1. Mike Kobernus
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    Mike Kobernus Contributing Member

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    Sometimes I am amazed...

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Mike Kobernus, Jul 17, 2014.

    I got some really good news today.

    I was looking into ISBNs.

    I am sure everyone know how much they can run to.

    I requested ISBNs from the Norwegian National Library, which handles that sort of thing in Norway.

    They processed my request, and in two days I received 1000 ISBNs, assigned to my Publication ID.

    Total cost?

    Zero. Zilch. Nada.

    I am just blown away. Gotta love Norway.

    When you want something done, do it the north-way!
     
  2. Edward M. Grant
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    Edward M. Grant Contributing Member

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    Yeah, they're free in Canada, too... just register as a publisher and request a block of them.
     
  3. Mike Kobernus
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    Mike Kobernus Contributing Member

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    Wonderful. You gotta love the socialist economies...
     
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  4. Vandor76
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    Vandor76 Contributing Member

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    They are also free in Hungary, but administration takes two times longer. We are slower, ha-ha :)
     
  5. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I'm looking into self publishing right now. What's the benefit of having an ISBN?
     
  6. NigeTheHat
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    NigeTheHat Contributing Member Contributor

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    From the reading I've done...

    You need an ISBN to go into the database that booksellers (including Amazon) order their books from - so without it, you can't be sold through those outlets. If you just want to sell it on your own website, or for something like KDP where it's only available on Amazon and they have their own identification system, it's not required.

    You can get free ISBNs from places like Createspace - I did that. The downside is that the publisher will then be listed as Createspace (or whoever gave you the ISBN) - this likely won't matter much, but it still makes your book marginally less likely to be ordered, since it screams 'self-published' and there's still some stigma there. The odds of any bookseller just picking your book from the list are pretty damn small anyway, though, so personally I decided it didn't matter much. Since I'm in the UK, though, I'd have to pay a fairly hefty amount of money to get one. If it had been free to get my own, I probably would have done so, because having my own publishing imprint would be cool.

    You can't change the ISBN on a book, though you can create a new edition of the book witha new ISBN if you start with one from a place like Createspace and then decide you want your own. I *think* the downside here is that the database also lists number of orders by each entry, and if they're split across multiple ISBNs your book won't necessarily look like it's selling as well as it really is.

    I don't think you can get ISBNs from countries you're not a resident of, though I might be wrong there. It never occurred to me to try and get one from Norway.

    That's my current understanding, at least Here's an FAQ if you want more info, because God knows we all want to know more about byzantine database allocation systems.
     
  7. Mike Kobernus
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    Mike Kobernus Contributing Member

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    That was interesting. Just a comment about procuring ISBNs from Norway. I strongly suspect that you need to have a publishing company, and it will need to be Norwegian. I had to fill in a form, specifying various things, including company name, address, etc. I talked several times with someone from the 'office' that issues them, and was obviously perceived as being a genuine Norsk business.

    I would be doubtful if one could apply from outside the country, since they would presumably just point you in the direction of your respective ISBN issuing agency.

    Kudos to Hungary for having free ISBNs too. And while we are on the subject of Hungary, Szia!
     
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  8. Vandor76
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    Vandor76 Contributing Member

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    Hei @Mike Kobernus :)

    Anyone can publish a book with an ISBN number, you don't need to have a publishing company. The only thing you should be aware of is that the publisher's details are listed in the ISBN database and in case you self-publish then these details will be your personal ones : name, address, phone number, etc..

    ISBN numbers contain a country code (Hungary has two : 615 and 963, Norway is 82) and issuing organizations are responsible for one specific country so a publisher (company or private) needs to have an address in that country to get an ISBN number. There are language based codes for English, French and German but I'm sure that one issuer is still responsible for one country only.
     
  9. Mike Kobernus
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    Mike Kobernus Contributing Member

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    Indeed. I was making that point, regarding local residence in order to obtain a block of ISBNs.

    But the main point of this thread was my utter delight in discovering that they are free!
     
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