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What is an ISBN? Why buy an ISBN? (Self-Publishing 101)

what the heck is an ISBN and do you

really need one if you're writing and

publishing a book the short answer is

yes and in today's video I'm going to

tell you why hi I'm Jody Brandon and

Jody Frank's editorial book writing

coach and book editor for creative

entrepreneurs solopreneurs and bloggers

who want to scale their business with a

book or ebook and today we're talking

ISBNs and you probably don't even

realize what an ISBN is even though

you've seen one countless times so is

Vienna's publishing speak for

international standard book number and

it's basically an identifying number

it's 13 digits used to be 10 but now

it's 13 because of so many books being

published and you see it if you look on

the back cover of a book above the

barcode there in the bottom corner where

the price is there's a 13 digit number

ISBN 978 - blah blah blah you find on

the back cover you also see it sometimes

well not sometimes always you always see

it on the copyright page also but you

probably haven't looked for it there as

much as you've seen another back cover

so that's what it is

and basically it's a piece of metadata

that the book publishing industry uses

so that if there's sometimes there's

books in different genres on russ with

the same title or the same subtitle

things like that every book has its own

ISBN one unique number and so in this

book called books in print which is

basically like the catalog vinyl of the

book publishing industry books are

identified with their ISBN

rather than by their title or their

author or any other piece of identifying

information because it's unique to that

particular book and there's no question

then which book a book seller or a

salesperson or a book marketing

professional is talking about so the key

here is really now that you know what it

is and where you can find it and what

it's used for the key is that whoever

had owns the ISBN is listed in a book

and in books

print as the publisher of record for

that book so you can buy an ISBN number

or Amazon if you're publishing and

creates me CreateSpace

offers a free ISBN you want to buy your

own I know it's very tempting to just

say hey I'd rather see about $125 and

spend it on marketing in some other way

but you want to buy your own ISBN you

want to be listed in books and print as

the publisher of record if you're not

and you're publishing through create

space create space will be less specific

as the publisher of record if that's the

case there are bookstores that you know

are still hesitant to use some to stock

self-published books they may not be

open to stocking a book that lists

create spaces the publisher of record if

you buy your own you're listed there and

a bookstore owner sees you as a book in

print rather than just an individual

person and so it's much more likely for

your the reach for your book to be

further if you're listed as the

publisher of record and it's your book

so you want to be listed that way anyway

right you don't want create space listed

anywhere is the publisher of record

because they're not really the publisher

you are they're doing the printing for

you but you're you're the publisher so

that's the why and now where the heck's

you get this I spin is there an Iceman

ferry no there is however a company

called Becker Bo WKAR and I will list I

will link their website below well you

can buy your ISBN as of this video

recording in 2017 it's $125 for one ISBN

you can also buy in bulk if you think

and the numbers never expire or you know

get changed go anywhere or whatever if

you think that you'll be doing more

books in the future it's cheaper to buy

a book and every format every printed

format of the book needs its own ISBN so

if you're gonna do a hardcover version

and a paperback version you need to and

enough that case it's definitely gonna

be cheaper to just buy in bulk and then

save the other eye since you know for

for future books so to buy when you go

to the balcony I have no idea why backer

this company

has a monopoly on ISBNs in the United

States but it does and it has since I

started working and publishing 20 years

ago and I stopped asking why because the

answer was never more in depth than

that's just the way it is Jody so I've

just accepted that that's the way it is

and this is where we get our ass PN's so

you want to go to the back of website it

takes about two minutes you buy your

ISBN you give it to your designer if

you're not doing it yourself they you

know put it on the back cover but I

think by the move you're done so that's

the skinny on ISBNs if you have any

questions let me know I would appreciate

it if you liked this video if you would

share it subscribe to the channel linked

below and that's it for today's book

publishing

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