In order to self-publish Zemsta, I have a lot to learn. One of the things I got stuck on (think of a merry-go-round and the operator is out to lunch) was where to buy an ISBN.
First of all, I figured out right away you need a different ISBN for each version of the book. You need one designated for the ebook, no matter where you’re going to sell it. In other words, you can use the same ISBN for the ebook offered on Amazon, Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble, etc.
Then you need another unique ISBN if you are going to sell a print version, which I am going to do on Amazon through CreateSpace™. You’ll also need a barcode for the print version that designates the price of the book. Which means once you have the barcode on the back cover, you won’t be able to adjust the price on the print book unless you buy another barcode and use a different ISBN. NOTE: According to a comment below, I didn’t need to buy the barcode; CreateSpace provides one for the POD.
I called several different companies who had a high Google rank, but when they tried to explain to me how it worked, I felt as if I were on the tower of Babel. Finally with one of them, I realized they wanted to issue the ISBN so they can be listed as the publisher with Books in Print.
If you get a free ISBN from CreateSpace for your POD, they are listed as the publisher, and so on. In an email from CreateSpace: “In order to use CreateSpace for books, content providers are required to utilize an ISBN. CreateSpace is happy to assign you an ISBN at no additional cost; however, the ISBN we assign to the title belongs to CreateSpace. This means that CreateSpace is the imprint of record through distribution channels, including on your Amazon.com detail page and will be registered as such in Books in Print®. CreateSpace is unable to register your imprint for any CreateSpace-assigned ISBNs, and the ISBN cannot be used to manufacture titles through other services.”
That wasn’t going to work for me, because I formed my own publishing company. At the moment, Woodchuck Publishers is publishing one book—mine, but I want to be listed as the publisher.
Bowker® is the official U.S. ISBN Agency, as well as the publisher of Books In Print. Libraries worldwide consult Books in Print to find titles, create lists, and decide from Books in Print’s vast inventory files which vendor, ebook platform or online retailer to source the title.
So what I ended up doing was buying a package of ISBNs from Bowker—10 ISBNs for $250. More expensive than buying singularly, but if I make corrections, and have to upload revised editions, I already have the ISBNs, and in the long run it will be more economical. NOTE: Another point made in the comment below is that you can make minor revisions and change the cover of the POD without assigning a new ISBN.
If you find any of this information doesn’t jive with what you know, please leave a comment and I will research it further.barcode, ebook, ISBN, self-publishing