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This Way Through the Bowker Info Maze

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Need to update your publisher information or to get your company into the R.R. Bowker database in the first place? Tried to do it online and got lost in the maze of the Bowker Web site? Here’s a little lesson on entering this area.

At the time of this writing, the starting place is Bowkerlink.com (www.bowkerlink.com). From there, get to the Publisher Access System (http://www.bowkerlink.com/corrections/common/home.asp) to add a new title, to change information about an existing book, or to add or change information about your company. Click on the Add/Update in Books In Print® and Publishers Authority Database.

Now you’ll be at a screen (www.bowkerlink.com/corrections/bip/itemsearch.asp) where you can enter your Password and Username. If you’re logging on for the first time, you’ll need to fill in a form calling for your company’s name, the spokesperson, address, and other required bits of information. Click on Register (it goes to www.bowkerlink.com/common/StatementOfUse.asp?from=corrections&rgs=bip; this is Bowker’s Statement of Use.) Click on “Yes, I agree” to continue to register. You’ll be able to choose your username, but a password will be assigned to you. Be sure to save these two tidbits away in a separate, safe place. You’ll need them for subsequent visits. I keep a special file with passwords for all sorts of places. (Note: You’ll need to be a publisher who has previously siOnBt up for ISBNs in order to register now on the Bowker site. If you need to register for your first ISBNs, see the accompanying boxed article.)

Once you have been deemed worthy of entry, you can go to www.bowkerlink.com/corrections/bip/ItemEdit.asp, where you’ll find the form

known as “the Advance Book Information form.” Simply fill it out.

Now you’re ready to revisit the site to make changes and updates to your records for other books!
In addition to being PMA’s Affiliates Chair, Pat Bell is the Owner of Cat’s-paw Press and the author of “The Prepublishing Handbook–What you should know BEFORE you publish your first book.”

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Still Need to Register for Your ISBNs?

If you’re a brand-new publisher, you’ll need to get a publisher number and a block of ISBNs for your books before becoming a part of the Bowker database. ISBNs are secured through the ISBN agency, for which R.R. Bowker is the American agent. You can do this electronically: Start at www.isbn.org/standards/home/isbn/us/application.asp. There you can learn about the application process and then proceed to apply for your block of numbers. The form www.isbn.org/standards/home/isbn/us/printable/isbn.asp can be printed out and filed through the mail (with a check), or completed online, using a credit card to pay the fee. Once you’ve secured your block of numbers, you will then be “identified” as a publisher and can follow the instructions in the main article.

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