Author Topic: ISBN question  (Read 645 times)  

Offline GeneDoucette

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2556
    • View Profile
    • Gene Doucette's Blog
ISBN question
« on: July 27, 2020, 04:56:26 pm »
For my new series, I'm attempting to use Ingramspark for print distribution to everywhere other than Amazon and B&N. (The idea is to continue to publish direct with those two stores, since the return is much better on direct sales there.)

Question: when I started setting up the book on Ingram, I was prompted to buy an ISBN. I chose to buy my own from Bowker. I was thinking I could use this ISBN for *all* print editions of the book, but B&N just blocked me from doing that. (Amazon did not, but they might still, since the book is still pending.) Do I still have to set up separate ISBNs for each print channel? If so, why did I spend that money on a Bowker ISBN?

KBoards.com

  • Advertisement
  • ***

    Online alhawke

    • Status: Jane Austen
    • ***
    • Posts: 345
      • View Profile
      • A.L. Hawke website
    Re: ISBN question
    « Reply #1 on: July 27, 2020, 06:54:02 pm »
    I use the same ISBN for Amazon and Ingram. I've never published B&N paperback direct, but I can't think of a reason why they would want a different ISBN. That goes against the grain of what ISBNs are used for in the industry. Why wouldn't they want the ISBN from Bowker to link up? Maybe I'm missing something here, or there's an error in the B&N set up?

    Funny, the idea never crossed my mind to publish separately a paperback through B&N. Ingram always publishes my books with B&N no matter how low I set my discount %. I would be interested in knowing if you find that you sell more books with B&N direct.

    With Amazon, I definitely see an advantage to publishing separate from Ingram. But again, I use the same ISBN without difficulty.



    A.L. Hawke | Author website | Goodreads | BookBub

    Online Patty Jansen

    • Status: Harvey Chute
    • *********
    • Posts: 13126
    • Gender: Female
    • Sydney, Australia
    • Destroyer of Science Fiction
      • View Profile
      • Patty Jansen Author of SF and fantasy
    Re: ISBN question
    « Reply #2 on: July 27, 2020, 07:39:06 pm »
    B&N wants a new ISBN. (Guess what: I haven't put my print books direct with B&N). They do, however, provide you with free ISBNs. You can use the same for KDP print and IS and everywhere else. Just B&N insists on being stupid. It's not necessary at all, or shouldn't be.

    Offline GeneDoucette

    • Status: Arthur C Clarke
    • *****
    • Posts: 2556
      • View Profile
      • Gene Doucette's Blog
    Re: ISBN question
    « Reply #3 on: July 27, 2020, 07:44:00 pm »
    Thanks, both of you. I'm glad I'm not losing my mind.

    Offline GeneDoucette

    • Status: Arthur C Clarke
    • *****
    • Posts: 2556
      • View Profile
      • Gene Doucette's Blog
    Re: ISBN question
    « Reply #4 on: July 28, 2020, 04:40:23 am »
    I use the same ISBN for Amazon and Ingram. I've never published B&N paperback direct, but I can't think of a reason why they would want a different ISBN. That goes against the grain of what ISBNs are used for in the industry. Why wouldn't they want the ISBN from Bowker to link up? Maybe I'm missing something here, or there's an error in the B&N set up?

    Funny, the idea never crossed my mind to publish separately a paperback through B&N. Ingram always publishes my books with B&N no matter how low I set my discount %. I would be interested in knowing if you find that you sell more books with B&N direct.

    With Amazon, I definitely see an advantage to publishing separate from Ingram. But again, I use the same ISBN without difficulty.

    I started going with B&N direct when it became available, because books sold directly ON B&N's website had a much better % than books sold at B&N via Amazon. That's basically the only reason I'm still interested in going direct with B&N now.

    Offline Sleeping Cat Books

    • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
    • ****
    • Posts: 716
    • Gender: Female
      • View Profile
    Re: ISBN question
    « Reply #5 on: July 28, 2020, 04:43:41 am »
    I was thinking I could use this ISBN for *all* print editions of the book, but B&N just blocked me from doing that.
    This is because IS distributes to B&N, so that ISBN is already in their system. There is really no reason to publish directly at B&N when you use IS; you'll just end up with duplicate listings, competing against each other. If you're unsatisfied with the revenue through IS, lower your wholesale discount. You can go as low as 30% or 35% (depending on the market) and earn more than through KDP.

