Author Beware: Unauthorized Resellers of ISBNs

08 Jun

An Important Message Bowker which is the exclusive U.S. ISBN Agency source of publisher prefixes and ISBN numbers for eligible publishers:

“Please be aware that there are unauthorized re-sellers of ISBNs, and that this activity is a violation of the ISBN standard and of industry practice. Only companies you designate as your publisher should assign ISBN’s to your publications from their block of ISBN’s.”

“Bowker provides information and advice on the uses of the ISBN System to publishers and the book trade, and promotes the use of the Bookland EAN bar code format. In addition to their ISBN prefixes, publishers also register their titles with Bowker for inclusion in the “Books In Print” databases (worldwide). See also:

You may encounter offers from other sources to purchase single ISBNs at special offer prices. Companies that provide limited services such as distributing, retailing, bar code services, printing, and/or marketing should NOT assign ISBN’s from their company to your publications – unless you allow them to also hold publishing rights. If you use one of these reassigned ISBN’s, you will not be correctly identified as the publisher of record in “Books in Print” or many of the book industry databases. The result may be extensive costs to apply for a new ISBN and the application of stickers to books already printed and in circulation.”

For the correct address to obtain your ISBN number in the USA and Great Britain & Ireland, Australia or Canada (where ISBN numbers are free!) go to:

“If you are a new publisher, you should apply for your own ISBN publisher prefix from the US ISBN Agency. Assigning ISBNs from your own ISBN publisher prefix will identify you as the publisher of your titles, and link your contact information to the specific publisher identifier. This will ultimately aid in circulating your books properly in the industry supply chain.
If you have any questions about re-sellers of ISBNs, do not hesitate to contact the US ISBN Agency for further advice. If you are a self-publisher who has already purchased an ISBN from a re-seller, and you are experiencing problems or need advice, please contact the US ISBN Agency at”

My comment:
There are “aggregators”  or “POD publishers”, how they call themselves, that are purchasing ISBN numbers in bulk for $1 a piece! and sell them to authors for a “special” of $25! for one ISBN – a mark-op of 2,000 percent!  I wrote about this unethical practice already month’s ago, just search under “Writer Beware” on this blog.
Hyper Smash


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One response to “Author Beware: Unauthorized Resellers of ISBNs

  1. Kathy Steinemann

    November 28, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    Now I’ve seen everything. The world seems to be producing more and more scam artists who are looking for a way to earn fast money without any effort.


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