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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Now that I'm writing a series (4 novelette and the eventual Omnibus, plus a stand-alone prequel) is it a good time to buy a block of ISBNs rather than keep using the Amazon-supplied ones?  Any real advantage to using your own?
 

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There's not really any good time to buy an ISBN. With the exception of a couple obscure vendors (that are difficult to access anyway), they provide you no benefit at a rather significant cost.

I recognize that this is just my opinion, but it took me about a year and several hundred dollars to figure that out, and I'd love to save someone else the pain.
 

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You need an ISBN number if you are going to upload to Apple.  Everywhere else I think now no longer requires one.  Apple however is one of the few places you can upload your book and set it for free with no other gimmicks.  So if you're looking for a price matching strategy you need one.  Now you can go through other consolidators like Smashwords or Draft to Digital.  Some of them will sell you an ISBN number much cheaper than you can get one from Bowker.  Print requires an ISBN number. 

Every time I use an ISBN number I get more and more angry at the system.  One number costs $125.  10 costs $250 and 1000 costs $1000.  Seriously WTF!!  It's just a number.  They don't even generate an ISBN number until you buy them.  They should all cost nothing and in several countries and states they are given to authors and publishers for free.

Also I could be mistaken, but Amazon does not provide ISBN numbers.  They use their own invented ASIN numbers for cataloging.
 

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SBJones said:
You need an ISBN number if you are going to upload to Apple.
As of last November, this is no longer true. You can upload direct to Apple with no ISBN. Sony is the last (remotely) major store I know of that requires ISBN, and they don't offer any direct option for small publishers at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
SBJones said:
You need an ISBN number if you are going to upload to Apple. Everywhere else I think now no longer requires one. Apple however is one of the few places you can upload your book and set it for free with no other gimmicks. So if you're looking for a price matching strategy you need one. Now you can go through other consolidators like Smashwords or Draft to Digital. Some of them will sell you an ISBN number much cheaper than you can get one from Bowker. Print requires an ISBN number.

Every time I use an ISBN number I get more and more angry at the system. One number costs $125. 10 costs $250 and 1000 costs $1000. Seriously WTF!! It's just a number. They don't even generate an ISBN number until you buy them. They should all cost nothing and in several countries and states they are given to authors and publishers for free.

Also I could be mistaken, but Amazon does not provide ISBN numbers. They use their own invented ASIN numbers for cataloging.
I guess I should have said Amazon's CreateSpace which is who I have do the printing. They did a great job with Cyberdrome, and they also provide you with free ISBNs. And I guess its true that for my Kindle version (which is where most of my sales have come from) Amazon provides the ASIN and you can't change that...

When I published Cyberdrome 4 years ago, I used everything free I could find, and it was nice to be able to say the very first dollar I earned in royalties was pure profit. Now that I have some experience (and 5k sales so far) I'm willing to spend more if it's appropriate and beneficial. If buying ISBNs has no real advantage, then I'll probably go with the free version again.
 

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Joseph Rhea said:
If buying ISBNs has no real advantage, then I'll probably go with the free version again.
Well, on your Amazon page, it lists the name of your publishing imprint instead of Createspace, if that strikes you as an advantage?

Aaron Pogue said:
It took me about a year and several hundred dollars to figure that out, and I'd love to save someone else the pain.
This. Exactly. Waste of money.
 

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For ebooks, ISBNs are completely irrelevant because we upload directly to the retailer.

For physical books, I have heard that some retailers won't order books that are marked as being published by Createspace, so you want to buy your own ISBN to placate retailer snobbery. Honestly though, I suspect indies getting into random brick and mortar retailers is something that goes along with being on the NYT bestseller list.
 
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