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What You Need to Know about IBSN Numbers

This is from Becky Flansburg, author of Sissy Goes Tiny:

Sissy Goes Tiny by Rebecca Flansburg

“You can buy one (or 10) ISBNs from Bowkers ( and they are 100% yours. Buying 10 enables you to have 10 in a sequential series (helpful if you intend to be a publisher or write more books). BUT, there is another option too: when you upload your book to Amazon, you can choose to get a free ISBN through them. The downside is that Amazon owns your ISBN number, not you. If you use Amazon KDP’s free ISBN, they will be listed as your “publisher.” So, if you have a business set up and want your business to be noted as your “publisher,” then buy an ISBN from Bowker.

If you would like to sell your book online in places other than Amazon, you will need to buy your own ISBN. Using Amazon’s free ISBN is their way of making sure you can only sell online through them. Which is really not a big deal. FYI: only 25% of book sales come from “non-Amazon “ sites so it’s fine if you only want to sell online via Amazon.
Amazon may take a chunk of your profits, but selling through them puts your book in front of MILLIONS of potential buyers. You can ramp up your chances of book sales by using Amazon Ads and, if done right, they are effective.”
I made the mistake of using Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) FREE ISBN number and now, as a result, I can not pay Amazon to run my ads. Literally, if I say that I am willing to spend $5 a day for a month, Amazon will spend $1.20 all month. And that means that Changing The Game never comes up as a recommended book. Perhaps if I get more than 50 positive reviews, that will change. I will keep you posted.
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Kindle Direct Printing vs IngramSpark?

KDP vs IngramSpark

I printed Changing the Game with Kindle Direct Printing (KDP) because I didn’t research my options. That was a mistake!

I will write a separate post on ISBN numbers and how that affects selling your book on Amazon, but I made the mistake of thinking that printing through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Printing would at least allow me to run ads on Amazon to sell my book. Nothing could be further from the truth!

If I could do it over again, I would print using IngramSpark instead of KDP.

Here’s a post on that from Old Mate Media. They have a different conclusion but have a ton of useful information.


KDP vs IngramSpark

Image from Damoza


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Another Printer for Children’s Books including Pop Up Books

Win Choi printing company pop up books

I met William Xue through my LinkedIn network. He says that his company, Win Choi, specializes in high-quality printing jobs since 2008, especially in children’s books and pop-up books. His company offers competitive pricing and a high-quality product.

Here are some examples:

Win Choi printing company pop up books

Another Printer for Children's Books including Pop Up Books

children's book printing company in China

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Hand Knit Hat Reward Level for My Kickstarter Book

Hand Knit Hat Reward Level for My Kickstarter Project

My highest reward level for my Kickstarter Book was $200 for a hand-knit hat and a copy of Changing the Game. Here are the hats that I knit for my donors. I made a few extra so they could have choices.

The label was a gift from my oldest daughter for Mother’s Day. It’s my Japanese family crest that she made into a woven label. I hand-stitched them on and I am happy with how they turned out. Continue reading Hand Knit Hat Reward Level for My Kickstarter Book

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Changing the Game: 3 Weeks to Go!

Changing the Game Julie Chu Asian Pacific American Female Athletes Mia Wenjen

Thank you all for your patience! I’m discovering that creating a book is similar to a home renovation project; it takes twice as long and is 50% more expensive than the original estimate!! Continue reading Changing the Game: 3 Weeks to Go!

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Another printer for book projects: PrintNinja

PrintNina printer for Kickstarter book projects

Ninja Tip: If you’ve successfully funded your campaign there may be a tax advantage to spending your campaign funds within the calendar year. See what Kickstarter has to say about it here. You can spend your campaign dollars with PrintNinja even if your artwork won’t be ready until the following year!

Hi Mia,

My name’s Justin — I work for a custom book/game printer called PrintNinja. We’ve printed lots of Kickstarter-funded projects like Brightmare Art Book, Wanderlust, The Cremation of Sam McGee, PokeNatomy, Dream On, High Fidelity, and No Small Plans. Continue reading Another printer for book projects: PrintNinja

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Don’t Use Gmail for Your Kickstarter Email Marketing

Don't Use Gmail for Your Kickstarter Email Marketing

I learned the hard way about using Gmail for my Kickstarter marketing campaign.

First of all, Gmail only allows you to send out your email to 500 recipients. It doesn’t really state that; it just won’t send out the email if you have more than 500 email addresses. This means that if you want to send out your email to 2000 people, you will have to do it in at least 4 batches.

And that was my strategy for my Kickstarter launch. I set up my email with 500 email addresses and sent it out four times.

A few bad things happened:

  1. Gmail thought my account was being hacked because of the volume of emails going out. It went into SHUT DOWN mode and I had to scramble to complete various account verification processes to prevent my Gmail account from being shut down.
  2. Gmail would not let me send out that exact email subsequently. I’m not sure if it is because my email was reported as spam or if it was the volume of the emails going out with that exact same email.

The upshot is that a Gmail email campaign will work best for your Kickstarter campaign if you are planning to send out emails to less than 500 people. If not, definitely use an email marketing service, many of which are free.