Why You Need Your Own ISBN From Bowker


download“Can’t I just use the CreateSpace ISBN?”

“But I heard I can buy one ISBN for A LOT less money from Ingram!”

“I have a publisher who is going to publish my book and they will let me use one of their ISBNs!”

No. No. No. No.

If you are going to publish a book yourself, if you are going to be taken seriously as an author and as a publisher, you have to have complete control of your brand, your publishing decisions, the name listed on your book and on the pages that LIST your book.

Spend the money and go to www.myidentifiers.com and get yoru OWN ISBNs.

Book buyers, librarians, reviewers and everyone else in this industry knows that serious books have been published correctly and with all the steps taken.  If you skip this obvious and very public step, what ELSE will you be skipping?  You will throw your entire publishing reputation into doubt.

It is not worth it.

Get your own ISBNs. Buy 10 for under $300 because you WILL need a separate  ISBN for your eBook and any other format you may come up with.



7 Comments to Why You Need Your Own ISBN From Bowker

  1. Ina says:

    Hello, This is very valuable info.Thank you! I plan to publish several books on amazon this fall. I am based in Eastern Europe. Can I get ISBN from my country thought the titles are in English? Do you have experience with this

  2. Janet Young says:

    Hi Amy. When I started to write my children’s books – well, the ‘word’ was “take action” … just do it! So I did. Got real excited and wrote several. Now I find myself with books (that I think have some potential) and all have been published with a Create Space ISBN. 🙁 Is there any way to remedy the ISBN so I can sell to libraries and bookstores? I know I need help – have gotten confused – as to what I need to do to get my books ‘out there’ and being read. I am willing to do whatever I can (but, honestly, I have a limited budget) Anyhow, any help appreciated!! I am a member of the RF Library Program and the RF Bookstore Marketing. My author page is http://jcy.me/authorpage if you’d be kind enough to take a look at my books. Thank you!

    • Amy Collins says:

      Hi Janet,

      You can still buy an ISBN from Bowker and re publish your book on your own. OR, you can use the CreateSpace version you have and focus on libraries because they don’t have the same constraints that bookstores do. You can also use the CreateSpace ISBN book to pitch directly to gift stores and retailers that are not bookshops.

  3. Ron Gale says:

    I’m from
    Canada and I get a Governmental ISBN. Is there any problem with this if I get my books printed from createspace?

    • Rut A. B. says:

      Hi, Ron!

      I believe there’s no problem with that ISBN. I have residency in a different country than where my citrnship is from and I can get ISBNs from both countries. Only US publishers have to buy those from Bowker, other countries offer them for free in limited numbers or at a really really lower price than Bowker. And a lot of countries supply you with a CIP as well, so you can put your books in order and make it easier for librarians to stock and organise your books.
      So, go for it! Unless you’re from the US, you don’t have to buy from Bowker. 🙂 Lucky us.

  4. […] Here is the full story: If you have purchased your ISBNs from your country’s ISBN/Books in Print bureau (in the US, it is Bowker) then YOU own the ISBN and YOU are the publisher of record.  (To reach Bowker in the US, go to http://www.myidentifiers.com) For more info on why you need your own ISBN, CLICK HERE. […]

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