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How to obtain an ISBN number

If you are wanting to sell your book in bookshops or on sites like Amazon.co.uk (or .com) then you will need an ISBN number.This is the black and white lined graphic (with 13 numbers underneath) that appears on the back of the book jacket.

While your book is at the typesetters you’ll need to apply for an ISBN number*.

You can do this several ways;

1. Buy ISBN numbers direct from Nielsens.

Click on the Services for new publishers on the left hand menu – and then follow their instructions.

You will need to give the dimensions of your book, including the total page count and you will have to supply the ‘Title Verso’ page – ask your typesetter for this.

NOTE: You have to buy a minimum of 10, (at a cost of roughly £120) so if you are not planning on writing another book, I suggest you go to one of the suggestions below.

2. Buy from a broker. For example Compass-Publishing (a subsidery of The Book Refinery) are ISBN brokers – they provide our clients with ISBN numbers as required.
Simply click the Compass-publishing link (in blue) above and you will be directed to their website.

or…

3. Your book cover designer might provide an ISBN number for you. (Ask if this is included when you’re sourcing a book cover designer – see below for more details.)

One thing to remember – once you have purchased your ISBN number (if not supplied by your cover designer) you will have to download or convert your ISBN number into a graphic.I use this one here. Make sure you select ISBN as the type in the drop down menu.

*Just remember, if you do decide to buy your own ISBN number – they can take up to 10 working days (from submission) so do calculate that when applying for it.