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Old 09-23-2011, 11:57 AM   #1
lordshell
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ISBN question

My novel's on lulu.com in epub form. I'm making a conversion of it for the Kindle and I was wondering if I use the same ISBN number or do I get assigned a new one, since it's in the .mobi format instead of the .epub. I assume I get a new number but I'm unsure. Anyone got a clue?
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Old 09-23-2011, 12:24 PM   #2
Jacquelyn Smith
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordshell View Post
My novel's on lulu.com in epub form. I'm making a conversion of it for the Kindle and I was wondering if I use the same ISBN number or do I get assigned a new one, since it's in the .mobi format instead of the .epub. I assume I get a new number but I'm unsure. Anyone got a clue?
Amazon will assign you an ASIN that's unique to their site, so you shouldn't have to worry. Entering your own ISBN on Amazon KDP is optional. Even if you do supply Amazon with your ISBN, they will assign your book an ASIN anyway. They don't list the ISBN in Kindle product descriptions either, just the ASIN.

Hope this helps!
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Old 09-23-2011, 02:19 PM   #3
lordshell
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Thanks!
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Old 09-23-2011, 04:10 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordshell View Post
My novel's on lulu.com in epub form. I'm making a conversion of it for the Kindle and I was wondering if I use the same ISBN number or do I get assigned a new one, since it's in the .mobi format instead of the .epub. I assume I get a new number but I'm unsure.
If you want an ISBN you can use the same one. If you use a distributor like BookBaby they will assign the same ISBN to all ebook flavours. You have to have a different one if you issue a paper edition, though.
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Old 09-24-2011, 04:38 AM   #5
AlexBell
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Originally Posted by MartinC View Post
You have to have a different one if you issue a paper edition, though.
I don't know what to think, since I've read elsewhere that others use the same ISBN for print and ebook versions.

Could you refer me to a ruling somewhere please?
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Old 09-24-2011, 04:57 AM   #6
HarryT
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Originally Posted by AlexBell View Post
I don't know what to think, since I've read elsewhere that others use the same ISBN for print and ebook versions.

Could you refer me to a ruling somewhere please?
The idea is that an ISBN should refer to a specific "format" of your book. If you order a paperback book via an ISBN, you wouldn't want to receive an eBook or a hardback. For that same reason, my personal view is that an author should use a different ISBN for each different eBook format, but some would disagree with this.

At the end of the day, though, it's down to the book producer, but think of what the potential reader is going to use the ISBN for: to search for your book.
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Old 09-24-2011, 06:51 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexBell View Post
I don't know what to think, since I've read elsewhere that others use the same ISBN for print and ebook versions.

Could you refer me to a ruling somewhere please?
The International ISBN Agency is the place to look, but their web site seems to be down at the moment.

This problem has been brewing for several years. The current official position is that any separately retailable format requires a separate ISBN.

This was more of a problem when there were lots of competing formats. Now there are essentially two. ePub and Kindle.

ePubs can be sold through a variety of on-line retailers, and need an ISBN.

Kindle ebooks are only sold by Amazon, who assigns an ASIN, and don't need an ISBN.

Publishers who sell directly in multiple formats (e.g. Baen) should assign an ISBN to each book, not each format, and should probably also assign an ISBN to each bundle. But there's no real reason why they should until they also submit the books to other supply chains (e.g. iBooks store), when the ePub format will need an ISBN.
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Old 09-24-2011, 07:12 AM   #8
VydorScope
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You said your book is on Lulu, so here is what Lulu says about ISBN:

Quote:
What are ISBNs and do I need one?

An ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is a controlled, 10- or 13-digit identification number allowing publishers, libraries, and book dealers to locate books. If you received an ISBN from Lulu, the ISBN will include Lulu's prefix and Lulu will be listed as the publisher of record. If you assigned an ISBN that you own to the project, your publisher information will be listed. For more information on the history and purpose of ISBNs, see http://www.isbn.org. An ISBN is NOT needed to publish on Lulu (Lulu ISBNs are available for free in the Lulu Publishing Wizard).

An ISBN is needed to have a book distributed in the book industry commerce chain (extendedREACH or globalREACH). An ISBN is not required for marketREACH. Each project must have a different ISBN. A unique ISBN distinguishes between different versions of a book, helping customers to be sure that they are ordering the book they want.
And that agrees with how I understand the ISBN to work. Head to http://www.isbn.org and read through there FAQ, it seems to agree also.
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