Are you interested in getting an ISBN for your eBook or self published book? Once you have decided on whether or not to register a copyright for your eBook or self published book, you can then decide if it is necessary to obtain an ISBN.
What is an ISBN Number Anyway?
An ISBN number is a number (typically 10 digits long) that helps to recognize your book, eBook, or work. It works similarly like a bar-code works in a retail store. It helps to identify your work. By the way, ISBN stands for: International Standard Book Number.
If you take a common book and look at the back, it should have a clearly printed ISBN number. In many cases, they will also have a bar-code that is used for retail stores, wholesalers, and distributors.
Do You Need to Obtain an ISBN Number for Your eBook, Self Published Book, or Other Work?
This is a tricky question because just like with registering copyrights, it really depends on what you plan to do.
For example: If you are just going to distribute your own eBook on your own website (as an instant download), clickbank.net, or eBay.com–then you don’t really need an ISBN at all.
If, however, you have plans to distribute your book on sites such as Lulu.com, Createspace.com, Amazon.com, or try to get your book in retail stores, then you definitely need an ISBN number.
So try to determine your plans on selling and/or distributing your work, and then you will be able to easily decide whether or not you need or want an ISBN number.
How Do You Get an ISBN Number? How Much Does an ISBN Number Cost?
If you decide you would like to obtain an ISBN for your eBook, self published book, or other work, you can easily do so. There are approximately 160 ISBN agencies worldwide that can help you register your work and obtain an ISBN number.
If you are going to get published through a book publishing deal, they will most likely get the ISBN for you.
If you plan to market and sell your book through a self publishing agency (such as createspace.com), then you can actually get an ISBN through createspace.com as a part of their package. If you decide to go this route, createspace.com usually gives you a special “CreateSpace” ISBN that you can use. They can be free when to help you get started, especially if you purchase a certain publishing package (which can be as inexpensive as $39.99 or less).
If you choose to independently get an ISBN, then you may do that as well. ISBN.org can help you do this. They have application forms you can fill out online or download. The cost can range from about $80-200 depending on how many ISBN’s you get, and other factors. It generally takes about 2-3 weeks to obtain your ISBN from this site.
Conclusion: To Get an ISBN or Not…That is the Question!
Once again, whether or not you actually want to spend the time and money acquiring an ISBN number really depends on your goals. If you are writing an eBook to sell on your own site, I would suggest you skip the hassle and expense. If, however, you have big plans and want to distribute this on sites, in stores, and more, then an ISBN would be a great idea.
Just take the time to set a goal of what you want to do, and then you can decide whether or not an ISBN number is necessary for you situation.
More eBook Topics
If you are in the process of writing or publishing an eBook, you will definitely want to read our online guides to help you write an eBook, how to copyright an eBook, as well as how to properly market your eBook. We also have an article on how to allow instant download for eBooks as well. And don’t forget to make your eBook more appealing by viewing our tutorial on creating an eBook cover.