ISBN Numbers and BooksIf you sell a book in a bookstore, you typically need an ISBN number for tracking purposes. This is a number you pay to be assigned.
Every country has its own "clearinghouse" that handles ISBN numbers for that country. In the US, that is at Bowker.com. The fees add up to about $25/ISBN. They try to get you to buy in blocks of 10 - but you can actually get just one if you want, for slightly more money. It might be worth it to talk to some friends and get 10 as a group. There is also a "black market" on the web where you buy unused numbers from other people who bought a set of 10.
In any case, if you want to buy from Bowker directly as a legitimate purchase, you can do pretty much the entire process online and charge it to a credit card.
Again, you don't NEED an ISBN number to publish a book or ebook on your own, personal website. However, if you want Amazon and most other bookstores to carry your book, then they will require an ISBN number as part of their tracking system. At only $25, it might be well worth registering, so that your book is able to be accepted in the various online systems.
For example, Amazon's pages are here -
Amazon Advantage Program
If you pay Amazon $30, and give up about half of the sale price of each book, they will list your book in their system and take care of all inventory and processing for you. You'll be listed right alongside all of their other books on your topic.
So to summarize, I *highly* recommend you get an ISBN number for your book, so it is a "real" registered book that can be sold anywhere.
Note that the bar code they offer is just a bar code version of your ISBN number. Bar code is a standard "language" of thick and thin lines. You can download this as a font, or get free bar codes from many different websites. They just need to be in EAN-13 format. I wouldn't pay for a bar code.
Once you get your ISBN numbers, it's a good idea to let Bowker know when you assign a title to each one. They maintain a master database that many other companies access. You update this information at BowkerLink
Getting Your Book Published
Writing Tips and Online Books
Lisa Shea Medieval Romance Novels
Online Literary Magazines
Lisa Shea's Homepage
All content copyright © 2013 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.
You MUST GET WRITTEN PERMISSION to reprint or republish any of this material.
Lisa Shea's Ethics of Reviews | About Lisa Shea