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So, I was talking to a fellow Author today and she was telling me she hates Amazon publishing. She proceeded to ask me if I got an ISBN from Amazon when I self-published through them or If I bought it with another company (forgot the name of the company where you can buy ISBN's). I said I wasn't sure, but seeing that I didn't buy ISBN's, that I probably got one from Amazon.

She proceeded to tell me that Amazon essentially owns my book now. She said that, for example, if an agent came to me tomorrow and wanted to represent my novel, that I would need to rewrite 75% of the book. That's the only way that Amazon would allow an agent to represent my novel.
I asked, "Well, what if I just remove my book from KDP when the term expires?"

She said, No, that Amazon owns it. They own any movie rights, etc... as well.

This doesn't sound right since I should own the copyright. However, she said that one of the agreements we sign essentially says this

Is this true? Is it partially true?

Any clarification would help.

Thanks
 

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It's not the least bit true about something you created and published yourself through KDP. This person has no idea what they're talking about.

You own the rights to your story. Period.

If you could find a buyer/publisher, you could take your story down tomorrow and republish the exact version that's on Amazon right now. Period.

The ISBN is an identifier of your book for use in selling it and the provider of an ISBN (whether Amazon, Bowker, or some other entity) has zero ownership of content you created that is identified by that ISBN. Period.

A free Amazon ISBN they offer as a courtesy however cannot be used anywhere but Amazon. The number itself is the ONLY thing that cannot be reused elsewhere. But you can freely remove it. I suspect your friend got something about the ISBN conflated with the content it's attached to.
 

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So, I was talking to a fellow Author today and she was telling me she hates Amazon publishing. She proceeded to ask me if I got an ISBN from Amazon when I self-published through them or If I bought it with another company (forgot the name of the company where you can buy ISBN's). I said I wasn't sure, but seeing that I didn't buy ISBN's, that I probably got one from Amazon.

She proceeded to tell me that Amazon essentially owns my book now. She said that, for example, if an agent came to me tomorrow and wanted to represent my novel, that I would need to rewrite 75% of the book. That's the only way that Amazon would allow an agent to represent my novel.
I asked, "Well, what if I just remove my book from KDP when the term expires?"

She said, No, that Amazon owns it. They own any movie rights, etc... as well.

This doesn't sound right since I should own the copyright. However, she said that one of the agreements we sign essentially says this

Is this true? Is it partially true?

Any clarification would help.

Thanks
No, Amazon doesn't own your book. Amazon is not a publisher; it is a store that has a division that gives authors a means to publish their own books without the need of a publisher. Having an ISBN from kdp only means that you will need a different one if you want to sell it elsewhere, like Barns & Noble.

You also seem to be confused about kdp. You say when the term in kdp expires. It doesn't. kdp is not kdp select. that is a different option altogether where you can loan out your e-books and get page read income and other promotions. Also, e-books don't need an ISBN; they get an ASIN. ISBNs are only for print versions.

Some people make up their own ideas as they go along and talk themselves into believing they must be right. If in doubt, read Amazon's terms.
 

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If Amazon "owned" your book than why can I sell my book on other retailers, too?

'Cause they don't own it.

If you enroll your book in KU, you can't sell it on other retailers for the period you have your book enrolled in KU. And you can un-enroll your book out of KU, and it will be taken off KU after the waiting period is over (I can't remember the period -- maybe 90 days?).
 

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If Amazon "owned" your book than why can I sell my book on other retailers, too?

'Cause they don't own it.

If you enroll your book in KU, you can't sell it on other retailers for the period you have your book enrolled in KU. And you can un-enroll your book out of KU, and it will be taken off KU after the waiting period is over (I can't remember the period -- maybe 90 days?).
Yes, it is 90 days but it is only for e-books. It doesn't apply to print versions.
 

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Yes and no.

