How to Buy Your Own ISBN Number And Becoming A Publishing House?

By: Shawn Nag  |  Posted In: Tips & Tricks  |  August 2, 2010

In the publishing industry only one thing that separates between a publisher and a non-publisher is the ISBN number. The International Standard Book Number or ISBN number as it is simply known is the key value that identifies the publisher of a book in all of the online databases and inventory systems used worldwide. ISBN number is very important as without it you won’t be able to sell your book through online platforms such as Amazon.

This unique 10-digit number identifies books and book-like products published internationally right up to an individual publishing house. An ISBN number has four parts: the country identifier, the publisher identifier, the title identifier and the check digit.

If you take your book to a publishing house they get an ISBN number on your behalf but in case you are into self publishing you will need to get this done by yourself. This service is free of cost in some countries while charged in others. There are more than160 ISBN Agencies worldwide and each of these agencies is exclusively appointed for a geographical area and a country in most cases. Here are a few things you need to keep in mind while applying for an ISBN number:

  • Fill up an application form with your designated ISBN agency and pay the processing fees in case it is applicable in your case.

  • Give complete details of publishing firm name, complete address and contact numbers and details of a particular original publication. This is a must for ISBN numbers as incomplete forms are usually rejected.
  • If you want to turn a full time publisher it is better that you apply for multiple ISBN numbers to assign to your future books. Most publishers do the same and get ISBN numbers in bulk. This process is also cost effective.
  • The process takes about 15 business days in most countries. In case you want it earlier you can opt for services like Express ISBN Number. This will however come at a price but will guarantee you an ISBN number in two business days.

Once you get your ISBN number you need to get your book printed through a professional printer and print the ISBN number at the back of your book. This is where a printing agency like PrintPapa can come in handy as they have delivered quality printed materials on time to their clients over the years. They use the latest technology in printing and have expertise in printing brochures, catalogs, letterhead, business cards, posters, banners and all other types of printed materials.