The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) makes your book “official” and is required if you want to sell your a course in miracles and make it available in libraries. Publishers can buy ISBN numbers in bulk, so it is often a good idea to work with a publisher instead of paying a premium to own a single (or several) ISBNs. You can buy ISBNs from the Bowker agency in the U.S. Although Bowker is the only official agency in the U.S. to sell ISBNs, you can also obtain ISBNs from publishers and other firms that resell ISBNs.
Note that in addition to obtaining the ISBN and using it within your book, a barcode of the ISBN also needs to be created for the book cover. Finally, the ISBN and relevant book information needs to be registered with the Bowker agency’s database. You will need a different ISBN for each format in which you wish to publish your book. The ISBN is the first thing that people wonder about as they think about writing a book. What are some other things to consider?
Before you start writing, you should be aware of – and try to stick with as many industry standards as possible. Your publisher and editor should be a good resource. Please be aware of the following standards:
- You will need to decide on the size of your book. Is it 6 inches x 9 inches? Or 5.5 inches x 8.5 inches? Check with your printer to make sure this is a good standard size that they can print. And then set your paper size correctly in your word processor.
- Font: Some people like to use Times New Roman, but note that this font was designed for newspapers. Some good fonts to use for a book include: Garamond, Georgia, and Bookman.
- Font size: Most trade paperbacks are printed with a font size from 10 to 12, but this is not set in stone. Think of your target readers and audience, and the length of the book, when deciding on your font size.
- Margins: You can check out the margins on some books that you like. I like to leave a slightly larger margin on the edge of the page that will be bound.
- Page numbering can normally be set on the outside bottom edge of each page.
- Make sure your page layout is good. No paragraph headers at the bottom of the previous page, for instance!