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RB Roberts

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Blogs by RB Roberts

An ISBN Featured Thriller: Pay-yang for Numbers! (“Ahhhh!!!” … a scream)
6/21/2014 3:50:27 PM

Beginning about 2 or 3 years ago, I wanted an ISBN (International Standard Book Number) for my works. I stumbled across a site which offered them free of charge. My first upload attempts using the numbers was with my works such as the transcripts for “Pocket the Money!,” “Project Management,” etc….. Google had no problem with that.

Way Back When
Since I was constantly updating my materials, I inevitably began to use the “1-978” prefix denoting that my works were made in the U.S.A. I thought that should suffice. It was in my opinion that it should be okay to use my own numbers to identify my works. After all, they were my numbers related to my works. So I created my own 13-digit concoctions. They were exclusively mine. No one else had the numbers, so, in reality, they were results of my own creativity, exclusive to my own works.

Here’s the quick little retrospect behind that: You see, I learned previously that those “free” ISBN’s I plucked off that site (being cleanly established) were only “mock” digits since they weren’t recognized by other established e-book publishers as “valid.” But when I entered those digits online without going to those online operations, “wah- lah!” there were my works.

Rattling the Monster’s Toll Booth
Do you see where I’m going with this? I’m the one who created the numbers for my works. Were they trying to tell me I had to pay for numbers in order to have my works “market-worthy?” Again, those were /are “my” numbers, for my own materials, yet this drooling ISBN monster is going to tell me and every creative artists who chooses his/her own numbers that they won’t be recognized? Therefore, unless we pay for their numbers, the movement of our works to the masses will be stifled? Of course, the insult to the injury is snubbing our works to a side. Huh!

“Sorry dear, but we really don’t care if these are your numbers, made in America, you have to buy numbers from us if you ‘really’ want to be legitimate…”

Oh well, frankly, my dear, I am “legitimate.” I’m a legitimate creative writer, born and raised in America!
The works I do are consistent with that. So really, my darling, who the hell are you to pass that kind of judgment on me? Why do you continue to deny mass exposure of my works premised on a system that’s as un-American as Iraqi pie?? I’ve got a slingshot for you, baby!

Lovely Waves of Cyberspace
This is the age of cyber space. We authors can tack to our works any creative combination of numbers (which don’t belong to others) we like. Even more significant to that is the fact that when we do this online, they become permanently exclusive to only our creative genius or the results thereof. Of course, that’s not to say we should avoid the ISBN factor all together since if you want to sell a million, presently, that’s the only way you’re going to do it.

However, my major gripe is that, since this is America, and since we’re creating and publishing our writings herein, we shouldn’t have to pay for numbers like we pay for bottled water, parking space, or lottery tickets. I believe that many creative writers in the country who otherwise would be known are ethically, economically, and morally short-changed in every relative respect because of the stifling sticky fingers of this monopolistic Neanderthal beast.

But I see the day when we authors are going to actually do better than a million via our own creative numerics. Then instead of it being because of our lucky “I.S.B.N.’s” it’ll be because of our lovely“ I.D.E.A.’s.” Bank on it!

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More Blogs by RB Roberts
•  An ISBN Featured Thriller: Pay-yang for Numbers! (“Ahhhh!!!” … a scream) - Saturday, June 21, 2014  

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