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941 Views 3 Replies Last post: Nov 1, 2017 6:08 AM by Seisa RSS
Level 0 4 posts since
Sep 20, 2016
Currently Being Moderated

Oct 30, 2017 9:57 AM

More than just curious: WHY is it that CS titles aren't listed in Baker & Taylor unless CS owns the ISBN?

Is it that CS couldn't negotiate a favorable deal with B&T? Or is it that CS knows libraries are more likely to buy our books, so it's holding this back from Expanded Distribution unless it owns the ISBN? Finally, is there any talk of changing this?

Level 5 12,993 posts since
Aug 22, 2008

As lipmag mentioned, it's speculation on our part -- but I would suggest that the answer to all three of your questions is "no."


It helps to understand how B&T works. When it comes to what books libraries will order, not only is B&T six months in front of that, they are actually driving about 99% of it (i.e., they are telling libraries what's coming in hot that needs to be added to their collections).


But let's consider what happens when an indie-published title falls into that other 1%, and (seemingly out-of-the-blue) library patrons are asking for it. The library queries B&T, and if B&T doesn't have it, they look up the ISBN, find the publisher (or its exclusive distributor), and place an order (let's say for 5,000 copies, to be sent to various B&T warehouses).


When CreateSpace (as the publisher of record per the ISBN) receives such an order, what do they do? Again, there's some speculation here, but based on the experience of other members, CreateSpace advises B&T that the title is available as print-on-demand only with no returns, and B&T likely cancels the order.


As an indie publisher (who uses our own ISBNs), when one of our books falls into that 1%, I wouldn't want B&T to contact CreateSpace and place an order -- I want them to contact US, so WE can make the decision to fulfill the order (from an offset print run that results in higher quality at a lower unit cost with a larger profit margin) or not. That would be better for B&T and its library customers, and it would certainly be better for us (assuming it sells), because B&T might add the title to their catalog and promos, and start pushing it to institutions beyond our marketing reach.


So from my perspective, it currently works exactly the way it should for those of us using our own ISBNs.

Level 1 49 posts since
Nov 1, 2012

So where do you by your own ISBN's?    I have a lot of books and thought it too expensive to go that route.  Am I wrong?

Level 5 5,629 posts since
Jan 17, 2010

Madcap wrote:


So where do you by your own ISBN's?

Each country has its own authorized ISBN agency. For the United States, that's Bowker: For other countries, you can search for the authorized agency:


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