Category Archives: FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About ISBNs, Copyright, and Book Publishing in General

Kim Staflund: founder and publisher at Polished Publishing Group (PPG) and author of the PPG Publisher’s Blog

Many of your questions regarding PPG-specific policies and procedures will be answered by clicking on the above links and visiting the various other pages on this blog. For general book publishing questions and answers, please read below.

What is an ISBN?

“ISBN” stands for “International Standard Book Number.” An ISBN is a unique 13-digit identifier for each edition of your book. For example, the paperback version of your book will have one ISBN, the hardcover version will have another, and the ebook version will have yet another. An ISBN is required for all books being produced for commercial use with Amazon as an exception. Amazon attaches its own unique ASINs to the ebooks uploaded to its site. ASIN stands for Amazon Standard Identification Number.

Each country in this world should have its own national ISBN agency where the authors/publishers from that region can obtain ISBNs for their books. You can find your closest agency via the International ISBN Agency by visiting this link:

What is copyright?

Merriam-Webster described copyright as a “Noun: The exclusive legal right to reproduce, publish, sell, or distribute the matter and form of something (as a literary, musical, or artistic work).”

How Do I Obtain Copyright Ownership of My Work?

As the original creator of your manuscript, you own 100 percent of all of the rights to reproduce, publish, sell, and distribute your words in whatever manner you see fit. Your manuscript belongs to you and you alone—from the moment you write it. It is only when you decide that you want to publish your manuscript into book format with the hopes that you’ll earn some money (or educate people, or entertain people, or whatever your personal reasoning is for publishing it) that the copyright ownership of that work might shift to someone else, depending on which publication method you choose.

Click here to sneak a peek inside for answers to even more FAQ!

By publishing your book through PPG, your copyright ownership will remain intact. We ensure it. It’s written into your publishing agreement and all other work-made-for-hire agreements we create for the various vendors (e.g., editors, designers, proofreaders, et cetera) who work on your project.

How Do I Protect My Copyright?

This is, perhaps, the real question writers are asking when they refer to the copyright of their books, and the answer is simple: You protect it by proving that you are the true copyright owner of the work. This can be done free of charge simply by sending yourself a copy of the manuscript via date-stamped registered mail and storing that sealed envelope in a fireproof/waterproof container.

How Long Does Copyright Last?

Each country is a little different; but, as a general rule, copyright lasts for the life of the author, the remainder of the calendar year in which the author dies, and for 50 (or more) years following the end of that calendar year. 

Additional Questions and Answers

Click here to sneak a peek inside for answers to even more FAQ!

How Does Working with a Publisher in Another Country Affect My Copyrights?

Is Quoting Another Author’s Work in My Book Copyright Infringement?

You can find answers to these additional copyright questions inside How to Publish A Bestselling Book … and Sell It WORLDWIDE Based on Value, Not Price! from an actual trademark, copyright and entertainment attorney named Ian Gibson, Esq..

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