ISBN box 32Necessary ingredients

ISBN numbers:

You need an ISBN for print publication, and for some ebook vendors--Amazon and Barnes & Noble don’t require them for ebooks.

  • Tip: you don’t need to pay extra for the bar code graphic. On the Lightning Source site there is a File Creation link that takes you to a link for a Cover Template Generator. If you plug in your ISBN and other information, you can request a PDF file. I open the PDF file with Photoshop, copy the ISBN graphic, and paste it into my cover design layout.

Library of Congress Preassigned Control Number:

ISBN box 32Creative resources

Royalty-free stock photos & illustration:

Free fonts:

Printfection (for producing t-shirts, mugs, etc.):


ISBN box 32Print & ebook production and distribution

Ingram Spark: For “Indie authors” publishing just one book or a small number of books. You can publish both POD books and ebooks here, although I think there are better options for ebooks. Ingram puts your POD book into its database which goes to Amazon, Barnes & Noble and much more. They offer conversion to ebooks, though I think it’s spendy.

Lightning Source: The “pro” site for publishers of several books, though they may steer Indie authors to Ingram Spark. Can distribute ebooks but not convert to ebook files. Click here for more on Lightning Source and how Crrreative can help with Lightning Source or Ingram Spark. This is the POD printer & distributor that I use for my books.

CreateSpace: Kindle ebooks (.mobi) and print-on-demand books

Nook Press  .epub ebooks and print-on-demand books:

Constellation: print-on-demand (through Lightning Source & CreateSpace), short run print, ebook publication and distribution. I have no experience with them, but they look credible.

A “real” distributor: Bookstores generally avoid POD books because they are not returnable, although you can make your Lightning Source or Ingram spark book returnable to help with that. To be “legitimate” in a bookseller’s eyes, you may need to print books and have a distributor.

Bookmasters is one I used for my writing book. They did a good job all around, but there are monthly storage and handling and other fees that ultimately became too costly for my low sales volume to handle.

ISBN box 32Ebook publishing

Amazon Kindle ebooks:  No cost to upload and distribute a Kindle ebook.

Kindle Boards to connect with Kindle audience:

Smashwords: (ebooks of all formats and distribution)

ISBN box 32Industry information

Self-Publishing Review, online magazine about SP:

ISBN box 32A marketing resource

MailChimp, free email marketing: