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All About ISBNs

What is an ISBN?

ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number. It’s like a barcode, a unique fingerprint for your book. ISBN numbers provide information about the country of origin, language, and publisher. Each format of your book is requried to have its own unique ISBN.

Do I Need An ISBN?

Yes. All retailers and libraries will ask for your book ISBN in order to place it on their site for sale. If you have en ebook and auidobook, they will need to have their own ISBN. If they are in different languages or on library channels, a different and unique ISBN will be required.

Breakdown Of An ISBN Number

Each ISBN is has 13 digits that are broken up into five parts. The ISBN number is not just a randomly generated sequence of numbers. ISBNs consist of 5 elements with each section being separated by spaces or hyphens. Three of the five elements may be of varying length.

Element 1. Prefix: Is always 3 digits in length and currently this can only be either 978 or 979.

Element 2. Registration group element: Can be 1 to 5 digits in length and identifies the country, geographical region, or language.

Element 3. Registrant element / Publisher Prefix. This can be up to 7 digits in length and identifies the particular publisher.

Element 4. Title / Publication element – Can be up to 6 digits in length and identifies the particular edition and format of a specific title.

Element 5. Check Digit –Tthis is the final single digit that validates the accuracy of rest of the number. It is calculated using a Modulus 10 system with alternate weights of 1 and 3.

How Much Does An ISBN Cost & Where Can I Get An ISBN?

If you don't have an ISBN and decide to distributoe your audiobook with e-Audio Productions, we will happily assign a FREE ISBN to your audiobook. If you want to purchase your own, visit or the cost for 1 ISBN is currently $125.00

Some ISBN Services Sell ISBNs For Just $18. Why?

Some companies purchase multiple ISBN numbers in bulk and keep them registered under their own publishing company and sell them at a lowr price. However, Element 3 of the number still identifies the company and not you as the publisher. This is no different than getting a free ISBN from your distributor.

Free ISBN VS Paid ISBN - Pros & Cons

Overall, your ISBN will not make any difference in your sales or audiobook performance.

If you are a one time author and your book is a personal project or for fun or for family only, then there really is no need to purchase one. If you are self publishing with your own publishing LLC and you want to look more professional and want your brand and book to be taken more seriously by bookstores, media, and even book buyers, you should register your own ISBNs and assign it yo your publishing company name.

What is the difference between the ASIN and ISBN number?

ASIN is a totally different than an ISBN. An ASIN is like a product SKU numberused by Amazon to identify products, whereas ISBN is the universal number for identifying a book. An ASIN is 10-character alphanumeric unique identifier that’s assigned by only. If you want to sell your book or audiobook elsewhere, you will need an ISBN.

All About ISBNs

e-Audio Productions

Get your free audtions with our narrators. No sign up required. Simply select your narrators, upload your auditions manuscript and we will produce the samples with the narrators you selected

Want to learn more about making an audiobook? Schedule a free consulation call and we will happily give you all the information abour production and distribution of your audiobook.

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