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The ISBN Dilemma … Should Authors Buy Their Own?

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WOWSA! Such a deal … buy your ISBN for only ten bucks … who wants to pay $125? The real questions are: are they legit ISBNs? Or, are they knockoffs? Or, are they a re-sale? And if they are a resale, are they being sold by an approved resale outlet? Are they legit … or are they fake? What’s an author to do?



All authors need to understand this: ISBNs are ONLY ISSUED by Bowker … it doesn’t matter what name you get them through. And in fact, it may be a giant hiccup if you take this route. Bowker has the exclusive distribution rights in the United States … other companies have them in other parts of the world. Here’s what and others like it do: they purchase a bank of ISBNS… you too, can buy 1000 for $1000 or $1 an ISBN (now, that’s a deal)—where single ones are sold for $125 via Bowker, 10 for $250, 100 for $500 and 1,000 for $1,000, etc.

Anyone can buy and then repackage and sell them as singles or multiples at, say $10 vs. the single direct purchase from Bowker for $125. If you are crunching numbers, $10 sounds better than $125—but is it?  Supposedly, they have a “channel” arrangement with Bowker to do that. You think—”WOW—such a deal.” Maybe. Maybe not. And yep, that means you could buy them and resell to your friends and maybe as a “side business” as well. Hmmm, 1,000 for $1,000—resell for $10 each … what a rate of return!


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1 Comment

  1. Reblogged this on Don Massenzio's Blog and commented:
    Here is a great post from the How to eBook blog on the topic of authors purchasing ISBNs

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