Common questions about ISBN's

If the ISBN is supplied by a publishing entity are they the registered publishers?

Yes, if the publishing entity supplies the International Standard Book Number (ISBN) for a book, they are typically considered the registered publisher. The ISBN is a unique identifier assigned to a book, and it is typically registered by the entity responsible for the production, marketing, and distribution of the book.

In practice, publishing entities, such as traditional publishers or self-publishing services, are usually the ones who supply the ISBN for a book, as they are responsible for the production and distribution of the book. In this case, the publishing entity would be considered the registered publisher of the book.

However, it is important to note that the act of registering the ISBN does not necessarily give the publishing entity complete control over the book or the publishing process. The terms and conditions of the agreement between the author and the publishing entity, as well as any relevant laws and regulations, will determine the specific rights and responsibilities of each party.

Who sets the retail price of a book, the author or the publisher?

Depending on the type of publisher, the retail price of a book is typically determined by the publisher. Although, there can be some negotiation between the author and the publisher in certain circumstances. If the publisher is responsible for the costs associated with producing, marketing, and distributing the book,  they set the retail price based on those costs and their desired profit margin.

In some cases, the author may have input into the retail price, particularly if they have a strong brand or a large following, as the publisher may want to price the book in a way that maximizes sales. However, the ultimate decision on the retail price rests with the publisher.

Where can I get an ISBN

Thorpe-Bowker is the official ISBN Agency for publishers physically located in Australia. If an ISBN is obtained from a source other than the official ISBN Agency, it might not identify the publisher of the title accurately. 

ISBNs are the global standard for identifying books. The ISBN is a unique identifier for a book or other book-like product, such as an eBooks. It specifies its format, edition, and publisher.

Do I need an ISBN?

An ISBN identifies one specific version of a book; each version of a book, print or digital, requires its own ISBN. Therefore, the best buy would be 10 ISBN’s if you intend to turn your printed book into and eBook, or if you are printing a second edition in hard back. 

There is a new publisher setup fee of $55 if you have not previously purchased ISBNs from Thorpe- Bowker. This covers the setup of your New Publisher account, including verifying details and linking your publisher details to all the appropriate Bowker products for maximum exposure.

The ISBN can simplify purchases, book distribution, inventory tracking, and improve the chances that a book will be found and sold on certain reselling platforms.

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
  • 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

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