ISBN = International Standard Book Number
The ISBN is a unique identifier for a book or other book-like product (such as an audiobook) that specifies its format, edition, and publisher.
Why do I need an ISBN?
There are many reasons to purchase an ISBN for your title, including:
- An ISBN improves the likelihood your book will be found and purchased
- An ISBN links to essential information about your book
- An ISBN enables more efficient marketing and distribution of your title
- Most retailers require ISBNs
- Correct use of the ISBN allows different product forms and editions of a book, printed or digital, to be differentiated clearly, ensuring that customers receive the version they require
- An ISBN helps you collect and analyze book sales data
- An ISBN ensures your book’s information will be stored in the Books In Print database
- Books In Print is consulted by publishers, retailers and libraries around world when searching for title information
- The ISBN conveys no legal or copyright protection, however, the use of ISBNs for publications is prescribed by law in some countries
- ISBNs are the global standard for book identification
- ISBNs never expire
How many ISBNs do I need?
You will need one ISBN for each edition and format of your book.
The ISBN identifies the publisher as well as the specific book title, edition and format (hardback, paperback, ePub, PDF, Mobi, Audio…).
Any variation of a book requires the use of a unique ISBN to identify it properly. This allows retailers to help the customer understand exactly which version of a title they are purchasing.
Before publishing, here’s a few questions to ask yourself
- How many book titles you are planning to publish?
- How many formats will each title be created in?
- Do you plan to publish future revised editions of your title?