Are you confused over whether you need an ISBN for your ebook and how to get one? I know I was before I went through the process of uploading my first ebook. So, here they are:
The FAQs about ISBNs
1) Can I use the same ISBN that was assigned to the print edition?
No. That I know for sure. My understanding is, even if you were reissuing the book as a print book, if anything changes, like the cover or even how the text was typeset, you’d need a new ISBN that is specific to that edition.
2) Do I need a different ISBN for every format of the ebook since it’s going to be formatted for Kindle, Nook, iPad, Sony, etc?
No, thank goodness. As long as you’re uploading the same file with the same cover, you just need one ISBN. And you don’t even need to use the ISBN for every format. You need one to get your ebook listed on BN.com for Nook, and on the iBookstore for iPad, but you don’t need one to be listed on Amazon for Kindle.
3) How do I get an ISBN?
I did my ebook through Smashwords, so it was easy. After you uploaded your file, there is a waiting period before your book is accepted into the Premium Catalog. Once it’s accepted, they will walk you through getting an ISBN. If you choose the free one, your book must say “Smashwords Edition” in the copyright area at the very beginning of the book. I chose to buy an ISBN for $9.99, so I put “Published by Julie Ortolon at Smashwords” in the copyright area. I didn’t even have to cough up the 10 bucks. They will take it out of my first sales.
(Want to see how to word your copyright text? CLICK HERE and download a FREE sample.)
4) Why buy an ISBN if I can get a free one?
I read somewhere that Amazon doesn’t like you to put Smashwords Edition in the front. I’m not sure if that’s true, but for $9.99 why risk it.
5) How do I get an ISBN if I don’t go through Smashwords?
Ah-ha! Now that’s a good question and one I don’t have the answer to yet. If you know, please post the info in the comments!
If you have questions or corrections about any of this information, please post that in the comments as well. The purpose of this blog is to share information and learn together, so let’s share.