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ISBN + Barcode? (2 Viewers)

indianroads

Staff member
Global Moderator
For Inception, I'm thinking of purchasing an ISBN - previously I've gone with the KDP ISBN but think this book may have longer legs and am considering selling it on B&N (and maybe others sites) as well.

Do I need to purchase the barcode?

The first place I looked was Bowker, and they sell the barcode separately. If I don't buy it, will Amazon accept my book or fill it in with their own?
 

Ralph Rotten

Staff member
Media Manager
Selling at B&N sounds great on paper...but they have their own in-house publishing now, and the EXPANDED MARKETING option is not an option...they charge you for it, you cannot disable the option. Hence, your books will be marked up to vanity-press prices.

Did you check out D2D? You can get registered with them and they publish you with numerous markets.

Ingram frequently has free vouchers so you can set up books there for free. The cover format is a mandatory PDF...but that will get you into a lot of new markets. Just google free code for Ingram. Lisa over at Indies United seems to always have free codes.
 

TaniAliya

WF Veterans
For Inception, I'm thinking of purchasing an ISBN - previously I've gone with the KDP ISBN but think this book may have longer legs and am considering selling it on B&N (and maybe others sites) as well.

Do I need to purchase the barcode?

The first place I looked was Bowker, and they sell the barcode separately. If I don't buy it, will Amazon accept my book or fill it in with their own?
Are these all your books? I would be buying ISBNs i batches if so. Everything I've read suggests it's best to have one's own ISBNs...as for barcodes, some cover art designers have the facility to generate those from the ISBN but as you say, you can get them from Bowker Thorpe.
 
For Inception, I'm thinking of purchasing an ISBN - previously I've gone with the KDP ISBN but think this book may have longer legs and am considering selling it on B&N (and maybe others sites) as well.

Do I need to purchase the barcode?

The first place I looked was Bowker, and they sell the barcode separately. If I don't buy it, will Amazon accept my book or fill it in with their own?
If you are not going to print the book (paperback/hardcover) and just keep it an epub only for a while, I would not buy the barcode. If you intend to have it printed and distributed in multiple location other than Amazon, you might consider the barcode. You can always buy the barcode later at any time from Browker (if you're in the US). Basically, having a single barcode associated with your specific ISBN makes it easier for you to distribute across various vendors (assuming you're making print copies through a print vendor and distributing them somehow). As I understand it, Amazon will print a barcode on a paperback they produce on your behalf, however, that will not necessarily be associated with your ISBN, but rather their internal AIN. For clarity, I personally think the barcode thing is really for publishing companies and such, seeing as those of us who self-publish do not typically have the resources to distribute across multiple channels on our own. Just my two cents.

Perhaps someone with a little more print publishing experience could weigh in here?
 
Also, about the ISBN thing. I would buy your own if you can afford it. Publishing the same book under multiple ISBNs is confusing and looks unprofessional IMO. They can be bought cheaply in bundles (so not actually cheap up front). Side note: they're free in Canada... take from that what you will.

Every time you use Amazon, Googleplay, Smashbooks, etc., to publish for free without an independent ISBN assigned to it, you are generating a new version of the book, which then carries it's own ISBN, even if they are identical and come from the exact same source file. Some won't have an ISBN at all, because epubs don't require them. Be aware though, once an ISBN is assigned and you've published, "technically" there are limitations upon how much you can edit the published version under that ISBN (reprint vs editions). This gets costly if you want to make major edits later because you'll need to assign a new ISBN as an new edition. However, this is true mostly for print versions, so there is some plasticity in the epub world.
 

RGS

Senior Member
Also, about the ISBN thing. I would buy your own if you can afford it. Publishing the same book under multiple ISBNs is confusing and looks unprofessional IMO. They can be bought cheaply in bundles (so not actually cheap up front). Side note: they're free in Canada... take from that what you will.

Every time you use Amazon, Googleplay, Smashbooks, etc., to publish for free without an independent ISBN assigned to it, you are generating a new version of the book, which then carries it's own ISBN, even if they are identical and come from the exact same source file. Some won't have an ISBN at all, because epubs don't require them. Be aware though, once an ISBN is assigned and you've published, "technically" there are limitations upon how much you can edit the published version under that ISBN (reprint vs editions). This gets costly if you want to make major edits later because you'll need to assign a new ISBN as an new edition. However, this is true mostly for print versions, so there is some plasticity in the epub world.

Also be aware that Amazon issues a different ISBN for the paperback and hardcover versions of the same book. So, if you put the ISBN in the front of your manuscript, and it's the incorrect one, they'll reject it. I ran into this myself.
 

TaniAliya

WF Veterans
If you have your own ISBN, Amazon can't change it as far as I'm aware and it is always best to have the same ISBN for the same book everywhere, just different for different formats like hard cover, paperback and ebook. Amazon is simply a distributor. I created a Publisher name to use which is also a good idea for self-publoishers.
 
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