After my note about poetry coming first I seem to have headed on the track of the proper order of things. Which leads me onto the trap for would be publishers.
The Book Comes First
When starting Ravenshead Press I had a book in the pipeline to release ‘Such Words As These’. I had even created the contents of the book before looking for a printing company. When signing up to Lightning Source I was surprised to find that they wanted the ISBN number of my first book, but I didn’t have an ISBN number yet since I didn’t have a confirmed printer.
So off to get an ISBN number. I downloaded the forms from Nielsen and started to fill them in. Halfway through and wham! They wanted to know the dimensions of my first book, how many pages, the cover price and many more details. A slightly cleft stick I didn’t know what the cost of printing would be since I didn’t have the printer yet and I didn’t have an ISBN to get a printer. Luckily I did have the contents for a book.
Lightning Source fortunately had a selection of tools available which allowed me to work out the dimensions of a book and once the contents were correctly formatted I knew how many pages it would contain. The final step for me was to look at other books in the same genre already in the market and set a cover price based on those. If I didn’t have the completed contents of the book to hand the whole process would have been impossible.
So advice to would be publishers get your first book right up to the final stages before thinking about ISBN’s or printers.