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Old 03-11-2014, 06:43 PM   #1
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ISBN on public domain ebooks?

Hello

I used the search function, but didn't find an answer to my questions, so forgive me if I missed something ...

As far as I know, every ebook needs it's own identifier number (usually the ISBN Number), just like a paper book.

In epub the code looks like this

Code:
<dc:identifier id="PrimaryID" opf:scheme="ISBN"></dc:identifier>
My problem right now is: I just scanned an old book. I did all the ocr and stuff like that and now I start to turn the text into an epub file. But what about the ISBN Number? The book itself is from around 1886, and using ISBN just started about 90 years later. So what should I do now? Should I enter a fantasy number (and risking that another ebook also has the same number? Or should I leave it blank? Or is there a website where I can see what ISBN Number is available (and claim it - for free if possible, because I want to distribute it freely, here on MR)
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Old 03-11-2014, 08:27 PM   #2
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The isbn identifier doesn't matter, it's not required. If one is available, you can put it in, or ignore it. Since in this case there is no ISBN, you have to ignore it.

Last edited by eschwartz; 03-12-2014 at 12:22 AM.
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Old 03-11-2014, 11:24 PM   #3
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@NASCARaddicted--if you are concerned about it, use UUID unique identifier instead. Sigil generates a tag that looks like this:
<dc:identifier id="BookId" opf:scheme="UUID">urn:uuid:29d0d5ab-896f-4667-8e4f-38c5eca2d78f</dc:identifier>

But as far as I know, you can replace that long alpha-numeric string with anything you choose. For example:
NASCAR-book001-15-03-2014

edit to add-- See discussion at this thread:
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=213906

Last edited by GrannyGrump; 03-11-2014 at 11:34 PM.
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Old 03-12-2014, 12:25 AM   #4
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When creating a book, Sigil and calibre will both generate a UUID dc:identifier.

The ISBN identifier is just a regular metadata field, like subject, publisher, comments, etc.
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Old 03-12-2014, 12:27 AM   #5
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Although you could use it as the dc:identifier, that wouldn't be unique, which is the main purpose of the dc:identifier anyway, come to think of it...

Doesn't matter anyway, though, if there isn't one.
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Old 03-12-2014, 05:38 AM   #6
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Thanks for your reply guys, it really helped me.

Either I will leave it empty, or I will use something like GrannyGump suggested it. I could use my nickname and a consecutive number, because I also have some other public domain books, that I am working on.

As for Calibre or Sigil - I don't use them. I prefer to do it all by hand, just with Notepad ++
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Old 03-12-2014, 10:01 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NASCARaddicted View Post
But what about the ISBN Number? The book itself is from around 1886, and using ISBN just started about 90 years later. So what should I do now? Should I enter a fantasy number (and risking that another ebook also has the same number? Or should I leave it blank? Or is there a website where I can see what ISBN Number is available (and claim it - for free if possible, because I want to distribute it freely, here on MR)
Small possible misconception here. The ISBN identifies a particular edition of a book, not the work itself. So even if the book you scanned had been published last year, your digital edition should not have the same ISBN. There are even different ISBNs for hardcover and paperback editions, let alone the same public domain book published by different publishers...

But as other have said, you don't need an ISBN for your book, just some unique identifier, which you can make up yourself.
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