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ISBN Price Question

Started by LandonSuffered, January 09, 2010, 09:58:31 AM

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Why do ISBNs have different prices depending on where you buy them?

Lulu (YourISBN)  $99.98 $125
CreateSpace $0??

Is there some sort of different quality of ISBN you're getting for your book, depending on where you pick it up? Or are all ISBNs created equally. Does it matter to me whether I get Lulu's free "lulu brand ISBN" instead of getting my own. Does this make me some sort of sucker?


Oh, yeah...I've got a book now.


There is only one official source for ISBN numbers in the US. A company named R>R. Bowker. They handle the issuing of new ISBN number blocks and numbers and maintain the massive books-in-print database of books with registered ISBNs.

When some other company is offering to "sell" you an ISBN what they are doing is selling you an ISBN out of a blopck of numbers already assigned to them. They are able to buy them much cheaper in full 1000 blocks. The problem with your book having one of these numbers is that they, not you, woud appear as the publisher of record in the R.R. Bowker database of books in print. Anyone interested in contacting the publisher would not have your contact info and would contact them instead.

That said, Amazon uses their numbers internally only. For everyone else, you can always buy your own ISBN and print a different edition of your book with your own ISBN if you are going to pursue other distrubution options beyond those being offered through those POD houses.

Ryan S. Johnson
Guild of Blades Retail Group -
Guild of Blades Publishing Group -
1483 Online -
Ryan S. Johnson
Guild of Blades Publishing Group