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Chris A. Baird | May 22, 2020
Where does a writer go to get an ISBN number if there is not an ISBN agency in its country according to the ISBN international website?

If you still haven't got an ISBN, this is the right place for you to learn where to get an ISBN number now. Understand what an ISBN is and how it can help you save a good amount of money.

Amazon KDP Is A Good Start

Before I get into today's question, I want you to know that the fourth answer to this question is a secret that has already saved me a thousand dollars. And probably will end up saving me several thousand dollars.

It will also help you save that money. So let's get right on into it. The question that was sent to me directly today was, where does a writer go to get an ISBN if there is no ISBN agency in his country according to the ISBN International website?

This is an outstanding question. The thing that makes it a little bit confusing is, what exactly are these ISBNs all about? How exactly do you go about getting them?

What if you are in a country that doesn't even have them? So, there is a whole series of questions for these numbers that can be quite confusing. But before I get into that, check out my free Self-Publishing Checklist that goes through some secrets.

In terms of getting you on the right foot whether you have just started or have been publishing for a while, make sure you are not missing any of the steps. So let's get into it.

When I first started publishing, I published through Kindle on Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. KDP was my starting place for publishing and the thing that's amazing there is that when you publish a book there, they give you an ISBN.

Check out this related article: Does KDP Select Promote Your Book?

So, there is an ISBN and then I did it through CreateSpace which is now Kindle Print and they also give you an ISBN. Then, when I went on to do my hardback books in Lulu, they also do the same thing by giving you your ISBN.

You do not have to figure out the details of that. That was one of the reasons I even went with them was because I could skip that very step. But when I went over to Ingram Spark, that was the first time I began to realize the importance of using your ISBN.

Or you are forced into using your ISBN. So let's get into the answers to today's question. The first thing is, this isn't going to be a problem where to get an ISBN number if you can't get it in your local country since ISBNs are international numbers.

Many Different Locations

You should try to get it in your local country where you are going to be publishing the book. But through different houses, you can get them to give you ISBNs. There are plenty of places if you just Google online.

You'll get an entire list of ISBN locations where you can get those numbers. So, that's the first thing, you are going to want to realize that you can get it anywhere in the world. It is fine but they ideally would like for you to get it in your home country if possible.

But again, if you do get it in a different country just like when you are getting in CreateSpace or whatever, I'm from Norway and here it did all right when I did it for through CreateSpace and such. It wasn't a Norwegian group that gave, it would be through CreateSpace but it used their mark.

So that is the downside of course, of using one of their ISBNs. However, they are international, they can work anywhere but you should use it if possible in your local country.

The next thing to know is that when you are going through Amazon and ACX and Lulu, you are going to get them automatically. They will do it but if it comes to other places or if you wish to use your own, it doesn't show up like them, as the publishing company and I don't see any problem with that.

Check out this related article: Are There Other Good Self-Publishing Platforms Apart From Lulu.com?

Most people who are ordering books, the last thing they are going to do is look to see who it was published through. That is an important point you are also going to want to consider.

But if you are going to go through Ingram Spark, I started looking it up when I started with them and what I discovered was that the first thing was that if you wish to buy one single ISBN, it was going to cost me $150.

It Might Be Free In Your Country

After doing my homework and my research, the secret came out which isn't that some countries of the world will give you the ISBNs for free. That's right, you heard me correctly.

These countries include places like Canada. That is a little bit trickier but that's one place that was on the list. When I researched and checked with my library in Norway, I discovered I could get them for free here.

They were sending me a list of 50 ISBNs at a time. I was able to register them under my own publishing company and then I can use them on Ingram Spark or anywhere else I would like to do it. It took them approximately 2 days and I had 50 numbers.

Check out this related article: How Do I Sell My Self-Published Book?

Normally, you are to pay $150 for one, or I think 10 was coming in like a thousand or something. You get a hundred if you buy $5000. I can't remember the exact figures on this.

I think it was 10 for a thousand and then if you spend $10,000 you can get a thousand numbers. Though, it is important to remember that when you are getting these ISBNs, that if you are in a country other than the United States, you can get them for absolutely free.

I don't even know why they aren't free everywhere since it's not a lot of administrative costs for them to register. It's just a few digits in a computer so I think it might be a little bit of a scam in the grand scheme for how much money they can make off of these numbers.

But again, a simple Google search I'd go below the sponsored ads at the top to your first results. Then, go ahead and grab your ISBN from there.

So what have you found? Have you found that you needed to go outside your country? Have you ever tried to approach your country? Do you have other solutions as to where to get an ISBN number if its not available in your country?

Let me know in the comments below what exactly you have found. Check out my other blogs and videos answering your questions and making self-publishing easier now.

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