Needing to purchase an ISBN takes us down some potential paths so for starters, each country has 1 agency that issues ISBNs. For some it comes from the government, like in Canada or China. For others it is a third party agency like Bowker in the US or Neilsen in the UK. For some countries there is NO cost to getting an ISBN, others there is a cost. There can be a simple form and credit card payment form or perhaps a long bureaucratic system. It all depends.
Seeing that self-publishing authors need ISBNs and want to keep it simple, self-publishing platforms started to offer “free” ISBNs. Free is in air-quotes. Because in most cases, you can’t take the ISBN to another platform. You are kind of locking your book to that platform.
So I always advocate getting your own. Yes, it takes more effort, and in some cases, more money. But you are spending how much time and effort on your book and you’re going to let this important element go?
So in my opinion, yes you need to get your own.
What other ISBN questions do you have?
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