An ISBN is a unique identifier which helps customers to find your book.
You need one ISBN for each variation of your book (softback, hardback, audiobook, e-book).
ISBNs can be purchased through us for Â£119 each. This includes a unique barcode which will be added to your cover.
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What is the difference between an ISSN and an ISBN?
An ISSN is an International Standard Serial Number which identifies the title of serial publications. These can be used for magazines, journals or newspapers, whereas an ISBN represents a single volume.
ISSNs are currently free and you can apply for them by using the application form.
Is an ISBN necessary?
If you are just selling directly to family, friends or colleagues then you don't need an ISBN. However, if you plan to sell your book through any sort of retailer, then you will need to register for an ISBN.
Does a book title have a constant ISBN?
You need one ISBN for each variation of your book (softback, hardback, audiobook, e-book). You will also need to purchase a new ISBN if:
You make substantial changes to your book (a new edition).
You change your publisher (does not apply if you are your own publisher)
You change the title of the book
You translate the book into a different language
Can ISBNs be re-used?
No. Once registered, an ISBN cannot be reassigned to another book, even if the original goes out of print.
In whose name is the ISBN issued?
ISBNs are issued to the publisher not the author. If you publish your book through Kindle Direct Publishing or similar they offer free ISBNs but these will be set up with them as the publisher. When we set up an ISBN on your behalf, we will set you up as the publisher, meaning that you own the record, not us. This offers several advantages:
You retain control of the metadata (information about the book and its contents).
Your ISBN will not need to change if you publish the book through a different channel.
Any enquiries about your book will come directly to you rather than to the publisher.
Where can I get an ISBN?
ISBNs can be purchased through Nielsen Book Services or we can do this on your behalf.
Do I need a barcode if I have an ISBN?
Booksellers use barcodes to manage their inventory. You can convert an ISBN into a barcode using free tools available online. If we purchase the ISBN on your behalf, we will also add a unique barcode to your book.