Monday, April 11, 2011

How to Get an ISBN Number

From my understanding every book published in any format needs an ISBN number. An ISBN number is an International Standard Book Number. It's a unique numeric commercial book identifier based upon the 9-digit Standard Book Numbering code. Each part of the number represents a different piece of publishing information i.e.: group, publisher, title and check digit. This system allows every book published to be easily found and accessed. With this number a barcode is supplied allowing your book to be sold through retail. There are different ways to get an ISBN.

If you are published by a publishing company they will take care of the ISBN for you.

If you are self publishing a lot of self publishing companies give you a free ISBN number. However any ISBN you receive without paying the normal rate of $50-$250 usually is registered with the companies name under publisher. i.e. if you receive one through publishing with CreateSpace.  It will be registered through them. I don’t think this limits your possibilities in any way and I don’t know what CreateSpace gain by having lots of books registered with them. I think maybe they just do it as a marketing ploy to get more people to publish with them. It works for me, I would rather go with a publisher who offers me a free one than go through the process of buying one myself.

If you are printing books on your own without any kind of publishing service you will need to purchase one. The site that seems to be recommended everywhere is however I think you may have to buy them in bulk as it is aimed at publishers who buy them in sets of ten.

It is recommended to have a different ISBN for each format you publish your book in. So if you publish your book as both an eBook and print book each should have their own ISBN.

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