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Wait A Minute! Not all ISBNs will work for Amazon??

Posted on: July 30th, 2018 by Publisher Services

You have decided that you want to self-publish and distribute your book(s), ebooks or DVDs through Amazon. Great! Amazon has little to no competition amongst online booksellers. It’s important to purchase an ISBN (International Standard Book Number) for your book product for discoverability online or in stores; most markets will require an ISBN to sell your book as well.

amazon isbn

There are many different ISBN offers, packages,  and information all over the web. Aside from making sure you are working with a legitimate authorized ISBN agent, you need to make sure that you are obtaining the correct type of ISBN to match your intended marketplaces, such as Amazon. But, how do you know which option is right for you?

Amazon has three different divisions in which you can use to distribute and market your books on their site: Amazon CreateSpace, Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing and Amazon Fulfillment (FBA). Each of these three divisions has set rules in regards to the ISBN that can be submitted by the author.

Amazon CreateSpace and Amazon KDP will only accept ISBNs that are registered to the name of the author/publisher that is creating an account. When purchasing an ISBN, it’s important to inquire of the company what will be the imprint name of the ISBN in Bowker’s Global Books in Print database. The Publisher Package ($129) provides an ISBN with  your company’s name identified as the registrant in the database. During the title setup for both Amazon CreateSpace and Amazon KDP, imprint name is verified against the Global Books in Print Database.  If an ISBN is entered which does not match, the following message is displayed:

“The ISBN entered for this Title ID is registered to another publisher in Bowker, the U.S. ISBN Agency, and we are unable to proceed with the current ISBN. Visit the ISBN section of your Project Homepage to view your ISBN options. Be sure to update your files to match any recent ISBN changes. If you believe that your ISBN was not accepted in error, please verify that the information provided within your Member Account is correct and then contact us so we may review further.”

To avoid receiving this error message and spending more money to correct your mistake, purchase an ISBN that properly identifies your company in Bowker’s database. Purchasing a Publisher Package ISBN enables your book to be sold through all three Amazon divisions and all marketplaces across the globe.

For Amazon Fulfillment, there are no regulations as to the registrant of the ISBN you have assigned to your book. The Self-Publisher Package (starting at$55) is the ideal solution and the indicated registrant in Bowker’s database is “Independent Publisher”.  When setting up book product information during the Amazon Fulfillment setup, you simply indicate “Independent Publisher” as the imprint name to receive approval. It is important to note that authors/publishers retains title ownership and copyright privileges for either ISBN package.

To purchase an ISBN for Amazon CreateSpace and Amazon KDP, please click here.

To purchase an ISBN for Amazon Fulfillment (FBA) only or self-distribution, please click here.

For more information, please contact us at or call us at 800-662-0701 x250.