Need an ISBN?

Self-published authors often find it prohibitively expensive to buy an ISBN, and if you use the free one from Amazon, then you’re letting them put their mark on your book. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but for those who aren’t comfortable with it, you have a better option.

Filling out the form on Bowker’s site can also be extremely painful if you’re unfamiliar with it. Wily Writers can make the process easy-peasy.

Wily Writers has a bank of ISBNs that we will offer to members for $29 each. We buy them in bulk, so you don’t have to. The ISBN will be yours forever. A portion of the fee will go toward maintenance of the upcoming Wily Writers Fiction site and a portion will go to promoting that site (and thus your books).

What you get:

  • Your forever ISBN for only $29
  • A listing on our Wily Writers Fiction site (work in progress) that links out to wherever you’re distributing it
  • Promotion of the Wily Writers Fiction site and thus promotion of your work
  • No other charges required. You keep all sales from your book. We may occasionally request donations for a special promotional push, but those will be completely optional.
  • Possible promotion on sites that give added benefits to publishers (such as Edelweiss and NetGalley). We’re actively looking into making this a reality.

What we ask for in return:

  • When you use one of our ISBNs, Wily Writers will be listed as your imprint (your publisher). This is non-negotiable as it’s part of the registration process for the ISBN, and because we purchased it, we’re listed as the imprint.
  • We ask that you give us credit as your publisher within the book. We also ask that you put our logo on the back cover and an image of the Wily fox or the blue feather on the spine in accordance with our guidelines.
  • We ask that you allow us to promote your book on our Wily Writers Fiction website (work in progress).
  • We ask that you share our Wily Writers Fiction website with your social media to help promote your Wily fellows. This is optional but would be very kind of you.
  • Because you are a member of Wily Writers, we believe that your work will be of professional quality and meet common publishing standards. We ask for your due diligence in this regard.
  • You’ll be asked to sign a publishing contract that will cover both our asses.
  • Wily Writers reserves the right to reject any ISBN application if the book offends our sensibilities. We’re not overly sensitive, but there are some platforms we will not support on the Wily Writers Fiction site: white supremacy, for example. We’ll talk it out with you if we have concerns.

How does this differ from predatory publishers who offer ISBNs?

  • Aside from the initial fee, we take no money from you. We do not take a portion of your sales.
  • You publish your book yourself at Amazon, or wherever you like.
  • You are in charge of the cover, of editing, and of publishing the work however you want.
  • We do help you promote it via our Wily Writers fiction website (wip).
  • You retain all copyright to the work, IP, and elements in it.

IMPORTANT: The following content was flagrantly copied from the BOWKER WEBSITE for your convenience.

What is an ISBN?

The ISBN is a unique identifier for a book or other book-like product (such as an audiobook) that specifies its format, edition, and publisher.

Why should I buy an ISBN?

There are many reasons to purchase an ISBN for your title, including:

  • An ISBN improves the likelihood your book will be found and purchased
  • An ISBN links to essential information about your book
  • An ISBN enables more efficient marketing and distribution of your title
  • Most retailers require ISBNs
  • Correct use of the ISBN allows different product forms and editions of a book, printed or digital, to be differentiated clearly, ensuring that customers receive the version they require
  • An ISBN helps you collect and analyze book sales data
  • An ISBN ensures your book’s information will be stored in the Books In Print database
  • Books In Print is consulted by publishers, retailers and libraries around world when searching for title information
  • The ISBN conveys no legal or copyright protection, however, the use of ISBNs for publications is prescribed by law in some countries
  • In some countries a book will be charged higher tax if it does not have an ISBN
  • ISBNs are the global standard for book identification

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. This allows retailers to help the customer understand exactly which version of a title they are purchasing. So, you should consider:

  • How many book titles you are planning to publish
  • How many formats will each title be created in
  • Do you plan to publish future revised editions of these titles
  • And remember:
    • You can purchase ISBNs in advance and register your titles any time after they are obtained.
    • ISBNs never expire.

Why should I buy my ISBNs from Bowker?
(Wily Writers gets their ISBNs from Bowker)

Bowker is the official ISBN Agency for publishers physically located in the United States and its territories (Puerto Rico, Guam, US Virgin Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, as well as military bases and embassies. If an ISBN is obtained from a source other than the official ISBN Agency, it might not identify the publisher of the title accurately. This can have implications for doing business in the publishing industry supply chain.

Once you set up your account with us, your ISBNs will be added to your account immediately at purchase (Title Assignment Instructions). You will be recognized as the publisher of all book titles associated with those ISBNs. For more information about the ISBN standard, or if you are looking for the official ISBN Agency in your jurisdiction, visit the International ISBN Agency.

No votes yet.
Please wait...

Did we earn a tip today?

$1.00 goes a long way. If you found this content helpful, drop a quick tip onto the table. We met the first goal that buys us two full-page ads in the HWA newsletter. Now, we’re working toward a goal of a banner ad at Nightmare Magazine.

1 comment… add one

Leave a Reply