What's an ISBN code?
The ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is a unique and permanent number that identifies any book around the world (visit the official website for more information).
Do I need to be a publisher to get one?
No. Anyone can purchase an ISBN for their book — although it can be quite expensive.
For those who publish their books through StreetLib, this problem does not arise: we provide the ISBN for free. Just select the appropriate option when publishing. Within 12 hours we will assign an ISBN to your ebook (so don't worry if it will not appear immediately once you have filled in and saved the article form). Simply select "Assign an ISBN to my book" when publishing your book:
Even with our free ISBN, you will still own 100% of the copyright.
When is a free ISBN not assigned by StreetLib?
Automatic assignment is disabled for ebooks in PDF or mobi format only. We provide ISBNs only in the case of valid epub ebooks.
In practice, the ISBN number is a logistics identifier used by bookstores and libraries to manage their catalogs.
Although some of the major players have their own solutions (e.g. Amazon Standard Identification Number - ASIN), it is still essential for authors and publishers around the world.
Is it compulsory?
It is not necessary, but it is needed to market your book.
StreetLib store, Media365 and Youscribe also accept ebooks that do not have an ISBN code.
Is there a specific code for ebooks different from the ISBN used for paper books?
No, the traditional ISBN is used for all formats.
I have already published with a publisher, but want to self-publish with StreetLib. Can I keep the same ISBN code?
No, not even if the paper version is out of print. This is because each ISBN is unique and not reusable. In any case, eBooks and paper books have different ISBNs because they are different publications.
The ISBN agency also requires a different number for each digital format (epub, mobi, pdf, etc.). However, since it's just a matter of format and therefore compatibility with a specific device, this almost never happens: in online libraries it is possible that epubs and mobi's of the same ebook have the same ISBN.
What if I want to exchange the title or author of my book? Or publish a translation?
In all these cases, you cannot reuse an ISBN.