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 – see videos below.

Here’s a post about some benefits of owning ISBNs and Google visibility.

Questions to ask here:

Do I want 10 ISBNs?

This will be $88 for the block of 10 ISBNs (this is a special, sometimes it changes) and $55 – new publisher fee.

Will my designer need a barcode?

You may not need a barcode, depending where you go for printing. Ingram and Amazon both offer barcodes in their cover template generators.

Will I publish again?

If not, just choose 1 ISBN and delegate Amazon / Draft2Digital to buy your ePub & Mobi ISBNs.

Will I want a hardback, ePub or audiobook? If so, these take another ISBN each.

Where to acquire a publish-friendly eBook Conversion?

You could buy eBook conversions at MyIdentifiers, but the price is steep. IngramSpark offer eBook conversions and at times they have specials; otherwise it is US60 cents per PDF page, for standard! If you have images, then go privately to the local ebook converters.

One is Linda at Black Opal Editing. Linda provides the ePub service at $70 – $100 range.

Their Guide – on MyIdentifiers ISBN Process

Part 1 of Filling out ISBNs
Part 4 – Pricing and Rights data

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.

DIY with Help:

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.

A writer’s tool – for Mac or Windows or iOS

A paid alternative to book creation software is Scrivener – which combines a word processing program with reference keepers and an outlining facility. You can output PDF files ready for self-publishing, create Epub or Kindle ebooks to sell on iBooks or Amazon, or for proof-reading on an e-reader. You can import files and images into the program.

The corkboard is one of the writer’s most familiar planning tools. In Scrivener, every section of your project is attached to a virtual index card. Scrivener’s corkboard lets you step back and work with just the synopses you’ve written on the cards.

Scrivener costs A$77 for one-off licence.

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.