Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Paperwork for publishers.

I just got back from a long weekend in El Hierro.

I did it again you know.  I thought I'd have finished the book by now, so I booked a long weekend away to relax and celebrate. And I haven't finished.  so the "holiday" was punctuated with checking proofs for the book, and chasing up the ISBN and "Deposito Legal" and so on.  In addition to the photos I'd promised to take.

In Spain, getting an ISBN for your book is a three stage process.  First you pay.  A few days later, you get an email confirming payment, and inviting you to fill in the database entry. (Why several days?  Are they still doing this by hand?) That email got shunted into the spam folder and it took me a couple of days to find it.  So I filled in the database entry, and four days later I got an email to say there was a problem with the entry. The book is A5 - 210 mm x 147 mm, only the ISBN database is in centimetres, so I had to change it to 21 x 14.7. I'm now waiting again.

When you publish a book (or release a CD etc.) in Spain, you have to give a few copies to the government for libraries. (And I suspect that under Franco, they checked that you weren't spreading sedition.) Fine, I hadn't budgeted for that, but no problem. Only the magic number has to be printed in the book, so you have to get it first. Thanks to fellow writers on Facebook, I found out that this is done via regional governments. With a bit of googling, I found a website which explained that yes, I needed to get the number first, and I'd have to give the central library in Santa Cruz de Tenerife 4 copies of the book.  Fine.

But it didn't mention how to get the number. So I used the contact form, and two days later I got an email with an email address to contact. I dropped everything and sent an email, which bounced. I tried the address for Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, which also bounced.

So yesterday, while I was between buses to the airport, I phoned the library. I was shunted around four people, but the fourth one was very helpful and sent me the forms to fill in - one to get the number and one to send with the books when they're printed.

I've sent that off.  Watch this space.

1 comment:

Patsy said...

Everything seems to take longer than we'd thought and be more complicated than we'd imagined, doesn't it?