Friday, June 1, 2018

Have applied for an ISBN for printed iami1 blog book

My earlier blog post: How I was, and continue to be, obliged to make my iami1 wordpress blog book front pages content to be somewhat more in line with regular books,, dated 15th May 2018, mentioned that "I will be applying for an ISBN, from, both for the free ebook (published by as well as others including being put up on my blog) and the printed (Print-On-Demand/POD) book published with's help."

I started that process yesterday (31st May) night by applying for an ISBN (International Standard Book Number) for the printed book of iami1 wordpress blog, at

As it was the first time I was applying for an ISBN, I went through a process of some learnings and had to face some limitations. I also had to make the blog book front pages closer to a regular book so that it fit in with the requirements of the ISBN application form. I have tried to capture below the main points of the ISBN application I made and related changes to the book.

1) The title of the book was limited to 50 characters. Further the ? character was not allowed in the title. That forced me to use this title in the application form: Who am I. I am I. Ultimate Existential Reality Ans

It is a hack. The title of the book as it appears on the (new) front cover page pic and 'title' page (first inner content page) is: Who am I? I am I - Ultimate Existential Reality Answer; Vedanta; God and Science conversation

2) The Place of Publication field was specified as: Puttaparthi, Andhra Pradesh, India

3) The Year of Publication field was specified as 2018

4) The Edition field was specified as First. I think once I get the ISBN and print out a book version with that ISBN, then I will not be making regular updates to the book content as I was doing earlier. I will lose that flexibility that I had once I get the ISBN number and print a book with it.

5) I had to specify a Price. So I provided the Rs. 159 price that website has for the book (as of now).

6) The Pages field was specified as 124 to take into account the first inner content page now being split into two pages - a Title page and a Verso page.

7) The Subject of the book field was specified as: blog book posts.

I had initially planned to give a long subject but as I was tripping up on limitations on other fields, I chose to simplify the Subject field entry.

8) I had to choose whether it was Paperback / hardback / E-book. I chose Paperback. [I will need to make a separate ISBN application for the E-book.]

9) The Published by field was specified as Ravi S. Iyer

10) Title page pic: This had to be compressed to less that 100K for uploading to the online application form. I used with 10% image quality to compress the 844 KB Front Cover page pic to around 80 KB. The compressed pic is shown below:

[To open pic in higher resolution, right-click on pic followed by open in new tab/window. In new tab/window you may have to click on pic to zoom in.]

11) The Title Verso pdf: I had to modify the first page of the previous inner content file to split its contents into two pages. The first inner content page was made the Title page and the second inner content page was made the Verso page. Also the content of these two pages were modified to be in line with this ISBN application and made closer in line to regular (paperback) books. I printed out the first and second inner content pages alone as a separate PDF. Its size was 416 KB which was beyond the 100 KB limit that the ISBN online application form had. helped me compress the 416 KB file to 80 KB. This pdf file of 2 pages can be viewed here:

Note that the ISBN column in the Verso page has the temporary text: [To-be-applied-for] , which will be replaced with allotted ISBN number.

12) I also had to check some declaration text entries which, if I recall correctly, were about how I will be using (am permitted to use) the ISBN number, and my willingness to provide additional information about the book to this govt. website/agency whenever they ask for it.

That finishes the details of the ISBN application for printed book. So far I did not come across any mention of any charges that I have to pay for applying for an ISBN. I don't know whether this is a free service by Govt. of India for Indian citizens, or whether I eventually will be asked to pay some charges, if my application is found to be OK and they are willing to allot an ISBN for my printed book.

Now the Application Status is shown as "Submitted" in the website. I don't know how long it will take them to process the application.

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