ISBNs… what are they? And what do they have to do with me not publishing Runaways yet?
You’ve probably seen them. They are the set of numbers usually found above a book’s barcode on the back cover. ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number. It is the global standard for identifying book titles. Most retailers require an ISBN in order to track inventory. (Nerd break: it’s all about the metadata.) And the really fun thing is each version of a book, print or digital, requires its own ISBN.
That means if I publish a softback version, a MOBI version (Kindle), and an EPUB version (everyone else not Kindle), I need 3 ISBNs. Obviously a hardback and PDF version would add 2 more to the list, but I’m not pursuing those.
(Interesting side note: if I publish a softcover, make any changes, then publish it again, it is now a different book/edition and requires yet another ISBN.)
What does all this have to do with me? Well, the company who sells ISBNs, Bowker (which is probably one of the most fun business names to say), offers them as a single purchase for $125 (but I need 3) or as a bulk purchase of 10 for $295…which is a great deal, but it’s still $295.
So the book waits a little more.
Maybe a GoFundMe for ISBN purchase? I kid……
But seriously, wouldn’t this be an amazing birthday present for me?