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Writing, Editing, and Publishing Indigenous Stories


Self-publishing can be a rewarding experience for those who chose to do so. However there are some things that will need to be taken into consideration when self-publishing your book. 


• Hire a professional editor.

• Hire a professional graphic designer (text and cover).

• Use Adobe Indesign or PDFs when submitting files for printing.


All books require an ISBN (International Standard Book Number). Without an ISBN you cannot market your book to bookstores and libraries. Each book edition (hard cover, soft cover, audio, etc.) requires its own ISBN. ISBN numbers are available either individually or in blocks of 10 or 100 from the National Library of Canada:

• Order an ISBN (once you start your book).

• Place the ISBN on the copyright page of your book and also above the bar code on the back cover or jacket cover.

• Include the ISBN on any advertising/promotional material.

• ISBNs are available free of charge.


Once you have an ISBN, you will need a Bookland EAN bar code. This bar code identifies the ISBN, publisher, book title, author, and edition. It should be printed on the lower half of the outside back cover on hard cover and soft cover books or on the inside front cover of mass-market paperback books.

If your intention is to sell the book to mass merchandisers or stores other than bookstores, you may need a UPC (Uniform Product Code) bar code. These are available (only) through the Electronic Commerce Council of Canada (ECCC). The ECCC website is:


• Once your book is printed, send two copies to: National Library of Canada Attn: Legal Deposit 395 Wellington Street Ottawa, ON K1A 0N4.

• Include the legal deposit form. You should request this form when ordering your ISBN and Cataloging in Publication (CIP) record. Cataloging in Publication is basic cataloging data for a work, prepared in advance of publication by the national library of the country where the work is principally published or by the library of a publishing organization such as a government department.



Additional Resources