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How to Get Your ISBN

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If it is your intention to publish and sell your printed book on any platform, you will need an ISBN (International Standard Book Number), which is your book's universal identifier and registration number, and is also used to generate your book's barcode.  


If you have recently received your copy-editing or proofreading instruction back from us, you will be aware that we offer FREE PRINT-READY TYPESETTING with all editorial work we carry out.  At this stage, whilst not essential, it is preferable that we have your book's ISBN number, which is added to the copyright page that either you have sent us or we have generated on your behalf.  If you don't have your ISBN at this stage, we can still produce your book and it can be added at a later date, using the .doc template we will send you with your typeset PDF.



There are two ways to obtain your ISBN when self-publishing:


1. Purchase your own from the ISBN agency in your respective country (currently BOWKER in the United States and NIELSEN in the United Kingdom*).




Many authors prefer this option because they can publish on several different platforms using a single ISBN, which looks a good deal more professional than having several named publishers of their book.  It is transferable across platforms, identifying you or the imprint of your creation as the book's publisher, wherever you choose to publish.


It can also afford you greater freedom over where and how the book is sold and marketed, as opposed to free publisher generated ones, which we will come to shortly.



The main disadvantage is the cost; ISBNs can be quite expensive, and you may decide that you want more than one, to identify different versions of your book (e.g. e-book, hardback, Kindle, etc.).


You will also be entirely responsible that your book is sufficiently marketed and appears in the many directories publishing platforms provide.  If you are the publisher, you may also be required to provide hard copies of your book to the various libraries around the world (you are strongly advised to do the relevant research before publishing under your own imprint).

2. Get your free platform-assigned ISBN (e.g. Amazon KDP; Barnes and Noble; Draft 2 Digital).


Those familiar with our services will be aware that our book conversion products are created with Amazon very much in mind, and tested on their platforms.  It is therefore easy for you to acquire a free ISBN from them when publishing.  However, if you choose to upload your book to other online platforms, they too will likely issue their own, free of charge.  For the sake of this section, we will assume that you are publishing your book on Amazon.



Well, it's free!


That aside, you may be able to take advantage of whatever registry inclusion, SEO and other KDP promotions your publishing platform may provide for "their own" published titles (these can vary, and you are advised to investigate these before consideration).


It is ideal for authors who have no knowledge of the process, aren't taking their publishing too seriously, or want to publish short stories and novellas, etc., intended for sale primarily on the Amazon website.



The most notable downside is that you are not the publisher of the book; your book's publisher may be listed and registered as "Amazon", "Independently Published" or "Createspace" - which may be considered a little amateurish.  You cannot assign the name of a publisher or imprint.


Additionally, unlike privately purchased ISBNs, they are non-transferable between platforms, meaning that if you choose to publish your book on several different platforms, using their free ISBNs, it will be listed as several different titles with the same name and author, but different publishers.


KDP only issue ISBNs for physical books, and not e-books.

How to obtain your ISBN for our free typesetting (without having to publish yet):


If you are ready to return your edited or proofread book for its FREE TYPESETTING, and after consideration have opted for a free KDP-issued ISBN, there is a simple way to do it, whilst still waiting to upload your finished book: you can simply CREATE A PAPERBACK PROJECT and SAVE it to return at a later date.  For those unfamiliar, there are just a few simple steps:




Get a KDP account.


Anybody with an Amazon account can create a KDP account.  Simply visit KDP.AMAZON.COM and log in with your Amazon account.  If you do not have an Amazon account, you can create one.

KDP step 1


Create a new title.

Once logged in, go to your BOOKSHELF and select CREATE A NEW PAPERBACK TITLE.  Remember, you don't need to upload any work at this stage.

KDP step 2



Fill out this whole first page in full, without mistakes.  When you have finished, you need to select SAVE AND CONTINUE, in order to move onto the next page, where your KDP ISBN will be assigned.  Don't select SAVE AS DRAFT, as you will not be assigned an ISBN.  Again, don't worry, you have uploaded or published nothing yet.

KDP step 3

STEP 4: 

Obtain your free ISBN.

On the next page - PAPERBACK CONTENT - select and click ASSIGN ME A FREE KDP ISBN, confirm the popup, and your 13-digit ISBN will be issued.

KDP step 4

STEP 5: 

Save your project.

Next, scroll all the way to the bottom of the page - you can see that this is the page where you will later upload your manuscript, complete its dimensions and add its cover; ignore all this for now - and simply SAVE AS DRAFT.  Now, the next time you log in, your saved paperback project will appear on your BOOKSHELF, ISBN permanently assigned, ready to upload and publish at a later date.

KDP step 5

And that's it...!

Now you can send us your KDP-assigned ISBN and we can add it to your typeset book's copyright page.  Alternatively, if you prefer you can add it yourself later, by following these simple steps at any time.

Think we've got it wrong?  If any of the information on this page is inaccurate or does not work, please let us know, and we will ensure it is updated.

*All information on this page is correct at time of publishing.  We cannot be held responsible for changes in the policies of third party agencies or websites, and you are urged to carry out additional research prior to purchasing your ISBN.

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