Kindle Forum banner
1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,250 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Forgive me if this has arisen before.

Given that ISBNs are very cheap by the thousand ($1 each V $125 bought singly), is it legal for a cooperative to buy in bulk and share them?

Also, will a Bowker ISBN suffice worldwide for digital books, or does each territory require its own?

Many thanks
Joe
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
797 Posts
I'm sure that sharing the cost of ISBNs is perfectly legal Joe, but I believe you have to declare the name of the publisher at the time of purchase. So all of the authors involved would have to agree upon a single name that every book using the bundle would be published under.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,274 Posts
JRHenderson said:
I'm sure that sharing the cost of ISBNs is perfectly legal Joe, but I believe you have to declare the name of the publisher at the time of purchase. So all of the authors involved would have to agree upon a single name that every book using the bundle would be published under.
That's correct. There can be multiple imprints under a publisher, so most likely you would use your own imprint and the same publisher.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,250 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
JRHenderson said:
I'm sure that sharing the cost of ISBNs is perfectly legal Joe, but I believe you have to declare the name of the publisher at the time of purchase. So all of the authors involved would have to agree upon a single name that every book using the bundle would be published under.
I knew there'd be a hitch! Thanks JR.

Joe
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,069 Posts
Also, will a Bowker ISBN suffice worldwide for digital books, or does each territory require its own?
ISBNs are global.

For ebooks, ISBNs are pretty much irrelevant though. The point of an ISBN is to allow a book to be purchased through the supply chain of bookstore to distributor to publisher. With ebooks, that chain doesn't exist.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,973 Posts
JRHenderson said:
I'm sure that sharing the cost of ISBNs is perfectly legal Joe, but I believe you have to declare the name of the publisher at the time of purchase. So all of the authors involved would have to agree upon a single name that every book using the bundle would be published under.
I see this as a great opportunity for a KBer who knows how to set up a publisher website with Wordpress.

This person buys 1,000 ISBNs for $1,000 and sells them to us for a small profit that allows him or her to justify the time, perhaps $5 each.

The person's time will be spent registering our titles with Bowker and administering the Wordpress publisher site by giving us all log-ins and making sure the site is operative.

We each have our own log-in to the Wordpress publisher site, which has a splash page that we all link to in our books and then 1,000 individual pages for each book that individual authors update and maintain as they wish...

I'm in. I will even front the money for the ISBNs and run the whole thing, if someone volunteers to set up the website. I have no idea how to do that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,973 Posts
And heck, I'll even do it for $2 per ISBN. I just need to make enough for the effort so that I can afford the time it will take. I really really hope someone does this so I can at least get inexpensive ISBNs.

They are not completely irrelevant for eBooks. I advertise on Goodreads, which uses ISBNs to link vendors to book pages. This is the only reason I have ever been glad my non-fiction book was posted to all vendors through Smashwords: they all have the same Smashwords ISBN, so Goodreads linked to all my vendors from my book's page.

I don't know if other sites use ISBNs the way Smashwords does, but I think it's likely, so I am willing to spend up to $10 even on an ISBN for each of my eBooks. Someone do this!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
817 Posts
Katie Elle said:
For ebooks, ISBNs are pretty much irrelevant though. The point of an ISBN is to allow a book to be purchased through the supply chain of bookstore to distributor to publisher. With ebooks, that chain doesn't exist.
They're still required to upload direct to Apple. Otherwise I promise I wouldn't be bothering with them anymore.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,973 Posts
I am trying to upload direct to Apple right this minute. Bought a Mac Mini. Figured out I needed to download Pages and got that squared away. Painlessly pasted my odt file data into Pages and exported an ePub file. Then, I went to install iProducer, and my brand new Mac is asking me for a password in order to install iProducer. I am on hold with Geek Squad, who set up my Mac and neglected to tell me what the admin password was...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
525 Posts
RobertJCrane said:
They're still required to upload direct to Apple. Otherwise I promise I wouldn't be bothering with them anymore.
Haven't tested it myself (using Draft2Digital for Apple uploads, which does not need an ISBN), but I believe Apple stopped requiring ISBNs for all their ebooks late last year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
275 Posts
Victoria Champion said:
Yeah, if you use Smashword's free ISBN, they are forever listed as the publisher of your ebook -- not you or your imprint. It's the number one reason I never used them.
Well not eBook - paper book I assume you mean. But so, who cares? Really? No one in the real world ie readers have the foggiest what Createspace is, nor do they care. I can get free ISBNs in New Zealand and I am still yet to find any point not to just use the CS assigned one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,698 Posts
When someone set's this up, I hope they do it in a country that provides free ISBN numbers.  Authors against DRM step aside.  Authors against ISBN for life!
 
