What is an ISBN?

ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number. Since 1 January 2007 ISBN’s have consisted of 13 digits calculated using a specific mathematical formula and include a check digit to validate the number. No two publications have the same ISBN, and you need a different ISBN for each type of publication (Hard Copy, Paperback, and ebook).

What does that mean?

The ISBN is a unique identifier for your book (and any alternate versions of your book). Traditional publishers will always assign an ISBN as part of their publishing contract to assist in identification and distribution. Self Publishers and Independent Publishers using services such as Create Space and Amazon may skip ISBN allocation.

Do I need it?

You do not need to purchase your own ISBN if a) you do not plan on selling your work, or b) you plan to use a service that provides free ISBN or other identifiers. In the age of eBook-only-publishing and Amazon, fewer independent authors are using ISBN’s.

Buy your own ISBN

ISBN’s can be purchased through THORPE-Bowker in Australia, or Bowker internationally. The more you buy, the cheaper they get. You will need to provide the associated meta-data to have the ISBN registered.

ISBN through Arlock Publishing

(we are not currently accepting submissions) but…

Should you elect to publish your work through the Arlock Publishing Imprint we allocate an ISBN if you haven’t already registered one. The cost is $25 (US) per format to be published. And all ISBN’s will be registered with the correct bodies to ensure your meta-data flows through to sellers.