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#1 David Nees

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Posted 09 October 2015 - 12:05 PM

At the Author Earning website, there is an another statistical study about publishing, comparing Amazon with four other outlets and showing the results of different channels through these outlets.  A side issue arose for me in reading the report.  They said a large percent of indie published works do not have ISBN numbers assigned and therefore miss getting included in industry standard reporting.  The conclusion drawn is that ISBN numbers may be becoming irrelevant.

 

Of what use are these numbers?  And can one purchase legitimate numbers outside of Bowker?

 

 


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#2 mwsinclair

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Posted 09 October 2015 - 01:47 PM

All ISBNs in the U.S. come from Bowkers, regardless of where you purchase them from. Smashwords claims they are not the "publisher" of your book if you take "their" ISBN, but that's not entirely true. The numbers are associated with the publisher. They're expensive if purchased individually (and not exactly cheap in bulk).

 

I suspect that the large number of books without an ISBN have an Amazon number. I think they're slightly different, but effectively do the same thing in serving as an identifying number for a book. To be honest, I don't have a lot of information about ASINs.



#3 LucidDreamer

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Posted 10 October 2015 - 07:57 AM

ISBN's are actually important in the library world.  It it the identifier that absolutely indentifies one book from another (even different editions, translations, etc. from one another).  It is the ONLY thing most libraries use to order books (or make sure books they are ordering are the correct book) -- since so many titles are so similar and many requesters (general patrons, faculty, students, etc.) get titles wrong.

 

It's what the Library of Congress uses to identify specific books too, so when libraries download catalog records from sources such as OCLC (a major source of cataloging records around the world) that's what's used to ID the book.

 

An ISBN is like a "key" field in a database, or a barcode on an item in a storage warehouse.  It is linked to a LOT more information.

 

Some of my major book jobbers will not stock books without ISBNs.  (I assume that may be true for book stores as well). That puts someone with only an Amazon number at a disadvantage.

 

And therein concludes the "library talk" for the day, LOL.



#4 David Nees

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  • Publishing Experience:"After the Fall: Jason's Story", is a full length novel in a post-apocalyptic time in Appalachian Mountains. It is now up on Amazon.

    The sequel to "Jason's Tale", After the Fall: "Catherine's Tale, Part 1" and "Part 2" are on Amazon for pre-release; to be released in May, 2017 and June, 2017

    Published in the following on-line journals:
    "Dead Guns Press"
    "A Thousand and One Stories"
    "Opening Line Literary 'Zine"

Posted 10 October 2015 - 03:14 PM

Thank you, Lucid.  That was very...well, lucid, and also enlightening.  If I purchase an ISBN number from someone other than Bowker, is that "my" number?  I've also heard that whoever Bowker sells the number to, it can't be transfered to another.  In effect, no reselling.  It get so confusing sometimes.


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Visit my website               After the Fall: Jason's Tale

My Amazon author page

 

 

 


#5 LucidDreamer

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Posted 10 October 2015 - 05:59 PM

It's best to get them straight from Bowker, if you can. Each ISBN can be used for one unique title and only that title. So -- reselling isn't really an option. Once a number is used, that's it.  (For instance, even if the book isn't actually published once an ISBN is assigned, that ISBN cannot be used for another book -- it must be discarded).



#6 J. Lea Lopez

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Posted 12 October 2015 - 03:58 PM

If you go through Createspace or Smashwords or anyone else for your ISBN, that entity will be listed as publisher. You're still the author and retain all rights to your work. But you couldn't take the ISBN given to you by Smashwords for that book and use it when you upload//sell on Amazon, for example. I personally use the free or cheap ISBN options when I use an ISBN. But my sales aren't anything to write home about, and I don't have a huge fan base or anything like that. If the time comes that I start seeing more success and would like to be more accessible to libraries and indie bookstores, I would go ahead and purchase my own ISBNs at that time.






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