How to obtain an ISBN?


If you are an author or a self-publisher looking to get your book ISBN-registered, there are a few different avenues you can explore. In this article, we will discuss the two most common methods of obtaining an ISBN - through a dedicated service provider or through your national ISBN agency. Each method has its own advantages and considerations, so let's dive in and explore which option is best for you.

Option 1: Obtain an ISBN through a Service Provider

The easiest and most affordable way to get an ISBN is through a dedicated service provider like ISBNdirect. This option allows you to quickly and conveniently purchase ISBNs online. To get started, simply visit the checkout page on our website and follow the step-by-step instructions. Once you have completed the payment, you will be redirected to a portal where you can access your assigned ISBNs. It's a hassle-free process that saves you time and effort.

Not only is obtaining an ISBN through us convenient, but it is also cost-effective. At ISBNdirect, a single ISBN costs only $19. This low price makes it an excellent choice for independent authors or small publishers on a tight budget. Furthermore, when you purchase an ISBN through ISBNdirect, you also receive a barcode that can be easily integrated into your book's cover design. It's an all-inclusive package that simplifies the publishing process.

Option 2: Obtain an ISBN through Your National ISBN Agency

Alternatively, you have the option to acquire an ISBN through your national ISBN agency. In the United States, Bowker is the agency responsible for ISBN allocation. This method allows you to list yourself as the publisher. However, it is essential to note that obtaining an ISBN through Bowker comes at a different price point compared to a service provider like ISBNdirect.

When you choose to obtain an ISBN through Bowker, you can expect to pay $125 per ISBN. This higher price reflects the additional benefits of listing yourself as the publisher. However, it is worth noting that the barcode is not included in the price, which means you may need to arrange for barcode creation separately. This additional step can add complexity and cost to the overall process.

Was this article helpful?

What is an ISBN?
What is the difference between ISBN-10 and ISBN-13?