BowkerLink Publisher Access System
 
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Frequently Asked Questions

» General Questions
» Registration
» Bowker Statement of Use
» Technical Questions
» Login Issues
» Search, Add & Update Titles
» Title Information & Additional Information
» Publisher Information


GENERAL QUESTIONS

Q. What is BowkerLink?
A. BowkerLink provides publishers with an automated tool to update or add to their title listings in Bowker’s Books In Print and Global Books In Print databases. Publishers may also view and update their publisher contact information.

Q. Is this absolutely free?
A. Yes, listing your titles in Books In Print is absolutely free.

Q. Why should I register with BowkerLink?
A. The BowkerLink Publisher Access System allows you to communicate your new release titles, as well as price and status updates to a wide audience of book, audio and video buyers. Bowker is the leading provider of bibliographic data and your titles are exposed to many facets of the book industry through this single web application.

Q. I already send my information in an Excel or ONIX file. How can BowkerLink help me?
A. If you supply title information to Bowker in Excel or ONIX format, you can use BowkerLink to access your listings, check titles, or make up-to-the-minute changes. You can do this online, and you will not need to create a new file or send a full update. Urgent changes to status, price, or title information can be made immediately. (Just ensure that the change also appears in your next file to Bowker, so we don't overwrite your work with incorrect information.) BowkerLink can also be used to enrich your title listings with cover images and descriptions … all at the click of a button!

Q. If all of my company information is in your Books In Print database, do I need to resubmit it into BowkerLink?
A. No, you will not need to resubmit your information. BowkerLink is a system used to view, add, or update the information in our Books In Print database.

Q. I publish too many titles to fill out a form for each, can I send you a file instead?
A. If you publish over 100 titles a year, Bowker will accept a data feed from your company, as long as it meets the specifications listed here.

Q. Where can I get bar codes?
A. Bar codes are available through Bowker Identifier Services. Our bar code service is simple, easy-to-use and especially helpful to smaller publishers. You can create and download the bar codes you need, when you need them. Bowker can also provide advice regarding price add-ons, formats, and other bar code-related questions.

Q. What do I do if I cannot find the answer to my question(s) in the FAQs?
A. For questions related specifically to BowkerLink, please e-mail bip.bowkerlink@bowker.com.

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REGISTRATION

Q. How do I register?
A. Simply follow these directions ...

  1. - Go to the BowkerLink home page:
  2. - Below the gray [Login] button, you will see: "New User? Click here to register."
  3. - Read the Statement of Use and click the "YES-I Agree" link to continue registering. For questions, please refer to the Bowker Statement of Use FAQ.
  4. - On the next screen, you will need to type in your Publisher Name. Entering the first word or two is sufficient and often more effective. Examples are provided on the screen for you to follow.
  5. - Click on the [Search] button below the Publisher Name line. A list (or possibly just your company) will display. Click on your Company Name to display the registration form.
  6. - Fill in the registration form, and click on the red [Submit] button. You will receive your Username and Password by e-mail.
  7. - It may take up to 3 business days to activate your password. Please try logging into BowkerLink again after 3 business days have passed.

Q. How do you confirm that the registrant is the publisher?
A. The registrant is compared with the publisher and personnel information listed in our databases. If there is information in the registration form that conflicts with the information in our Publisher Authority Database, the publisher is contacted to verify authorization.

Q. How do you confirm the registrant is the publisher?
A. The registrant is compared with the publisher and personnel information listed in our databases. If there is information in the registration form that conflicts with information in our Publisher Authority Database, the publisher is contacted to verify authorization.

Q. May I register additional users under our company?
A. Yes. You may register up to five users when filling in the registration form. For those who have already registered and wish to add additional users, the account administrator may log in to BowkerLink, click the "My Account" link in the navigation bar, then click on the "Detailed Account Information" link halfway down the page, and enter additional users there.

Q. I'm a distributor. May I register in BowkerLink to update or add titles for publishers that I distribute for?
A. No. Only publishers can view, update or add titles. If you would like to provide this information on behalf of your publishers, please contact their BowkerLink administrator. Administrators can add usernames and passwords and, therefore, provide you access to their title records.

Q. When registering, after I enter my company name and click on search, I receive this message: "No data found for this company . . . Please check spelling and try again." What should I do?
A. The name you searched was not found. Be sure you followed the search examples.

Q. On the registration page “Publisher Number (if known):” is asked for. What is this and do I need to enter it?
A. The Publisher Number is a Bowker assigned internal number. Entering the Publisher Number is optional and should only be used if you were notified of the number and instructed to enter it by a Bowker staff member. Otherwise, leave this space blank. Your registration will still go through correctly.

Q. I just registered however, when I try to log in with my username and password I get the following message: *** Access Denied: No verified company for this ID.*** What’s wrong?
A. Visit our help pages for more information about this.

