Like an ISBN, but for your series. These numbers can be used for any periodicals (newspapers, magazines, printed and distributed newsletters, and book series).
Cost to you: $0, but it will take a little bit of your time.
Why do this? OK, so just as the ISBN is your book’s social security number, the one identifying number that can be used to find it on any database, the ISSN works the same way. If you have a series name for your sci fi thriller called The Haunting Creek and there is a series of magazines for outdoorsmen called The Hunting Creek, well typos happen and people can get confused. The ISSN makes it easier for your audience, readers, librarians, etc. to find your book and your series.
In the US, you request your ISSN through the Library of Congress, it’s just a different part of the website from the PCN and LCCN request (http://www.loc.gov/issn/form/index.html)
Timeframe: Not listed anywhere on any of the websites did receive a prompt confirmation email from the LOC letting me know it would take 3-4 weeks. I heard back in 3 business days.
And what I was told was that because my book series would have a defined end to it, it would not continue annually or monthly forever, I didn’t need the ISSN.
I did reach out to Bowker when I submitted my ISBNs to make sure the series name was added, and I heard back from them in 4 business days to have that added. So, I believe that covers my series name.
FAQs from ISSN: https://www.loc.gov/issn/faq.html
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Have a great day and now you can get back to writing your book or series!
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