I guess the title of this blog should’ve been “ISBN, stuff you should know, but never cared enough to ask”. The truth is, if you are a self publishing author, the ISBN is either useful to you or it’s not. It all really depends on what you expect your book to do. In order for your book to be sold by most retailers and tracked, you need an ISBN (International Standard Book Number) and a barcode.
Why Should I own my ISBN?: It’s recommended that you, the author, are the owner of your ISBN. There are publishing houses that offer to sell you an ISBN at a cheaper rate, but the fact is that you don’t own it even if you pay for it. If you haven’t signed up for the ISBN, you are not the owner of the number and thus don’t own the rights to the book it is registered for. Long story short, it’s better to buy your own.
Where can I get my own?: You can sign up for an ISBN here. This website also has everything you need to know about ISBNs and can answer any questions you may have so rather than regurgitate all of that information, I will recommend you go there. Fill out the documents, pay the fees and you will be good to go. It is a rather lengthy process so prepare for that. You also want to have all the information about your book ready.