In 2011 Nielsen published an article that sent shivers down most publishers’ spines. It was called Order out of chaos – Get ready for the ISTC and it concluded with the admonition to “keep calm and carry on”.
Since then a lot of work has gone on behind the scenes and Nielsen are very proud to announce that they have allocated the first ISTC for a New Zealand publication, A Happy Feat by Gareth Morgan and John McCrystal.
To refresh your memory an ISTC is allocated to the content of a publication rather than the edition, and it links different editions of one particular piece of work. So in this instance the ISTC links the print paperback edition, the e-book inetPub format, and the e-book in the .mobi edition.
Nielsen are currently working on our system and users of BookData Online will soon be able to see ISTCs (when available) as part of the bibliographic information provided for each title record, regardless of edition or format. This information will also be included in the feeds they send to most New Zealand online booksellers.
This will mean that searching for books online will be much easier for the public, as all different editions of a book (HB, PB, audio, large print, ePub, .mobi, etc) will all be linkable by a single ISTC and displayed on one single screen. In these difficult times anything that makes discovery straight-forward for the book-buying public must surely result in more sales.
The international ISTC database now stands at over 64,000 ISTC records, including over 60,000 English language works, and growing daily.
So what happens now? Nielsen suggests you start requesting ISTCs for all new titles published in e-book formats as well as print format. As long as you have already advised them of your forthcoming and new publications in the normal manner, all you need to do is email them a spreadsheet with the ISBN, title, author and format, and they will do the rest.
Nielsen will let you know what ISTC has been allocated to your publications and what you should start to consider is where you will store that information on your own system so it is easily retrievable. We would suggest discussing this with your software provider.
If you would like further details on ISTC please don’t hesitate to contact Nielsen: