Saturday, July 9, 2011

How to Get an ISBN Number for Your Book

Obtaining an ISBN number is a smart business decision if you're self-publishing your book, and applies to both e-books and print books. From a profitability standpoint, ISBN numbers will allow nearly every online and brick-and-mortar book-selling venue to order and sell your book; plus it helps you, the publisher, to be identified easily for contact purposes if buyers want to order your book. While having an ISBN is not currently a legal requirement, it IS required by most booksellers.

Fortunately, getting an ISBN number is quite easy, so don't be overwhelmed when you learn you need to have one. It will definitely benefit you in the long run!

The U.S. ISBN Agency at Bowker is currently the official source of ISBN numbers in the United States, however there are some authorized agents that offer special services catering specifically to self-publishing authors.

Here are the steps you can take to obtain an ISBN number for your new book if you are located in the United States.

1) Visit to get started. On the right, click on the large button that says "Get your ISBN today!" to proceed.

2) Click on the "buy now" button next to the option for purchasing a single ISBN.

3) Click on the "checkout" button below the shopping cart that displays your product description.

4) Click on the "New Bowker customer" button to create an account.

5) Type your information into the required fields. You will be asked to provide your name, physical address and email address as well as a username and password for the Bowker website. After reviewing the registration terms, click on the "I Accept - Create my Account" button to proceed. You will then receive a confirmation email that completes your registration.

6) Log into your account and finalize your ISBN purchase. After your registration is complete, you will have the option to click on the shopping cart icon in the upper-right corner and enter your payment information.

7) Enter your book's information to have it added to the Bowker database. After you have paid for your ISBN number, click on the "My Account" link toward the top of the website, then click on the ISBN number you just purchased to bring up the title form. The following page will allow you to enter your book's details and information; such as the title, the cover image, the description, the selling price and much more. When you have finished, scroll back to the top of the page and click on the "Save" button to finish.

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