ISBN, Do I Need One?
Yes, you need one for your book and not just any ISBN! Tell me more –
ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number. This is a 13-digit code for a book, similar to a Social Security Number. Your book is the only one in the world with this number, just as no one else has your Social Security Number. It’s a way of identifying your particular book.
You will see this code in the form of a barcode on the back cover of your book. This barcode can also include the price of the book to make it easy to purchase. Bookstores can scan your book as easily as a carton of milk.
All books that are for sale need an ISBN!
Beware of the free ISBN. The one most people are familiar with is the ISBN that KDP/Amazon will give you for free. Yes, it is a legitimate ISBN, but the coding says “independent publisher” and Amazon lists it as Independently Published. Nothing says amateur more than this. In addition, large bookstores will not sell books with a KDP/Amazon ISBN.
If you want to compete with the Trade Book Publishers, you need to have an ISBN issued by Bowker and get listed in Books in Print, the leading bibliographic database for publishers, retailers and libraries around the world. This is a complicated process that Hallard Press can do for you. We obtain both your ISBN and corresponding ISBN/price bar code for the outside back cover of your book.
And, lastly, you may need more than one ISBN. Each Paperback, Hardcover and Audiobook of your title requires a separate ISBN to distinguish one from the other. At present, eBooks do not need an ISBN.