Bowker Raises ISBNs, 10-Pack Now $295

Bowker has raised the ISBN rate from $250 to $295 for the 10 pack that most all self-published authors purchase, with in my opinion the thinnest of justifications.  One of the reasons for the increase was cited as Bowker’s need for managing the meta data.  Huh?  To explain this, there is going to now be text embedded in the codes that will aid a reader in finding titles.  In theory–and it’s my opinion that theory is all this can ever be, and I’ll provide my rationale in a moment–a reader can source a book via the ISBN in much the same manner as the way Amazon lists books that other readers have sourced while buying a book. 

First, unless there’s a minuscule comparative market, such as folks searching for Amish basket weavers who work underwater, how much meta data could lead a Thriller reader to a book of mine instead of one by James Patterson?  Supposedly, the algorithm for Bowker meta data is different from Amazon in that it will track actual text rather than sales.  Come on.  Why would anyone want to read a crummy book just because it might contain specific long-tail keywords? 
It will continue to get down to which author/publisher has the most advertising and marketing dollars to spend, and it’s my contention that anyone thinking any differently will be sadly disappointed.  The embedding of meta data in the ISBNs and through other “vehicles” will be a large topic for discussion this year, so be on the lookout for what will be bandied about.  Most self-published authors sell the vast majority of their books via their personal efforts, as I wrote earlier.  The one in a million who achieves legitimate sales success otherwise does so by creating and maintaining a huge blog presence–and an enormous amount of luck.  And I mean good fortune right up there with winning the Powerball.  Really, Bowker?

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