to obtain your Own ISBN number so you may list yourself or company as
publisher of record and have full control of the ISBN number. This will entitle
you to your own number in which you will be listed as contact and publisher of
record with bookstores and distributors contacting you directly for sales of
your book. This method is recommended if you are self publishing your book. The
cost of obtaining your own ISBN number along with barcode is $95. You can also
obtain this number directly from
if Instantpublisher.com will be the publisher
of record for your title where Instantpublisher.com will own the rights to the
ISBN number and communicate between you and bookstores or distributors. The
price for this number and barcode added to your other publishing cost is $75.
FAQs for Self-Publishers
Q: What is an ISBN?
A: ISBN means International Standard Book Number. An
ISBN is a number, used like a serial number so that bookstores can accurately
order books. An ISBN is not a bar code.
Q: Why do I need an ISBN?
A: If you are selling your book on your own, you are
not required to have an ISBN. If you want to sell your book in bookstores,
place it with distributors and wholesalers, and put it in libraries, you are
required to have an ISBN on your book.
Q: Can a self-publisher obtain an ISBN?
A: Yes, a self-publisher is a publisher: one who is
undertaking the financial risk to bring a book to market and coordinating
everything involved: advertising, marketing, printing, order fulfillment, etc.
Q: How does the process work?
A: First, a publisher applies for an ISBN. The ISBN
Agency emails the ISBN to the publisher. The ISBN is placed on the copyright
page and is encoded on a bar code, which is placed on the back cover of the
book. Then, when the book is about to be sold, the publisher registers the
title in Books in Print at www.bowkerlink.com.
Q: What happens if another publisher wants to publish
A: The new publisher will put their ISBN on your book
and the ISBN you were using will no longer be on the book or used at all. An
ISBN identifies both the title and the publisher from which it can be ordered.
Q: Can I reuse my ISBN?
A: No, once an ISBN is assigned to a book, the ISBN
cannot be reused. If the content of the book changes, a new ISBN must be used.
If the title of the book is changed after its publication, then a new ISBN must
Q: Can I sell or give my ISBN to someone else?
A: No, you cannot sell or give an ISBN to anyone.
ISBNs cannot be transferred. The US ISBN Agency is the only one who can assign
Q: Why should I register my title in Books in Print?
A: Books in Print is the main directory that
bookstores and libraries use to locate books they want to order for their
customers. If you want your book to be found and ordered, you should register
it in Books in Print.
Q: How do I register my title in Books in Print?
A: Publishers register their titles in Books in Print
at www.bowkerlink.com. Please wait to receive your ISBN before going to
Bowkerlink and registering as a new user.
Q: Do you also assign Library of Congress catalogue
numbers and handle copyright?
A: The U.S. ISBN Agency does not assign Library of
Congress catalog numbers. The Library of Congress does this. The ISBN Agency is
not a part of the Library of Congress. You can reach the Library of Congress at
www.loc.gov. Copyright is also handled by the Library of Congress. Do I need a
bar code? You will need a bar code if you are going to sell your book in
stores. There are several different bar code systems in the United States. The
kind of bar code used in bookstores is called the EAN 13 bar code. You can
purchase an EAN 13 bar code at the time you order your ISBN or you can get one
afterward from a bar code supplier, or www.bowkerbarcode.com.
Q: What products are eligible for ISBNs?
A: ISBNs may be assigned to books and certain other
items commonly found in bookstores. Non-book items eligible for ISBNs include
ebooks, audiobooks, calendars, bookmarks, software, greeting cards, and
instructional and documentary DVDs and videos. ISBNs may never be assigned to
music CDs, articles of clothing, foods, medicine, or stuffed animals, among
Q: What is a distributor? What is a wholesaler? What
is a retailer?
A: A distributor is a business that has a signed
exclusive contract with a publisher to sell their books. The distributor
warehouses the books, fulfills orders, and issues invoices. A wholesaler buys
and sells books without an exclusive agreement with the publisher. The
wholesaler consolidates orders to retailers. A retailer sells books to the
public. A retailer can be a physical store or it can be online.