Can I use a different ISBN when publishing a co-authored book in two different countries?

Asked by: Becky Janssen

No, you cannot. It is illegal. The ISBN codifies (among other things) the publisher. If you steal that ISBN, then you state that your book was published by your co-author’s publisher.

Do you need a different ISBN for different countries?

If you’re using two different publishers, you need two ISBNs, one for each publisher. If you are publishing different versions in each country–different text, different language, different trim size, different format (e.g. trade paperback vs mass market paperback)–you need two ISBNs, one for each version.

Can I publish the same book with different ISBN numbers?

Once assigned to a book, an ISBN cannot be reused. This is a very important point to keep in mind. The same ISBN cannot be used for different formats of the book, whether the book is in printed or electronic form. That means hardcover and softcover versions of the book have to be assigned separate ISBNs.

Can the same book have two different ISBN numbers?

An ISBN is assigned to each separate edition and variation (except reprintings) of a publication. For example, an e-book, a paperback and a hardcover edition of the same book will each have a different ISBN.

Do you need a different ISBN for each book?

A (substantial) change of text requires a new ISBN, and if revisions have been made then the reverse of the title page should state that the book is a revised edition, and the new ISBN should be printed there. Each different language edition of a book needs its own ISBN.

What happens if the ISBN number is different?

A textbook will have a separate ISBN for each edition. International Edition textbooks have a different ISBN than the standard edition. If a book is reprinted by its same publisher without any changes or revisions, it will keep the same ISBN.

Can I change the ISBN on my book?

If you made changes to your book, we may be able to help you move your ISBN to the new version in some cases. We can’t move your ISBN to a newer version of your book if the new book differs more than 10% from the older version.

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Do I need a new ISBN for a second edition?

If you create a second edition with new material to “freshen” the book and give it new marketing life, it must have a new ISBN. If you change the title of the book you must have a new ISBN. Remember that your ISBN identifies a specific work.

When should I change my ISBN number?

US practice is if the book is just out or the idea is to give a marketing boost to the product, then no, a new ISBN should not be assigned. However, if the change in cover substantially changes the product (ie., would lead to customer complaints), then a new ISBN should be used.

How many ISBNs do I need?

How many ISBNs do I need? You will need one ISBN for each edition and format of your book. The ISBN identifies the publisher as well as the specific book title, edition and format (hardback, paperback, ePub, PDF, Mobi, Audio…). Any variation of a book would require the use of a unique ISBN to identify it properly.

Can you use the same ISBN for Amazon and IngramSpark?

IngramSpark distributes your book to Amazon, but if you wanted to publish through IngramSpark and Amazon directly, you cannot use either platforms’ free ISBN to upload your book to the other. Owning your own ISBN allows you more distribution freedom than free ISBNs.

Can you sell a book without an ISBN?

ISBNs are not necessary to sell ebooks; none of the top online retailers require them. Printed books, however, cannot be sold without an ISBN. Remember that each version of your book would need a separate ISBN, and purchasing a block of 10 would be more cost-effective than purchasing one.

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How much does it cost to buy an ISBN number?


The going rate for a single ISBN costs $125, while 10 ISBNs cost $295, 100 ISBNs cost $575, and 1000 ISBNs cost $1500. Note that these prices are based on the price listings at Bowker for those living in the United States. For ISBNs purchased internationally, prices do vary (and are often cheaper).

How do I get an international ISBN number?

To apply for ISBN Numbers the Applicant has to first register them on the website and after registration they can further apply of ISBN Numbers as and when required.

Does Amazon give you an ISBN?

Amazon will auto-generate an ISBN number for your print book and an ASIN number for your digital book, register it with Bowker and and even generate the appropriate EAN barcode for the back of your printed book.

Can you use the same ISBN for print and eBook?

A print book ISBN cannot be reused for the eBook. 2. It is recommended, but not required, that you assign a unique ISBN per format. A format is a Kindle eBook, an EPUB (used by B&N, Apple, Kobo, etc.), audiobook, hardcover, paperback.

Can an ebook have two ISBN?

Technically you not only need an ISBN but you need a different ISBN for each format your ebook is being offered. If you are offering your book as a mobi, epub and a PDF, you need three different ISBNs. That’s technically. In reality, if you are only making your eBook available on Amazon, you don’t need any.

Do I need an ISBN for Kindle publishing?

You don’t need an ISBN number to publish your Kindle book. During the publishing process, Amazon will assign a 10-digit ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number) that will identify your Kindle book on

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How are ISBN numbers assigned?

ISBNs are assigned based on the geographical location of the publisher, not the printing company. If a publisher is selling their books on their own and are not trying to place them in stores or libraries or with wholesalers, is an ISBN required? No, an ISBN is not required.

What does a 979 ISBN mean?

Twelve years after the 13-digit ISBN was launched in order to increase the capacity of the ISBN system, the inventory of some ISBN block sizes starting with 978, such as 10,000, 100,000 and 1,000,000, is now dwindling, meaning that a new prefix is needed — 979!

What is the difference between ISBN 10 and ISBN 13?

An International Standard Book Number is assigned to books for identification. Prior to 2007, the ISBN was 10 characters long. The 13-character ISBN was adopted to increase the availability of ISBN numbers globally as well as to conform to the International Article Numbering Association global numbering system.

How do I get an ISBN number for my self published book?

You can purchase your own ISBN from Bowker or through your local ISBN agency. If you are reprinting your book, the title, author name, and binding type must remain the same. A new edition requires a new ISBN. Your book’s imprint must match what’s on file with your ISBN.

Do ISBN numbers expire?

If you do purchase a package with multiple ISBNs, you do not have to assign them right way. You can save your additional ISBNs until your next book is ready for publication. Your ISBN numbers will never go bad or expire.

Do I need to get a copyright for my book?

Do I need to copyright my book? From the moment your words are written on paper or saved to a digital file, your work becomes protected under intellectual property law. It doesn’t require any formal registration.