Tips and Tricks
Just a clarification on what has already been said. Part of the ISBN number is assigned by the ISBN agency (e.g. Bowker) and part of it by the publisher. If you are going to publish two or more books, the publisher string stays the same and YOU assign the individual book number. Imagine if a large publisher had to back to a central agency each time they wanted to publish a book! Nearly impossible to handle. This is why the publisher gets to assign the item (individual book) number.
While we’re discussing ISBN, you should also look into the CIP or Cataloging in Publication method. When you open almost any book today, you will see a cataloging entry somewhere around the title page. This is a method to insert into the book the cataloging information that the Library of Congress would normally handle. They had the vision to outsource this chore to the publishers and there is no reason why you should not take advantage of it. For more info, just Google it.
Print quality of hard cover book
After much anticipation my first Blurb book showed up the other day. I have to admit that I was pretty amazed by the print quality and the binding. I think that the book would easily fool a typical Barnes & Noble shopper. The only thing that would give things away is the absence of the typical 16 page signature. The dust cover was first rate. I used black as the background on most pages and found only two pages that had white spots, a very minor issue. The book is mainly of digital photos and is 150 pages. The bleeds are great and I could not find any misalignments in the book.
I’m looking forward to doing more books this way. Since some users have found quality issues based on book size, I will be interested to see just how much variation exists for print and binding quality. If I understand things correctly, Blurb uses many print shops which may lead to quality variations. Also, if the print method changes based on book size, this may also lead to variability. I guess a lot of experimentation is in order although not something that an end user would want to do.
All in all, Blurb is the best personal book publisher I have found so far. The software, by the way, is first rate and puts most others to shame.
So far, I’m a big fan.