Thursday, July 14, 2011

Smashwords Acquires 50,000 New ISBNs

Smashwords this week acquired 50,000 new ISBN numbers from Bowker.

We offer these ISBNs for free to authors, publishers and agents who publish and distribute ebooks with Smashwords.

We buy them so you don't have to.

ISBNs are required for distribution to the Apple iBookstore and the Sony Reader Store.

There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding ISBNs. Despite the best efforts of Bowker and the international ISBN agency to educate authors and publishers about ISBNs, it's still common for authors to believe that the ISBN somehow impacts copyright or ownership of a book, or somehow makes a book more credible.

An ISBN is simply a unique digital identifier tied to a book that helps ebook supply chain participants track a book as it travels from publisher to distributor to retailer.

The value of a unique identifier is that the identifer stays the same even if the book's title, price, description, cover image or content changes.

To learn more about ISBNs, visit the Smashwords ISBN FAQ where you'll find links to other ISBN resources. Smashwords authors and publishers will find additional ISBN information at their ISBN Manager page.

12 comments:

Ben Campbell said...

Fastastic. Smashwords, you are the best.

Tori Scott said...

Mark, I think there's a problem with the uploader on the Smashwords site. I've sent two emails with no response, but I've been trying for 24 hours to upload my second book and can't get it to work.

Just wanted to let you know.

Drew Wagar said...

He he... I'd got one before the announcement was made, just kept trying to the ISBN button! :)

Nice work though smashwords - F A B!

Karen Inglis said...

Hi Mark - my POD proofs for my children's book The Secret Lake are en route to me from Amazon CreateSpace. My next job is to format the book for e-reading and to send it to you. (I have the Smashwords style guide etc here - the most entertaining style guide I've ever read!). I have a UK ISBN for the print version - and bought 9 more. As I have other books in the pipeline and the ISBNs aren't cheap I would like to use one of yours for the e-version if my manuscript is accepted at your end -is that how it works? Or am not able to mix and match ISBNs from the UK/USA?

BTW I have you in my circles on G+ and vice versa but I can't 'see' you there - I assume that is a glitch... - I don't suppose it's anythng to do with your profile settings is it? I only joined yesterday so may be misunderstanding something...

Karen Inglis (Google+)
@kareninglis (twitter)

Ruth Ann said...

I've been trying to assure authors that they don't have to buy ISBNs in order to protect their copyright, so I appreciate this post.

leann.richards said...

Big thanks to Mark for continuing to look after Smashwords authors. I am very grateful for all the hard work that you and the team at Smashwords do.

Terry Callister said...

You have got to say that Mark Coker and the Smashwords team certainly look after their authors. Fair play to everybody there and thank you from all us authors.

James H. Byrd said...

Mark, I'm afraid you are adding to the misconceptions regarding proper use of ISBN. You DO need to get a new ISBN if you change the title of your book after it has been offered for commercial sale. You also have to get a new ISBN if you change the content of the book for anything other than correction of typos and the like. For example, an updated "edition" of a book requires a new ISBN.

You are correct that you do NOT need to get a new ISBN if you change the cover, although Bowker recommends that you do so anyway if you believe the change could result in customer complaints (e.g. ordering the book with one cover but receiving the other.)

Changes to other things, like the subtitle, description, price and other ancillary metadata, do not require a new ISBN.

Cathrin said...

O/T -- related to a recent site update where Mark Coker says, "We're all in this together," with respect to the topic of authors (and their cohorts) potentially sabotaging other authors:

I was one of the organizers of a children's writers conference a few years ago. Our theme was: "We're all in this together." We were roundly criticized by the keynote speaker, a famous children's author, who named her keynote speech, "We're all in this apart."

In my opinion, Mark is right on. This brave new world of self-published ebook authors cannot go forward and garner the respect we deserve unless we help one another. I also believe that the majority of us here think the same thing. Thank you, Mark, for your integrity and the respect that you show to the authors here every day.

Honorée Corpron Corder said...

This is great news! I'll be purchasing several of them myself, for sure! Smashwords, you rock!

Tracy Sharp said...

Smashwords rocks :)

Carol Marlene Smith said...

I too got my numbers before the announcement. I was anxious to get them as I love being organized!
Thanks Smashwords for giving us free ones.:-)