    Offline Sleeping Cat Books

    • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
    • ****
    • Posts: 716
    • Gender: Female
      • View Profile
    Re: ISBN question
    « Reply #6 on: July 28, 2020, 04:46:47 am »
    Why wouldn't they want the ISBN from Bowker to link up? Maybe I'm missing something here, or there's an error in the B&N set up?
    Because that ISBN already appears in their system, from the Ingram datafeed (which came from IngramSpark). The book already exists in their system, so they can't set it up again. They can't duplicate the ISBN. This is why there's really no point in using IS and then also trying to publish the same paperback directly with B&N. IS already has it covered.

    The opposite case probably also wouldn't work: if you publish through B&N using your own ISBN, IS would then likely reject it because it's already been used.

    Offline GeneDoucette

    • Status: Arthur C Clarke
    • *****
    • Posts: 2556
      • View Profile
      • Gene Doucette's Blog
    Re: ISBN question
    « Reply #7 on: July 28, 2020, 05:33:13 am »
    Because that ISBN already appears in their system, from the Ingram datafeed (which came from IngramSpark). The book already exists in their system, so they can't set it up again. They can't duplicate the ISBN. This is why there's really no point in using IS and then also trying to publish the same paperback directly with B&N. IS already has it covered.

    The opposite case probably also wouldn't work: if you publish through B&N using your own ISBN, IS would then likely reject it because it's already been used.

    I did notice when I was setting up the Ingram account that I could choose to not distribute to Amazon, but I didn't have the opportunity to do the same with B&N. Print books sold via B&N Online have a better return than books sold there via Ingram. That would be the reason to do it, in my mind.

    Offline Sleeping Cat Books

    • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
    • ****
    • Posts: 716
    • Gender: Female
      • View Profile
    Re: ISBN question
    « Reply #8 on: July 29, 2020, 04:41:21 am »
    I did notice when I was setting up the Ingram account that I could choose to not distribute to Amazon, but I didn't have the opportunity to do the same with B&N.
    Only for ebooks through IngramSpark, which I don't advise doing. For print books through IS, the publisher selects geographic markets, not individual retailers.

    B&N does not distribute beyond B&N, as far as I can tell.
    Quote
    Print books sold via B&N Online have a better return than books sold there via Ingram. That would be the reason to do it, in my mind.
    What's the wholesale discount with B&N Press? It appears to be fixed at 45% for print. IS allows the publisher to set the wholesale discount as low as 30%, which maximizes publisher revenue.

    Offline

    • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
    • ****
    • Posts: 666
    • Gender: Male
    • Ontario, Canada
    • I should probably be writing...
      • View Profile
    Re: ISBN question
    « Reply #9 on: July 29, 2020, 05:35:08 am »
    You can't deselect channels for IngramSpark and print. It's an all or nothing approach. I don't see any reason to use BN at all fwiw. Maybe if you wanted your own copies or something.

    Offline GeneDoucette

    • Status: Arthur C Clarke
    • *****
    • Posts: 2556
      • View Profile
      • Gene Doucette's Blog
    Re: ISBN question
    « Reply #10 on: July 29, 2020, 07:37:27 am »
    You can't deselect channels for IngramSpark and print. It's an all or nothing approach. I don't see any reason to use BN at all fwiw. Maybe if you wanted your own copies or something.


    OK, so, if I set up a print edition on Amazon, and a print edition on Ingramspark, and it's the same ISBN, which version will get sold on Amazon?

    Secondary question, if I set up a new print edition of a book currently on Amazon (which has an Amazon-specific free ISBN) on Ingramspark, which version of the book will be sold on Amazon?

    Offline

    • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
    • ****
    • Posts: 666
    • Gender: Male
    • Ontario, Canada
    • I should probably be writing...
      • View Profile
    Re: ISBN question
    « Reply #11 on: July 29, 2020, 09:24:03 am »

    OK, so, if I set up a print edition on Amazon, and a print edition on Ingramspark, and it's the same ISBN, which version will get sold on Amazon?

    Secondary question, if I set up a new print edition of a book currently on Amazon (which has an Amazon-specific free ISBN) on Ingramspark, which version of the book will be sold on Amazon?

    Both. For the most part, tho, Amz will do their own unless they're overwhelmed. Then they'll use Ingram as a backup. They always decide when they want to outsource print jobs.

    Part 2, you should use your own ISBN when using IS so I'm not sure how that situation would actually work. There would probably be duplicate listings. Not a big deal to some but certainly not ideal.

