If you want your book to be accepted and sold by an online retailer, your book must first be assigned an ISBN - International Standard Book Number. If you self-publish, consider obtaining an ISBN for your book and do a small print run so you have some inventory. A third option, which falls between self-publishing and selling your manuscript to a traditional publisher, is to publish with a "transitional publisher,"
Your ISBNOwning an ISBN book number is perhaps the most misunderstood aspect of self-publishing your own book. Every book that is going to be sold commercially must have an ISBN book number, period.
What is an ISBN and Should a Self-Publisher Get One?
Many self-publishing companies include providing an ISBN in their self-publishing services or allow the self-publisher the option of providing the ISBN.
The ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is a number that uniquely identifies each book. It’s been called the “social-security number for books.” The owner of the ISBN is the official publisher of the book. As the official publisher, the owner of the ISBN is the only company who can:
- submit the book for reviews and awards
- update publisher information on Amazon.com or BN.com
- get a book carried by a distributor or wholesaler
RR Bowker is the U.S. ISBN Agency in the United States, responsible for assigning ISBNs as well as providing information and advice on the uses of the ISBN system to publishers and the publishing industry in general.
NOBODY can assign, give, lend or sell you an ISBN except for the US agency, RR Bowker. So, when self publishing books, just visit http://www.bowker.com/ to find out all the information you need to obtain an ISBN.
*While self-published books are not required to obtain ISBN's, distributors and most book stores will not accept a book without one.
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© 2009 by Leona G. Shankle