Sample International Standard Book Number
Credit: The International ISBN Agency
Thank you to everyone who weighed in on my book title. I appreciate all of your comments. I particularly valued the comments from my brother Kevin and really took them to heart. My Mom, husband and a few others close to me also echoed Kevin’s sentiments, which means a lot to me and, perhaps, voiced what I was too uncertain to say myself.
After much deliberation and agnozing (and a few tears) over this subtitle dilemma, I have decided to apply the KISS (keep it simple, sweetie!) Principle and to forgo a subtitle. After some research at my local Black Bond Books — which I have been frequenting regularly to study book covers, titles and other critical elements of books – and searching on Amazon, I discovered many autobiographies and biographies, such as:
- Christy Brown’s My Left Foot
- Michael J. Fox’s Lucky Man: A Memoir
- Kirk Douglas’ My Stroke of Luck
- Aron Ralston’s Between a Rock and a Hard Place
do not have subtitles. So, why do I need one?
With that all said, I have decided to go with I’ll Do It Myself. I realize some may initially think it is a home renovation guide, but this is where marketing will come into play to ensure my gutsy, determined, independent, stubborn, persevering nature comes shining through. And, the fact that the book is in the “Autobiography & Biography” section may provide some clue that it is not about home repairs.
This phrase is one I have uttered in my Glenda-ish many times during my life; actually, it is one phrase that comes out fairly clearly. And I think that is what Kevin meant about the suggested subtitles not being something I would say. I would say, “I’ll do it myself,” though. In fact, I was even nicknamed the “I’ll-do-it-myself” girl at one point.
I am feeling good about this decision. Yes, I’ll Do It Myself is my final answer because…I applied for my ISBN (International Standard Book Number) tonight! Actually, I applied for four: one for hardcover, paperback, large print and audio. I wanted to be sure I had all the alternative formats covered. I should have my ISBNs in five to ten business days!
Interesting ISBN trivia:
- “The question of the need for and feasibility of an international numbering system for books was first discussed at the Third International Conference on Book Market Research and Rationalisation in the Book Trade, held in November 1966 in Berlin” (From: ISBN Users’ Manual). Sounds like November 1966 was good month for new beginnings!
- Recognized in more than 160 countries throughout the world, the ISBN is an essential instrument in production, distribution, sales analysis, and bibliographic data storage systems in the book trade, and is also of vital importance to library information management.
- ISBNs are currently 10 digits. Because of the need to increase capacity of the ISBN System, they will increase to 13 digits, effective January 1, 2007. On my last research trip to Black Bond Books, I noticed a few newly released books had two ISBNs: one 10-digit and one 13-digit. Interesting. I don’t think I would have noticed that detail had I been publishing with Random House rather than with Author House.
- Among other information, the ISBN indicates the country, region, publisher, language and publication.
I actually did a university paper on Canadian ISBNs for a publishing course. It was interesting to pick out trends in Canadian publishing, based solely on these numbers. And now Soaring Eagle Communications will be one of these publishers. So exciting!
Watch for further information on I’ll Do It Myself (Soaring Eagle Communications, 2006) and be sure to sign up to receive book excerpts - also available as podcasts.