It's your book, that you own. However, this is a hidden catch, that they don't tell you about free/Amazon assigned ISBN's. Amazon is listed as the publisher, (which to some indie authors, this is trivial, but to others, they would like to add their indie publisher name to their books etc.) and it will be listed as an Amazon exclusive release. In other words, at this point in time, until you purchase your own ISBN, your book (no matter the format, ebook, hard copy/paperpack, audiobook etc.) Will be listed as Amazon being the publisher, and you might not be able to post your book, on stores that aren't Amazon affiliates (which to my knowledge, Kindle, KDP Print [formerly known as Createspace]), and Audible, are currently the only ones.)

If this isn't a big deal to you, and you don't mind the publisher being listed as Amazon or KDP, and also, you don't mind your book being exclusive to Amazon, and Amazon only (which I'd say Amazon is where 90 percent of book sales happen through anyways.), then you're golden, and okay.

But, if you want to add your own indie publishing name/company to your books, and you want your book cross platformed on other stores, you're gonna have to get your own ISBN. I suggest you get an ISBN for the book anyways. Either have a publisher or publishing house assign you one, with the catch being you may have to publish your book through them. Some people call this, Vanity Pressing. Whatever; or you buy one from Bowker, or other reputable ISBN networks; preferably in bulk, as it's cheaper; or have someone gift you one, (probably not through Bowker, as to my knowledge, Bowker doesn't necessarily allow you to gift, or hand down ISBN's, but ordinarily it would be Bowker, but there are other services/ways to gift/donate an ISBN to an author).

If I were you, I'd just get your own ISBN, right now in fact, if you are able to get one; or consider getting one soon, and possibly assign that to your book. I also feel, if you want your book to seem more professional, and possibly publishing and market wise, be stronger, (as ISBN's give your book more ambiguity and strength) metadata, algorithms, analytics, Google and social media searches, possibly your book, no matter how it's received, or how many copies are sold, your book being added to official registers and records, an ISBN, separate from an Amazon identifier, is really mandatory. Also remember, each version you have, needs a separate ISBN. Ebook, Hardback, Paperback, Large print, Translated versions, etc. So yeah. :)
 

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However, this is a hidden catch, that they don't tell you about free/Amazon assigned ISBN's....and you might not be able to post your book, on stores that aren't Amazon affiliates...
No, that's not true either. Even if you publish a paperback on KDP using a free KDP ISBN, you can still publish that same book elsewhere with a different ISBN. I don't recommend this, but it's absolutely possible. As others have noted above, using a free ISBN ONLY means that ISBN cannot be used anywhere else. That's all it means. You can also enroll the paperback in KDP Expanded Distribution and it will be included in the Ingram catalogue, which most US booksellers (and several international ones) use to populate their websites. So then that book, with a free KDP ISBN, would appear on other retail sites.

...or have someone gift you one, (probably not through Bowker, as to my knowledge, Bowker doesn't necessarily allow you to gift, or hand down ISBN's, but ordinarily it would be Bowker, but there are other services/ways to gift/donate an ISBN to an author).
ISBNs are NOT transferrable. Ever. Whatever entity obtains the ISBN from the single authorized ISBN agency for the country where they operate will be the publisher of any book using that ISBN. It is impossible to "gift" an ISBN.

To find the single authorized ISBN agency for any country, visit https://www.isbn-international.org/agencies.
 

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No, that's not true either. Even if you publish a paperback on KDP using a free KDP ISBN, you can still publish that same book elsewhere with a different ISBN. I don't recommend this, but it's absolutely possible. As others have noted above, using a free ISBN ONLY means that ISBN cannot be used anywhere else. That's all it means. You can also enroll the paperback in KDP Expanded Distribution and it will be included in the Ingram catalogue, which most US booksellers (and several international ones) use to populate their websites. So then that book, with a free KDP ISBN, would appear on other retail sites.


ISBNs are NOT transferrable. Ever. Whatever entity obtains the ISBN from the single authorized ISBN agency for the country where they operate will be the publisher of any book using that ISBN. It is impossible to "gift" an ISBN.

