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Three Big Guidelines for Book Integrity

By John W Prince


Hallard Press typically uploads author’s books to two main platforms: Amazon for consumer sales, and IngramSpark for sales to bookstores, libraries and other organizations. Both have requirements that books must meet in order to be listed.

Ingram just announced that they will be reviewing their catalog to ensure that books are compliant with their catalog integrity guidelines. Hallard Press consistently follows the guidelines, here are three major requirements that both publishers and self-published authors need to respect.

  1. Each book must have a valid ISBN number. For Amazon and Ingram each print book must have an individual ISBN number and bar code on the outside back cover. That number and bar code can be used for both platforms. For Ingram, each ebook must have it’s own ISBN number and does not need a bar code; ebooks on Amazon do not need an ISBN. ISBN numbers and bar codes may be purchased from www.Bowker.com. Hallard Press supplies ISBN numbers and bar codes for our authors.


  1. “Book value” is rather more subjective, but there are specific guidelines. These include: “low-original workbooks or summaries which may be based on original work used without permission; books with a large number of “blank” pages like notepads, journals; content and cover designs that mimic original material by other authors that may deceive the buyer. Both Ingram and Amazon want their customers to receive fair value, otherwise the integrity of their platform degrades over time and sales disappear.


  1. Accurate book descriptions are critical. If you read a book listing on a platform that describes certain attributes or a certain author, you may buy the book because of the description. If the book does not deliver what was described, you now feel that you’ve been tricked into the purchase and the integrity of the platform suffers.


There are additional requirements and nuances that platforms and book buyers (individual and bulk buyers) look for in books today.

Libraries and bookstores want a Publisher’s Cataloging-in-Publication data (PCIP) block on the copyright page. PCIPs provide the required information (including ISBN and Library of Congress numbers plus book and author information) that allow libraries and bookstores to get the book into the appropriate category and on the correct shelf. Without this information included, books may languish in the back room until some unlucky clerk is assigned the onerous task to doing the cataloging.

Hallard Press provides PCIP blocks for the books we publish to help authors get on the bookshelves faster.

Book sales and distribution platforms take content integrity very seriously and periodically review their catalogs. Works that do not meet the guidelines may be delisted.

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