G

·
Victoria Champion said:
Yes, they are the legally registered ebook publisher if you use their free ISBN. Because they are legally the publisher, who is to say they will never try to take control of the rights to the book?
They can't. An ISBN has nothing to do with copyright. NOTHING. An ISBN is only an identifier to differentiate one version of a book from another (and to differentiate books with the same/similar titles from each other). Your agreement with Createspace or Smashwords or whomever is determined by your terms of service (and BTW, the Createspace ISBNs are in fact registered if you use CS for distribution). But they can't "do" anything to challenge your copyright based on an ISBN.

Publishers do not OWN the copyright to a book unless you sign over those copyrights. When a publisher buys a book, they are buying the right to publish it. I'm a publisher. When I signed a contract with my authors, they retail copyright over their book, but grant me certain rights for a certain period of time. Just because I issue an ISBN doesn't mean I can suddenly run to the Copyright office and "steal" their work out from under them.

For example, if Simon & Schuster bought North American print rights to your book, and then issued an ISBN for the North American version, they can't then claim they own the book and try to publish in Europe or Japan or South America. The ISBN grants no special rights. Your rights are delineated by your contractnot the ISBN.
 
G

·
Terrence OBrien said:
What is the benefit of having an ISBN for an eBook?
Some retailers still require an ISBN. But with most retailers assigning their own internal numbers, it becomes less and less important.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,272 Posts
I've already done this. I sell them in bundles of $100 for 100 (at cost.)

I have in the past bought ISBNs from other authors and publishers and yes, Smashwords. Never had any problem. And every time it comes up on this board, the same erroneous "truth" comes out that whoever bought the ISBNs is your publisher.

THAT IS NOT TRUE.

In fact, I don't even list any of my books on the Bowker record. I just use the numbers. No one cares. All the number is is a distinct identifier. A number.

NO ONE CARES.

I don't know why people make this a mystical process. You buy a number and you use it. It's not like Smashwords becomes your publisher if you use one of their free ISBNs, nor do you list them as publisher anywhere. it has nothing to do with imprints, publishing, or anything. It is just a unique identifying number.

Just a number.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
817 Posts
Amanda Brice said:
It was my understanding they're not required for Apple upload anymore...
I haven't found a way to get around uploading without one, yet, because Producer squawks at you and won't allow upload until you input it. If there's a way, I'd love to know it before I buy my next batch of ISBNs.
 
G

·
Well, Scott has as much, if not more, experience in the industry.

I'll put it another way.

An ISBN does not grant any special ownership. An ISBN is an administrative function that occurs AFTER rights have already been granted. A publisher may only sell a book for as long as your contract allows. In the case of Smashwords, the TOS very clearly spells out your rights. The fact that they issue an ISBN doesn't do anything to revoke your rights.

ISBNs do not show ownership. The differentiate between different versions of the same book. ISBNs apply to a specific version of a book, not the copyright material itself. Technically, you are suppose to have a separate ISBN for each format (hardcover, trade paperback, mass market, mobi, epub, etc) to differentiate the different versions for the benefit of retailers. If I run Bards and Sages Bookstore, and I want to order 100 hardcover copies of your book, I need a way to differentiate between the hardcover and the paperback. The ISBN is like a social security number for a specific issue of a book. It's how you know the difference between Blood Ties and Blood Ties.

Issuing a new ISBN to a different version does nothing to revoke a publisher's previous rights as they are spelled out in your contract. Because, again, ISBNs have nothing to do with rights. You can publish through CS using the CS ISBN, and meanwhile go to LSI and create an identical product and assign it a new ISBN. CS will still be able to sell the version they have until YOU remove it from their system. Until that time, the only thing the second ISBN will do is create confusion in the marketplace.

I read at the Bowker site that a creative work can only be issued one ISBN, in that particular format.
Each version of a book should only have one ISBN at a time. But if version A through CS is pulled off the market, that doesn't mean you can't republish through LSI with a different ISBN.

The only reason a publisher of record is recording with the ISBN is because traditionally it has been the publisher's job to get the ISBN for distribution. Publishers are listed with ISBNs out of habit, not because of special ownership or rights.
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top