ISBNs and the Self-Publisher Part V: The Advantages (and a Few Disadvantages) of Owning Your ISBN

(This is abbreviated text from The Global Indie Author.) The advantages to owning your ISBNs are: Increased Distribution Options Most vanity publishers and aggregators have limited distribution partners (often only one for print and maybe a half-dozen for ebooks). If you own your ISBN you can contract with as many wholesale distributors as you wish including Lightning Source, which is owned by Ingram, is U.S.-based and has two international subsidiaries, has an extensive list of distribution partners, and gives you access to the libraries and academic markets as well. Optics Read More …

ISBNs and the Self-Publisher Part II: What’s in a Number

(This is abbreviated text from The Global Indie Author.) What’s in a Number? There are five parts to an ISBN, separated by either a hyphen or a space. Only the first three digits and the final check digit are of a fixed length; the remainder vary according to language, publisher identifier, and the number of ISBNs assigned to the block. The five parts of an ISBN are: • the current ISBN-13 prefix of “978”; • the group or country identifier; • the publisher identifier; • the title identifier; and • Read More …

ISBNs and the Self-Publisher Part I: The ISBN System

(This is modified text from The Global Indie Author.) The ISBN System ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number. The rules and regulations governing the use and distribution of ISBNs are determined by the International ISBN Agency, based in London. The international agency allots ISBNs to national agencies, who in turn allot them to their publishers; thus, a publisher cannot acquire an ISBN from a foreign national agency: a British publisher, for example, cannot buy an ISBN from the American ISBN agency and vice versa. Publishers then assign their ISBNs Read More …