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ISBN Facts: What to do AFTER you obtain your ISBN

Posted on: September 21st, 2015 by Publisher Services

We commonly get asked about what self-publishers need to do after they receive their ISBN assignment(s).  Since an ISBN is simply a unique identifier representing a particular title and format, we encourage our clients to enter their “metadata” through our client portals. Metadata is core information about their books, such as title, author, price, subject, etc.   This information is automatically uploaded to Bowker’s Global Books in Print database.  All the major search engines, libraries and most bookstores (online and physical) pull data feeds from this database.   The first step to book DISCOVERY is keeping your metadata accurate and current.

The following are additional frequently asked questions;

Do I need an e-ISBN for my electronic books?

The internet is filled with misinformation and the term “e-isbn” is incorrect. An ISBN by definition is the proper term for the identifier for all physical and electronic books.  Just as a hardcover of a title requires a different ISBN from the paperback, the electronic version of a title requires an additional ISBN assignment.

If I change the price of my book do I need a new ISBN?

The ISBN does not change if an author changes the price.  Authors should log back into our client portal to change the price but the ISBN is the same.  However, if the price is included in the barcode image provided, a new barcode symbol will need to be ordered.  The only time a NEW ISBN is required is when there is a significant change in content from the previous version.

Does an ISBN provide Copyright protection?

The ISBN is completely separate from the Copyright system.  In the US, an author’s book is protected under copyright as soon as it is written.  Registering a copyright is used as a defensive action used if an author believes his/her content will likely be violated.

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