Should You Buy Your Own ISBN Numbers?

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Lit World Interviews

Your book’s ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is the 10 or 13 digit number assigned to every published book, and identifies things like edition, publisher and physical properties. Each particular edition of any published book has to have its own unique number, so you can’t use the same number if you choose to republish an already published book. The new book must have its own new number. I have seen writers on various forums claim that they’ve used the same ISBN number for both their paperback and their eBook versions, but if they did indeed get away with that they shouldn’t have. A quick squiz at Bowker’s rules (internationally applicable) will show quite clearly that a separate ISBN number is required for each format as well. eBook, audiobook, paperback and hardback. Getting even more picky, you could have MOBI and ePub versions published on different platforms. You could end up…

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6 thoughts on “Should You Buy Your Own ISBN Numbers?

    dgkaye said:
    August 19, 2016 at 4:05 am

    HI Jo. I’m from the school of getting my own ISBN numbers. And I guess we’re lucky here in Canada because we don’t have to pay for them. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      jorobinson176 responded:
      August 25, 2016 at 3:04 pm

      They’re free here too Debby, although you have to post a couple of copies of the books themselves within a few weeks of publication to various depositories around and about. I’m going that route with my next non-fiction books & novels, although for the shorter things I’ll stick with the ASINs. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

        dgkaye said:
        August 25, 2016 at 6:13 pm

        That’s interesting to know Jo. As you know, they aren’t free in the US. And yes, we also have to send a few copies to our depositories too.
        Oh and fyi, I’m hoping to be ready for formatting within the next week and a half. I’ll drop you a line as I’m approaching. 🙂


    kathyrollinson said:
    August 22, 2016 at 9:10 am

    I get ISBN numbers from CreateSpace, you don’t have to pay for them.

    Liked by 1 person

      jorobinson176 responded:
      August 25, 2016 at 3:05 pm

      Me too so far Kathy. I think they’re perfectly alright for Indies. 🙂


    dr sweetyshinde said:
    August 28, 2016 at 3:42 pm

    Yes, its always better. Also Goodreads does ask for ISBN or ASIN when uploading ur book.


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