Many authors have asked about the how to change the status of the ISBN numbers and domains.
REGARDING ISBN NUMBERS: The ISBN numbers represent a unique, global, and unchangeable record of a book to all global markets. These numbers cannot be transferred or otherwise moved from one account to another. They remain from conception, associated with the creating-account at Bowker, Inc. (www.bowker.com). Though an author can create a new ISBN for a book, the resultant multiple-ISBN scenario can cause sales and copyright ambiguity. An ISBN can be deactivated.
How is this property defined? The owner would have access to the BOWKER accounts (or other related accounts) controlling all ISBN registrations for all publications and imprints. This would enable control over the name of the publisher and active status of any ISBN and assignment of ownership to such accounts.
Why is this a concern? Authors who cannot control their ISBN data will be forced to create new ones, but will then always have this mis-association with the original registrant (or its imprints) which is usually the named publisher.
Bottom Line: Make careful decisions about who registers your ISBN records. This is why Paperclip Press offers the complete author registration service that puts you in control of all your assets.
REGARDING DOMAIN NAMES: Domain names are globally unique identifiers for a website. Unlike ISBN numbers they can be transferred and acquired. If the current administrative contact for a domain is cooperative the transfer can be accomplished in under 48 hours. If the administrative contact is adversarial or cannot be contacted, the only process is arbitration which is time-consuming and expensive.
How is this property defined? The property discussed her is administrative access to the all the registrar and hosting accounts controlling all domains name and related registrations for all publications and imprints. This would enable control over the domains and assignment of ownership to authors.
Why is this a concern? Authors who cannot control their domain names will be forced to create new ones, but will then always have this mis-association old domains and sites. Nor can they move the websites and related tools (email, listservs) without access to the servers and name servers. In addition, domains are often a specific name or title of the book, so any substitutions will create ambiguity.
Bottom Line: Make sure any domains registered on your behalf are registered in your name or your company's name. Many web companies register clients domains in the developer's name making it hard to recover them if the developer is uncooperative or cannot be communicated with (which happens more than you think).
Last Possible Action: If the domain registrant is cooperative it is easy to move and transfer domains. If not, see our article on domain mediation. Click here for the article.
REGARDING SOURCE FILES: Source files are critical asset over which you should have control and to which you should have access.
How is this property defined? The assets, commonly designated as ‘source files,’ are typically digital files produced in Microsoft Word, Adobe’s InDesign, Quark Express, or similar text design programs. Cover art and related design pieces are typically created in Adobe Photoshop. There also may be logos and other elements created Adobe Illustrator or similar vector-based programs. In all cases (interior design and cover art/marketing) there are typically a number of associated files that are required to re-create the source publication. In some cases there may be physical art either or created or submitted as custom illustrations or photographs used in the design process. An author must retain these files or have guaranteed acccess to them when needed.
Why is this a concern? Without a digital source file many authors will be forced to re-create their publications. If they have a final PDF file, they may be able to extract the text for additional editing and design. It is important to have the source files for the book content and art which would include the source files with layers and related elements.