PROFESSIONAL SUPPORT ORGANIZATIONS
ALLIANCE OF INDEPENDENT AUTHORS – This nonprofit group offers contacts, connection & collaboration among indie authors, plus expert guidance and advice from some of the biggest names in the business. It also widely champions the interests of independent authors.
ASSOCIATION OF PUBLISHERS IN SPECIAL SALES – Helping publisher sell more books in more ways (formerly SPAN)
INDEPENDENT BOOK PUBLISHERS ASSOCIATION – The first thing I did when I decided to become an indie publisher was join IBPA, the largest trade association representing the interests of indie publishers. The cost of membership isn’t cheap, but the subscription to their monthly newsmagazine, The Independent, is worth it alone. The information from that source kept me from making more mistakes than I did, and helped me recover more quickly from the missteps I did make. I often write for the Independent now, and continue to look to this dynamic group for help and guidance in today’s wild and woolly publishing scene. They also have regional affiliates to provide more connection opportunities for local members.
SMALL PUBLISHERS, AUTHORS & WRITERS NETWORK – An online-only group, SPAWN provides information, resources and opportunities for everyone involved in or interested in publishing, while encouraging the exchange of ideas, information, and other mutual benefits.Their site offers information on writing, marketing, and publishing, with links to research sources, publishers, printers and the media.
BOOK TRADE ASSOCIATIONS – The Book Industry Study Group hosts this fairly exhaustive list of other groups you may be interested in knowing about, if not joining.
Know of a resource you think fellow authors and indie publishers might find valuable, but don’t see it here? Please send your suggestion and there’s a good chance I’ll share your idea.