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Add the hyphens to a CreateSpace ISBN

When you obtain the ISBN for your book from CreateSpace, the ISBN shows up in your dashboard. You should put that ISBN on the copyright page (title page verso) of your print book.

First, you’ll need to add hyphens. CreateSpace puts a hyphen only after the 978, but there should actually be four hyphens.

According to

The ISBN is divided into five elements, three of them of variable length; the first and last elements are of fixed length. The elements must each be separated clearly by hyphens or spaces when displayed in human readable form:
ISBN 978-0-571-08989-5
ISBN 978 0 571 08989 5

The 978 in the example above identifies this number as an ISBN; i.e., a book EAN. The 0 identifies the country group. The 571 identifies the publisher. (That’s why you can’t use an ISBN that CreateSpace gives you to print your book anywhere else.) The 08989 identifies the title and format. (A different number is required for each format: hardback, paperback, EPUB, audio book, etc.) The 5 is a check digit.

If you don’t know where the hyphens go in your ISBN, Bookow has an online hyphenator for 13-digit ISBNs:

Creating EPUBs with InDesign

People complain that InDesign won’t export decent EPUBs. I have to disagree. You can get pretty decent results from InDesign if you optimize the file for EPUB before exporting. Here are the steps that I follow for InDesign CS6.

  1. Make sure styles are applied to anything that needs to be different from the base font and paragraph. For example, use character styles for bold and italic words and phrases.
  2. Clear all overrides of paragraph and character styles. ALL overrides.
  3. Use the Articles panel to set the order of stories and images. Note: Images should have no spaces in the file name. Neither should your InDesign file.
  4. Edit the export tags for character and paragraph styles. Use em or i for italic; use strong or b for bold. You can set classes for the different paragraph styles. I use p alone for body text and add classes for every other type of paragraph. Also select which styles should be used for page breaks (Split Document).
  5. Enter Document Title, Author, Description, and Copyright info in File / File Info… (menu bar at top of page).
  6. Update your TOC. (If you don’t have one, create one and include it in your Articles panel. You will need it for your EPUB.) Save a TOC style for the current document.
  7. In Export dialog, enter Publisher info and link to an external style sheet with your desired definitions, if you have one set up. (If you use your custom style sheet, uncheck Include Style Definitions.) Uncheck Preserve Local Overrides and Include Embeddable Fonts.* Select the TOC style for the current document. If your book has images and you have set up article order, select Content Order: Based on Articles Panel. For most novels, Content Order: Based on Page Layout should be fine.
  8. Export.

You might still want to edit the EPUB to add metadata. There’s free standalone software that edits just the metadata. I haven’t tried it myself. There’s also Jutoh and Sigil EPUB editors. For fine-tuning the EPUB, I use Oxygen XML Author.

*Fonts: You really don’t need to include them. Most ereader apps and devices provide a selection that readers can choose from.

Pen names and privacy

Do you plan to use a pen name aka pseudonym aka nom de plume?

If your pen name will be an open secret and your main purpose in using one is to differentiate between the various genres you write in, go ahead and register a DBA (fictitious business name) for your pseudonym. Having a DBA will allow you to set up bank accounts and rent mail boxes in the name of the pseudonym. You can register a DBA with your local government, usually the county clerk. (This information applies to writers in the U.S.)

If you want your legal name to remain a secret, do NOT register a DBA! In California, after registering the DBA you then have to publish a notice in a general-circulation newspaper for four consecutive weeks. Your name and street address are published in the notice. You can’t use a P.O. box for your address.

When you publish through Kindle Direct Publishing and similar online vendors (verify for the vendors you work with), they don’t care what author name is assigned to a particular book. Payments will go to the main account name, eliminating one of the primary reasons to have a DBA: so you can receive checks in that name.