The Publishing Process

Ready to upload? Not yet! At Inkwell Writers, we want to help you through the daunting independent publishing process.  As independent authors ourselves, we understand that it can be overwhelming!  Our team of graphic designers will turn your manuscript into a book! We offer both interior page design, as well as cover design for both print and eBook.  We are also able to assist the independent author with file uploads to IngramSpark or Amazon KDP, as well as metadata creation, ISBN acquisition, and copyright filing with the Library of Congress.


Page Design

Your manuscript must be put into specific file formats in order to be uploaded to IngramSpark or Amazon KDP for printing. Many independent publishing services offer book formatting, which is a digital conversion of the manuscript into a print-ready format.  While it is quick and potentially less expensive, our experience is that it produces an unprofessional result.  At Inkwell Writers, our graphic designers take a page-by-page approach, which assures a professional and more creative product.  They watch out for widowed and orphaned lines (one word or one line on a page), but also add those finishing touches to your interiors that makes you stand out: custom chapter headings, the right font and font size. All of those details together create a completed work that looks like it belongs on bookstore shelves.

Cover Design

You CAN and SHOULD judge a book by its cover! You’ve seen them—those book covers that scream “I’m an unprofessional indie author!” Amateur photographs, sloppy artwork, old fonts.  A book’s cover can have a direct impact on sales.  You need a cover that proves you are a professional with something to say, and our cover designers will find the perfect layout that captures the style and audience for your book. 


Metadata is information that gives information about other information.  Sound confusing?  It can be.  But it is essential to the cataloguing and distribution of your book.   Metadata for book publishing includes short and long descriptions of your work, your author bio, the format (print, ebook, or both), size, price, and BISAC codes (the specific category your work would fall under, i.e. mystery, romance, self-help, memoir, and where it would be found on bookstore shelves). For an example, look up your favorite book on Amazon.  Metadata is all of that information you see, starting with the book description.  Scroll on down to the bottom, and you’ll see more metadata: the size of the book, the publisher, the page count, etc. How do you know what to include? At Inkwell Writers, we’ve already taken the time to learn that so you don’t have to! We’ll work with you to create the metadata that puts your work in front of potential readers’ eyes.


ISBN Acquisition

An ISBN (international standard book number) is the 13-digit code that is uniquely assigned to a book or book-related product for sale.  Although you can create a book on Amazon KDP without an ISBN, we don’t recommend it because it limits what you can do with your book (read more about it here).  Every version of your book must have a separate ISBN (a separate one for hardback, paperbook, and eBook). Without an ISBN, a book cannot be sold in a bookstore.  Along with the ISBN is the barcode that enables a book to be scanned for sale. We recommend using both to ensure your book is readily available for any sales situation.   

At Inkwell Writers, YOU are the publisher of your book. Which means YOU are the owner of the ISBN. Why is this important? Other publishing services will offer a free ISBN (including Amazon—read our article here for more extensive ISBN information). But read the fine print: the ISBN may be free, but it’s also NOT YOURS.  It’s bought in the name of the publishing service, which means THEY own your publishing.  You may have the author’s rights for your book, but without your name on the ISBN, you don’t actually own your own publishing rights. It’s not only money out of your pocket, but it becomes a problem when a traditional publisher wants to sign you, or you want to switch printers to another service (like from Amazon to IngramSpark).