I don’t know how it started, but people think they need to buy barcodes for their books. Even some industry professionals. I’ve heard multiple times: “You must buy your barcodes from this website” — on panels, in publishing conferences. Well, I read some advice about buying barcodes, in SCBWI magazine (Summer 2016), and guess what?

You don’t need to buy barcodes.


Deciding to self-publish your book is not easy. Deciding who to work with is even harder.

Beware vanity publishers! POD is the best!, POD doesn’t make sense!, Don’t do this!, Why don’t you do this? etc. . . You hear all kinds of advice, and it’s getting confusing, isn’t it?


Traditional publishers get thousands of manuscripts every year, and they publish let’s say 20 to 100 titles per year on average. So usually what you’ll get from a traditional publisher is a rejection. That’s not necessarily because your manuscript sucks. That’s just how it works with traditional publishers.

There are many factors that cause rejections, like:

  • Maybe your manuscript is boring, not interesting, too complicated, too basic, you name it.
  • Maybe you thought submitting your manuscript with the complete illustrations was a brilliant idea. No, you’re not making the publisher’s work easier by handling the illustrations. That’s their job.
  • Maybe the particular publishing house you sent your manuscript…

  • You upload a print-ready PDF to a POD provider.
  • If everything is OK with the files according to their guidelines, the provider approves your PDF.
  • They list your book with online retailers, as if it’s a printed, ready-to-ship book.
  • Someone buys your book.
  • Your POD provider prints only one copy and sends it to…

Ozan Tortop

Graphic Designer & Co-Founder of @tadaabook

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