Publishing Checklist

This Self-Publishing Production checklist is designed to keep the project on track and do things in order. Simply Download the Word (.docx) file to change as your own. It is openable by Mac or Windows.


For simple options, see Book Sizes and Distribution at Blurb (Ingram-accepted):

Libraries accept many sizes of books, but are generally not buying in book sizes less than A5 (148x 210 mm). A good trade size for business books is: 6″ x 9″ (15 x 23cm).


It is important to get your book data right. Registering ISBNs yourself at is a somewhat tricky process. Questions to ask here:

Do I want 10 ISBNs? This will be $55 to new publisher fee + $88+ for the block of ISBNs. You may not need a barcode.

Will I publish again? If not, just choose 1 ISBN and relegate Amazon / Draft2Digital to buy your ePub & Mobi ISBNs.

You can also buy eBook conversions here, but the price is steep.

All publisher and title information that’s supplied via the MyIdentifiers website is also included in: ‘Bowker Books In Print®’, ‘Bowker Syndetic Solutions™’ and ‘Bookwire’

Check if your book’s details are listed properly by searching on BookWire.

Set up with Nielsen Title Editor, to aid book discoverability. Title Editor Instructions.

Should I Buy a Self-Publish Package?

Some authors sign up for a self-publishing production and distribution package and not realise that their pre-bought ISBN will not be used. Yes, that’s right, the self-publishing company will use an ISBN of their own and create a record, listing their imprint as the publisher. THEY WILL NEVER GIVE THIS OVER TO YOU.

Uploading to the print on demand site (or quoting with several book printers), uploading to Amazon and an aggregator, and dealing with artwork issues all takes much time. You also need an understanding of the detailed needs of the online retailers.

That’s where self-publishing administration comes in.

The benefit of taking on your own ISBNs is it could be the catalyst for you to start to act like a publisher imprint, complete with a name, a logo, a slogan, and plans for a series. This can seem more professional to outsiders. Amazon algorithms also prefer repeat author-publishers.

If you know the direction of what you want (the platforms), but don’t have time to do it, you can hire an Author VA (virtual assistant) for around $25-$39 an hour. They can help with tedious administration and formatting troubles. Try these:

A free alternative to a Book Designer

You can write your book at Reedsy, collaborate with your chosen editor on there, and then use the tool to convert to ePub and PDF, all ready for the print on demand and eBook retailer sites. Get your ISBN elsewhere first.

Ready for Book Layout Stage? Get Cataloguing Data

Cataloguing-in-Publication data application has changed.  It is now necessary for all publishers to apply for a Pre-publication Data registration online. There is no waiting. (Get ISBN first).

The cataloguing statement is used by publishers who have already submitted a Prepublication Data Service application for their book.

This downloaded image can then be placed in the Copyright page of your book.

You may use the image-statement above if you don’t need the CIP image, which often turns out blurry anyway.

A free service, this National Library registration means your book title data is recorded and fully categorised. APPLY HERE.

You have to follow up later on by uploading a PDF copy of your book for the National and State Library records.

IngramSpark File/Account Creation

If you choose to self-publish through IngramSpark, you should have an ABN (Australian Business Number, which is free) and set up an account at IngramSpark Australia.

IngramSpark print at the closest factory to the buyer. If printing in Australia, that is in Melbourne (with some colour work printed in the US).

If you want to advise your book designer on the artwork specifications, or do it yourself in InDesign*, please download this guide:

Also see our IngramSpark instruction page on Member Videos

*There is a work-around to use Microsoft Word instead, if this book is a normal black-and-white text file with appropriate margins and right-hand (recto) chapter pages. You have to acquire the full Professional version of Adobe Acrobat ($22 pm +GST) and use Distiller to make the PDF-X-2001 or PDF-X-2003 file. Nope, you can’t just export it to PDF from within Word and be compliant. IngramSpark do NOT help with artwork or PDF issues.