Q. I registered for BowkerLink, but never received the e-mail verifying my username and password. What should I do?
A. Even though your password will be e-mailed to you immediately, it may take up to 3 business days to activate your password. If it has been longer than 3 business days please e-mail us at bip.bowkerlink@bowker.com.

Q. I'm an author. May I register in BowkerLink to update or add my titles?
A. No. Only a publisher can view, update or add titles. If you are a self-published author with your own ISBN prefix, you may register as a publisher.

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BOWKER STATEMENT OF USE

Q: What does the “Bowker Statement of Use” mean for my copyrighted material?
A: A summary of the statement of use is provided below for easy reference:

Q: By agreeing to the Statement of Use, do I give up the copyright of my publication?
A: No. Bowker supplies data about books. We are not requesting any copyrighted text from your title. In this document, Bowker is requesting the right to supply the data about your titles to our customers. In the industry, the information about your title is referred to as bibliographic data or metadata. These terms include title, author, price, cover image, etc, but does not include the physical book, video, audio or e-book that you are publishing. While we request an Annotation for each title, this can be Marketing Copy about your title, but it need not be copyrighted content from your title.

Q: By agreeing to the Statement of Use, does Bowker distribute my books for me?
A: No. Bowker supplies data, not books. In this document, Bowker is requesting the right to supply the data about your titles to our customers. In the industry, the information about your title is referred to as bibliographic data or metadata. These terms include title, author, price, cover image, etc, but not the physical book, video, audio or e-book that you are publishing.

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TECHNICAL QUESTIONS

Q: What Internet Browsers are compatible with BowkerLink?
A: BowkerLink is compatible with all web browsers. However, make sure your browser is current.

Q: I am using a MAC computer with AOL as my Internet Browser. The text is small and difficult to read. How can I increase the text size?
A: There are 2 options that can increase your text size.

- If you are using Internet Explorer, you can choose VIEW, TEXT SIZE and then select LARGEST from within Internet Explorer

- If the above does not correct this, you will need to decrease your resolution on your monitor. Go into your CONTROL PANEL and select Monitors & Sound. For the monitor setting, decrease the resolution to either 800 x 600 or 640 x 480.

Q: What do I do when I receive an error message?
A: Notify our technical support staff by phoning 1-888-269-5372 or emailing techsupport@bowker.com.

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LOGIN ISSUES

Q: When I log in to BowkerLink and click on a link, I am returned to the Login Screen. Why does this happen?
A: BowkerLink requires that Cookies be activated. The steps required to enable cookies on your particular web browser will vary depending on which browser and which browser version you're using. Visit this page on Google for instructions on how to enable cookies on the most common browsers. If you don't find yours there, consult your browser's help documentation.

Q. My BowkerLink username and password will not work in Books In Print -- why?
A. Books In Print requires a subscription and is a separate database from BowkerLink. Books In Print requires its own unique username and password.

Q. MI have lost my Username and Password to BowkerLink. Should I just create a new one?
A. Bowker prefers that you e-mail techsupport@bowker.com to receive a copy of your Username and Password. Please do not create a new one, as it will take several days for your registration to go through the system. Please do not create more than one Username per person.

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SEARCH, ADD & UPDATE TITLES

Q. Once I have my username and password, how do I update/view/add titles?
A. Once your username and password are active, go to the BowkerLink home page. Enter your username and password and click the [Login] button.

Q. I added a new title in BowkerLink. How long will it take until it is in your database?
A. It usually takes 1-2 business days before new titles are added to our database once they have been submitted to us via BowkerLink. In the case of data issues, an editor may contact you before the title is added. If your title is still in View Pending Transactions, or you do not see it at all in BowkerLink after 4-5 business days, please e-mail bip.bowkerlink@bowker.com so we can check to see what may have happened. (Please include the ISBN number and title in your e-mail).

Q. How long does it take until my title is in Books In Print and Global Books In Print?
A. For the web product, it will take 7-10 days for your title changes to appear. For the CD product, it will take about a month.

Q.What is the View Pending Transactions link used for?
A. This link gives you a way to view changes you've made before they have been completely processed.

Q. Is adding a title in BowkerLink the same as sending you a paper ABI (Advance Book Information form)? Do I still need to send the ABI form?
A. Please do not send us paper ABIs if you are submitting your new titles in BowkerLink. Bowker no longer offers the paper ABI service.

Q. How do I delete a title?
A. If the title is Out of Print or Publication Cancelled, you may indicate this by updating the "Title Status" on the BowkerLink Title Information screen. You cannot delete a title using BowkerLink, because Bowker generally does not delete information from our database. If you find an item that should not be in our database for any other reason, please e-mail us at bip.bowkerlink@bowker.com and advise us as to why you would like to delete that title. (Please include the ISBN number and title in your e-mail).

