An ISBN, or the International Standard Book Number, is a unique number used to identify a book’s title, edition, format, author, and publisher. It is essential because it helps maintain sales reports, cost-effective and error-free databases, stock control registers and enables you to order books from various libraries, publishers, bookstores, and e-commerce websites. In this article we will discuss 6 Things You Should Know About the ISBN.
6 Things You Should Know About the ISBN
Listed below are the seven essential facts, in the form of FAQs, that you should know about an ISBN.
1. Who can apply for an ISBN?
The following individuals or entities are eligible to apply for an ISBN.
- A Self-publisher
- A Publisher
- An Author
- An educational institution
- A University
- A Government Department
2. Is it necessary to obtain an ISBN?
An ISBN helps libraries, e-commerce retailers, bookstores, wholesalers, and distributors to track sales and purchases. If you plan to sell only an online version of your book, obtaining an ISBN is optional and depends entirely on your choice. However, suppose you are looking to sell printed copies of your book.
3. Is there a concept like one-book one-ISBN?
Unfortunately not. Each version of a book requires a separate ISBN. It means that if you decide to launch your book in different modes, such as an ebook, hardcover, audiobook, or paperback, you will need to obtain four separate ISBNs. Moreover, it is essential to apply for a new ISBN in case:
- You make considerable changes in content that qualify the book as a new edition.
- Change your book’s publisher.
- You change your book’s title.
4. Is an ISBN the same as a book’s barcode?
Now, although a book’s barcode is derived from its ISBN, they are not the same. An ISBN is a numeric identifier, whereas a barcode is a visual identifier. A barcode relays a book’s ISBN to a central database with the help of a barcode scanner.
5. What advantages do self-publishing authors get out of a self-owned ISBN registration?
If you are a self-publishing author, obtaining a self-owned ISBN registration provides several benefits, some of which include:
- It gives you the right to manage your book’s description and category. By doing so, you can significantly improve the chances of bookstores, libraries, and customers easily finding your book for purchase.
- ISBN gives you the right to be the publisher of record. It means your ISBN will not change even if you change your publisher or choose more than one publisher.
- Any individual or publisher interested in buying a book contacts the publisher of record. A self-owned ISBN lets you get in touch with buyers directly, resulting in more profits.
6. Does an ISBN provide any legal or copyright protection?
Although some countries legally require using an ISBN to identify books and publications, an ISBN in itself does not provide any legal or copyright protection.
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