Book editions and Why purchase ISBN’s

All my books are Now also available on Kobo Books. So, the next step will be paperback.

Kobo and Barnes and Noble were relatively simple to upload an ePub edition of each book to each site. My publishing company, Questor Books, has a dedicated ISBN for each edition of each book on each site where I sell it, as recommended by Bowker Identifier Services when purchasing ISBN numbers. Also, if you want to sell to bookstores or have your books in libraries, you will need an ISBN.

Do authors know they should have a separate ISBN for each edition and each eBook at each place you sell your book? Some authors I have spoken to are unaware or unconcerned about this. Even some very prolific authors I have spoken with are not aware of this.

FROM THE ISBN.ORG WEBSITE: What is the purpose of an ISBN? The purpose of the ISBN is to establish and identify one title or edition of a title from one specific publisher and is unique to that edition, allowing for more efficient marketing of products by booksellers, libraries, universities, wholesalers and distributors.

The reasoning behind separate ISBN’s for EACH eBook copy is that each place you sell a title that a reader may wish to purchase, they can easily find it through their favorite seller, whether it’s Barnes and Noble, Amazon, etc. by looking up the ISBN.  Some authors use the same ISBN (if they use one at all) for one title, period, no matter where they sell it so ultimately it may make it more difficult in buying the title. If you only publish your eBook through one source, this issue may not come up at all.

As a business person, I feel the extra step, and yes, extra expense of purchasing my own publisher ISBN’s is a business investment. Will it ultimately protect my work if there is some type of infringement? Possibly. Is it worth the extra expense for a block of 100? Looking at it from a business perspective, it is for me.

Now I know you can easily purchase ISBN’s from say Smashwords or Lulu and other places. That’s your choice and your business decision. Some places like Amazon Kindle do not require an ISBN. When purchasing a single ISBN for $10 or getting a free one as you epublish, the ISBN will show the seller such as Smashwords, Lulu etc. as the publisher. In reading Smashwords information, they are not claiming any rights by letting authors use their ISBN’s and it’s a service they supply for convenience to their authors. (And let me make clear how much I love Smashwords!)

However, having been a self-employed business person myself for many years I prefer to have my own company Questor Books associated block of ISBN’s. Will some of these companies change their terms in years to come down the road? I don’t know. Will ISBN’s go by the wayside at some point? Who knows. For me, the ISBN’s also add credibility as an indie author.

So currently I have 5 books available in eBook format. They are available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords and Kobo Books.

If you’d like to find out more extensive information about ISBN, go to:


About gracebranniganauthor

I am an author living in the Catskill Mountains of New York. I write strong women into contemporary romance and time travel romance. I also write romance shorts, faerie romances, Young Adult time travels with a twist, children's picture books and Mandala Art and coloring books! Obviously, I like diversity.
This entry was posted in eBook, ebook evolution, grace brannigan, indie author, ISBN, library, library channel, library distribution, romance author, smashwords and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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