The question to get your own ISBN number when you self-publish is one you should carefully consider. As an aspiring author, you can either choose to get your own, or use the free ones available on platforms like Amazon, Ingram Spark and Darft2Digital.

By looking at the advatnages of both options, you can make an informed decision and then proceed to set-up the neccessary steps for your book's ISBN.

Getting your own ISBN

Getting your own ISBN is relatviely easy in most countries. You can use the site https://www.isbn-international.org to look up how to procure ISBNs in yrou country.

The advatnage is getting your own isbn, or set of ISBNs is that it will give you the freedom to publish on any of the platforms available for self-publishing. This means you won't be tied down to one site like Amazon only, but that you can publish on multiple platforms. There's a lot of freedom in that.

If you're serious about being an author, having your own ISBNs will go a long way to make you more credible.

Using a free ISBN

All the platforms like Amazon, Ingram Spark, Draft2Digital offer the option to obtain a free ISBN number. It's a wonderful oportunity for those starting out on the self-pubslihing journey. The only drawback from this though is that you will be limited to seliing only through that platform and that they will be the publisher of your work.

This can also mean that your audience may not be as big and you will also have less control over your work. You also won't be really able to sell your books through your own website or online store.

Decide what is best for you

In the end, you need to weigh up the pros and cons of getting your own ISBN. In the beginning you might consider a free one to save costs, but then later republishing with your own one when you are making some money.

It's important for you to look at costs involved in getting your own ISBN, and then moving forward with a decision that makes sense for you in the moment.

Have you ever read a piece of writing and suddenly realised you didn't understand a word of what was going on? Does it make you cringe when someone writes "there" instead of "their" and you know they are using the wrong word? With so much content available in the digital space, there's quite often content being published with mistakes.

While we are human, and make mistakes, it sometimes takes my breath away when I see content that has glaring mistakes in it. I want to literally take my editor's pen and fix those mistakes so that it looks better. So, why is editing so important in writing any type of content? Let's have a look.

Editing makes your message clearer

Nothing is more frustratiting when you read something and you have no idea what the writer is trying to say. I've seen this happen a few times. Sometimes a writer writes a sentence and it's not clear what they're saying. They may not be even aware that their writing is lacking clarity.

The result of a message not being clear is that you'll lose potential customers if they can't understand your message. It's therefore quite important that you edit your writing to make sure your message is clear. If you are unable to do that, get the help of someone who can. You can ask a friend, or if possible, pay an editor, but make sure your message is clear and understandable. You can also use the Hemmimgway App to make your writing easier and simpler to understand.

Editing helps eliminate unnecessary words and fluff

We all have "crutch" words. Words that creep into your writing and that we use but makes no difference to the content. By editing your writing and becoming aware of these words, you can eliminate unnecessary words and fluff from your writing.

A few examples of unnecessary and fluff words are:

  • Just
  • Very
  • Really
  • Adverbs like absolutley, definitely, commonly and generally
  • Even

It's so common for us to use these words in our speaking that they also pop up in our writing, but they don't add anything to our message and we can therefore edit them out.

Editing makes our writing look more professional

I know I've felt embarresed a few times when I dicovered errors in work I published online. While it's true that most of the time, small mistakes aren't noticed, it does feel akward when you discover one or two.

While we can't eliminate errors completely, we can make sure that most are eliminated by doing some editing. Writing that is mostely error free looks more professional and polished. You don't need to be perfect, but you should at least try to put out a product that looks good.

Editing makes you look good

As a business and writer, you can't overlook the importance of editing. Editing makes your work look better and if you want to build your business and brand on trust, you need to make sure your content looks polished and professional.

Editing is an important step you can take to makes sure your works looks good and is easy to read.

Where to find help

While you can do editing yourself, it's also advisiable that you look at getting the help from an outsider. We often don't see our own mistakes. Negotiate a project rate with an editor and make sure it suits both of you. If you can't afford to pay, perhaps you can exchange services, but in terms of telling the story of your business and brand, make sure that you edit your writing.

I also offer light editing and proofreading services and if you would like to find out more, please feel free to reach out on my contact page.

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