Questions People Ask: ISBNs

Answers by Rachael Ritchey 😀

Rachael Ritchey

I’ve been asked this question several times: How many ISBNs do you recommend purchasing?

The question of buying bar codes has also arisen, but that question is not one I know much about. From my limited experience, I would say, no, it isn’t necessary.

My indie publishing experience has been with:

  1. Createspace (Amazon Company)
  2. Kindle Direct Publishing (Amazon Company)
  3. IngramSpark(Lightning Source Company)
  4. Smashwords (covers several online ebook sources)
  5. Barnes & Noble(Nook Press)

Depending on how you plan to publish (i.e. only ebook or ebook & physical) you will need different ISBNs and you’ll need to purchase most of them.

For example, If you are only publishing through Createspace you will have the option of a free ISBN with their imprint for publishing, a $10 one to which you can assign your own imprint, a $99 option that allows more freedom, or using one you’ve already purchased outside Createspace…

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11 thoughts on “Questions People Ask: ISBNs

  1. Thanks for reblogging this helpful post Chris. When I published “Dalliance; A Collection of Poetry and Prose”, using Amazon Kindle in late 2014, I didn’t use an ISBN because (as Rachel correctly points out one isn’t required when publishing ebooks on Amazon). In May this year I published a print edition of “Dalliance” and took the decision not to buy an ISBN. Thus far I don’t regret my decision as the lack of an ISBN has not prevented a local book store from agreeing to stock my work. Perhaps I have been lucky as other stockists do, I understand require the presence of an ISBN prior to taking a book. Kevin

    On 5/30/15, Chris The Story Reading Ape’s Blog

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I usually buy in groups of ten (I publish a lot of non-fic tech ed books), the last time I bought a hundred for about $500. I like being in control of my own ISBNs rather than expecting someone else to track them for me.

    I still have over 80 left!

    Liked by 4 people


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