How To Get ISBNs - A Quick Guide


Hallo, everyone! I'm sorry for being a lazy blogger this month. I decided today to write another informational post, for anyone looking to publish an ebook themselves. I've already finished my formatting ebooks post - check it here!

This post isn't very long. But I found it a little confusing to know what to do when I needed ISBNs, so this should help save other people the trouble.
Note - ISBNs are quite expensive, you'll need around £120 for a block of 10. Get saving! I cleaned the house every week for a couple of months, as well as cleaned the car. However, it's good to have them.


What is an ISBN?

 It is an international standard book number. It's a unique number for your publication that identifies it, and is used in marketing/selling. Your book essentially gets registered on a big old database as your book, so it's quite a useful thing to have. It also makes it feel a little more official!

As to how to get an ISBN - you have to go to your country/region's ISBN agency.  A google search will help you find yours easily. The one for the UK is Nielsen. Therefore, this is the one that I used.

You need to download the application form, print it out, complete it, scan it and then email it to their address they provide (Click on 'services for new publishers' and you'll get the information, as well as links to the form.) Alternatively you can post it to their address.

The service from this company was really great. I'd managed to make a little mistake in my form, and they immediately emailed me and we sorted it out. It does take a little while to come through, however, so be prepared!

Also, another thing to note. If you're self publishing, on the form where it asks for the publisher of the book, you can either put your own name or make up your own 'publishing company' name - I chose Baytree Publishing. I suppose this can be done for superficial reasons;  so people don't at first glance write your book off as vanity published, but it's not necessary. I did it because it felt official and proper to have a 'real' publishing name ♥‿♥. You will have to register one of the ISBNs to your book when you apply, and provide a sample title page and title page verso - the site has a clear explanation of this, you can essentially mock one up in Word or Open Office (for poor people like me :> )

You will get a paper booklet in the post with a list of your ISBNs, and space for you to assign the rest of them to your future publications. You will need to register these on their site at some point, but it doesn't seem to need to be done immediately.

So, it's not actually that hard! Even so, be sure to do it in plenty of time before you intend to publish your book.

I'm afraid I'm not sure how other countries are different to the UK, but I imagine they're pretty similar.


As far as book-writing goes, the reason number three isn't published yet is that I'm still working on 8 - Original Sin. I felt as though I didn't characterise quite correctly in it, so I'm tweaking it, and I won't publish until I am 100% happy with it.

I am also really pleased with how 4-6 has gone - I've also received a really good review on for it! Five stars ;__; Thank you, reviewer! It was rather flattering. So far, I've only had five star reviews on my stories (touch-wood.) This pleases me.