1) Customer buys book through Amazon
2) Amazon notifies a sub-contractor (Bertram Books) of the order
3) Bertram notifies Nielsen (the organisation that issues ISBNs) of the order
4) Nielsen notifies the publisher (ie me) that an order has been received
5) The publisher (ie me) supplies the book to Bertram, who then send it to the purchaser
6) The publisher (ie me) then submits an invoice to Bertram
Simple, isn’t it? Except that it took me several emails to find out about step 6, which is by no means obvious. It seems that the brave new world of self-publishing still has a few kinks that need ironing out.