    Offline GeneDoucette

    • Status: Arthur C Clarke
    • *****
    • Posts: 2556
      • View Profile
      • Gene Doucette's Blog
    Re: ISBN question
    « Reply #12 on: July 29, 2020, 10:04:14 am »
    Both. For the most part, tho, Amz will do their own unless they're overwhelmed. Then they'll use Ingram as a backup. They always decide when they want to outsource print jobs.

    Part 2, you should use your own ISBN when using IS so I'm not sure how that situation would actually work. There would probably be duplicate listings. Not a big deal to some but certainly not ideal.

    For the second, I'm moving all of my print books (currently only printed via Amazon Print) to IS and unchecking Expanded Distribution. The problem is that when I published them I used the free 'zon ISBN, which doesn't travel. I've only set up one so far--there are another eleven? titles? I think?--and will probably be doing this in batches just to spread the expense across a month or two. So, I'm really curious about what will happen...

    Offline Sleeping Cat Books

    • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
    • ****
    • Posts: 716
    • Gender: Female
      • View Profile
    Re: ISBN question
    « Reply #13 on: July 30, 2020, 04:49:00 am »
    For the second, I'm moving all of my print books (currently only printed via Amazon Print) to IS and unchecking Expanded Distribution. The problem is that when I published them I used the free 'zon ISBN, which doesn't travel...So, I'm really curious about what will happen...
    You'll have two Amazon sales pages for each book, since Amazon builds sales pages based on the ISBN. These two pages will compete against each other for traffic, sales, ranking, reviews. This is why it's always recommended to use the same ISBN (that you own) no matter who prints the book. When you do, there's 1 Amazon sales page (for that ISBN) and then Amazon can choose the source in the backend. As noted above, they'll most often choose their own facilities, but if those are backed up, they can then source through IS in order to meet customer expectations.

    I advise you to publish new editions on KDP with the ISBNs you've used on IS, and then unpublish the editions with the free ISBNs. You can ask Amazon to link the older editions with the new editions by providing them both ISBNs so that any reviews will carry over. Then you'll only have one active listing for each title.

    Offline GeneDoucette

    • Status: Arthur C Clarke
    • *****
    • Posts: 2556
      • View Profile
      • Gene Doucette's Blog
    Re: ISBN question
    « Reply #14 on: July 30, 2020, 07:46:51 am »
    You'll have two Amazon sales pages for each book, since Amazon builds sales pages based on the ISBN. These two pages will compete against each other for traffic, sales, ranking, reviews. This is why it's always recommended to use the same ISBN (that you own) no matter who prints the book. When you do, there's 1 Amazon sales page (for that ISBN) and then Amazon can choose the source in the backend. As noted above, they'll most often choose their own facilities, but if those are backed up, they can then source through IS in order to meet customer expectations.

    I advise you to publish new editions on KDP with the ISBNs you've used on IS, and then unpublish the editions with the free ISBNs. You can ask Amazon to link the older editions with the new editions by providing them both ISBNs so that any reviews will carry over. Then you'll only have one active listing for each title.

    thanks, that's a good idea, albeit an expensive one. $85 per ISBN from Bowker is murder.

    Offline Sleeping Cat Books

    • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
    • ****
    • Posts: 716
    • Gender: Female
      • View Profile
    Re: ISBN question
    « Reply #15 on: July 31, 2020, 04:28:04 am »
    thanks, that's a good idea, albeit an expensive one. $85 per ISBN from Bowker is murder.
    They're $85 each when bought through your IS account. If you buy a single ISBN directly from Bowker, it's $125.

    Buy a block of 10 for $295. Then it's $29.50 for each.

    Offline GeneDoucette

    • Status: Arthur C Clarke
    • *****
    • Posts: 2556
      • View Profile
      • Gene Doucette's Blog
    Re: ISBN question
    « Reply #16 on: July 31, 2020, 11:29:02 am »
    They're $85 each when bought through your IS account. If you buy a single ISBN directly from Bowker, it's $125.

    Buy a block of 10 for $295. Then it's $29.50 for each.

    You can buy a block through IS? that's a great idea.

    Offline Sleeping Cat Books

    • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
    • ****
    • Posts: 716
    • Gender: Female
      • View Profile
    Re: ISBN question
    « Reply #17 on: August 01, 2020, 06:57:39 am »
    You can buy a block through IS? that's a great idea.
    No, IS only acts as a pass-through to Bowker for single ISBNs. If you want a block, you have to go directly to Bowker.

    KBoards.com

    • Advertisement
    • ***