What is an ISBN?
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 an ISBN?
No. Anyone can purchase an ISBN for their book — although it can be quite expensive.
Even with our free ISBN, you will still own 100% of the copyright and you will be credited as the publisher (find out more about managing publishers).
What is it for?
In practice, the ISBN number is a logistics identifier used by bookstores and libraries to manage their catalogues.
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.
Is there a different type of ISBN for eBooks?
No, the traditional ISBN is used for all formats.
I have already published with a publisher, but want to self-publish with StreetLib. Can you keep the same ISBN?
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 change the title or author of my book? Or publish a translation?
In all these cases, you cannot reuse an ISBN.