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How to Write and Publish Your Book #10

Posted by Andy McDermott / Director Publicious Pty Ltd on 27 January 2015


ISBNs, CIP, RRPs and Legal Deposits - Goodness me what does it all mean?

It can be quite overwhelming when you're trying to get your head around everything you need to do to publish your book, can't it? Here's some stuff you'll need to know.


An International Serial Book Number (ISBN) is required for all books and ebooks that are to be made available to the public for sale. A separate ISBN is also required for each individual format of the same book, such as softcover, hardcover, ebook and audio. ISBN's are issued by the ISBN agency, Thorpe and Bowker for Book Publishing Australia.

When first applying for an ISBN, you will need to open an account with Thorpe and Bowker, register yourself as a publisher, and pay an initial publisher set-up fee. If you are publishing a book and an ebook or if there will be future books, my advice would be to purchase your ISBN's in blocks (minimum block of 10). This is a much more affordable option. All the numbers will belong to you and there is no time limit for their allocation.
After purchasing your ISBN, you will need to allocate it to your book/ebook. To do this, log-in to your Thorpe and Bowker account and complete the online form by entering your book's details (metadata). Upload a PDF copy of your book and a jpeg image of the front cover. In the metadata you will be required to include the information that you want to appear in the database, such as the recommended retail price (RRP), book size, page count, etc. 

Recommended Retail Price (RRP)

An RRP is the retail price that the publisher/author will need to set for their books and ebooks. Remember though, this is only a recommended price; bookstores can actually charge whatever they like. If you are working with a distributor make sure that your royalty is set. This protects you from being out of pocket if bookstores sell your book/ebook at a discount.

Cataloguing-In-Publication (CIP)

The CIP is a free service offered to publishers by the National Library of Australia (for clients outside Australia, check out your National Library website for information) to provide a catalogue record for newly-published books. To take advantage of this service, you will need to fill out an application form on the library website.  CIP registration cannot take place without a current ISBN.

CIP applications take around 2 weeks for Book Publishing Australia, so if your CIP details must appear in your book, you need to factor in this time and submit your application accordingly. If your time frame won't allow you to wait for your CIP details, you can still send your book to print while your application is processing.  Just display the following information on the copyright page of your book:  'Catalogue-in-Publication details available from the National Library Of . . .' Along with your ISBN, this is sufficient information as required for your copyright page and is a preferred practice by many publishers.

Legal Deposit

Legal Deposit is a requirement under the Copyright Act 1968 for publishers and self-publishing authors where one copy of any work published in Australia must be deposited with the National Library and one copy to your State Library (where applicable). Legal Deposit ensures that Australian publications are preserved for use now and in the future.

As an author/publisher this is your responsibility, so when you receive your printed books, be sure to send the required copies to The National and State Libraries.

Book database listings

Bookdata listings are a great way of giving your book the best exposure possible.


The Bowkerlink World Book database is the resource widely used by bookstores, schools, and libraries worldwide for purchasing books or accessing book information.

When you purchase an ISBN, your listing in the Thorpe and Bowker database is automatic in your country of publication. You can easily enhance your listing though, by adding these extra markets: US, UK, Canada, Europe, and New Zealand. Best of all, it's free!

Nielsen Book Database

This book database is used by some shops and organisations for ordering books.  It can work in conjunction with the Bowkerlink Database and may be an advantageous option you would want to consider.

Until next time...write on!


Andy McDermott / Director Publicious Pty LtdAuthor:Andy McDermott / Director Publicious Pty LtdConnect via:TwitterLinkedIn
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