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Pronoun One-Ups CreateSpace, Now Lets Authors Control Their ISBNs

When it comes to recruiting authors away from the competition by offering competitive terms, ebook distributor Pronoun doesn’t think small.


Last month it increased its income split from a generous 100% of net to 70% of retail (including when Amazon is only paying 35%), and now Pronoun is offering a feature that not even Createspace currently matches.

Both CreateSpace and Pronoun will give authors free ISBNs to use on their books, but only Pronoun will let authors set the publisher tag:

Have your own imprint? Work with a small press? Control what name appears as publisher on retailers and inside your books by filling out the new “Set Custom Publisher” field on Pronoun, located in the ISBN section of your book’s details.

While there is still some disagreement over whether authors need to use an ISBNs, being able to get a free and unique ISBN is still going to be worth a lot.

Pronoun is not the only distributor that gives clients free ISBNs; both Smashwords and CreatSpace offer them, but both of those companies also list themselves as the publisher of any book which uses their free ISBNs.

This might not sound like a big deal, but appearances matter. It looks more professional to list a book under a publisher’s imprint rather than under "CreateSpace" or "Smashwords", or even the author’s name (and that is why authors set up their own publishing imprints).

Pronoun is taking on a huge expense by letting authors list their own publisher of choice, but they are fortunate in that they have a corporate parent, Macmillan, which is willing to burn money on their digital startup.

How long will that last, do you think?

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Mark Williams – The International Indie Author February 9, 2017 um 2:23 am

Of more concern right now is Pronoun’s bizarre insistence our title is listed with Amazon in order to use Pronoun. If we wish to use Pronoun for some or all of Apple, Nook, Kobo and Google Play the title must first be listed on Amazon – even if through KDP.

I have some titles on Pronoun to all five retailers. Because Pronoun does not offer territorial pricing or decent sales data on non-US sales I tried to de-list some titles from Amazon via Pronoun and put them in KDP.

Ridiculously Pronoun insist I de-list from ALL FIVE outlets, list the titles on KDP, and only once the titles are live on Amazon again can I re-list my titles on the other four retailers.

This calls into serious question the nature of Pronoun’s relationship with Amazon, and by extension possible negatives with the other retailers.

Episode 10: News Roundtable – February 2017 – Publishing Without Supervision Podcast February 27, 2017 um 3:27 am

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