Let’s face it, I came into self publishing with a blindfold on. I really didn’t know what to expect, and the question of getting an ISBN hadn’t even crossed my mind. Then, questions emerged…did I need an ISBN for an ebook? Were they even available? Wasn’t it only printed books that required ISBN’s? What was even the point of having one?
I looked on Amazon – no ISBN needed there, just your unique ASIN code which can be used on Goodreads in place of an ISBN. Result. I looked on Smashwords – ISBN needed for Sony, Apple and Kobo. Oh dear.
However, getting an ISBN is not as scary as it sounds, at all. There’s no lengthy paperwork to fill out and, even better, there’s no cost at all. That’s if you use Smashwords. Whilst you may opt to buy an ISBN, Smashwords regularly gets in a new batch of ISBN’s for you to utilise. Simply head to your ISBN Manager, click the ‘Actions’ tab to go to the purchase page and choose the ‘Free ISBN’ option. Click accept and hey presto, ISBN assigned. There’s no legal bearing over assigning a free ISBN from Smashwords and you’ll retain the rights to you work.
They’ve just got in a fresh batch of 50,000, so head there and assign your ISBN now so that you can start shipping ebooks to Apple, Kobo and Sony pronto.