Q. Can I generate a list of our Books In Print titles from BowkerLink for my company?
A. You may print off a list of your ISBNs and titles from your screen. However, there is not an option available to print a checklist like those previously sent out by us. You may view a list of all your ISBNs and titles by clicking on the [Search] button below the search criteria (leave the criteria blank/defaulted).

Q. Do I really need to complete all of these fields?
A. The fields listed on BowkerLink are important to retailers, libraries and schools.

Q. When I log in to BowkerLink, I find no titles listed under my publishing company. However, I’ve had titles listed in Books In Print for years. What happened?
A. This may occur if the titles have an incorrect or outdated publisher name. You should contact us via e-mail at bip.bowkerlink@bowker.com to resolve this.

Q. Where can I find the Advanced Book Information (ABI) form?
A. BowkerLink replaces the paper ABI form. You will need to add your information online.

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TITLE INFORMATION & ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Bowker has recently tried to improve the help screens and navigation of those screens for the user. In this revision, we have combined the FAQ with the help links in order to list all of the relevant information for you in a single place. Please use the links below to navigate to the field you want to read about.

Information about Title Information Screen Fields

Information about Additional Information Screen Fields

Information about Uploading Cover Images

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PUBLISHER INFORMATION

Q. How do I update my publishing Company Name with Bowker?
A. Click the "Publisher Information" link located in the gray menu bar at the top of the screen. Go to the "Company Name" section of the page. Overwrite the existing text with your new Company Name. Scroll to the top or bottom of the screen and click on the gray [Submit] button.

Q. Why do I see special characters in my company name?
A. Bowker inserts \ and # characters into publisher names for data indexing and sorting processes. These items (#, \) only appear internally and should not be removed.

Q. Why do I see the country name -- United States, United Kingdom, etc. -- in my publisher name?
A. All publisher names appear on the Publisher Information screen followed by their home country. This is a Bowker system default only and will not appear in any Bowker products. You do not need to edit your home country on this screen.

Q. My Parent Company and Imprint names are missing what should I do?
A. Note that Bowker does keep listings in the database for corporate Parent Companies that are not publishers (i.e. video or printing companies).

Q. What is a distributor?
A.Distributors do the following:

  • Sell to both retail and wholesale outlets. In the case of the book industry, a distributor would sell to the largest retailers (Barnes & Noble, Borders, and Walden) and to the largest wholesalers (Ingram and Baker & Taylor - the only other remaining 'national' wholesalers are Partners and Bookazine).
  • Generally look for a 65-70% discount from retail.
  • Catalog your titles and do the sales presentations and follow up.
  • Provide some assistance and direction in varying degrees with promotional and marketing programs (this varies greatly and so do the costs). In most cases, the more marketing the publisher itself does, the greater the sales effect generated.
  • May or may not warehouse entire inventories.

Q. My distributor is not listed. What should I do?
A. This list is reserved for exclusive distribution contracts that you hold with other companies. Bowker does not record wholesalers (e.g. Ingram, Baker & Taylor) in this section. Bowker does request that you list international as well as local distributors.

Q. How can I update the publisher Contact Information?
A. Click the "Publisher Information" link located in the gray menu bar at the top of the screen. Go to the "Contact Information" section of the page. Add the missing information in the appropriate boxes. Scroll to the top or bottom of the screen and click on the gray [Submit] button.

Q. How do I change the address of my publishing company with Bowker?
A. Click the "Publisher Information" link located in the gray menu bar at the top of the screen. Go to the "Address Information" section of the page. Click on the gray [Add Address] button below the existing address. For PO Boxes, you should only enter the numbers, NOT the text "P.O. Box". Scroll to the top or bottom of the screen and click on the gray [Submit] button.

Q. How do I enter/update the discount information in my publisher information?
A. The discount information provided must have a Start Range, End Range, and the percentage of the discount. All three elements need to be entered or your changes will not be saved to our database. Please note that this information will not appear on your individual titles. You will also need to enter a Pub Disc Code indicator when entering each title into BowkerLink.

Q. I submitted changes to my publishing company information in BowkerLink. How long will it take until it is in your database?
A. It usually takes 3 business days. However, this information is researched and updated by an editor, and data issues may cause this to take longer. In the case of data issues, an editor may contact you before the information is updated.

Q. How can I contact you regarding a change that I submitted that is not updated?
A. Fill out the Comments & Questions for Editors box at the bottom of the Publisher Information page or e-mail us at PAD@bowker.com. Include your Bowker # as it appears above your Company Name on the Publisher Information page in any requests.

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Bowker Copyright © 2014 R.R. Bowker LLC. All rights reserved. BowkerLink™ and the BowkerLink logo are trademarks of R.R. Bowker LLC.  Please view our Statement of Use.