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ISBN Numbers and How to Get One

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ISBN

ISBN

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Selling your e-book on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Apple or Kobo doesn’t require an ISBN, but it will be necessary, as soon as you start your books print version. Any book on your book shelf, library or in book stores has an ISBN.

ISBN is the International Standard Book Number, a 13-digit number that uniquely identifies books published anywhere in the world. Parts of an ISBN are:

  • group or country identified
  • publisher identifier
  • title identifier
  • and the check digit

ISBN numbers are assigned by a group of agencies worldwide coordinated by the International ISBN Agency in London, England. In the United States, ISBN’s are assigned by the U.S. ISBN Agency: R.R. Bowker is the independent agent in the US for this system.  You can order an ISBN online – or even better, a block of ten. On average it takes about two weeks for ISBN’s to be assigned.  In addition to their ISBN prefixes, every  publisher can also register their titles for free with Bowker to be included in the “Books In Print” worldwide databases. See also a former blog post here on this site:
https://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2011/08/31/important-expose-your-book-to-the-world/

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Author Beware:
You may encounter offers from other sources to purchase single ISBN’s at special offer prices. Companies that provide limited services such as distributing, retailing, bar code services, printing, such as aggregators or print-on-demand companies, should NOT assign ISBN’s from their company to your publications – unless you allow them to also hold the publishing rights. If you use one of these reassigned ISBN’s, you will NOT be correctly identified as the publisher. The result may be extensive costs to apply for a new ISBN and the application of stickers to books already printed and in circulation.  Remember: The one who ordered the ISBN from the official agency is listed as the publisher!

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ISBN’s are assigned to publishers as follows: 1, 10, 100, or 1,000 numbers.  The publisher registration fee is US $24.95 plus a service fee that starts at $250.00 for 10 ISBN’s.  There’s also a $25 annual fee for each publisher, so whether you have one ISBN or a thousand, you’ll have to pay that additional amount too.  For a new publisher to get an ISBN – or better ten – will cost (in 2013) US $250 (or US $25 per ISBN). Since you can get 10 ISBN’s for the same price as one, it is worth applying for books you have in mind too, rather than just the one you are right now going to publish. You can also get the bar code for your book from Bowker.

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Bar codes
ISBN’s are emailed to publishers.  Once a publisher has been assigned ISBN’s, they should be placed on the copyright page, encoded on the bar code, and the bar code placed on the back cover of the book. When a title is ready to be sold, it can be registered at “Books in Print” a worldwide book registry. “Books in Print” is the main directory that bookstores, online retailers, and libraries use when looking for books for their customers.
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Where to order ISBN’s in major English-speaking countries:

USA
http://www.isbn.org/standards/home/isbn/us/secureapp.asp
see prices above

United Kingdom & Ireland
http://www.isbn.nielsenbook.co.uk/controller.php?page=121
10 ISBN = £118.68

Australia
http://www.thorpe.com.au/isbn/
Single ISBN=Australian $40.00 and a block of 10 ISBNs=$80.00

Canada
http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/ciss-ssci/041002-2000-e.html

Good news for Canadian authors and publishers: the ISBN application process is simple and free  of charge – but only if you are living in Canada and your publishing company is registered in Canada.  For all other countries check out the worldwide listing at “National ISBN Agencies“.
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If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $179 for three months – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting for writers: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

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4 Comments

Posted by on June 7, 2013 in e-publishing, Publishing

 

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Author Beware: Unauthorized Resellers of ISBNs

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:

https://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2011/08/31/important-expose-your-book-to-the-world/

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:

https://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2012/01/30/isbn-numbers-and-how-to-get-one/

“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 isbn-san@bowker.com.”

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.
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Hyper Smash

 

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2012 Digital Perspectives

  • The book world is global and as the ebook market explodes, publishers have to rethink territory rights.
  • Publishing is a rights business without a Rights registry, where much of the information about rights remains locked away behind closed doors.
  • Digital publishing now demands greater clarity and transparency on rights and the current ambiguity and lack of information remains digital publishing’s biggest threat and opportunity. Copyright contracts should move to fixed term contracts and ….

    Great thoughts about the future book here:
    http://www.futurebook.net/content/2012-digital-perspectives-publisher

 

 

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