How to get an ISBN in the United Kingdom?

We all thrive to know about getting ISBN (International Standard Book Number) number whenever discussing (especially self-publishers) books and publishing. But before knowing about getting an ISBN – You may better learn that an ISBN is a unique 13-digit code that is used as an identity code by publishers or book retailers. These unique ISBN numbers are non-transferable and fixed.

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Therefore, if you want to publish any format like eBook or paperback for a book you will need to get a new ISBN for each format. In every country, there are different servers providing ISBN numbers to its consumers or publishers. In the United States, you can create your ISBN by visiting Bowker, and in the United Kingdom, you could get it from Nielson, and in Canada, you can get it for free. The cost of getting an ISBN may vary country-to-country depending on its taxation system.

Getting ISBN in the UK

For purchasing ISBN from Nielson, firstly you may require sign-up on their official website. After signing up, Nielson would provide you a variety of ISBNs. You may choose one of them. Most of the publishers opt their lucky numbers as their ISBN because they think it would bring good luck to them. We don’t know it’s a myth or reality. After choosing your number you would pay for it. Once you get your title or ISBN, you will have to register it at Bowker’s. Bowker is an international site or bibliography to libraries through which your ISBN or published book could be consulted worldwide. (NOTE: Following picture is just an exemplary ISBN)

To save titles, the government provides some alternative sites from where you could get an ISBN for free. You can get an ISBN outside Bowker’s from BOOKBABY, SMASHWORD, and Draft2digital for free or with a discount. But there is always a “BUT” for alternatives. When you register for free or using some so-called free ISBN sites, you have the only option to retail your book at one publisher. However, it is also a possibility by which you could retail your books, on the other channel without facing any problem. However, when you get access to these channels, they provide you with several serial numbers for every site that can affect your stock in libraries or at booksellers because of having too many serial numbers for the same book. So, we would suggest you to go with a legit and authentic way. It feels better, TRUST Us!


Ali Hamza

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