Wednesday 31 July 2019


 If you’re following our workflow ( you will notice that we put our book though a “post-production” routine. This includes the following activities:

Registering with Nielsen's  

To understand Nielesn’s look at our previous post. We do this for Bridge House and The Red Telephone. For Chapeltown books our distributer does this. We can tailor the information a little if we put the book there ourselves but of course this takes more time. However, I’ve noticed that one Bridge House book recently appeared on Amazon before we’d completed the registration.  

Informing the author

It may seem obvious but we actually have to remember to do this. Even though we know the book is available we don’t inform the author until we’ve completed the above registration. It can take up to fifteen days for the title to appear on a retailer web sites. Amazon UK is over-cautious. It will often claim the book is difficult to source. No it isn’t; it has a print run from our printer every few days and will claim a long delivery time that it actually usually beats by a lot – again, because there is a print run every few days.

We supply authors with three sizes of cover images that they can use for their own promotional activities and a mobi-file (for Kindle) . They may use the mobi-file to obtain reviews but we ask that once 50 reviews on Amazon and Good Reads are achieved that they give out no more free copies.         

Sending books to the British Library and the Legal Deposit Libraries

The British Library and the other five Legal Deposit libraries each require a copy of the book. That makes six books that we have to give away. We also have to send the British Library one under separate cover. We’re hoping soon to go over to supplying a digital version only. It seems a good idea that copies of all books are kept. However, they are difficult to access as there are so many.  

Updating the publisher web site

We list the books twice on the web site: on the latest news page and in the book catalogue.     

Going through the Publication List

This is a list that every author should also go through. Certain aspects of it are also useful for the publisher. I’ll talk about that in more detail next time.                            

Including news of the book in newsletters

We’ll put news of the book into the appropriate monthly newsletters.


Including the book on mailing lists 

We put news about the book on to the appropriate mailing list. This will include our Scribblers’ Books, Books, Books list, published every Friday with offers on it. We feature new books on this as they come out, usually combining it with an offer on similar titles.      

Dream Team 

The books will be offered to my Dream Team reviewers. This may help us on our way to getting those all-important 50 reviews. Would you be interested in joining my Dream Team?   

What happens?

You sign up to a mailing list and every time a request comes in we mail it out to you or the enquirer contacts you directly via my web site. The conversation then carries on between you and the person making the request. You may also have a page set up on my blog and you may update that once a year. 
Interested? You may sign up for more than one category. 
Beta readers sign up here.
Reviewers sign up here.
Editors sign up here.
Illustrators sign up here.
Designers sign up here.
Proof-readers sing up here.   

So, that’s post-production for you.   

Thursday 18 July 2019

Working with Nielsen’s

Nielsen’s are important administrators of book publishing world wide. Amongst other things they issue ISBNs. A publisher initially buys ten of them and can thereafter buy them in batches of 100. Thus they go from costing a few pounds per title to a few pence. You actually don’t need to assign Kindle books an ISBN as Amazon has its own numbering system. Yet each separate edition of book should have an ISBN and this helps buyers and booksellers to identify exactly which version of the book they require. So we tend to assign one even to Kindle books.   

In theory, a bookshop should be able to order any book that has an ISBN. A few of the big corporates such as Waterstone’s won’t even order the book let alone stock it unless the publisher is approved. Fortunately we have approval for Bridge House form Waterstone’s and we argue in favour of our sister imprints on the back of that. Recently these big players and Waterstone’s in particular have relaxed their rules somewhat. They are allowing branch managers to make their own decisions and are supporting local writers.

When we register a book with Nielsen’s we give the title, author, dimensions, cost, genre, a brief description, and details of where and how it is distributed.    

But Nielesn’s does much more than issue ISBNs. It provides all sorts of statistics about sales to the industry. These can be made accessible to publishers but at a cost way beyond the means of most indie publishers.

We register books for Bridge House ourselves but our distributer does this for our other imprints. Once a book is registered retailers pick it up quite quickly though it doesn’t seem all that quick to the author waiting for their book to appear on Amazon. Just google your book and you may be surprised to see how many people are selling it online.