Monday, July 28, 2014

How to Get Your ISBN

One of the most common questions the about to publish author asks is, “Where do I get my ISBN?”
Excellent question—start here:


isbn-1The International Standard Book Number is known to all in the book world as an ISBN.   It costs $125 for one and $250 for a block of ten.  It’s highly recommend that you purchase a block of 10 because the author usually has at least another book on the “back burner.” And, it’s recommended that your own them outright in your publishing company name.
And these days, the hard cover will be followed by the soft-cover version, requiring another ISBN, and one or more e-books.  And of course, a revised edition (30% or more) could follow eventually, particularly if your first edition is well received.  Bowker is the mothership for ISBNs. Here’s there website that will take you directly there: 
Beware:  The websites are occasionally updated—changed—so these instructions may also require updating.
How to Send for Your ISBN(s)
  • Go to
  • Click on bullet in blue below question, “Are you a new publisher applying for a block of ISBNs?  The bullet reads: “Continue your application process on our secure server.
  • Click on “Create an Account.
  • Click on “I Am a New Bowker Customer.
  • Fill out the two column form for “My Profile” and “Company Profile.
  • Fill out the two boxes at bottom, “Username and Password” (“User name” can be your name, your e-mail address, your publishing company, or … whatever.)
  • Click on the box at the bottom, “I accept – Create my Account
  • Click on the “10 ISBN” “BUY” button and fill out the required information. (As suggested above, the 10 ISBNs is the better way to go in today’s one-author-multibooks-published publishing world.)
The process can take 24 hours at most; most authors get a response within a few hours.  The Application will also ask if youwant a Bar Code, which costs extra (but not much).  Take a pass. You don’t ordinarily need that as the author, so ignore that box. There are plenty of resources that you can go to for a FREE and all book designers have the service to create it when they are designing the back cover—it’s necessary for the back cover of your book.
ALERT ... I just did a radio show with Laura Dawson, product manager for My Identifiers. It was an excellent interview ... Make sure you listen in on the Author U - Your Guide to Book Publishing radio show.

Judith Briles is known as The Book Shepherd a book publishing expert and coach. She is the Founder of Author U, a membership organization created for the serious author who wants to be seriously successful. She’s been writing about and conducting workshops on publishing since the 80s. Judith is the author of 31 books including Author YOU: Creating and Building Your Author and Book Platforms (ForeWord Indie/Fab Book of the Year), Snappy Sassy Salty: Wise Words for Authors and Writers and a speaker at publishing conferences.
Become part of her inner circle by joining the Author’s Ark and exclusive monthly webinar and coaching event. Her audio and workbook series, Creating Your Book and Author Platform is now available. Join Judith live on Thursdays at 6 p.m. EST for Author U – Your Guide to Book Publishing on the Toginet Network at Follow @AuthorU and @MyBookShepherd on Twitter and do a “Like” at AuthorU and Judith Briles – TheBookShepherd on Facebook. If you want to create a book that has no regrets, contact Judith at