To find the single authorized ISBN agency for any country, visit https://www.isbn-international.org/agencies.
Furthermore, you can publish the SAME ebook on other sites without using the Amazon ISBN. Google will provide its own identifier, as well Kobo, and B&N and others. The ISBN does not signify ownership. It is a tracking number. An identifier. Check it out at the Bowker site.
 

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Furthermore, you can publish the SAME ebook on other sites without using the Amazon ISBN. Google will provide its own identifier, as well Kobo, and B&N and others. The ISBN does not signify ownership. It is a tracking number. An identifier. Check it out at the Bowker site.
e-book don't have ISBNs
 

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e-book don't have ISBNs
That's not completely right in the confusing and complicated topic of ISBNs. Certainly for paperbacks, ISBNs are more helpful for libraries and bookstores looking up your ISBN book information. But sometimes identification of your ebook through multiple retailers as a single identifier can come in handy when problems arise. I register one for each of my ebook epubs separately from my paperback ISBNs.

To the OP, you really have nothing to worry about with agents, movie rights, etc regarding ISBN. If your books stands out, they'll still look at you without one.
 

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Amazon don't own it at all, but what will happen long after we are all dead and buried once they are in the public domain and out of copyright.is another matter, They will have all the files for millions of books. No point in worrying about that when we won't be around.
 

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ISBNs are NOT transferrable. Ever. Whatever entity obtains the ISBN from the single authorized ISBN agency for the country where they operate will be the publisher of any book using that ISBN. It is impossible to "gift" an ISBN.
Through Bowkers rules and regulations perhaps. But there are ways to purchase an ISBN, and hand/transfer that ISBN over to someone else; and as long as the ISBN hasn't been registered yet, which through Bowker, and how it's setup, absolutely not, you can't do that, but there are other ISBN avenues and networks. Unless I'm insane or confused, I have heard of people back in the day, "gifting" ISBN numbers to authors, which for financial reasons, they can't afford to order an ISBN (Which I'm not gonna sit here and say ISBN's are cheap, they aren't. The more you buy/in bulk, it's a better discount/bargain/investment, but yeah. Which is why I think many indie authors pass on ISBN's, due to the cost, but yeah. I know some vanity presses/agents, for convenience, on being a client of theirs, cover ISBN costs to authors on their roster. Maybe times have changed, and this isn't feasible anymore, and I dunno. But yeah.
 

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Through Bowkers rules and regulations perhaps. But there are ways to purchase an ISBN, and hand/transfer that ISBN over to someone else; and as long as the ISBN hasn't been registered yet...
It's not just Bowker - it's the international ISBN regulatory agency. There is one authorized ISBN agency per country, and ISBNs are never transferrable.

Find an agency: https://www.isbn-international.org/agencies
FAQ re: tranfer: FAQs: Ownership and Re-Usage Rights.
International ISBN regulatory body Users' Manual and FAQs: https://www.isbn-international.org/content/isbn-users-manual/29
 

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It's not just Bowker - it's the international ISBN regulatory agency. There is one authorized ISBN agency per country, and ISBNs are never transferrable.

Find an agency: https://www.isbn-international.org/agencies
FAQ re: tranfer: FAQs: Ownership and Re-Usage Rights.
International ISBN regulatory body Users' Manual and FAQs: https://www.isbn-international.org/content/isbn-users-manual/29
One loophole, would be to join a vanity press I suppose, and that's a way to be handed over a ISBN, granted, it would be under that publishers name, but still. Or beg or panhandle/crowdfund. If there is a will, there is a way. lol.

Most indie authors decline to get an ISBN, because of the cost, and I was under the assumption, there were some runarounds, or alternatives, but I guess not anymore.

Canadians, get one free ISBN per year, but I'm American, and there is not currently, a program or perk, like that for us, but yeah lol.
 

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Canadians, get one free ISBN per year, but I'm American, and there is not currently, a program or perk, like that for us, but yeah lol.
Unless something has changed in the last year I don't believe that there is a limit to how many that Canadians can have in a year. I got 4 on one book (one for each format) and another four another few months later, plus an ISBN for a physical CD audiobook. Painless and free. The procedure is all done online and the numbers are issued within hours.
 
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