I purchase my ISBN numbers and barcodes from Bowker.
If you have an account, log in. If not, create an account.
Once you’ve set up your account, you can purchase ISBN #’s either individually or in groups. Unless you plan to publish one manuscript in one format (eBook, hardcover etc.) you will need more than one. If you foresee needing more than three, it makes financial sense to purchase a group of ten. You may assign them to whatever you’d like to publish whenever you’d like.
Regarding barcodes, you first need an ISBN before you can assign it a barcode.
This is my group of ten ISBN #’s. (I have no idea if there is a theft risk in showing anyone my un-used ISBN #’s so I scratched out my unused ISBN’s.
As you can see, during the ‘Assign Title’ process it will ask you about format, allow you to upload a cover image as well as other things. I’ll walk you through it.
1. Click ‘Assign Title'
You only need to fill out the fields with the red *’s and truthfully, I’m not sure whether filling out more gains the title any SEO exposure….another blog topic, perhaps.
2. Enter your title, any other info you’d like and click Go to: Contributors
4. In Contributors I seemingly always make the mistake of adding myself (the author) the first time around so…do that FIRST. You can also add illustrators, editors etc. You can also add your cover designer -don’t forget to show them some love! When finished, click Go to: Format & Size
5. Here you need to enter the Medium (I selected E-book for this example) and Format. You’ll also need to choose a primary subject. It can’t hurt to choose a secondary subject if there is one that fits your manuscript. Again you can add more information however at this point you most likely won’t know everything regarding packaging etc.
When complete, click go to Sales & pricing
6. Nothing you enter here is in stone so don’t get stressed about getting the price right, limiting where the title will be sold etc. etc. If you don’t know the publication date, put a date in the future. Select your target audience and choose ‘Forthcoming’ as the Title Status.
7. Click submit and return to ‘My Identifiers’ page
The ISBN you just assigned should show up with your title and a little yellow and blue arrow in the status column. Once the title is processed, it will turn into a green and white check (like below)
The good thing is you can, if necessary, go back and change your entries. Just click on the title to do so. There is also a cool feature called CLONE.
This allows you to duplicate the information you’ve already filled out onto another ISBN #, which is handy when you are getting ISBN #’s for multiple formats (eBook, hard copy etc.)