January 2012 E-Zine (V11#12): Design Thursday, Dec 29 2011 

A Gregath Company, Inc. ISBN can be used for any publication through Gregath for the author/copyright holder. The flat fee* for this add-on publishing service is $20.00. In addition to this flat usage/filing fee, the book must contain the elements the ISBN agency requires. This may also add further costs to publishing, depending on the project. To utilize this flat fee service, the client understands:

  • Have a correctly completed ISBN Advertising Release on file, at Gregath, before published book delivery.

  • Assigned ISBN to be printed inside the book, near the Copyright information.

  • Assigned ISBN to be added to the bottom of the back cover for hard copy books.

The most frequently noted limitation with Gregath ISBN is the ISBN/book is listed out of print if it is published elsewhere, as a Gregath ISBN can not be used with another printer or publisher (author owned ISBN may be printed anywhere, as long as the design and format are consistent).

*This fee is waived with Smashwords electronic editions and traditional publishing of at least 100 books (upon request).


June 2006, V5#6: Production Friday, Jan 30 2009 


The inclusion of an International Standard Book Number in your book design, places you in the “Books in Print” reference series, available in print and online from many different places. Additionally, this places the book in the database that most large chain bookstores and many smaller book shops use to special order titles. This is a way to get Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million to carry the book without loosing inventory control. If an author has their own ISBN, they fill these orders directly. Generally, if a publisher ISBN is used, a copy or two stays with the publisher to fill these orders.

March 2006, V5#3: Define Thursday, Jan 29 2009 

ISBN: International Standard Book Number – assigned by various agencies world wide.  A unique 10 (old) or 13 (new) digit number, used for inventory control by many book sellers.  The assignment of this number also places the title in “Books in Print”.  http://www.isbn.org

Flat Back (square back): A book that has not been rounded and backed.

January 2006, V5#1: Production Thursday, Jan 29 2009 

Basic Paper Primer

Paper  weight is based on the basic size of a given paper as determined by a given mill.  For this reason, many weight notations one finds has at least 2 separate numbers.  This does not necessarily mean the weight fluctuates between the two.  Generally with printers and suppliers is not a range, but a definition from more than one source and may include more than one grade of paper (bond, text, etc.).  A 50/60# paper is ordered as 50# and as 60#.  However, when put through standardized testing, it is found that each sheet carries the same weight. All specifics supplied If in doubt, check with the business presenting the number information for formal explanation.  Gregath paper suppliers do recognize the standard variation in basis weight of + or – 5% as acceptable by industry standards.

Paper brightness affects the legibility and contrast of printing.  The brightness test measures the reluctance of paper under strict optimal conditions and related it to a white standard (Magnesium Oxide).  The test is mainly applicable to white paper grades.  Basic offset grades are usually in the 80% brightness range.  Aesthetic importance may also be given to the brighter papers.  However, if archival quality is a focus, one must be certain that it is not traded for the brightness.  White papers with 90+ brightness sometimes actually have a blue or colored cast due to additives. 

August 2005, V4#8: Marketing Thursday, Jan 29 2009 

A correctly applied for and used ISBN can lead to more sales and easier distribution.  Having an ISBN adds your book to the “Books in Print” series.  Most major online booksellers use this as their database.  This is also how most bookstores check on availability for special orders.

June 2005, V4#6: Marketing Thursday, Jan 29 2009 

If an author chooses to, applying for ISBN numbers will get the book(s) in the “Books In Print” reference series.  Additionally, many stores that special order, do so from this ISBN database.  An ISBN number (and barcode) may be required if one plans to utilize a large wholesale distributor. ISBN website – www.bowker.com.

November 2004, V3#11: Design Wednesday, Jan 28 2009 

ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number and is usually associated with the barcode on the back of books.  This number is assigned to a publication from the “publisher’s” prefix group – ultimately from R. R. Bowker – http://www.bowker.com.  A number only applies to the publication from that publisher in that format only.  In other words, if you have an ISBN on a hardbound book, your softbound edition can’t use the same number.  Some printers have numbers that can either be used for free, or for a small fee for publications.  Additionally, regardless of who produces the book, you can purchase your own block of numbers.  This may help if you don’t plan to stay with the same production company.  If you use printer A’s ISBN for the first edition and for your second printing use printer B – you can not use printer A’s ISBN on the second edition.  For more information, check out Bowker’s site above.  An ISBN barcode may be required if you wish your book to be carried in some bookstores.

February 2004, V3#2: Design Monday, Jan 26 2009 

Make your publication special!  While there are many ways to accomplish this, one way is to number each book of your publication.  The easiest way to do this is to place a notation such as “First Edition, ___________ of 50” somewhere in the fore pages.  When the books arrive, you number the blank and, if so inclined, sign the book.  Another way to do this is to commission a particular numbered page go in each book.  Such as with a run of 100, there would be 100 different title pages each saying a different number of 100.  This can run into some additional expense if the “one of” pages are mechanically destroyed during the publication process.  With our process, the page can be replaced if destroyed.  However, the further along in the process it is when it gets destroyed means either a) more expense replacing it or b) that number would not exist.