To ISBN or Not ISBN? What’s a Girl To Do?




ISBNs. What?

To ISBN or not to ISBN? Say that fast over and over all day, like I have been!

I’m researching buying my own. It’s like the UPC thingy on products only for books.

Reading “The Global Indie Author: How anyone can self-publish in the U.S. and worldwide markets” by M. A. Demers. Excerpts from Chapter five–ISBNs and Other Book Identifiers/The¬†Hidden Cost of Free ISBNs: “The publisher or aggregator owns them. They are not transferable. So if that publisher is not you, the number goes with the publisher. In the event the publisher or aggregator goes out of business, they still own that number.” (Please note: These are not direct word-for-word quotes, but the info is from the book. Great book BTW. Mine is the second edition, so the title has changed.)

So if even if they go out of business, since they still own that ISBN, you’re up a river without a paddle.

Wait. Wait. That’s my book.


You then have to make the decision whether to let the book die or go to the cost of creating a different book cover, etc. Start all over, in other words.

Kinda inconvenient.

Since I am publishing indie, it makes sense to own mine.

Another disadvantage: it’s expensive. One = $125.00.

Self-publishing is not for the faint of heart or lazy of body. I am responsible for doing the research, filling out the forms (knowing the right info for the right blank!), paying the bills. And many more things I haven’t heard of yet!

I’ll make mistakes. I have made mistakes. But in today’s technological world, there is so much information–and some of it is true! There are many already published indie authors out there, willing to lead the way and tack up “do it this way” signs along the path. Or “this worked for me.”

Thank you authors. Joanna Penn. Mary Demuth. And many others–thank you!

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